Thursday, January 18, 2007

16 January 06 Ecological Gardening class

16 January 06 Ecological Gardening Class

Sun on the ice coated trees made a beautiful fairyland everywhere. We finally got some snow.

My advanced ecological gardening class ended today by not ending. We hope to do many things to assist people in gardening and learning how to work together to create healthy habitat, fix the hole in the environment we have caused by trying to monocrop grass everywhere.

A landscape architect analyzed some of our designs for our home gardens. If there is heavy flow of water, from a road or impervious surface, there needs to be rocks and things so the whole thing doesn't wash away.

Finding the right plants is crucial. For heavy flow or for an area of unbalanced and degraded places, you would choose easy to grow and undemanding plants. These would be mildly invasive in other environments, even if they are native. In a complex environment, a more intact ecosystemn, more delicate species can be grown.

Then there is moisture and sun and sandy or clay soil to consider. (right plant in the right place, the thing will grow)

Three kinds of land forms in our area, from glacial times are Ice Contact (many parks are located on this band) LakePlains, and Moraines. (Ridge Road is the top of a glaicial moraine.

Plants in the Chicago Region by Swink and Wilhelm (much information on plant associates)

Michigan Flora by Edward Voss (three books)

Native Trees and Shrubs Gary L Hightshoe (nice pics and diagrams, not always acturate)

Prarie Moon Nursery catalog

Nature Concervancy's invasives web-sight

Eastern Wild Flowers Peterson, or Neucomb (These were suggested for field use. You can also just take a little camera or sketch book and look it up later. Learning the words to look up species, like alternate and whirled was suggested.)

Landscaping with Native Plants Lynn M. Spencer.

Restoring Nature (Gopster, Paul H.) suggested by a student. This has some urban issues to consider when making a public garden.

Plants: Dropseed -Small grass, nice edging tolerates dry.

Panicum, (switchgrass is Panicum virgatum but there are 450 species in the genus, some invasive and nonnative) perhaps one of the smaller ones, holds up to salt, clay spreads.


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