UCLA – Scientific Illustration and Plant Identification

Class visits Valley Crest Specimen Nursery, Sunland, California - with instructor David Squires

About the course

This course was held during the Fall 2011 quarter through the Landscape Architecture Program at UCLA Extension in Los Angeles, California. The course is offered typically twice a year and meets four (4) Saturdays from 10am – 4pm. The course is an elective within the Landscape Architecture curriculum and there are no prerequisites; in other words this class welcomes all students from the beginner to the experienced.

The learning objectives for the class are:

-Improved observation skills and awareness of details – plant characteristics
-Proper writing of plant names
-Improved illustrating/sketching techniques with pencil and paper
-Learn to establish a drawing and documentation process
-Gain knowledge of plant materials; requirements and uses

This last fall we met in three locations:

November 12th and 19th at San Gabriel Nursery and Florist, San Gabriel, California
December 4th at Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden, Long Beach, California
December 10th at Valley Crest Tree Company, Sunland, California

The theme of this quarters class was to study the evolution of plant materials from the grower/nursery, to the established garden, and back to the specimen yard at Valley Crest as fully grown, mature specimens.
We looked at container sizes, plant requirements (Space, exposure, soil, water, uses) in addition to our study of each specimens unique characteristics – plant parts and how to draw these details.

Samples of student illustrations can be viewed on my Flickr account, ‘UCLA course, Fall 2011′ set.
The course will next be offered through UCLA Extension during the Summer quarter, 2012. We are scheduled to meet at the following locations:

-San Gabriel Nursery and Florist
-Valley Crest Specimen Nursery
-Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden
-The Getty Center

Hope to see you in class!

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