Hilltop Arboretum, Baton Rouge, LA
Wayne Womack
1932 - 2019

Wayne Marsh Womack

Born in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Womack earned a B.S. and M.L.A. from Louisiana State University (LSU) in 1955. He worked on the Baton Rouge City Parish Planning Commission as its landscape architect and urban planner before earning another M.L.A. from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in 1961. While attending graduate school, he joined the firm Sasaki, Walker and Associates in Watertown, Massachusetts, where he worked as a project designer until 1965, then accepting a teaching position at LSU. Teaching at LSU for 34 years and promoted through the ranks to full professor, Womack imparted firsthand knowledge of gardens and public landscapes gleaned from his travels across Central America, Egypt, Europe, Asia, and the United States. Outside academia, he served as a planting designer for the landscape architecture firm Jon Emerson & Associates, working on such regional landscapes as the Hundred Oaks estate, initially created by noted landscape architect Steele Burden. Despite retiring from the university in 1999, Womack remained active within the field of landscape architecture. In the 2000s he participated in a master plan of LSU’s Hilltop Arboretum, first conceived and developed by Emory Smith in 1925, and aided in the restoration of the arboretum’s ravine plantings. In 2007 he published the book A Philosophy of Planting Design, in which he elaborated on the importance of understanding the nature of plants and how to best use them in design. Womack passed away in Baton Rouge at the age of 87.