Category: The Dynamic Landscape

Safety and freedom to choose

Safety is the single most important issue relating to all kinds of naturalistic ecological planting in public urban settings, but particularly to woody vegetation. Whilst both anecdotal evidence and research suggest that thoughtful design can contribute to a sense of safety (Jorgensen et al. 2002), it seems clear that there are many people who will […]

Future focus

This final section does not seek to lay down hard and fast rules for the social dimensions of planning or designing with ecological plantings, naturalistic or otherwise. This chapter has shown that the state of knowledge about public attitudes to ecological plantings in public urban settings is patchy and much more research is needed to […]

(Extract from questionnaire research carried out by Landlife (1994))

A recent study examined public preference for flowering as opposed to green herbaceous vegetation (Dai 2000). The impact of vegetation height (low, medium and tall), colour (yellow or multi-coloured), and pattern of colour distribution (spots or patches) was examined. Again, respondents were asked to rate digital images depicting different combinations of the variables. The variations […]

Ecological herbaceous plantings

Dividing herbaceous ecological plantings into the two categories of naturalistic or wild­looking and non-naturalistic is an artificial exercise in one sense, suggesting that such plantings fall into one category or the other. In reality, there is a continuum from wild­looking to highly-designed, with many intermediate points. Naturalistic or wild-looking herbaceous planting tends to rely for […]

Non-naturalistic ecological woodland plantings

These might involve using a multi-layered vegetation structure typical of natural wood or scrub whilst imparting formality through context and layout. Arguably, the deployment of flamboyant exotic species can also make a multi-layered woodland planting look more designed; but this approach depends on the viewer’s ability to recognise the species as exotic. Ecological planting using […]

Ecological woodland plantings

Naturalistic ecological woodland plantings The key distinguishing feature of ecological plantings of trees and other woody species is the presence of one or more layers of understorey vegetation. Conversely, conventional urban parkland in the English Landscape style consists of mature trees limbed up to several metres above ground level in a setting of mown grass. […]