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Landscape Design Council

About Us

The Landscape Design Council (LDC) is an organization comprised of garden club members who have completed the Landscape Design School, a series of four 10-hour courses, and passed the required examinations, entitling them to become National Garden Clubs accredited Landscape Design Consultants. This Council is a special subjects group of The Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts, Inc. as provided in the structure of The National Garden Clubs, Inc. The Landscape Design Council was founded to provide a program of continuing education in this area.


Members act in an advisory capacity to encourage awareness of the need for good landscape architectural practice. They serve as guardians of environmental beauty by applying what they have learned to individual and community projects. LDC members promote environmental interests through work on town committees and boards. Many members have been responsible for landscaping projects of municipal buildings and other public areas in their cities and towns.


Some members have become so interested in the field of landscape design that they have enrolled in professional courses leading to certificates in landscape design or Master’s degrees in landscape architecture and have gone on to establish their own businesses.


Our meetings add to our understanding of good landscape design through speakers, workshops, and tours of outstanding public and private areas where we evaluate the landscapes. Tours range from small home gardens to large private estates, grounds of houses of worship, cemeteries, nurseries, industrial developments, museums, historic landmarks, shopping malls, public parks and national reservations. We've studied cluster zoning and visited cluster housing sites. We also have held practice judging workshops at the Rhode Island Spring Flower and Garden Show. We provide three judges and a clerk for the exhibits at the Boston Flower and Garden Show each year and give three LDC awards.


Our members are knowledgeable men and women who are willing to share information and to support one another in their endeavors.

Our Origin

During the 1959-60 GCFMA presidency of Isadore Smith (Mrs. A. William Smith) Landscape Design Study Courses were introduced as a forerunner of the accredited Landscape Design Study Course of 1961. (Mrs. Smith wrote three books about American gardens under the pseudonym of “Ann Leighton” and also completed her late husband’s book on plant names.)


With Harriet Field and Mildred S. Parker (Mrs. Ralph A. Parker), who was president of GCFM 1960-62, Evelyn Cole worked to establish the Landscape Design Study Courses in Massachusetts.  She conducted the first series of courses in Massachusetts beginning May 7, 1961. On October 14, 1963 at the Midtown Motor Inn, Boston, she presided at the organizational meeting of the Landscape Design Critics Council and presented “National Council Landscape Design Critics Certificates” to the forty-five students who had successfully completed the four-course program. It was then moved and passed that “in appreciation of Mrs. Alfred Cole’s excellent organization ability in conducting these courses and not being able to take the courses at the same time, we confer honorary membership on her.” Election of officers followed. Thus the new organization launched with forty-six participants who became charter members.

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