Continuing and Distance Education  

PSS123 Herbaceous Garden Plants

Dr. Leonard P. Perry, Horticulture Professor Emeritus
Dept. Plant and Soil Science, 212 Jeffords, UVM, Burlington VT 05405
802-318-8453 (best, quickest response usually is by email)

Two (2) credits

Due Dates: See Blackboard course site

Tests and assignments may be turned in any time prior to the due dates.  Any submissions after these dates will have points deducted for lateness, or not be accepted, at the discretion of the instructor. Plan for the unexpected (illness, computer crash, sick cat, etc).  

meetings: none, completely online, at student's own pace and timing (office hours: none, by email as needed)

texts: none, all online


1. learn some basics of botany, design, culture, and pests and problems as they apply to garden flowers

2. learn to recognize some of the more common (about 200) garden flowers and foliage plants you may see or use in your own landscapes

Whether you are looking to become a green industry professional, or just grow plants at home, this course provides the basics of design, plant care, and plant problems along with a foundation palette of plants.


How it works:

This course has two parts: text notes and plant information.  The 32 lectures are grouped into modules on botany, design, culture, and pests and problems as they relate to flower and foliage garden plants. These include annuals, perennials, and other groups such as aquatic plants, ornamental grasses, roses, even tender tropical "perennials".  Names and information have been updated over the 20+ years this course has been offered.  Tests, plant identification tests, and seven exercises to help reinforce and provide additional information, are taken on-line (on Blackboard, practice tests listed on the course outline are just that--practice only). They are untimed and open book, designed to test and reinforce your familiarity with and ability to use the extensive content, and to reinforce key plants, plant features and topics.   Email contact between professor and students is used as needed,for reminders, to answer questions, and to share information. The syllabus on Blackboard, AND the Getting Started tips, will serve as your contract for the course and should be read thoroughly.   Students are expected to follow the UVM Code of Academic Integrity (

Access: Blackboard (your UVM passwords) for syllabus, tests, exercises, links to notes

Lecture Notes: access directly here or through Blackboard, with passwords (not your UVM ones) found on the Blackboard site


(2000 maximum for course, grades determined on standard 10 point scale ie 90-100=A, 80-89=B, etc. with for example 80-82=B-, 83-86=B, 87-89=B+)
content tests (7) 700 points
ID tests (4) 400 points
Final 300 points
Final ID 200 points
Exercises (6) 400 points 

“Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results.”
John Dewey, 1859-1952, American educator and philosopher (buried on campus behind Ira Allen Chapel)

"The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies." -- Gertrude Jekyll, 1843-1932, famous British horticulturist and garden designer, author

return to Perry's Perennial Pages | UVM Plant and Soil Science Department