The research contained in this thesis quantifies the difference between actual landscape value and perceived value on the part of homeowners. Pertinent information and necessary data were gathered by surveys interviewing consumers over the age of 18, who evaluated a set of 16 home landscape photographs. These surveys were conducted at two sites in South Carolina. The study involved three levels of landscape design with varying complexity and cost factors. Four plant material and hardscape combinations were developed for use in each cost design. Finally, the plant material size was categorized as small, medium, or large. Thirty-six design combinations were created. A subset of 16 computer-generated images was selected to simplify the evaluation. Participating respondents answered a questionnaire providing personal demographic information and their evaluations of the 16-image subset. Participants were supplied a base starting price and a photo of the home without landscaping. Responses were analyzed to determine consumer perceptions of value influenced by landscape design style, plant material, and hardscape selection; plant size; and by the difference between perceived value and actual cost to install. Consumer responses for all landscape designs were positive and indicate that consumers consider landscaping an asset to residential value. Participants valued the home on average between.95% to 11.3%, depending on the complexity of design, plant material, hardscape, and size combinations. The variance between consumer perception and actual cost of material and labor indicates that consumers undervalue the price of a newly installed landscape where all material and labor costs are priced consistent with professional landscaping averages.
Karl J. Muzii, M. Haque, R.T. Fernandez, B. Behe, and S. Barton
M. Haque, M. Baker, C. Roper, C. Carver Wallace, M. Whitmire, S. Zabel, J. Arnold, L. Petty, A. Dabbs, B. Jordan, R. Keydoszius, and L. Wagner
The term Ethnobotany describes the study of people's relationships to plants as foods, fibers, medicines, dyes, and tools throughout the ages. Using the student active technique of experiential learning, undergraduate students enrolled in landscape design and implementation classes at Clemson University planned and installed an Ethnobotany garden in partnership with the South Carolina Botanical Garden (SCBG) staff, volunteers, and Sprouting Wings children. Sprouting Wings is an after-school gardening and nature exploration program for under-served elementary school students. College students and faculty working on this service-learning project contributed over 1,000 hours to their community while learning more about both the art and the science of landscape design and implementation. Students enrolled in the landscape Implementation class were surveyed to evaluate their perceptions on a variety of possible learning outcomes for this class. Students indicated that their service learning experience with the Ethnobotany project allowed them to acquire and practice new skills, broadened their understanding of the surrounding community, increased their ability to work in real world situations, introduced new career possibilities, gave students a better understanding of their course work, increased their ability to work on a team, increased their knowledge of environmental sustainability, and allowed them to discover or develop leadership capabilities. In a survey question regarding preference for service learning rather than traditional classes, the majority of students prefer the service learning pedagogy. In addition, most students reported a high degree of initiative for this project in their reflections.