Landscapes - Summer 2016 - (Page 44)

THE NATIVE PLANT NURSERy AS LANdSCAPE KAMILA GRIGO GLEANING AN EPHEMERAL WILDERNESS FR_ RESUMÉ GLANER UNE FLORE ÉPHÉMÈRE LA FORME EST typiquement jugée sans importance esthétique dans les paysages de pépinières de plantes indigènes. Cette forme d'agriculture industrielle n'en est pas moins propice à la collaboration entre pépiniéristes et architectes paysagistes. Nos pratiques peuvent être optimisées non seulement pour donner le coup d'envoi à la succession sur des sites plus éloignés, mais aussi pour créer des habitats à l'intention des espèces locales. EN_ JEAN-FRANçOIS MILLET'S 1857 oil painting The Gleaners shows three peasant women as they glean wheat fields after harvest. Grounded in biblical tradition, gleaning, the right to gather leftover crops remaining on the ground post-harvest, has existed in France in various forms for centuries as a mode of charity and is tolerated somewhat to this day. Common interpretations of the painting suggest that it does not mean to romanticize peasant life, but to demonstrate with pragmatism and dignity the hardships of the poor inhabiting the rural landscapes that fed the rapidly modernizing Paris of the day. It is remarkable to consider that each fall, in an altogether different historical context, native plant nursery staff repeat similar, equally laborious motions when collecting seeds and nuts from their production fields, sanctioned conservation areas or public roadsides. The native plant industry has grown in the past 15 or 20 years due to conservation and reforestation policies that acknowledge the significance of native habitats in the rehabilitation of former industrial or agricultural sites. Parallel to this shift, landscape architecture has for some time been moving from projects that adhere to formal notions of natural-looking landscapes, whether native or not, to those that prioritize more indigenous landscapes whose very biophysical processes perform as infrastructure. While these newer landscape projects depend upon the products of native plant nurseries, it is vital to emphasize that the nurseries themselves are landscapes, ones laden with design potential. 44 LANDSCAPES PAYSAGES Form in native nursery landscapes is typically considered aesthetically irrelevant: people and machines must produce crops as efficiently as possible. Nonetheless, within this industrial farming lies potential for closer collaboration between native nursery professionals and landscape architects, not necessarily to aestheticize, but to uncover new typologies. Our practices can be optimized, not only to jump-start succession at sites further afield, but also to magnify a key characteristic of these nurseries not iterated often enough: namely, that they create habitats for local species. HYBRID LANDSCAPES The native plant nursery exists as a hybrid landscape, and there is room to design new iterations of that hybridity by reconfiguring the nursery site to provide maximum habitat benefit. Native plant nurseries have been known to be inadvertent hosts for wildlife, and there is opportunity to programmatically incorporate nesting sites, apiaries or shelters for species that can function symbiotically (and profitably) within and around nurseries. Now that urban landscapes are celebrated for functioning on myriad levels, it is time to design ex-urban areas in the same manner, using layered design, interdisciplinary teamwork and innovative policy. Native

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Landscapes - Summer 2016

To Begin With
Our Writers
Spotlight on Schools
2020 Vision: 3 University Landscapes
Active Praxis, Hybrid Practice
Entangled With the Real World: Experiential Learning
Essay
Round Table
Les Jardins De MéTis: A New Landscape Lab Emerges
Opinion
Vivarium: A Sky Condo
Getting Digitally Dirty: Improvisational Bricolage in the FABlab
Designing Play
A Smile on the Lips
How to Present a Successful Webinar
Books
The Last Word

Landscapes - Summer 2016

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