2019 Contemporary

Landscape Planting Forum


Professor Cassian Schmidt

With a landscape architecture degree, a Master's in horticulture, and more than 25 years of experience as a professional plantsman, Cassian Schmidt is a designer, professor, author, and acclaimed lecturer. Cassian received his diploma in landscape architecture at Munich Technical University in Weihenstephan, Germany in 1996. In 1998 he became the director of Hermannshof Garden. He is a professor of planting design at the department of landscape architecture at Geisenheim University since 2010 and he is chairman of the “Working Committee for Planting Design” of the German Perennial Plant Association since 2003. In his 18 years as Director, Cassian Schmidt has kept Hermannshof at the forefront of planting design, developing signature methods that use natural plant communities as models for sustainable, low maintenance plant combinations equally at home in private gardens and public landscapes. He also works in practice with his wife Bettina, a landscape architect to design exciting public planting schemes. Cassian has an outstanding understanding of the world’s flora and how this can be applied to urban planting design.  In common with James Hitchmough (and sometimes with!), he has travelled very widely in wild parts of the world looking at natural plant communities and thought how this understanding can be applied to urban planting design.  Cassian has developed various strategies for maintenance depending on planting types.  They are based on the plant survival strategies of plants, for example plants with stress tolerance.  His research regarding economic yet ecologically based maintenance techniques will interest an international audience, since reducing maintenance without losing aesthetic qualities is a key issue in sustainable public greening and therefore, of great interest for people from city green departments. He is also an expert on the German tradition of naturalistic planting design that goes back to the late C19th.