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Installing and Maintaining Landscapes

Proper installation and maintenance of the ecologically designed landscape begins a pattern in which each component in the landscape supports the others. Ecological methods can save you time, resources, and money by keeping water and organic material on site and by utilizing organic soil amendments and chemical interventions only when testing shows they are necessary.

Wild blue flax (Linum lewisii). Photo by Lisa Olsen
 

Demonstration Garden Beautifies Area Teaches Others About Native Plants

By Lisa Olsen

In an active Denver neighborhood, volunteers proposed the Greenverien Garden to improve the neighborhood’s livability. They saw an opportunity to beautify the area by transforming the asphalt-covered strip on a busy street corner into a low-maintenance landscape to be enjoyed by residents, pollinators and visitors alike. 

 

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Figure 4: Heavy soil moving machines commonly used for excavation and moving piles of excavated soil during foundation digging. There are smaller versions of these for smaller sites, but they still cause severe soil compaction. 

Helical Piles

By Bruce Wenning

Want to construct an addition to your home but are afraid of damaging treasured mature trees and plantings, not to mention the damage from heavy machinery upon the soil structure. Helical piles are the answer. This little-known pier foundation system requires less time and physical effort than “dig and pour” cement footings and continuous cement foundations.

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Partridge_Pea_&_Bee_(5761053027) 

Lawn Murder

By Leslie Duthie

Americans love their lawns yet they provide minimal habitat or ecological value for anything other than humans. From an ecological standpoint, I started to rethink the importance of the “lawn” and to consider a smaller lawn and? or? lawn alternatives that do not require fertilizer, water, or much mowing. Ultimately, I decided the best solution would be to replace the lawn with new gardens. 

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Five Reasons Synthetics Are No Longer Considered Best Practices

By Chip Osborne

All industries eventually arrive at best practices that represent the most productive and efficient method to deliver desired results while at the same time minimizing negative impact. While it is understood that all practices are subject to change over time, our industry changes have been motivated by the knowledge that the synthetics we use may have unintended consequences at times.

 

 

 

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Figure 10:  The Stone Trust offers various training opportunities, many of which are held in the New England area.  The Stone Trust is also developing expansion workshop sites with partners such as the Minnesota site pictured from July 2020.
 

Dry Stone Wall Art

By Daniel Peterson

UNESCO inscribed the art of dry stone walling knowledge and techniques in its Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list. Dry stone has been used by virtually every culture worldwide for thousands of years. My journey with stone started at a very early age on a farm in central Minnesota and then progressed into using stone in the landscape. 

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Creeping Phlox stolonifera is an excellent ground cover. 

Eco-Answers from the Pros: Do I Need Mulch with Groundcover?

In areas where I am trying to grow ground covers that self-spread, I haven’t been using mulch, thinking the mulch will hinder the self-spread of the desired ground cover. Thus weeds and other things I didn’t want to grow in that space do fill in. Is it recommended to use mulch even when the ultimate goal is to have the ground covered with plants? Mulch will save me a lot of weeding time.

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<em>Aster novi-belgii</em>( New York aster) and <em>Rudbeckia hirta</em>(black-eyed Susan) brighten the view toward the water.  Photo by Mirna Canales.  Midsummer.  Northeast, MD.   

As Things Always Change, the Nature of Nature Remains the Same

By Kelsey Skaroff

2020 was obviously a remarkable year for many in adjusting work, relationships, and life in general in response to a pandemic, social justice movements, the economy, climate change, and politics. After a brief moment of uncertainly my job as Head Gardner went on as normal in this most unusual year.

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 Decomposing leaves blend with the environment and act as 

Leave the Leaves!

By Catherine Carney-Feldman

Though fall cleanup can be a hard habit to break, there are ample reasons to leave those leaves. Most native pollinator species overwinter right in your leaf litter and dead stems of your perennials. Leaf compost can greatly enhance the quality of your soil, help it retain moisture, and protect young plants from fluctuating winter temperatures. Utilize your leaves as a resource rather than a problem. 

 

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Forest Savers LLC from Woodstock, Vermont uses a custom-built tractor to uproot and shred invasive shrubs at the Oyster River Forest in Durham, NH as part of a 60-acre restoration project to restore a healthy native plant community to benefit pollinators, songbirds, and the state-endangered New England cottontail. 

Reducing Invasive Plants and Recovering a Healthy Plant Community

By Ellen Snyder

In southeastern New Hampshire, where I work with landowners and communities on land stewardship, managing invasive plants is a constant struggle. As the Land Stewardship Coordinator for the Town of Durham, I’m guiding three restoration projects on town conservation land. It was hard not to be overwhelmed by the pervasiveness of invasive plants on all three properties. To avoid invasive paralysis, I keep my focus on the goal: restoration of a place to a mostly self-sustaining, healthy plant community.  The reward is a restored landscape brimming with native plants and native beneficial insects. 

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 In this second year of growth, the Education Building begins to feel grounded in a verdant landscape. Photo by Jamie Purinton 
 

Let it Rain

by Jamie Purinton &  Marc Wolf

Mountain Top Arboretum was designed to mimic and compliment the wondrous native plant communities of New York’s Catskill Mountains. Habitats such as wet meadows and seeps, woodland edges, and bedrock alpine communities completely guided the style and content of the plantings and the stonework. Teamwork combining design, planting, stormwater management, and a focus on educating the public culminated in a landscape that can be resilient through all types of weather. 

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