September 01 2011

Landscape Design and Maintenance: Utilizing Local Information Resources

My professor recently told a story about an individual that was picking out trees for a landscape design he was working on. Of all the trees available to him at the nursery, he chose ones that had been improperly planted so that the soil and mulch covered the root flare and was piled too high on the trunk. This person commented that his design would look better if the tree didn’t widen at the bottom; basically he wanted trees that looked like poles.

Realizing the unhealthy placement of these trees within the ground, what should our intentions be when designing with living things? How much control should we try to exert over design elements that have a life of their own? How far into the future do we plan when envisioning the finished landscape, or do we see it as a perpetual work in progress?

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln produces a weekly show on the local public education station, NET, called Backyard Farmer. The main focus of the program is to educate the public about gardening and the landscape, as well as assist in answering viewer questions. They cover a wide range of topics from landscape design to pests.

I find this to be a very useful source of information, which has included topics such as addressing changing landscapes due to realities such as shifts in environmental conditions and disease. While this Backyard Farmer program is geared toward Lincoln, Nebraska, and the surrounding region, many county governments and universities offer extension programs as well. The UNL extension service offers online videos of past Backyard Farmer episodes on its website to reach as many individuals as possible, and even utilizes social media for extended presence.

Some other resources available include:

As urban planners, architects, and landscape architects, what local resources have you found to assist you? How can these resources be used to strengthen your community?

Shelley Rekte

Shelley Rekte is a native of Lincoln, Nebraska, a graduate of the University of Nebraska, and works within the environmental design sector. As a mother, she has seen many changes in the world around her, as well as the differences between her son’s life experiences and her own. Shelley understands the importance of the environment and strives to broaden her perspective, with the aspiration of expanding the perspectives of others for developing equitable communities. Shelley Rekte blogged for The Grid until October 2011.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, September 1st, 2011 at 9:49 pm and is filed under Architecture, Environmental Design, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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