The Three-Legged Habitat Stool: Design, Planting, & Management

Start Date
End Date
Part One: Meadows
In this presentation we will explore real world techniques for meadow creation including site analysis, seed mix formulation (including species selection and quantification), and the integration of live plants. Planting and management techniques
will also be covered for meadow plantings on a variety of scales, as well as “altered meadow” approaches that accommodate “not so wild” client preferences.
Part Two: Shrublands
To the wildlife ecologist, a patchwork of meadow, forest, and shrub thicket is the ideal landscape mosaic. In landscape design, however, the shrub component is often omitted, leaving both ecological and aesthetic potential untapped. On the macro-level we will illustrate the use of shrublands as a “connective tissue” between meadow and woods. On the micro-level we will discuss plant arrangement and spacing, including differing approaches for clonal and clump forming species.
Part Three: Woodlands
Establishing new woodlands is as much the design of a process as a planting plan; where guided succession can foster the orderly transformation from an open field to a multi-tiered forest. In existing woodlands, increasing the diversity within a multi-layered structure has its own challenges, including shade, root competition, and the difficulty of direct seeding most woodland herbs on the ground layer. This presentation will include a detailed discussion of these and other key considerations, including important new information on the viability of planting woodland sedges from seed.
Distance Learning
Course Equivalency
Sustainable Development & Design
Health, Safety and Welfare
Learning Outcomes
Examine the spatial patterns and processes of change that occur in wild plant communities.
Learn how to incorporate these patterns and processes into the design of landscapes (meadows, shrublands, & woodlands) that are high in ecological function and low in maintenance requirements.
Acquire techniques for the selecting, arranging and spacing of plants in a manner that maximizes their ability to thrive and proliferate in the landscape.
Larry Weaner & Ethan Dropkin
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Course Codes
New Directions in the American Landscape

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