Aug 302011
Urban Species Profile:: Jackdaw

Common Name: Jackdaw Scientific Name: Corvus monedula Family: Corvidae  If you spend time in any European city, chances are very high you’ll come across the Jackdaw. Found throughout most of Europe with the exception of the far north, it’s a common bird in cities, mountains, sea cliffs, fields and other habitats. For the most part they’re residents and will breed in cities, often in or on human structures. Couples pair in their first year and mate for life and they can usually be found together even in large flocks, often times sitting very close together. The Jackdaw is a social bird …continue reading

Aug 272011
Magnuson Park:: Reconstructed Wetlands

Magnuson Park is located in Seattle along Lake Washington, north of the University of Washington. The park has a long history of dramatic land use change and part of it has now come back full circle. In the days of early settlers the area was a wetlands, alder grove, and Douglas fir forest with trees up to six feet in diameter. In the following years the site saw a homestead, brickyard, shipyard and post office.  This landscape was altered in 1917 with the building of the canals and Ballard Locks when the level of Lake Washington was lowered by nine feet …continue reading

Aug 232011
Foragings:: The latest news, resources, designs and more

News An Urban Jungle for the 21st Century:: An interesting article from the New York Times, this piece features a 10-year development plan in Singapore which aims to go from “a garden city” to a “city in a garden” which means increasing the greenery and biodiversity of plants and wildlife around the city. Cities could be the key to saving pollinating insects:: An interesting study featured by BBC News, which is about a project aiming to document pollinators Britain-wide. They are surveying in 12 cities and including urban areas as well as agriculture and nature reserves. Welcome to synurbia:: This …continue reading

Aug 172011
What is a Landscape Architect?

Today is Landscape Architecture awareness day dubbed ‘Your Environment. Designed.’ by the American Society of Landscape Architects. There are many common misconceptions in the general public about what a Landscape Architect does, many people believing they are gardeners or landscapers. I heard this many times during my education in the Landscape Architecture program. Granted, the world of Landscape Architecture has kept a pretty low profile over the years and they still have a long wayto go for awareness, many firms still have not adopted social media nor do they interact very much with the public. Hopefully this campaign is just …continue reading

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