Garden Design Workshop

The Garden Design Workshop includes two inspiring lectures presented by long time resident landscape architects and a personalized two-hour design session

Cost: $225

Registration: Send us an email at or find us on Facebook for all the details. 

  • The Lectures provide detailed examples and information of how to perform a site analysis of your property, walk you through an exercise to help define what you want to happen on your property, and discuss the general principles and practices of landscaping and planting.
  • The two-hour Saturday Design Session then applies the lecture content to your specific site and a volunteer landscape architect works with you to help visualize and plan your desired landscape site. 
This event is hosted by the Alaska Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (AK ASLA) and is our largest and most intensive community outreach effort. The Garden Design Workshop is an opportunity for our membership of local landscape architects and designers to reach out into the community and teach what they know to enthusiastic participants. 

The Garden Design Workshop is also the largest fundraising event for our Chapter. Proceeds from this year's Workshop will be allocated towards our Student Outreach program, where members of our organization engage elementary, middle and high school students and share the process of design as it pertains to landscape architecture with specific projects including parks and schoolyards. The Student Outreach Program walks students through projects, from concept to construction and helps to connect the student's coursework with real-world professional experiences. Learn more about the Student Outreach Program here:

Alaska Chapter Student Outreach Program Alaska Chapter Student Outreach Program (2855 KB)

Lectures: BP Energy Center
Monday, April 14th, 2014 - 6:30-8:30pm
Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 - 6:30-8:30pm 

Saturday Design Session: Community Center at Loussac Place (W. 20th Ave between A St. and C St., along Chester Creek) 
    Saturday, April 26th – 10am-12pm OR 1pm-3pm

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the class structured?

Lecture 1:
This lecture will cover introductions and background. During this lecture, we will have you fill out the ‘Participant Information Form’, describing what styles of design you like and what you’d like to accomplish on your property. We will use this form to match you with a local design for the Saturday Session. You will be given a homework assignment during this class. You will be tasked with locating the as-built for your property and enlarging it to a 10’ or 20’ scale (this will be explained further in class). You will also be tasked with performing a site analysis of your property (also to be discussed in class), which will look at all the environmental factors on your site including topography, vegetation, drainage, sun/shade, and soils (if possible) as well as examine how your site currently functions.

Lecture 2:
This lecture will have some recap of Lecture 1, a programming exercise, concept design development, common landscape problems, details, case study/examples, discussion of local resources, and some preparation for Saturday workshop. We will review your homework from Lecture 1 to make sure you have everything you need before the Saturday Session.

Saturday Design Session:
During this two-hour workshop, you will work one-on-one with a local landscape designer to draw up a concept plan for your yard or property. You will walk away with a rough plan and ideas for what to do next!

What do I need to have prepared before the class begins?

Please come to the first lecture ready to take notes. It is also helpful to start collecting photos, magazine articles, or any kind of image of specific landscapes, gardens, or design details that you really like and would like to incorporate in your landscape design. The more you know about what styles you like and what you want, the easier it will be to match you with a designer that specializes in what you need. You can start looking for the as-builts for your property (the one that you wish to develop the landscape design for), as you will need this for the second lecture.

What if I can’t attend a lecture, or the Saturday Design Session?

If you are unable to attend a lecture, we’ll be sure to get you the handouts and information you need to prepare materials for the Saturday Design Session. You’ll need to be prepared for this two-hour workshop, as time goes quickly during this event.
It will be important for you to be able to make the Saturday Design Session, as this is the highlight of the class. If you are absolutely unable to meet on Saturdays, we often have one or two designers available that we can have you work with during an evening the following week.

Can you help me build the design?

While a few of our landscape designers specialize in landscape installation as well as design, this is not part of the class. If you need help finding a contractor or landscape installer, we can provide a list of local companies that specialize in landscape installation.

What is Landscape Architecture?

Landscape Architecture is the design profession concerned with the design, planning, management and stewardship of the land. We often work together with engineering and architectural teams.

The work of landscape architects is all around us. Their concern is the form and function of the land. The attractiveness and usefulness of our parks, highways, neighborhoods, urban plazas, gardens, zoos and institutions reflects the skill of landscape architects in design and planning to achieve the best use of land resources. Applying both art and science, landscape architects provide consulting services, prepare plans, and facilitate projects that create a balance between the needs and wants of people and the limitations of the environment.

The historical core of the profession is concerned with detailed design for residential, commercial, industrial, institutional and public areas. It involves site analysis, development of design concepts, the sharing of spaces, the balance of hard and soft surfaces in indoor and outdoor spaces, the selection of construction and plant materials, and the preparation of detailed construction plans and contract documents. It may also involve maintenance planning, supervision of construction, and post-construction analysis.

What is the Alaska Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects?

This is our local chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Founded in 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is the national professional association representing landscape architects. ASLA has grown to more than 18,000 members and 48 chapters, representing all 50 states, U.S. territories, and 42 countries around the world, plus 68 student chapters. Membership is open to all landscape architects as well as students and others interested in the profession’s issues, values, and goals. ASLA promotes the profession and advances its practice through advocacy, education, communication, and fellowship. In addition, stewardship of the land has always served a central role in the mission of the ASLA and is an integral element of all outreach. 

ASLA works to increase the public’s awareness of and appreciation for the profession of landscape architecture and its contributions to quality of life. ASLA is an active advocate for the profession at the local, state, and national levels on public policy involving licensure, the environment and sustainable design, livable communities, surface transportation, historic preservation, and storm-water management issues, among others.


The following are from evaluations forms filled out by students in the 2009, 2010, and 2011 Garden Design Workshop.
"Enjoyed and learned a lot."
"Lots of great ideas - feel much more confident tackling my large lot. Thanks!"
"Great location for the class. Superb matchup. Whoever made the match did a great job. Loved the consult. It was so helpful and inspiring."
"Loved the designer session.... Overall I loved working with the designer and found it very helpful and well worth the effort and money."
"You provided a lot of info in such a short time."
"It was fabulous and we are thrilled with the outcome of the design. Thank you!"
"One on one was great!"
"It was great and gave me a good place to begin organizing my gardens."
"I just loved the matchup... He got exactly what I was looking for in a very short period of time!" 


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