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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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6: Developing Staff

Crafer, K CABI PDF

6 

Developing Staff

People are still the driving force behind any organization. Even if a department does not have direct contact with the purchasing customer, they still have a wide range of ‘internal’ customers within the organization with whom they interact.

The efficiency of all these interactions has a dramatic effect upon the success or failure of the business.

The challenge with any form of staff development within a business is calculating the financial benefits. It is easy to define the costs of staff development, through the collation of invoices and measurement of time spent off the job, whereas the improvements to production are less easy to measure. For organizations where there is a pressure on cash flow, the budget for personal development is an easy target as there are fewer directly measurable gains – the Return on

Investment (ROI; Kaufman and Hotchkiss, 2006).

However, lack of skills can bring a number of inefficiencies into an organization; while these are not easily measured, all combine together to prevent the organization from working at its full effectiveness.

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Three: Bringing Flowers Indoors

Moya L. Andrews Quarry Books ePub

She has taught us that you should be as careful in
choosing a vase for a flower as a dress for yourself,
and she has widened the term “vase” to include
almost anything that is, in itself, beautiful
and capable of holding water.

—Beverly Nichols, foreword to Constance Spry,
How to Do the Flowers

One of the enduring pleasures of having a garden is that we can step out of the door of our house and there it is. The garden gives us a special place to go, a break from the routine, a refuge from anxiety, solace in times of sorrow, and a soothing balm for our stress. It is our creation and yet it nurtures us even more than we nurture it. When we create a garden we create something so personal that it truly is like a part of us. We may even be able to understand why someone once said, “I can imagine leaving my spouse, but I could never abandon my garden.”

No one else knows our garden the way we do. We know where to look for the first crocus each spring. We remember the provenance of our plants, who gave them to us or where we bought them, and the day we planted them. When we can’t sleep we let our mind drift around the garden and visualize what will bloom next, in our mind’s eye. Oh, what lovely gardens we create in our dreams.

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Appendix: Native Plant And Botanical Societies

Carolyn A. Harstad Indiana University Press ePub

Nature is a good teacher. We can learn many valuable lessons about gardening by observing plants growing in the wild.

—C. Colston Burrell

NATIVE PLANT SOCIETIES

Alabama

Alabama Wildflower Society

271 County Rd. 68

Killen, AL 35645

www.alwildflowers.org

Alaska

Alaska Native Plant Society

P.O. Box 141613

Anchorage, AK 99514-1613

http://AKNPS.org

Arizona

Arizona Native Plant Society

Sun Station, P.O. Box 41206

Tucson, AZ 85717-1206

www.aznps.org

Arkansas

Arkansas Native Plant Society

10145 Dogwood Lane

Dardanelle, AR 72834

www.anps.org

California

California Botanical Society

Jepson Herbarium, University of California

1101 Valley Life Science Building

Berkeley, CA 94720-2465

www.calbotsoc.org

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Chapter Three. How to Water Native Landscapes

Susan E. Meyer Utah State University Press ePub

Mountain lover and Bigtooth maple

The next step in the process of designing and installing a native landscape is to deal explicitly with how your plantings will be watered. Your completed planting plan shows the species that are to be planted into each area, as well as the spatial configuration of the planting. Each planting area has been designated as belonging to one of the five watering zones: minimal, low, medium, high, or very high. Now you will decide the most efficient and best way to provide water to each watering zone. Plants in all zones will need to be watered during establishment, so there must be some way to get supplemental water into each area, at least initially. But only areas representing watering zones that will receive supplemental water on a regular basis will need more permanent irrigation systems. These are the zones that represent plant communities from places that receive more annual precipitation than your site and that cannot be situated in sufficiently favorable microsites to preclude the need for added water.

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5: Managing the Team

Crafer, K CABI PDF

5

Managing the Team

The success of many start-up businesses in the early years is due to the entrepreneurial ability of the individual. Growth in the next phase of development is sometimes stunted because even though the founder is good at exploiting new ideas, they are less able to manage a team and help others reach their full potential. Often the skills that enabled the business to become a success in the early phase can be a barrier to future growth.

A study at the University of Cambridge (Hughes, 1998) looked at a real-time comparison of small- and medium-sized enterprises as they developed in international markets over 10 years. It was discovered that those businesses that stalled or faltered in their growth, when compared to those in the study with steady growth, were characterized by:

ill-defined strategic direction with regard to product and market development; poorly specified (or frequently changed) managerial responsibilities; inadequate devolution of managerial tasks and hence over-burdening of directors who may or may not hold the positions they do by design; and inadequately supported or poorly implemented management training programmes and management information systems.

