I mentioned in my last post our cooperative garden project at the NC State Fairgrounds with the NC Native Plant Society. If you click on this link you can see a few photos of the garden soon after it's construction. We'll be putting the finishing touches today on phase one of the cedar fence addition to the Wildlife Garden. I have enjoyed this project a great deal, mostly because we've done the whole thing "in-house", as it were. We harvested the downed cedar from my family's property in Northern Durham county, we cut, sanded and finished all parts of the fence by hand on-site, and we installed the fencing ourselves. The fact that the existing rails on the bridges in the Wildlife Garden (expertly constructed by Justin Waller) were made of local red cedar, and the existence of a young red cedar tree in the garden itself, influenced my choice to add another architectural element using this material. One of my favorite landscape architects, Jens Jensen, was an early advocate of the use of native species in the landscape, as well as a pioneer in the use of indigenous building materials in highly designed landscapes. Around here, there is no more aesthetically pleasing and useful indigenous building material than red cedar, if you ask me.
I love it's color, shape, feel, smell, and durability. Click on Jensen's name to read an interesting article about him, his philosophy, and the early resistance to focusing on native plants as preferred plants in the designed landscape. It's an interesting read, and offers up some interesting discussion topics involving native plant landscaping as well.
Don't forget about Katherine's "Walk on the Wild Side" tour in the Blomquist Garden on September 2nd. We'll see you then!