Planting Design

  • Bubbles. Dongzhe Tao.
    Bubbles. Dongzhe Tao.
  • Montessori School Yard Design. Zhuoying Chen.
    Montessori School Yard Design. Zhuoying Chen.
  • Montessori School Garden. Natia Kapanadze. 
    Montessori School Garden. Natia Kapanadze. 
  • Design exercise. Xiaoxi Yuan. 
    Design exercise. Xiaoxi Yuan. 
  • Educational Graden. Haihan Qu. 
    Educational Graden. Haihan Qu. 
  • Washington Montessori School Garden Courtyard. Hua Yinghua. 
    Washington Montessori School Garden Courtyard. Hua Yinghua. 

Spring 2018 landscape architecture seminar led by senior lecturer Rick Kacenski

Students in the spring 2018 Planting Design course immerse themselves in the vocabulary of plants to learn about the construction of landscapes. In spring 2018, the class worked with the Washington Montessori Elementary School in the Central West End neighborhood. Nearly 10 years ago, the school received a grant to create an outdoor classroom and a garden with planting beds for each classroom, but maintenance has proven to be a challenge for the school in the long run. With a new leadership team starting at the school, there was an opportunity to explore improvements to the outdoor space. Senior lecturer Rick Kacenski has worked with a number of schools in past iterations of this course, including the Mullanphy Investigative Learning Center (pre-K through 5th Grade) and Central Visual and Performing Arts High School.

The Masters of Landscape Architecture students developed proposals for the site, exploring planting typologies, new strategies like micro-climate control, and low-maintenance approaches to water management. They centered their program around its primary users—the children—who will experience the garden as an educational resource and breathing space. The final schemes, which demonstrated the plant selection, color, timeline, and other key features, were presented to the school. One student will continue to work with the partner from the school to further develop concepts, and with support from CityStudioSTL Student Awards, purchase some supplies to begin renovation of the garden.

The following students participated in this course: Zhuoying Chen, Virginia Eckinger, Yinghua Hua, Chang Jiang, Sebastian Jin, Natia Kapanadze, Lauren McDaniel, Nicholas Oriss, Haihan Qu, Dongzhe Tao, and Xiaoxi Yuan.


Washington Montessori Elementary School