More Appreciation for Nature

posted; 08/12/06

I’ve said it before and I will say it a million time more. “Landscape Designers need to spend more time in the study of nature”. This is usually one of my big mantras when talking about building waterfeatures but it applies to every other part of design-study nature. Folks always want to know about butterfly’s, what do butterfly’s like? what do they go to? etc., etc., Well I guess they like “thistle” all types of thistle and some other well known stuff.

My real point is don’t neglect the natives, add some of the rough looking ones into those perennial borders, or find pretty ones-whatever. Just go out and take a look at what is attracted to what, how the combinations work, and so on.

Its Joe-Pye time . . .
Before I took off this morning I dropped by a couple of garden blogger sites and they were lamenting on how bad, colorless, ratty their gardens were looking, How it was too hot, or not enough water, or . . . just, whatever.

It was so darn depressing, I had to quit reading. As I was driving down some of Ohio’s finer back roads I could not get over how much COLOR there was, seemingly everywhere on this very bright very sunny day. Pinks, yellows, purples, magentas, more yellows, blues, whites-lots of whites (it’s Queens Anne Lace time also) . . . color everywhere!

Broken record time-look to nature, everyone of the natives I studied this morning has some other cousin that’s been hybridized, cultivated, fawned over. Absolutely no reason not to have lots of color in the garden right now, and vibrant, and alive especially with the grasses about to take center stage.

Another big observation, Massing . . . please note when using meadow style flowers-use more than one. Put groups of perennials or shrubs together, make a bold statement. Mother Nature does, you are allowed to also. None of this onesy-twosy stuff. How about 10,12, 17, or 25 yeah! that’s it.

There seems to be universal acceptance that bales (square or round) of hay/straw laying in a cut field bring a smile or warm fuzzy feeling to every observer, it sure does mine. I love to look at this type of scene and am alway on the lookout for another. So the question is . . . is why? What is it about this scene that brings universal love?

By Rick Anderson

The Whispering Crane Institute was originally formed to act as the umbrella organization for the Philosophy of Design Symposium, and other seminars and workshops given by Rick Anderson and Richard L. Dube’. In the year 2000 WCI became a sole proprietorship owned by Rick Anderson. Today the WCI provides design and consultation services for Landscape Contractors, acts as a Green Industry think tank, and provides training for others in the form of workshops, seminars, and individual consulting. The WCI also provides written material, opinions, case-studies and how-to articles for industry trade magazines.

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