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Old 07-17-2010, 07:10 PM   #1
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eye To truly appreciate the beauty of a natural landscape, look through nature's eyes.

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Evelyn J. Hadden
March 9, 2004

Through Nature's Eyes: The look of a low-maintenance landscape


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We have been trained to appreciate certain styles of landscape, but our tastes tend to favor landscapes that are high-maintenance and often ecologically unsound.
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Here's a look at four characteristics of healthy natural landscapes that directly oppose our society's standards of beauty.
Through Nature's Eyes: The look of a low-maintenance landscape


In this article the author presents some interesting and insightful perspectives on landscaping.
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:58 PM   #2
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"Neat" vs. "unkempt" has been on my mind this summer, as my yard of native forbs and unmown grass looks so weedy from the road. Thanks for finding some encouragement.
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:32 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Cirsium View Post
Less Lawn Website
Evelyn J. Hadden
March 9, 2004

Through Nature's Eyes: The look of a low-maintenance landscape

Through Nature's Eyes: The look of a low-maintenance landscape


In this article the author presents some interesting and insightful perspectives on landscaping.
Excellent article, Cirsium! Thank you for posting it.

I have often thought that people buy calendars with photos of nature and natural areas--natural beauty; they don't buy calendars of trimmed lawns and bad landscapes. Why don't more people want to create that natural beauty in their own yards?

Recently, I told Mary Bridget that I plan to plant my common milkweed by a remnant of and *old* fence, so that the seedpods will add to the beauty in winter. I've often seen artists paint pictures featuring dried milkweed seedpods or photographers using them as subject matter.

I *love* the look (and added color) of little bluestem in the winter with the low sun making it glow that coppery, orange, tan to brighten up the drab winter landscape--ditto with beech trees dried clasping leaves.
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:46 PM   #4
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"Neat" vs. "unkempt" has been on my mind this summer, as my yard of native forbs and unmown grass looks so weedy from the road. Thanks for finding some encouragement.
My partner doesn't exactly like the unmowed sections I have and I can only imagine what those driving by think. I keep hoping that as I add more wildflowers and shrubs, create little vignettes, others will appreciate its beauty too.

I do want it to look like it is intentional and try to keep it from looking too unkempt, especially around the house. As some of my low growing plants--Sedum ternatum, wintergreen, and (recently added) wild ginger start to spread and leave some places for the eye to rest, I'm hoping things will start looking a lot better. The wild ginger are babies, only now growing their second true leaves...so it will take a while.

One nice comment: my neighbor called my paths a "meditation trail"...I loved that she said that.
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Old 07-18-2010, 11:12 AM   #5
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I find the author's analysis both intriguing and challenging. Intriguing in the sense that it goes to some of the core factors on how people assign a value to a landscape. Part of it is the difference between aesthetic value and functional value. But it's more complex than that. Appreciating the functional value does not exclude appreciating the aesthetic value; I think it actually enhances it. Limiting one's self to the conventional aesthetic value pretty much works against considering the functional values.

The challenging part is how do we get more people to view landscaping through nature's eye. Most of the members here at Wildlife Gardeners understand the benefits of viewing a landscape through nature's eye, but how do we get more people to appreciate that view?
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Old 07-18-2010, 01:45 PM   #6
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Mother's facing this very challenge right now. The city wants it cut!
Stand your ground, meet the challenge, explain what you are trying to achieve..... It's for enticing wildlife back, a natural way to feed the birds, it saves on water use, it collects the pollutants so they don't end up in the water system or whatever other lines you can think of....
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Old 07-18-2010, 04:49 PM   #7
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I think it's really just what you're used to. I now cannot stand to look at a formal garden. Sculpted evergreens? Yuck! The more of us out there have luxuriant, textured gardens, the more others will realize it's OK.
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Old 07-18-2010, 07:01 PM   #8
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I think it's really just what you're used to. I now cannot stand to look at a formal garden. Sculpted evergreens? Yuck! The more of us out there have luxuriant, textured gardens, the more others will realize it's OK.

Interesting, I never thought of it that way, we are paving the way for others to see that it is okay, beneficial, and attractive.
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Old 07-18-2010, 07:17 PM   #9
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Cirsium,
I enjoyed reading the article. Thanks for providing the link.

It made me think of the formal landscaping we created at a prior home we lived in (over 10 years ago). I just planted stuff in it without thinking much about bees, butterflies, brids, insects or wildlife. Honestly the thought just never ocurred to me. Ignorance I guess.

I'm posting the photos here so you can see what it looked like.

To truly appreciate the beauty of a natural landscape, look through nature's eyes.-landscape1.jpg To truly appreciate the beauty of a natural landscape, look through nature's eyes.-landscape2.jpg To truly appreciate the beauty of a natural landscape, look through nature's eyes.-landscape3.jpg To truly appreciate the beauty of a natural landscape, look through nature's eyes.-landscape4.jpg

Now I'm more into plant borders that have benefits. Logs, rocks, etc. I also focus on native plants with a purpose (function). I think the natural looking beds I have now are much prettier than the formal beds I created 10 years ago.

On the other hand, one could always have a mix of both worlds (formal & natural), nice block beds containing all native plants! Perhaps my old landscape photos will give some city & town dwellers a few creative ideas to keep the anti-native plant neighbors from complaining.
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Old 07-18-2010, 07:18 PM   #10
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A few more of my old landscape photos.
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To truly appreciate the beauty of a natural landscape, look through nature's eyes.-landscape5.jpg   To truly appreciate the beauty of a natural landscape, look through nature's eyes.-landscape6.jpg   To truly appreciate the beauty of a natural landscape, look through nature's eyes.-landscape7.jpg   To truly appreciate the beauty of a natural landscape, look through nature's eyes.-landscape8.jpg  
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