Natural Gardening

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Explore the benefits of using SE U.S. native plants in the home landscape for exceptional beauty and reduced maintenance. Discuss the influence of introduced plants on the horticulture industry, …

Explore the benefits of using SE U.S. native plants in the home landscape for exceptional beauty and reduced maintenance. Discuss the influence of introduced plants on the horticulture industry, cultivars v.s. species, and more..

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  • Gardens get more shady over time, or an act of nature take out trees and let sun pour in
  • Gardener has control
  • Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Album’

Transcript

  • 1. Using Native plants in the Home Landscape Geraldine Adamich Laufer
  • 2. Natural Gardening
    • Gardening offers greatest reward when done in concert with nature
  • 3. What is a native plant?
    • All plants native somewhere
    • Many mainstream gardeners don’t know which are native and which aren’t
    • Everyday natives are
    • familiar
    • Pass-along plants
    Cypredium acaule
  • 4. A native plant
    • Indigenous to locale
    • Comes from 1 region
    • Native prior to Columbus
    • Adapting for thousands of years
    • Relationship to climate, soil, pests, other plants
    • ID by botanical name
    Cypredium kentuckiense
  • 5. Plant Ecology
    • Particular combination of environmental, physical + biotic factors
    • Biome has distinctive patterns: soil, rainfall, topography, wind, temperature, light
    • Each plant takes its place in a web of interactions
    • The natural gardener mimics nature’s design
    • Most efficient landscape
    Trilliam grandiflorum
  • 6. Plant Competition
    • Plants are not independent
    • Compete for scarce natural resources
    • In the garden too
    Podophyllum peltatum
  • 7. Natural Succession
    • Plant community in state of continual flux
    • Predictable series of changes “seral stages”
    • Gradual replacement of plant communities in a given area
    • Develops dynamic equilibrium, called climax vegetation
    • Where does your garden fall in this succession?
  • 8. Plant Tolerance Range
    • Conditions determine where plant can grow + reproduce
    • Similar tolerance ranges overlap and produce a community
    • Plants repeatedly found together
    • e.g. Wetlands –bog plants;
    wetlands garden
  • 9. Types of Native Communities/Ecosystems
    • Aquatic
    • Grasslands
    • Desert
    • Shrublands
    • Pinelands
    • Woodlands
    • Forest*
    Lysichiton americanum
  • 10. Great Eastern Forest
    • Mixed forests Atlantic and Gulf coasts
    • 40” annual rainfall, evenly distributed
    • Deep, fertile, slightly acidic soils
    • Mild winters
    • Oak, beech, maple, elm, tulip poplar, ash, dogwood, redbud
  • 11. Southeastern Mixed Forest
    • Open forest of Loblolly, shortleaf + other pines
    • Understory grasses, palms
    • 40-60” rainfall evenly distributed, fire
    • Nutrient-poor soils due to high precipitation
    • Gum, bald cypress, oak, hickory, blueberry, dogwood
    Loblolly and palmetto
  • 12. Outer Coastal Plain Forest
    • Northern Florida to Gulf Coast + inland to Mississippi Valley
    • Live oak, laurel, magnolia, understory of shrubs, small palms
    • Mosses, woody vines, orchids, epiphytes
    • Extensive stands of pines
    Live oak
  • 13. Regional Natives
    • Colonized in limited range; just one place
    • e.g. Bartram/ Franklinia
    • Indigenous to a small area
    Franklinia altamaha
  • 14. Non-Natives + “Straddlers”
    • Flowering plants developed ~ 100M years ago: Pangea
    • Then plates began shifting ~ 75M years ago
    • So we have “Straddlers” --same genus, far-flung spp.
    • Examples: Magnolia, Cornus, Rhododendron
    Asian Magnolia liliflora
  • 15. American plants introduced to Europe
    • Wealthy patrons sent plant explorers to the Newe Found Worlde
    • Influx of North American plants to Europe
    • “ American Gardens” fad
    • American plants were outlandish novelties
    • America 16-18 th C
    • Asia 18-20 th C
    c. 1650
  • 16. Non-native plants + Nursery Trade
    • Early colonial nurseries did not sell natives
    • Why?