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7: Managing Safety and Security

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7 

Managing Safety and Security

7.1  Introduction

Reading most garden centre-related articles in trade magazines, visiting trade shows or interactions with supplier representatives, the focus is primarily on the development of profit. For any business this is indeed a primary consideration as without this the business will fail.

The business owner does have other social and ethical responsibilities which are implicit within the running of the business. These are not divorced from the focus upon profit but are intertwined with it. Indeed the success of the retailer will have a significant effect on the local community in terms of employment as well as the beneficial effect on manufacturing and service and service sectors that support it and help it to develop. From this standpoint, the owner or manager has a mandate to ensure the business is as successful as possible, albeit balanced with appropriate care and consideration for other partners and colleagues.

Each business will work within the context of the legal constraints of the country within which they are based, but in addition will be pressured by acceptable cultural norms; examples being the hours of opening, observance of cultural events such as a minute’s silence on Armistice Day (11 November), or the way it advertises products. In this latter case there may be a community backlash if the attempt to be clever and noticeable is deemed to be insensitive or vulgar.

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One: Shrubs Are Versatile

Moya L. Andrews Quarry Books ePub

No two gardens are the same.
No two days are the same in one garden.

—Hugh Johnson

Shrubs, and for that matter all plants, are characterized by their form, their texture, and their color. Form and color change with time and seasons, and while texture may become more apparent as a plant grows, its defining attributes are usually consistent. The weight or mass of shrubs in a landscape is always greater than that of herbaceous perennials and annuals, but less than that of trees. The outline or silhouette is related to the shrub’s form, but it will change with growth and also will be seen differently depending on the perspective from which it is viewed. The light conditions and the amount of obstruction presented by neighboring hardscape and buildings, as well as other plants, will also contribute to the way a shrub’s silhouette is perceived by a viewer. At different times of day shadows will also be cast by garden shrubbery, and every shrub will, of course, be seen differently in various seasons. In winter when there is snow cover, the silhouette of a deciduous shrub will be quite different from the one the shrub presents with its summer or fall foliage intact.

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Two: Shrubs Attract Wildfile

Moya L. Andrews Quarry Books ePub

Bees and blueberries must make their pollen
deal in May if robins and blueberries
are to make their seed deals in July.

—Sara Stein

Use plants to bring life.

—Douglas Wilson

Like trees, most shrubs are long-lived. However, they mature faster, and in four years or so after planting, they will flower and/or fruit well. When we increase the number and variety of shrubs we grow, our garden becomes more diverse and is better equipped to attract different types of birds, who depend on a diversity of habitats for food, nesting spots, and shelter. Shelter involves having a safe place in which to minimize the effects of excessive wind, sun, rain, snow, and hail. A garden also needs to provide hiding places that screen birds from their predators. For example, predators that pounce on their prey from above cannot see through dense evergreens.

Evergreens, especially dense ones such as yews and spruces and large-leaved rhododendrons, provide excellent cover for mammals and birds during heavy snows and downpours of rain. They also serve as protective roost sites for juncos and other birds in winter. In the summer, deciduous shrubs provide shade from the hot sun. Protection from strong winds is also provided by hedges and hedgerows, and mourning doves and other birds that roost at night in a flock often can be found sheltering in shrubs and trees that form windbreaks. Cardinals and mockingbirds like to nest in shrubs with branching that provides a secure site for their nests. In winter we can see and take note of the deciduous shrubs that birds nested in the previous spring and summer. Diversified planting encourages both migrants and breeding birds to frequent our gardens.

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Medium 9780253219763

Four Displaying Flowers

Moya L Andrews Quarry Books ePub

A house with daffodils in it
is a house lit up,
Whether or not the sun
be shining outside.
Daffodils in a green bowl—
and let it snow if it will.

