Jan 202014
 
Hedgerows From Romans to Habitat

This is a revised and updated post which was originally published on June 2, 2010. History Although not as significant in the US as in the UK, hedgerows nonetheless offer a valuable design opportunity for wildlife habitat. In the simplest terms, a hedgerow is a row of wild trees and shrubs, packed closely together. In the UK they have a very long and interesting history, dating back thousands of years. They were a mixed blessing, good for wildlife, but very bad for peasant farmers. Historically, hedgerows were the remnants of woodlands cleared to make way for agricultural fields. With the …continue reading

Nov 122013
 
On Being Misunderstood:: Weeds

On Being Misunderstood is a feature at The Metropolitan Field Guide which will look at the variety of flora and fauna we live with which are too commonly misunderstood. From plants to wildlife, many of our daily interactions with these species are often negative or confused. Many of these reactions are based on misinformation. This new feature seeks to combat these misconceptions by bringing in guest writers to explain some of these species to us so we all have a better understanding and to set the record straight.  This edition of On Being Misunderstood is written by  George Adams author of Gardening for …continue reading

Oct 172013
 
Book Review:: Gardening for the Birds

Whenever I see another book about landscaping or gardening for the birds come out, I’m usually dubious. My shelves are full of generic guides on how to attract birds and unsurprisingly, they’re much the same. They usually focus heavily on bird feeders, bird baths and plants which are often labeled as native, yet are only really native to small portions of the country. It’s a very hard thing to write a book for the whole, giant, diverse continent and nearly every single one I have seen makes little attempt to address this in the plant choices. They instead list various …continue reading

Oct 062013
 
Foragings:: The latest news, resources and designs

News Gardening – It’s Time to Get Creative!:: Examples illustrating “the idea of small- space gardening is being able to display and marvel at nature in a more intricate and special way”. Promoting the benefits of planting trees in cities:: “We tend to focus on cars and roads and development, but in the background is always nature that also affects people’s lives.” What You Don’t Know About the Wild Animals in Your City:: “We share our cities and suburbs with the furred and the feathered, but our understanding of them is fraught with misinformation. An excerpt from The Urban Bestiary …continue reading

Jun 032013
 
Foragings:: The latest news, resources, designs and more

News Nature and the City:: “If we are ever to reach the stage where we can value the benefits as ecosystem services, or design therapeutic landscapes, we need to understand what the benefits are and how they operate.” A Wilder Way:: Dutch designer, Piet Oudolf, who is responsible for the planting design of the High Line in New York City, is the subject of this interesting profile. Urban Rivers of Life:: “There are few natural features as important as rivers and streams in defining cities, in shaping sense of place, and in connecting us with nature.” First Person: Letting a Backyard …continue reading

May 062013
 
The Urban Garden of Keith Geller

Standing on the sidewalk, looking up a steep slope towards the home of Landscape Architect Keith Geller, you know you’re about to enter a special landscape. Over the past 30 years, Geller has transformed a bare, grassy slope into an forested urban haven. His yard has been featured in magazines, books and newspapers stories and I was excited when I saw it listed on this years Washington Native Plant Society’s garden tour. It was a cloudy and drizzly day, but despite the weather, or perhaps because of it, this was the perfect example of what a Pacific Northwest garden could …continue reading