    • Colonists had neither time nor money to indulge in gardening
  • 17. Non-natives favored in trade
    • Colonists preferred familiar favorites from the “old country”
    • Fences and enclosed spaces
    • Clipped hedges and tidy flower beds
  • 18. Non-natives favored in U.S. nursery trade
    • Native flora looked wild and unfamiliar
    • If not sold in a nursery, must be a weed
    • Easy to dig up natives from the woods, fields, (not purchase them)
    • Later, European bedding targeted non-native tropicals
    Swamp hibiscus
  • 19. Native American flora + other eyes
    • Savvy European plant breeders continued to “improve” garden-worthiness of American native plants
    • Grow, evaluate, hybridize and sell back to American markets our native wildflowers
    • Often with German names
    Rudbeckia “Goldstrum’
  • 20. Changing perspectives
    • After WWII a large middle class bought homes + yards
    • Copied English borders + European lawns
    • Failure of English borders in U.S.
    • 1962 Environmental Movement, Rachel Carson
    • Ladybird Johnson “Beautify America”
    rapid growth of suburbs
  • 21. Political backing for natives
    • 1965 Highway Beautification Act eliminated billboards
    • 1973 Operation Wildflower, National Council of State Garden Clubs + DOT
    • 1987 Surface Transportation Act
    • 1994 Executive Mandate stipulated % regional plants on all federal grounds
    Roadside natives
  • 22. Implications of government actions
    • Created a supply bottleneck
    • Commercial scarcity of natives
    • America Association of Nurserymen resisted “interference”
    • e.g. Sourwood Oxydendron slow - growing, 8”/year
    • e.g. Black Gum Nyssa problematic taproot
    Oxydendron arboreum
  • 23. Governmental actions controversial
    • Impact of government on Nursery business
    • Over-collection to get starter plants
    • Destruction of habitats
    • Non-regional seed, question of provenance
    Torreya taxifolia seed collection
  • 24. Tolerance Range and Provenance
    • Nurseries needed propagation material and got it anywhere they could
    • Just because one species is native over a wide range doesn’t mean an individual will do well anywhere in that range
    Echinaceae purpurea
  • 25. Interest in regional designs
    • Henry David Thoreau
    • Pioneering work Darrel Morrison University Wisconsin, Madison
    • Prairie restoration + Jens Jensen + O.C. Simmons
    natives and grasses
  • 26. Tradition of Regional Centers for Natives
    • Avoid horticultural homogenization
    • 1900 Garden in the Woods + New England Wildflower Society
    • 1930s Madison, WI native prairie
    • Cullowhee and Gatlinburg Symposia
    • National Wildflower Research Center, Austin, TX
    Monarch on Helianthus
  • 27. Straight species vs. cultivars debate
    • Straight species has wide genetic diversity
    • Selections can be chosen + vegetatively propagated
    • Solution: Preserve diversity on federal lands
    • Use higher-cost cultivars + selections in private gardens
    Cornus florida ‘ Cherokee Chief ’
  • 28. Today (present company excepted)
    • Average home landscape is ecological disaster
    • Angular, geometric shapes
    • Level, unchanging lawn monocultures
    • 40 M lawnmowers
    • 2 B gallons gas used annually for mowing
    • Sprinkling lawns triples water consumption
    • Herbicides, insecticides, fungicides used
    • Dead soils
    evaporation
  • 29. Native Plant Lovers
    • Merger of ideas
    • Creativity
    • Use natives to create optimum environment
    • Follow nature’s guide
    • Learn by trowel + error
    Creative uses of native plants
  • 30. Benefits of Natural Landscaping
    • Link to tradition
    Cornus florida
  • 31. Benefits of Natural Landscaping
    • Link to tradition
    • Sense of place, “genius loci”
    Fothergilla gardenii
  • 32. Benefits of Natural Landscaping
    • Link to tradition
    • Sense of place, “genius loci”
    • Relaxing retreat from straight lines + square corners
    Edge of woodland
  • 33. Benefits of Natural Landscaping
    • Link to tradition
    • Sense of place, “genius loci”
    • Relaxing retreat from straight lines + square corners
    • Re-discover little-known plants
    Bog planting for rain garden
  • 34. Benefits of Natural Landscaping
    • Link to tradition
