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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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10: Future Responsibilities

Ken Crafer CABI PDF

10 

Future Responsibilities

10.1  Introduction

The future influences the present just as much as the past.

Fredrich Neitzsche

Attempting to look ahead within any business is fraught with difficulty as it is truly a trip into the unknown. That said, the manager needs to be trying to interpret trends and fashions in order to stay ahead of competitors and to meet the future demands of their customers. As identified in the very first chapter, McNair’s Wheel of Retailing theory identifies that retailing does not remain constant. Only those businesses that innovate, adapting to changes within the marketplace, will survive. Sometime this means radical overhauls of practices and product offers.

This is not a new phenomenon, even in horticulture. Many of those businesses with a long horticultural pedigree have only been garden centre retailers for a matter of a few decades – their earlier fame founded on the supply of seeds, bulbs or as growers of nursery stock. As highlighted in Chapter 1, the size, style and ambience of garden centres has also changed rapidly, and there is no reason to perceive that in its current format it is indeed the finished article.

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8. Vigorous Vines Provide Height With Ease

Carolyn A. Harstad Indiana University Press ePub

Then the Lord God provided a vine and made it grow over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the vine.

—Jonah 4:6

Trumpet Creeper with Hummingbird

It was February and I was delighted to be in Florida visiting our oldest son, Mark and his family near Fort Lauderdale. When Mark was a teenager in Indianapolis, he informed me emphatically, “When I grow up I am NOT going to have plants around my house. Only grass.” Now that he is grown up, I am amazed at his landscaping prowess.

Minimal landscaping at his newly purchased home screamed for help, so Mark sketched a tentative plan that included a few tall trees, some flowering shrubs, space for perennials and annuals, but still left enough turf grass for our two little grandsons to tear around. Mark searched until he found just the right native palm trees for his front yard. Next, he researched Florida native plants to find a shrub that would do exactly what he needed for the privacy hedge at the back of the property. He also designed a small, attractive biohedge of natives at the corner of his patio to give color, texture, fragrance, and privacy. He even disguised the air conditioning unit and utility boxes with flowering native shrubs.

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Chapter 5. How to Care for Native Landscapes

Susan E. Meyer Utah State University Press ePub

Indian paintbrush

One of the main motives for using native plant landscaping in place of traditional landscaping is the idea that the native landscape will require fewer resources and less maintenance but will still look as beautiful as a traditional landscape. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but we certainly believe that a well-designed and well-maintained native landscape is far more beautiful than a vast expanse of lawn punctuated only by a row of junipers and a concreterimmed bed of petunias. And it is easy to demonstrate that a native landscape will thrive with much lower resource inputs—less water, less fertilizer, fewer pesticides. But the question of maintenance requires closer examination.

Native landscapes do require less maintenance than traditional landscapes, but more importantly, the maintenance they require is strategic maintenance. Native landscape maintenance is not like the weekly grind of watering, spraying, fertilizing, and then mowing to remove the excess herbage generated by all that watering and spraying and fertilizing. It is not even like the regular and frequent attention that you need to give to a well-watered, well-fertilized vegetable garden. Native landscape maintenance is strongly seasonal and often quite flexible, much more flexible than traditional landscape maintenance. Sometimes weeks will go by with little to do in your landscape but enjoy it. But when the time comes to water, or to weed, or to prune and deadhead, native landscapes, like all landscapes, benefit from some concerted attention. Low maintenance is not “no maintenance,” just as xeriscape is not “zero-scape”—as it is often misstated in real estate ads in drier parts of the country. Basically, the maintenance tasks are watering, weeding, managing plant appearance, maintaining the hardscape and the irrigation system, and managing the mulch. This list is much like the list for any ornamental garden, but in a native landscape, the magnitude of these tasks is usually much reduced and focused over shorter time frames than in traditional landscaping.

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Chapter Four. How to Install Native Landscapes

Susan E. Meyer Utah State University Press ePub

Mountain ash

Throughout the process of designing your native landscape, it has been necessary to keep referring back to the realities of your site. Now it is time to go outside and make those changes that need to be made in order to prepare your site for its new inhabitants, and then to plant them in a way that guarantees that they will prosper. This will require planning. Much of this process will probably be familiar to you from other landscaping and gardening projects you have undertaken, but there are some things that are unique about native plant landscaping, and these require careful attention. Just how complex the process will be depends on several factors. First, you probably need to deal with removing at least some of the existing vegetation on your site, whether it is lawn, foundation plantings, new weeds that inevitably show up uninvited in recently-spread topsoil, or longstanding infestations of perennial weeds. Second, depending on the nature of your soil, you may need to do some soil replacement or terracing/ berming, or both, to create the drainage that your plants will need. These kinds of modifications may also be necessary even if you do not have drainage issues, for example, if you are trying to create a congenial place for plants from much drier water zones. And, as discussed in the design section, terracing or berming can also be used to create topographic relief solely for design purposes, not specifically to meet the cultural requirements of plants. You may also need to make some grade modifications in order to implement the water harvesting system you have designed. These two steps can be relatively simple or quite complex, depending on the magnitude of the changes you need to make.

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