In March twenty students will travel to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah for the 2017 competition. Additionally, students get to participate in the premier Career Fair in the Green Industry.
Considered the largest collegiate competition event in the country, students compete in events and attend workshops that are directly related to the skills they’ll need to succeed in the industry. Landscape design, irrigation techniques, hardscape installation, plant identification, business management and many more. Watch for updates on our Facebook and Learn more at landscapeprofessionals.org
How I Came Alive Outside
When children are small (at least when I was small) all that is important is play and discovery. When I was young, this very explorative attitude quite often took me out into my grandpa’s pasture that was directly behind our small house. It was something different every day it seemed; “fishing” on the ditch banks with weeds, playing on rusty abandoned farm equipment, Cowboys and Indians, trying to lasso cows to ride, you name it. He even had a pond that we built a tree swing over and we would jump off into the water. It was nasty algae water riddled with garter snakes, but it was all part of the fun. Looking back, I almost wish I was that carefree again! I would almost always come home with mud in my hair and broken nails. It was the essence of life. William Shakespeare said, “The earth has music for those who listen”. I think as a child it is important to learn early what nature is trying to say to you; to learn to speak the language and ‘listen’. If a person has that solid foundation when they are young, I don’t think it can ever fully recede. It will always be a part of you.
Of course, priorities change as we get older, and it’s not a bad thing. Looking backwards on my childhood I can see where a shift started happening in me. I got my first bike when I was about ten years old. Instead of riding cows and swimming in murky ponds, I was more taken with jumping and wrecking that poor, beat up bike. My brother and I would ride everywhere, but mostly it was around our driveway and down the dirt road in my grandpa’s pasture. It was an extremely bumpy road, worn into the dirt by the constant “stop-and-go” of my grandpa feeding the cows from the back of his truck, so in that respect it was perfect. We would have jumping and trick contests, but it often resulted in crashing because the jumps weren’t really that big. My brother even broke his arm once. So then we gained a brain cell or two and made our own jump. We found miscellaneous nails, screws, two-by-fours, and ply wood, and we constructed our own jump. From dawn to dusk we rode, and eventually my parents got a little cranky because we had worn a figure 8 in the driveway and front lawn. The rest of that summer we helped my dad build a ‘racetrack’ in the back yard by his shop. He borrowed my grandpa’s tractor, and we moved in some topsoil and rocks so that we could make big jumps and obstacles on this track. I swear my brother and I spent our entire lives out there that summer, and the next. Eventually life got busy and we got into our high school sports, and hanging out with friends took precedence over anything else… but this isn’t the end of the story.
In this paper we are supposed to answer a question. “How do childhood interactions with the outdoors continue to affect us in positive ways for the rest of our lives?” I graduated high school and went to Alaska to work, and as we all know, Alaska is the mecca for the outdoor life. I grew to love the mountains, and I also made a lifelong friend. Her name is Kelsie, and although we met in Alaska we had grown up in the same town. Even after coming home from Alaska, we continued to spend time with each other. Kelsie’s favorite thing to do was mountain bike, and so by default we would go together. This is how my current hobby was born, and the love I have for nature and the beauty of the mountains is continually growing. Everyone has different reasons why they love to be outside, but mine are very specific and personal; as I think is common for everyone as well.
Before I became a horticulture major I noticed things that I didn’t know the meaning of. Patterns and colors and smells. I noticed how I felt when I rode around water falls, lakes, trees in the fall, mud, boulders, and every other kind of scenery. They all brought different feelings to me, for example: If I had to climb over boulders I would be in a nervous excitement. It was hard! But it was also the most rewarding to reach the top. Waterfalls and rivers would also bring different feelings than a riding around a lake that was still. I did notice one thing; that all of these emotions and feelings were positive, calming and restorative. I yearned for this whenever I was on vacation or in school.
It’s really hard for me to describe in words how mountain biking really affects me, even to my very soul, but I think the famous poet, Ralph Waldo Emmerson, said it quite accurately, “In the presence of nature, a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows.” Wild delight. Just let that sink in. Nature is a delight, no matter the hobby, and even if you’re down or sad. Do you want to know the best part? There is enough for everyone. Every single human being. Things like this are meant to be shared, and my one goal is to help people understand what being in nature does to you. It’s astounding. It’s exhilarating. It’s outside.
For more photos click this link http://photo.byui.edu/comealiveoutside
A team of senior students have been working closely with Brother Westergard for the design and he is very pleased with their work and progress. By December the project will be in the design phase and complete and they will submit: landscape plans, 3D models, a written report, and a video to explain our concept. Once a phased master landscape plan is submitted to the school, they will then raise money in their local community and neighborhood to move the project forward into phased construction starting in 2017.