    • Sense of place, “genius loci”
    • Relaxing retreat from straight lines + square corners
    • Re-discover little-known plants
    • Celebrate biodiversity
    Cleistes bifaria
  • 35. Benefits of Natural Landscaping
    • Link to tradition
    • Sense of place, “genius loci”
    • Relaxing retreat from straight lines + square corners
    • Re-discover little-known plants
    • Contribute to biodiversity
    • Provide habitat for wildlife
    American Goldfinch
  • 36. Benefits of Natural Landscaping
    • Link to tradition
    • Sense of place, “genius loci”
    • Relaxing retreat from straight lines + square corners
    • Re-discover little-known plants
    • Contribute to biodiversity
    • Provide habitat for wildlife
    • Maintenance + expense are substantially reduced
    easy to grow native ferns
  • 37. Benefits of Natural Landscaping
    • Link to tradition
    • Sense of place, “genius loci”
    • Relaxing retreat from straight lines + square corners
    • Re-discover little-known plants
    • Contribute to biodiversity
    • Provide habitat for wildlife
    • Substantially less long-term maintenance and expense
    • Lower water needs once established
    Tough native
  • 38. Benefits of Natural Landscaping
    • Link to tradition
    • Sense of place, “genius loci”
    • Relaxing retreat from straight lines + square corners
    • Re-discover little-known plants
    • Contribute to biodiversity
    • Provide habitat for wildlife
    • Substantially less long-term maintenance and expense
    • Lower water needs once established
    • Conserve natural resources
    Viburnum dentatum
  • 39. Benefits of Natural Landscaping
    • Link to tradition
    • Sense of place, “genius loci”
    • Relaxing retreat from straight lines + square corners
    • Re-discover little-known plants
    • Contribute to biodiversity
    • Provide habitat for wildlife
    • Substantially less long-term maintenance and expense
    • Lower water needs once established
    • Conserve natural resources
    • Better suited to local conditions
    Trillium luteum
  • 40. Benefits of Natural Landscaping
    • Link to tradition
    • Sense of place, “genius loci”
    • Relaxing retreat from straight lines + square corners
    • Re-discover little-known plants
    • Contribute to biodiversity
    • Provide habitat for wildlife
    • Substantially less long-term maintenance and expense
    • Lower water needs once established
    • Conserve natural resources
    • Better suited to local conditions
    • Seasonal change and variation
    fall color
  • 41. How to start?
    • Evaluate landscape
    plan areas
  • 42. How to start?
    • Evaluate landscape
    • Environmental considerations
    ecosystems
  • 43. How to start?
    • Evaluate landscape
    • Environmental considerations
    • Personal requirements
    Eupatorium purpureum
  • 44. How to start?
    • Evaluate landscape
    • Environmental considerations
    • Personal requirements
    • Planting preferences
    Trillium grandiflorum
  • 45. How to start?
    • Evaluate landscape
    • Environmental considerations
    • Personal requirements
    • Planting preferences
    • Sequence of spaces
    Native groundcover planting
  • 46. How to start?
    • Evaluate landscape
    • Environmental considerations
    • Personal requirements
    • Planting preferences
    • Sequence of spaces
    • Meandering, non-bordered path is naturalistic
    riot of color
  • 47. How to start?
    • Evaluate landscape
    • Environmental considerations
    • Personal requirements
    • Planting preferences
    • Sequence of spaces
    • Meandering non-bordered path is naturalistic
    • Eliminate toxic chemicals
    Aesculus pavia
  • 48. How to start?
    • Evaluate landscape
    • Environmental considerations
    • Personal requirements
    • Planting preferences
    • Sequence of spaces
    • Meandering non-bordered path is naturalistic
    • Eliminate toxic chemicals
    • Encourage beneficial organisms
    bees
  • 49. How to start?
    • Evaluate landscape
    • Environmental considerations
    • Personal requirements
    • Planting preferences
    • Sequence of spaces
    • Meandering non-bordered path is naturalistic
    • Eliminate toxic chemicals
    • Encourage beneficial organisms
    • Add compost and humus
    Podophyllum peltatum
  • 50. How to start?
