Plants are key components to landscape designs, which provide numerous benefits to people, the
environment, and wildlife. To use them successfully, landscape architects need to understand the
fundamentals of how they grow, what help plants thrive, and how they are used in the landscape. This course is a study of ornamental trees and plants that indeed thrive in California, and more specifically the Bay Area. Until recently, landscape design focused on ornamentals that in hindsight were not necessarily well-suited for periods of drought and conservative maintenance practices. Leading designers have been shifting toward a clearer understanding of local microclimates as well as sustainable maintenance practices. Today, we see a migration toward modern designs utilizing native, Mediterranean, and other drought tolerant species found across the globe. By contrast, higher water-consuming plants that require excessive maintenance are designed into limited spaces. The use of native species by landscape architects encourages a localized sense of place, while the introduction of non-native species allows for unusual, aesthetic, and themed interests. Learning the Latin names of all species is mandatory.