—A. A. Milne

One of the benefits of growing perennials is the continual supply of cut flowers for the home and for sharing with neighbors and friends. Flowers, ideally already arranged in a container, are a hostess gift that is usually welcome. The busy hostess does not have to worry about finding a vase, cutting the stems, and putting them in water. Hopefully, the water will never spill in your car en route. If you transport a lot of flowers, keep a few bricks in your car to pack around flower containers. Small containers sometimes can be anchored in cup-holders, if your car has them, or in small cardboard boxes with crushed-up newspaper packed around them. Some passengers in cars will even willingly hold a vase full of flowers en route to an event. Should you be lucky enough to persuade a passenger in your car to cooperate in this way, be sure to put only a small amount of water in the flower container before you hand it over. Seat the person first, of course, and then place the vase either between the passenger’s feet on the floor, or into the person’s hands. I may be belaboring this point a bit here, but caution is important, for if a passenger arrives with wet clothes it is embarrassing to say the least.

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1: Position

Crafer, K CABI PDF

1 

Position

1.1  The Evolution of the Garden Centre

Plants have been an essential component of life throughout human history,

­initially as a food source, but increasingly for their ornamental and aesthetic values. The development of home ownership and single household occupancy dwellings helped create the ornamental horticulture market that is seen today.

While plant nurseries are a long established concept, the use of the term

‘garden centre’ is far more recent and ill defined. Stewarts garden centres in

Dorset are amongst a number of businesses who claim to be the first in the UK, having seen the concept of growing hardy plants in containers for sale in Toronto,

Canada, in the mid-1950s (Stewarts Garden Centres, 2014). An embryonic industry using similar techniques was developing in the USA at this time. Regardless of the precise date, the sector has developed rapidly and has changed in all recognition from the earliest examples.

What have been these drivers for change?

1.1.1  Development of technologies for container plant production

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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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6. Great Ground Covers Take Care Of Problem Areas

Carolyn A. Harstad Indiana University Press ePub

Ground covers are Nature’s carpets that clothe soil in a variety of green array and make this flowering world all the brighter and more beautiful.

—Daniel Foley

Dwarf Crested Iris

Ground covers are special friends. Most of us have a variety of friends. Each has a distinct personality with character traits and idiosyncrasies that we may like or dislike depending on the timing or our frame of mind. Some are always there, others may move in and out of our circle. But whatever the characteristics, each friend is important to us.

In many ways, the plants in our gardens resemble our human friends. Consider the perennials. These are the bold, colorful friends that brighten your day and can always bring a smile. Shrubs may not be quite as outgoing but are steady and will not disappear when the going gets tough. They lack the innate flashiness of those happy-go-lucky perennials but are probably your “classy friends.” Trees are those incredible friends you realize are above you in so many ways, yet stand tall and firm, ready to protect you in any crisis. Ferns calm and soothe your troubled spirit, bringing softness and serenity. Vines scramble to the heights to please, happily shielding you from unpleasantness as they climb. Grasses change through the seasons, sometimes small and inconspicuous, at other times waving wildly, demanding attention. Sometimes they are just plain, usually unobtrusive green; some of them, given time, become bright and colorful. They may be changeable, but are pleasant to have around. It is good to have variety in our circle of friends. But one friend is missing in this analogy: the one who is never demanding, never asks for extra attention, yet is “always there for you.” In the gardening world, that friend is a ground cover.

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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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2. Planting Requirements What Is Necessary For Success?

Carolyn A. Harstad Indiana University Press ePub

The mostly unrecognized truth is that our yards and gardens need to function in much the same way as a wilderness area does.

—Marlene Condon

Wild Petunia

This book is full of specific details about hundreds of native plants. Yet several general considerations pertain to all of them. Success is determined by choosing a site for each plant with proper light, moisture, soil type, and pH. Each plant description includes a segment entitled Plant Requirements. Most are brief and not overly complex. You may wonder, “What is average, well-drained garden soil?” so let’s begin with soil.

Soil is usually sand, silt, clay, or a combination, often referred to as loam. Sandy soil has the largest particles. It is impossible to make a ball out of moistened sandy soil that will hold its shape. Water drains quickly so this type of soil often loses nutrients. Moisture-loving plants need additional water in sandy sites.

Clay has the smallest particles so although it hangs onto nutrients and retains water, it has poor drainage. Plants that enjoy wet or consistently moist sites often thrive in clay soil, but those that require well-drained soil do not. Their roots will rot. All plants need a certain amount of air around their roots. Clay is considered heavy soil and can dry rock hard in drought. Make a ball out of clay soil and it will remain a ball. Some potters make permanent figures or containers with clay soil. I have a small statue of a woman that my son purchased in Haiti. It is as hard as if it had been fired, but was dried naturally in the hot sun.

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