    • Evaluate landscape
    • Environmental considerations
    • Personal requirements
    • Planting preferences
    • Sequence of spaces
    • Meandering non-bordered path is naturalistic
    • Eliminate toxic chemicals
    • Encourage beneficial organisms
    • Add compost and humus
    • Reduce lawn area or try native grasses
    native border + small grassy area
  • 51. How to start?
    • Evaluate landscape
    • Environmental considerations
    • Personal requirements
    • Planting preferences
    • Sequence of spaces
    • Meandering non-bordered path is naturalistic
    • Eliminate toxic chemicals
    • Encourage beneficial organisms
    • Add compost and humus
    • Reduce lawn area or try native grasses
    • Consider progression of seasons
    Spring bluebells
  • 52. Plan A: 100% Native
    • Your list depends on the specific conditions of your piece of land
    • Two main habitats: grasslands + woodlands
    • Visit near-by nature preserves and make a survey
    • Copy nature’s plant lists from functional natural habitats
    • Specialty or theme garden approach
    Hydrangea quercifolia
  • 53. Plan B: Mixed Landscapes
    • Add native plants to traditional landscapes
    • Widest choice of plants
    • Common sense approach
    • Dr. Armitage “Does a chocoholic spurn Ghiradelli or Godiva because they are not made in Hershey, Pa?”
    • Mainstream natives alongside Japanese Maple
    • Overall, reduce workload
    Natives
  • 54. Natural approach to the home garden
    • Site inventory
    principles of landscape design
  • 55. Natural approach to the home garden
    • Site inventory
    • Home end and wild end of landscape
    rock steps
  • 56. Natural approach to the home garden
    • Site inventory
    • Home end and wild end of landscape
    • Few straight lines in nature
    graceful conifers
  • 57. Natural approach to the home garden
    • Site inventory
    • Home end and wild end of landscape
    • Few straight lines in nature
    • Use odd numbers
    Rhododendron prunifolium
  • 58. Natural approach to the home garden
    • Site inventory
    • Home end and wild end of landscape
    • Few straight lines in nature
    • Use odd numbers
    • Plants seldom grow at regular intervals
    Tiarella cordifolia
  • 59. Natural approach to the home garden
    • Site inventory
    • Home end and wild end of landscape
    • Few straight lines in nature
    • Use odd numbers
    • Plants seldom grow at regular intervals
    • Group the plants and group the groups
    Natural groupings
  • 60. Natural approach to the home garden
    • Site inventory
    • Home end and wild end of landscape
    • Few straight lines in nature
    • Use odd numbers
    • Plants seldom grow at regular intervals
    • Group the plants and group the groups
    • Vary plant SIZES to mimic succession in plant community
    stream banks
  • 61. Natural approach to the home garden
    • Site inventory
    • Home end and wild end of landscape
    • Few straight lines in nature
    • Use odd numbers
    • Plants seldom grow at regular intervals
    • Group the plants and group the groups
    • Vary plant SIZES to mimic succession in plant community
    • Group according to water needs + reduce water use
    Sarracenia leucophyllum
  • 62. Natural approach to the home garden
    • Site inventory
    • Home end and wild end of landscape
    • Few straight lines in nature
    • Use odd numbers
    • Plants seldom grow at regular intervals
    • Group the plants and group the groups
    • Vary plant SIZES to mimic succession in plant community
    • Group according to water needs + reduce water use
    • Stop raking leaves
    Hickory
  • 63. Maintaining gardens naturally
    • Understand natural processes
    • Tough love
    • Select plants appropriately
    • Choose plants for their mature size
    • Use Integrated Pest Management
    • Weed control + Mulch
    Graceful grasses and coneflower
  • 64. Natural gardening
    • Nature designs a world of gardens . . .
    • and we can adopt the same principles
    Culver’s root
  • 65. In summary
    • Include natives
    • Match plant requirements to available location
    • Use varying sizes of plants
    • Enjoy your private Eden
    deck over wetland
  • 66. Thank You + Go Native!