Aug 122011
Book Review:: Small Green Roofs

Written by four experts in the field of green roofs, the new book Small Green Roofs: Low-Tech Options for Greener Living was promising before it was even released. It doesn’t disappoint. Full of information about small green roofs, their construction and biodiversity and plants, over half is devoted to 40 case studies. The book is full of inspiring and beautiful images of a wide variety of green roofs on all manner of buildings and structures. Written for homeowners, architects, landscape architects or ecologists, it’s a valuable resource on a practical level that serves as an excellent companion to the many other green …continue reading

Aug 092011
Wildlife Plants:: Salmonberry

Dense thickets of Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis) are a common sight to anyone hiking through the Pacific Northwest. It’s often found alongside creeks or in ravines growing up to 12 feet tall. Salmonberry can be found along the Pacific Coast from Alaska down to the Santa Cruz Mountains, most commonly along the coastal ranges. It grows like other plants in the Rubus  family, spreading by rhizomes underground. The branches have small prickles along the stems, but they fall off with the exfoliating, mature bark. The leaves are pinnately compound and dark green in color. Flowers appear in the spring and range …continue reading

Aug 052011
Foragings:: The latest news, resources, designs and more

News London’s a real hoot after dark, say twitchers:: This article discusses another aspect of London nightlife, the owls. Owl Prowl, taking place in August is run by the the London Wildlife Trust and aims to survey urban owls to raise awareness of the city’s owl population. Troops called in to scare storks with eye contact:: A fascinating article about a conflict between birds and an air show and a creative, non-violent solution found where people stared at the storks making them uncomfortable enough to leave the area. ‘Weeds': In Defense Of Botany’s Cockroach:: This NPR story features a look …continue reading

Aug 032011
Integrated Habitats Design Competition 2010:: The Seed Catalogue

As the 2011 Integrated Habitats Design Competition is getting launched, I’m looking at the winning entries from the 2010 competition in a series of posts. The Seed Catalogue, by the team of Susannah Hagan, Silvio Caputo and Mark Gaterell, won the “Highly Commended” award. This brilliant idea creates a catalog of options for post industrial cities to manage degraded industrial spaces. Focused on northern England cities, this catalog proposes options in four categories to aid in planning and community enhancement and in turn serve as small investments. The catalog recognizes the complex layout of these cities and offers a way to use derelict land …continue reading

Jul 252011
Shoreline Wildlife Habitat Tour

The 2nd annual backyard habitat tour in Shoreline, an area just north of Seattle, was dubbed ‘Where Our Wild Things Are’ and presented six, certified yards. Shoreline is a Certified Community Wildlife Habitat through the National Wildlife Federation. The gardens ranged from just begun to established and featured highlights such as urban farming, accessibility and integrated family space. The tour was set up very nicely with not only the homeowner at each location, but a ‘habitat steward’ ready to welcome you and answer any questions. In addition, at each stop was an educational opportunity, individuals or groups who were available to talk …continue reading

Jul 132011
The Zoomazium Green Roof:: Revisited with other Zoo Highlights

Last February I visited the Woodland Park Zoo to view the green roof on the Zoomazium building. At that point, in 2010, the roof was about four years old already so I didn’t expect dramatic changes when I revisited recently. However, the roof looked completely different. What was simply low-growing grasses and small shrubs had transformed into a tall, colorful meadow. Standing on top of the roof, it feels like standing in a meadow because the grasses had grown so high, some nearly as tall as me, that if feels really enclosed, not at all like standing on a roof. With …continue reading