Designing with Native
by John Diekelmann and
Wisconsin Press, 2003
Diekelmann and writer-educator Robert Schuster collaborated on the
edition of this manual on establishing natural ecosystems 20 years
updated edition expands on the importance of weed management early
in the planning process and revises much of the species nomenclature to
bring the book up-to-date with recent botanical research.
They also added
that attempts to suggest the deep meaningfulness that can be found in
a piece of native landscape" their preface explains.
They profile an ongoing
landscape restoration project by a rural historical society in central
Wisconsin centered around a 90-year-old schoolhouse.
the nature of the presettlement landscape on which the community school
had been located and having learned of the affection of the settlers
the landscape... members of the historical society endorsed the formal
development of a design that would be a unique restoration project for
the area and a meaningful memorial to the area's settlers."
the natural landscapes
of the northeastern United States and eastern Canada, Diekelmann and
book reviews basic landscaping principles,illustrates how to evaluate a
site and plan for visual effect and maintenance, offers practical
on combatting invasive plants without heavy chemical use, and
native plant species for grasslands, forests, edge areas, and small
A major consideration in planting design is
the availability of the native plant materials needed in a community
approach to naturalizing. There
is a concern among some botanists that the integrity of the genetic
of local species may be compromised by the introduction of plants from
distant areas. While local plants have adapted to their environment
thousands of year, plants of the same species from other areas may have
adapted to different conditions.
The safest and most ethical answer to this problem is to make
to use plants from populations growing with 50 miles of the site to be
planted. Not only will they be more likely to thrive, they may help to
insure the preservation of locally adpated species.