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7. Fantastic Ferns Bring Softness Into The Garden

Carolyn A. Harstad Indiana University Press ePub

Nature was surely in a gentle mood when she created the ferns.

—Henry and Rebecca Northern

Ostrich Fern

Most gardeners assume that ferns require shade. True, most of them do. But sun-worshipping gardeners will be pleased to learn that several ferns grow well in sun. There is one overriding caveat: they all require a consistently moist planting site. Only then are they able to provide an airy, feathery texture to your sun garden.

On the popular website davesgarden. com, there is a 2008 article detailing ferns that can tolerate sun. In it Todd Boland, research horticulturist at the Memorial University of Newfoundland Botanical Garden, explains that ferns have had a rather checkered history. They were in high demand during the Victorian era, especially in the United Kingdom, and then became favored only by specialty gardeners. Thanks to colorful Asian Painted Fern availability, ferns are once again sought after. They are recommended as companion plants for hostas and have become a staple for the shade garden. Ferns are used as focal points, planted in a mass to create textural interest, employed as a ground cover, and incorporated in sunny perennial gardens.

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2: Consumer Behaviour

Ken Crafer CABI PDF

2 

Consumer Behaviour

It’s a simple question: ‘What does the person need?’ However, answering it is far more complex. The decisions and priorities that an individual places upon the purchase of specific products has been studied at length and help to form a framework within which a retailer may work, but there is a significant number of situations where human behaviour is not rational, too.

2.1 The Buying Process

Probably most fundamental to retailers is the understanding of the stages that surround the selection and purchasing of a product. These stages are often presented in the format shown in Fig. 2.1, all of which may be influenced by the retailer. Success is required in all these stages in order not only for a successful purchase to be made but also for repeat business to follow. It is easy for the retailer to over-complicate the decisions the consumer has to make.

Many garden retailers will pride themselves on the range of garden-care chemicals they stock (as a specialist retailer). However, if the choice of weedkillers

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Chapter Seven. The Plant Palette

Susan E. Meyer Utah State University Press ePub

Littlecup penstemon

This chapter contains the specific information you will need to choose the plants that will populate your native landscape. The species we have included in the Plant Palette were chosen from hundreds of native candidate species based on several criteria. First, the plant had to be attractive, if not astonishingly beautiful. This, of course, is somewhat a matter of opinion, and the list adopted here is the result of working and reworking by several knowledgeable people with different tastes. Second, the plant had to be relatively quick and easy to grow in container culture in a nursery setting. We avoided certain favorites, like sego lily, that have proven slow and difficult to produce. Work continues on many of these hard-to-grow plants, and the time may come when they will be commercially available. For now, we concentrated on plants that are either already available or could be brought on line quickly if warranted by demand. And lastly, the plant had to be at least somewhat tolerant of the abuses that are frequently encountered in residential landscapes. Too much water, too much mulch, too much fertility, and too much competition from other plants are some common forms of abuse. Not all of the plants we included are entirely foolproof in this regard, but, by using the information provided for each plant, you should be able to create favorable conditions in your landscape for even the more finicky species. We narrowed down the list of plants covered in the Plant Palette to one hundred species that we consider to be the core species for creating regionally distinctive landscapes in the Intermountain West. Many more species could have been included, and it is perfectly fine to use species not included in this book in your native plant landscapes. Just get the information you need to meet plant cultural requirements (water, soil, light, and cold hardiness) and make sure that the plants you select really are native to the intermountain area. “Native” is a somewhat slippery concept, in that plants can be native to a very restricted area, a state, a region, a country, or a continent, and a few plants are naturally cosmopolitan (worldwide) in distribution. But just because a plant grows wild in a region does not mean that it is native to the region. Many species native to other places have been deliberately or accidentally introduced into the wild plant communities of our region. If you have any questions about whether a particular plant is native to the region, a good Internet resource is: plants.usda.gov.

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11. Final Thoughts Can We Make A Difference?

Carolyn A. Harstad Indiana University Press ePub

The earth is a house that belongs to us all.

—Cheryl Piperberg

Royal Catchfly

Gardening with native plants is becoming popular for good reason. Planting natives makes constant watering and fertilizing unnecessary. These plants know how to deal with weather patterns, how to survive the feast and famine of moisture, and how to put down deep roots to gather the last vestiges of food hidden in those tiny particles of soil. Leave for a vacation during a drought and return home to find your natives blooming their heads off, while the nonnatives sulk on the ground—or worse.

There are plants to avoid and plants to encourage for good and sound reasons. We can avoid planting those exotic plants that are known escape artists. Wouldn’t you like to get your hands on the individuals who brought Dandelions and Garlic Mustard to the Western Hemisphere? Some may ask, “Does it really matter what I plant on my private property?” You bet it does! Exotic Norway Maples are displacing native Sugar Maples. Amur Maples and supposedly infertile Bradford Pear seedlings are popping up in wild spaces. What I call the Terrible Three ground covers—Myrtle (Vinca minor), Purple Wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei ‘Coloratus’), and Ivy (Hedera spp.)—have each been found carpeting woodlands. Commonly used Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus), Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii), and Japanese Spiraea (Spiraea japonica) have escaped to the wild, displacing native species and destroying habitat. Essential food and nesting sites for wildlife are disappearing. Some native plants are even threatened with extinction.

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9. Graceful Grasses Listen To Them Sing

Carolyn A. Harstad Indiana University Press ePub

Of all the world’s flowering plants, the grasses are undoubtedly the most important to man.

—R. W. Pohl

Prairie Cordgrass

Grasses are the mainstay of our native tallgrass prairies, which once covered 170 million acres beginning at the Indiana/Illinois border where natural woodlands gradually melded into vast native grasslands. They stretched from eastern Illinois to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and covered land from the northern border of our country just below Saskatchewan all the way south to Texas. Iowa had the largest unbroken stretch of prairie, covering over 30 million acres. Only small remnants of this incredible ecosystem have survived. Yet rich deep soil still exists in testament to the deep roots and humus of those incredible grasses.

Early travelers referred to the prairies as “a sea of grass” where myriads of flowers in all colors of the rainbow bloomed. Pioneer diarists crossing the plains in their covered wagons extolled the glories of the seasons. Now only about 4 percent of our industrialized nation consists of native prairies, most of those restored remnants here and there. Yet recent sources still list over 800 species of non-woody flowering plants existing in these areas. Imagine how many more have been lost through development.

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