Submitted to: HortTechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/4/2007
Publication Date: 12/20/2007
Citation: Wilson, S.B., Muller, K.L., Gersony, J.A., Scully, B.T. 2008. The linear garden: A unique, inexpensive, and effective way to facilitate plant identification and roadside beautification. HortTechnology. 18:318-319.
Interpretive Summary: There are over 2500 registered botanic gardens worldwide and they accommodate 200 million visitors annually. A number of these gardens and arboreta are located on university campuses and are used for teaching and extension purposes. Maintenance costs and the availability of space are two issues that commonly frustrate the management and constrain the expansion of these facilities. Additionally, the configuration and design of these gardens and arboreta are typically based on more traditional European models. An alternate concept, entitled the Linear Garden, is proposed as a different architecture for botanic gardens. It is a sensible extension of the roadside landscape model, which often follows a linear pattern, but the Linear Garden has an expanded format that includes research, teaching and extension functions. The purpose of this research was to achieve a design with rhythm, unity, and structure through the alternation of large and small trees with deciduous and evergreen leaf persistence. An additional objective was to apply more cost efficient crop management practices to this linear design. Despite the restrictions imposed by the linear format, principals from traditional botanic garden design were employed from the outset and based on five design principles including color, line, form texture and scale. To implement these principals a schematic for plant arrangement also considered leaf persistence, mature plant size, flowering time and color.
Technical Abstract: There are over 2500 registered botanic gardens worldwide. A number of these gardens and arboreta are located on university campuses and are used for teaching and extension purposes. Maintenance costs and the availability of space are two issues that commonly frustrate the management and constrain the expansion of these facilities. An alternate concept, entitled the “Linear Garden”, is proposed as a different architecture for botanic gardens. To demonstrate and establish this concept, a 2,426 ft long and 3.0 ft wide linear garden was designed and constructed along Rock Rd. in Ft. Pierce, FL. This design included 232 different plant taxa and was composed of 796 specimens spaced at mature plant width. The different plant types included 58 species of trees, 23 palms, 127 shrubs, 17 groundcovers, 4 vines, and 3 grasses. The garden was designed to showcase specimen plants and display other common landscape plants utilized in the south-central Florida region with attention to foliage type, foliage and flower color, plant size and form, and seasonality.