Re: Native Plants
From: Jason Whitfield (jswhitfifes.uwaterloo.ca)
Date: Thu, 26 Nov 1998 19:03:00 -0600
Rob Sandelin wrote:

> My, how this topic spreads. I am on another list server where the
> "Native
> plant natzis" are duking it out with the "genetically dysfunctional
> ornamentalists"

I would like to offer more information as to the purpose of the original
posting.  I have been working on several large projects where we are
restoring the native vegetation on degraded lands.  The cohousing
movement is new to me, and I have heard many people talk about the
environmental benefits associated with this type of community (e.g.
protected open space, clustering of houses, shared resources, etc.).
After watching a slide show of several cohousing communities at the
recent East Coast Cohousing Conference I wondered why some cohousers
would use invasive plants adjacent to natural areas.  The purpose of the
original posting was to get a feeling of how many communities identified
using as many native species as possible in the common areas and
especially near natural areas, as one of the goals or objectives when
developing a landscaping plan.

I admit that I chose the wrong word when I used 'required'.  I meant,
how many communities have decided as a group to limit the use of
non-native plants to enhance the environemntal soundness of cohousing
communities.

The local governments where I live have begun an extensive campaign to
educate the public on the benefits of using native plants and several
cities and states have banned invasive non-native plants due to their
terrible impact on natural areas.  A large number of these invasive
species were brought to the new world by the "genetically dysfunctional
ornamentalists" (e.g. purple loosestrife, norway maple, periwinkle,
etc.).


> The word "required" is interesting. Why would such a thing be
> required, and
> by whom?
>
> I would suspect that a well placed native plant would need little if
> any
> watering once it was established, which might be the key? Landscapes
> can be
> the occaision for lots and lots of fun work if you enjoy such work.
> However,
> if you do not, then careful placements of the right plants in the
> right
> places will save you lots and lots of work later. Not to mention
> water.
> Native plants, should need no watering except when first being placed.
>
> This is what my wife does for a living, create really attractive
> landscapes
> that are low to no maintenance. It requires a great deal of plant
> knowlege
> to accomplish this. She uses a lot of natives but does not limit her
> pallete
> to only natives.
>
> Rob Sandelin
> Sharingwood
> Where the landscape blends nicely between natives and ornamentals and
> its
> hard to tell sometimes which are which. (thanks to the talented
> landscape
> crew we have)

   Jason Whitfield

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