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Chapter One. Native Landscapes of the Intermountain West

Susan E. Meyer Utah State University Press ePub

Leo penstemon

To design beautiful and functional native landscapes, the first step is to learn to look at landscapes in nature and to begin to understand why they look the way they do. Even intuitively obvious truths about intermountain landscapes need to be given some thought. For example, all westerners know that, to escape the heat of summer, a picnic in the mountains is generally a good approach. In the winter, we know that we can head for the desert to escape from the snow. Plants respond to these climate differences at least as much as people do. The native plant communities in high mountain valleys are completely different from the plant communities in the desert country, where people often go to seek winter sunshine.

As you drive up into the mountains from towns nestled in the valleys at their feet, first the low sagebrush steppe vegetation gives way to foothill communities characterized by small trees like gambel oak and bigtooth maple, or to a pygmy evergreen forest made up of juniper and pinyon pine. Further up, patches of quaking aspen and white fir or lodgepole pine start to appear, interspersed with meadow communities of grasses, low shrubs, and an abundance of wildflowers. If you are driving up a canyon with a year-round stream, you will see the difference right away between the streamside vegetation, which is very green and lush, and the hillsides above, which support shrubs and grasses found in much drier environments. Often, arriving in the aspen/white-fir or lodgepole pine zone is enough to relieve the heat of summer, but if the road continues to wind upward, it will pass through evergreen forests of sub-alpine species of spruce and fir, until at last it reaches timberline and breaks out into alpine tundra, the dwarf community that lives on the high, windswept ridges that are too harsh to support trees.

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Chapter Two. How to Design Native Landscapes

Susan E. Meyer Utah State University Press ePub

Silver buckwheat

Now that you have completed your tour of native landscapes, imagine some possibilities for taking a new approach to designing landscapes in the Intermountain West. What might be some characteristics of these landscapes? First, they would be experientially rich. Their spatial character would incorporate a sense of mystery or intrigue, making us want to explore them further. The forms, colors and textures of the plants would be harmonious, just as the forms, colors, and textures of plants growing together in the natural landscapes of the Intermountain West exhibit harmony.

Second, these designed landscapes would be ecologically sound. Plants would be matched both to the regional environment and to the microhabitats in which they are placed. Because of this matching, the need for supplemental water would be reduced. And because there would be few, if any, areas of mowed turf, there would be little need to use fossil fuels to mow them. These landscapes would not include invasive introduced species that have the capacity to escape into the native landscape and reduce the natural diversity there.

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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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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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Appendices

Moya L Andrews Quarry Books ePub

BOTANICAL NAME

COMMON NAME

Aruncus

goat’s beard

Astilbe

hybrids

Bergenia

hybrids pigsqueak

Chelone

turtle-head

Cimicifuga species

bugbane, snakeroot

Eupatorium fistulosum

joe-pye weed

Filipendula rubra

queen-of-the-prairie

Hibiscus moscheutos

swamp mallow

Iris ensata

Japanese iris

Iris pseudacorus

yellow flag iris

Iris versicolor

blue flag iris

Lobellia cardinalis

red cardinal flower

Myosotis sylvatica

woodland forget-me-not

Tradescantia

spiderwort

Trollius europaeus

globeflower

BOTANICAL NAME

COMMON NAME

Achillea

yarrow

Amsonia tabernaemontana

eastern bluestar

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