IMG 6897Keep that yard clean! This social imperative began in the 1800’s, when tidying the yard was considered an essential civic behavior, and continued through the 1900’s, when a vast swath of vibrant green lawn became evidence of one’s high social status. Now in the 21st century, however, perhaps it’s time we give this old social norm some new thought.

One big thing to reconsider is the idea that all the leaves that fall on the ground beneath a mature tree should be raked up and removed. As it turns out, this practice is actually not beneficial to our landscapes, for several reasons.

Since I have the audacity to call this blog “Good Landscapes” and to offer advice for creating such places, I think I’d better start out by defining what I mean by good.

“As a teacher, Sue Reed’s understanding of the land from the bedrock up includes extraordinary knowledge of geology, hydrology, and ecology. Her book, Energy-Wise Landscape Design, is far ahead of its time in teaching readers how to create beauty close to home in a time of declining resources.”