The Native Landscape Reader
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
Series Editor’s Preface
The Native Landscape Reader edited by Robert Grese is the inaugural volume in the series Critical Perspectives in the History of Environmental Design published by the Library of American Landscape...
Assembling this book has given me the opportunity to revisit many of the authors whose writings have helped to shape my views and approaches to landscape design and conservation. One of the writers whose work greatly influenced my initial...
Growing concerns about the depletion of resources and global climate change have propelled many people, from landscape architects to professional stewards to home gardeners, to reexamine how we design and manage the land. From backyards to...
Part I: Appreciation of Nature
The authors in this section explore various ways of appreciating the native landscape at different scales, ranging from measured critiques of landscape scenery to fascination with an individual tree...
“Essay on American Scenery” (1835)
It is a subject that to every American ought to be of surpassing interest; for, whether he beholds the Hudson mingling waters with the Atlantic—explores the central wilds of this vast continent, or...
“In the Company of Trees” (1892)
If one wishes to be taken into the intimate confidence of a great tree, and to get the full enjoyment of its strength and beauty, he should lie upon his back on the greensward beneath it, cross his arms under his head by...
“The Love of Nature” (1892)
One of the noticeable characteristics of this century is a growing love of natural scenery, but it may be questioned whether the love of nature is also growing, for a distinction must be made between the two...
“Appreciation of Natural Beauty” (1898)
If people could realize and enjoy the beauty around them, they would be happier and better, and the earth would gradually improve in appearance. They would see with pleasure the brightening tints of the...
“Influence of Parks on the Character of Children” (1898)
The following paper was read by Mr. C. M. Loring, of Minneapolis, who gave the following interesting incidents in Mr. Cleveland’s Life...
The Outlook to Nature (1911)
I sat at the window of a hotel chamber, musing at the panorama that comes and goes in a thousand cities. There were human beings pouring in and out, up and down, as if moved by some restless and...
“The Value of Natural Areas to Literature and Art” (1926)
Some few early American poets wrote of the skylark and the nightingale. They followed the easy path of inherited literary tradition, and did not seem to realize the wealth of new natural material at their very doors...
“The Value of Natural Preserves to the Landscape Architect” (1926)
Inasmuch as one of the chief interests of landscape architecture is the preservation of beautiful landscapes, nothing can be more evident than the importance to the profession and to those deriving benefits...
“The Value to Silviculture of Reserved Areas of Natural Forest Types” (1926)
The setting aside of vestigial units of the various forest types has three important objects in view: First, to supply the means for studying the laws which control the distribution of different species of trees...
“The Value of Aquatic Preserves to Fisheries” (1926)
There are few “natural” environments for freshwater fishes in the United States. Artificially stocked streams, lakes, and ponds seldom produce such desirable fishes as are found in localities where the...
“The Importance to Geography of the Preservation of Natural Areas” (1926)
At least four of Geography’s several subdivisions will be aided by the preservation of natural areas. These are (1) Descriptive Geography, (2) Historical Geography, (3) Ecological Geography, and (4) Economic...
“The Importance of Natural Areas to Biology and Agriculture” (1926)
Some biological subjects are of course only remotely related to habitat questions; others can hardly proceed to certain conclusions without reference to habitat relations. An adequate interpretation of...
Part II: Our American Flora
This section chronicles the discovery of the value of our native flora which evolved through the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Many of these authors advocate for increased use of native species in...
“The Neglected American Plants” (1851)
It is an old and familiar saying that a prophet is not without honor except in his own country, and as we were making our way this spring through a dense forest in the State of New Jersey, we were tempted...
“American Trees for America” (1897)
Looking at the matter broadly, comparatively little, in northern countries at least, has been accomplished toward beautifying the earth’s surface by transferring trees from one region to another, although a...
“Native Plants for Florida Gardens” (1894)
The hummock woods and swamps of Florida are rich in ornamental trees and shrubs, and the sandy Pinelands and flatwoods are rich in perennial and herbaceous plants. The beauty of the evergreen...
“The Wild Gardens of the Sierra” (1896)
Our California Sierra is five hundred miles long and seventy miles wide. The elevation is from 6,000 to nearly 15,000 feet. No great mountain range is more easy of access or better adapted to outdoor life...
“Prairie Woodlands” (1894)
When pioneers began to settle in our primeval forests, the natural impulse to plot in right lines led to the clearing of rectangular spaces, so that the surviving pieces of woodland are mostly bounded by straight...
“The American Hawthorns” (1892)
Our American forests are rich in Hawthorns, nearly one-third of the forty species which are now known being found within the territory of the United States. They are scattered from Newfoundland to...
“I Like Our Prairie Landscape” (1920)
My first impression of the prairie country was of its richness in flowers. It was one grand carpet of exquisite colors such as is fit for a Forest Cathedral, and such as nature only knows how...
Part III: The Native Landscape as a Source of Inspiration
Reconciling landscape design with the forms and patterns of nature is clearly one of the central challenges of creating “native gardens.” The essays in this section...
“A Few Hints on Landscape Gardening” (1851)
November is, above all others, the treeplanting month over the wide Union. Accordingly, everyone who has a rood of land looks about him at this season to see what...
