Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/21/2008
Publication Date: 7/24/2008
Citation: Muller, K.L., Gersony, J.A., Frey, P.A., Wilson, S.B., Scully, B.T. 2008. The linear garden: A unique, inexpensive, and effective way to facilitate plant identificaqtion and roadside beautification [abstract]. HortScience. 43(4):1173.
Technical Abstract: Long term maintenance costs and availability of space are two common issues encountered at university gardens. Our linear garden concept originated when existing university gardens were at maximum capacity and could not be expanded. In addition, the need to teach a large diversity of plant material in a limited amount of time paralleled local interest in road-side beautification. With minimal installation and maintenance costs, a linear garden was established along the length of the road perpendicular to entrances to neighboring University of Florida (UF) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) buildings. A single grass strip (3 feet wide and 2,426 feet long) was herbicided and tractor rotavated. A vegetable bed press was used to form 8 inch tall beds upon which a plastic mulch machine was used to apply the single row of semi-permeable landscape fabric. To irrigate the entire length of the bed with similar pressure, a 1.25 inch submain poly tubing line was installed and teed every 100 feet with 1 inch risers and 25 pound pressure regulators. Eight hundred and twenty three plants (comprising 239 different plant species) were planted with spacing determined by each species mature plant width. 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 and texture, foliage and flower color, plant size and form, and seasonality. Year-round viewing interest was obtained by using different plant types including 63 species of trees, 23 palms, 127 shrubs, 18 groundcovers, 4 vines, and 4 grasses.