The Native Landscape Reader
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
Series Editorâs Preface
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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...
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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...
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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
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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...
âEssay on American Sceneryâ (1835)
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It is a subject that to every American ought to be of surpassing interest; for, whether he beholds the Hudson mingling waters with the Atlanticâexplores the central wilds of this vast continent, or...
âIn the Company of Treesâ (1892)
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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...
âThe Love of Natureâ (1892)
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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...
âAppreciation of Natural Beautyâ (1898)
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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...
âInfluence of Parks on the Character of Childrenâ (1898)
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The following paper was read by Mr. C. M. Loring, of Minneapolis, who gave the following interesting incidents in Mr. Clevelandâs Life...
The Outlook to Nature (1911)
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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...
âThe Value of Natural Areas to Literature and Artâ (1926)
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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...
âThe Value of Natural Preserves to the Landscape Architectâ (1926)
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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...
âThe Value to Silviculture of Reserved Areas of Natural Forest Typesâ (1926)
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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...
âThe Value of Aquatic Preserves to Fisheriesâ (1926)
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There are few ânaturalâ 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...
âThe Importance to Geography of the Preservation of Natural Areasâ (1926)
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At least four of Geographyâs 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...
âThe Importance of Natural Areas to Biology and Agricultureâ (1926)
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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
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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...
âThe Neglected American Plantsâ (1851)
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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...
âAmerican Trees for Americaâ (1897)
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Looking at the matter broadly, comparatively little, in northern countries at least, has been accomplished toward beautifying the earthâs surface by transferring trees from one region to another, although a...
âNative Plants for Florida Gardensâ (1894)
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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...
âThe Wild Gardens of the Sierraâ (1896)
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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...
âPrairie Woodlandsâ (1894)
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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...
âThe American Hawthornsâ (1892)
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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...
âI Like Our Prairie Landscapeâ (1920)
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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
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Reconciling landscape design with the forms and patterns of nature is clearly one of the central challenges of creating ânative gardens.â The essays in this section...
âA Few Hints on Landscape Gardeningâ (1851)
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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...
âLandscape ArtâAn Inspiration from the Western Plainsâ (1906)
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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...
âThe Prairie Spirit in Landscape Gardening (1916)
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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)
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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...
âThoughts on Planting Compositionâ (1929)
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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...
âA Juniper Landscapeâ (1931)
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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...
âNatural Plant Groupsâ (1931)
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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...
âNature as the Great Teacher in Landscape Gardeningâ (1932)
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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...
âAn Ecological Approachâ (1933)
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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
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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...
âAn American Gardenâ (1899)
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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...
âThe Two Kinds of Bog Gardenâ (1908)
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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...
âWhat is the Matter with Our Water Gardens?â (1912)
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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...
âMaking a Small Garden Look Largeâ (1924)
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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...
âNatural Parks and Gardensâ (1930)
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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...
âA Story for Raviniansâ (1936)
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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
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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)
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Manâs 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...
âThe Use of the Axeâ (1889)
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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...
âLandscape Forestry in the Metropolitan Reservationsâ (1896â1897)
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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)
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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...
âParks as Preservers of Native Plants (1915)
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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...
âThe Dunes of Northern Indianaâ (1917)
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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)
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Mr. Secretary, ladies, and gentlemen, I certainly heartily second all that has been said in regard to Mr. Matherâs very large part in making our national parks useful. I feel, however...
âThe Last Stand of the Wildernessâ (1926)
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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...
âEcological Garden and Arboretum at the University of Wisconsinâ (1937)
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Fair and fruitful, Wisconsin ranks high among the best of the agricultural states in the union. Abundantly blessed with fertile soils, productive valleys, matchless...
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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...
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Page Count: 336
Publication Year: 2011
Series Title: Environmental Design
Series Editor Byline: Robert E. Grese