“Landscape Art—An Inspiration from the Western Plains” (1906)
Broadly speaking this is the beginning of the American Renaissance, the constructive period in more than one art. From a western view it is pioneer life. The composer tries...
“The Prairie Spirit in Landscape Gardening (1916)
In matters of Art our country has borrowed prodigiously from the Old World. Coming from across the seas our ancestors brought with them ideals foreign to the new continent. These ideals have...
The Natural Style in Landscape Gardening (1917)
All the older men and women now living whose recollections of garden matters run back, say into the seventies, will remember the violent controversy then raging between...
“Thoughts on Planting Composition” (1929)
The frame of mind that is prone to classify things, that is, to group them in their proper relationship, is constructive and helpful so long as this is done to promote thought, but...
“A Juniper Landscape” (1931)
Anyone with an eye for landscape beauty has sometime, perhaps frequently, been arrested by a hillside covered with old junipers. Such striking pictures are most abundant in the eastern seaboard states...
“Natural Plant Groups” (1931)
If we will look about on an open hillside or upland pasture until we find an undisturbed group of sumac (Rhus typhina, R. glabra, or R. copallina), we shall be able to make some interesting...
“Nature as the Great Teacher in Landscape Gardening” (1932)
There is a saying which you have no doubt read or heard many times and yet you may not have taken it to heart and made it a part of your lives as you should. It is often applied to other arts as well...
“An Ecological Approach” (1933)
Plant ecology is a comparatively new science. It had its origin at the turn of the century.* Scientists seemed no longer satisfied with the taxonomic study of plants nor even with a wider segregation...
Part IV: Natural Parks and Gardens
The authors in this section believed in the importance of educating people about native landscape design and wrote essays for both popular magazines and professional...
“An American Garden” (1899)
What else is a garden in America? Yet there are in our broad land not many real American gardens. Few realize that the trend of rural decoration and lawn adornment in our country has been...
“The Two Kinds of Bog Garden” (1908)
I was greatly rejoiced when buying my summer home in Massachusetts, to find that the old farm included part of a sphagnum bog, and after maneuvering for several months...
“What is the Matter with Our Water Gardens?” (1912)
What a pity it is that Americans, who have such good taste in many other matters, have such low standards of beauty in gardening! Take the treatment of water, for instance. I presume that a hundred...
“Making a Small Garden Look Large” (1924)
This is the story of how an unpromising city lot was developed into a unique garden and landscape. The property is 100 x 300 ft. extending from the city street to the Rock River. The contours are what...
“Natural Parks and Gardens” (1930)
It will probably be news to most people who have driven over the extensive park system of Chicago that as late as 1885 little seventeen-acre Union Park that lies over on the West Side not far from the scene of the...
“A Story for Ravinians” (1936)
West of Chicago lies a bungalow and cottonwood suburb with a catalpa tree, or a distorted mulberry, or a round bed of cannas, in the exact center of each front...
Part V: Restoration and Management of the Native Landscape
In recent years, we have recognized the need for greater attention to ongoing management as well as restoration in our efforts to preserve the ecological integrity...
The Culture and Management of Our Native Forests (1882)
Man’s progress from barbarism to civilization is indicated by the degree of skill he has attained in the cultivation of those products of the earth which minister to his necessities and comfort. As long as the...
“The Use of the Axe” (1889)
It has been said of our frontier settlers that they seemed to bear a grudge against trees, and to be engaged in a constant, indiscriminate warfare with them. If this were so, a strong reaction has since set in, of which a...
“Landscape Forestry in the Metropolitan Reservations” (1896–1897)
Wherever Nature has herself glorified a country, and made a picture bounded only by the horizon, as in many parts of Switzerland, Italy, Southern Germany, and even our own Silesia, I am strongly...
Report of the Landscape Architect (1904)
The movement for the acquisition of large forest park areas within Cook County is in embryo. This fact is evidenced by the absence of surveys defining the existing forest areas...
“Parks as Preservers of Native Plants (1915)
In the making of parks no material is of greater importance than plants. Even in parks, whose space is utilized for playgrounds, some trees and shrubs are essential, the trees for the purpose of...
“The Dunes of Northern Indiana” (1917)
The world is full of things that add to human intellect and life. Perhaps least consideration and least appreciation are given to those things that form an interesting part of Mother Earth herself...
Testimony at the Hearing on the Proposed Sand Dunes National Park (1917)
Mr. Secretary, ladies, and gentlemen, I certainly heartily second all that has been said in regard to Mr. Mather’s very large part in making our national parks useful. I feel, however...
“The Last Stand of the Wilderness” (1926)
How many of those whole-hearted conservationists who berate the past generation for its short-sightedness in the use of natural resources have stopped to ask themselves for what new evils the next...
“Ecological Garden and Arboretum at the University of Wisconsin” (1937)
Fair and fruitful, Wisconsin ranks high among the best of the agricultural states in the union. Abundantly blessed with fertile soils, productive valleys, matchless...
This collection of writings about the native landscape is by no means complete. In making my selection, I strove to represent a diversity of ideas and people who advocated for greater...
Page Count: 336
Publication Year: 2011
OCLC Number: 794700813
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Native Landscape Reader