NALP encourages homeowners to consult a landscape or lawn care professional to determine the specific maintenance necessary within their region and for their particular property. Partnering with a professional will increase your chances of best results. Here are helpful tips for fall landscaping from NALP:
Credit: NALP Stephanie Kensy
Mountain Meadow Design Philosophy
Reese Nelson, PhD
The Skeleton is the backbone of the design. It is the form you see and creates the line that your eye follows. Curvilinear lines and shapes form natural images such as explosions, meandering rivers and cloud shapes. The Skeleton is the dominant factor in the visual weight of the design based on color, texture, size or height. It is normally placed in groups of three in a scalene triangle. Skeleton plants comprise about 25% of the whole Mountain Meadow Design.
The Tendon helps to expand the visual line of the Skeleton, interlocking with it. They are less dominant than Skeleton plants. Tendon plants are tossed out in triangles with one point of the triangle on or near the Skeleton line. Tendon plants utilize about 35% of the whole design.
The Flesh filled up the remaining irregular spaces, in masses, in and around Skeleton and Tendon plants. Flesh plants are non-descript workhorses that do their job without complaint and comprise 40% of the whole design.
The Sparkle is used as an accent among the Flesh plants, giving the design and extra flare. It is used sparingly and can be compared to a birthmark or a freckle on the human body.
It is important to work with what is already in the planting bed and implement whatever might be present into the rest of the design. These factors could be existing perennials or fire hydrants or light posts. It is also important to understand that this design is flexible. The lines of the design can change based on the feel of it while tossing the plants onto the soil surface. When tossing out the plants, one can toss the plants where it feels right. Similar to arranging cut flowers in a vase, you can make several appealing designs using the same mixture of flowers.
Good gardens have continuous blooming flowers throughout the growing season. There are no bare spots even after one type of flower is done blooming. This is accomplished by choosing flowers that bloom at different times in the season. Early spring bloomers, mid and late spring bloomers are used so that the design is always visually performing. Once the plants reach their peak they are taken out so that you don’t see the declining, dying plants.
Sun, water, soil conditions, space provided and length of bloom time are all elements that affect plant growth and its success in the garden. For example in a zone 5, pansies overwinter; they are planted in the fall to be used for early spring color. Understanding the growth habit of a particular plant is also important. Some plants may grow more quickly than others and overgrow or crowd out their neighbors. Sweet Potato Vine is a good example of this because it grows quickly and crowds out other plants later in the season. Some plants re-bloom and have a longer season than others such as roses. It is good to use the space wisely to get a good early coverage. This usually means planting annuals at the rate of two plants per square foot. If plants have been designed to spread out over the ground over time, the design looks full and weeds will not grow as easily.
Brother Byron John started working at BYU Idaho, then Ricks College, in the Fall of 1989 in the Horticulture Department. He has been working with students for 27 years designing and landscaping the gardens. The gardens have always been a place of beauty and education. All of the areas have been designed and created by students and faculty, the first project was completed in 1976. Brother John's last project was adding a beautiful stone walkway near the Mountain Meadows Design area of the gardens. He has taught thousands of students the art of landscaping and will always have a special place in our hearts. This semester is his last, but he has left an impression on our lives and on the land that we will never forget.
Idaho Master Gardeners was first formed in 1976, every year since then it has provided an in-depth, researched based education on many horticultural topics. There are thousands of Master Gardeners that volunteer thousands of hours every year! When they’re not volunteering they are instructing garden clubs, leading 4-H clubs, installing water-efficient landscapes, and working at farmers markets and many more things!
Here at BYU-Idaho we are so lucky to host the Master Gardener Convention. Our Horticulture students and teachers were invited to attend the classes, they learned more about our environment and what we as stewards can do with this world. Some of our faculty even taught classes at this year’s convention, Brother Jerry Toll taught Perennial Plant ID 101, Brother Daniel Dewey taught Fundamentals of Grafting, and Brother Reese Nelson taught Mountain Meadows Flower Bed Design.
It was a fun and very educational experience and we can’t wait until next year to do it again. We hope that everyone was able to attend and have a wonderful time at the convention. Please go to the Idaho Master Gardener website and learn more about the Master Gardeners.
Our aim for the Department of Horticulture at Brigham Young University-Idaho is to nurture understanding of both the art and science of Horticulture. Students learn experimentally in the classroom, laboratory, greenhouse, and ten acre Thomas E. Ricks demonstration garden as they pursue an Associates or Bachelors Degree. Using the medium of plants, students develop habits of hard work, enlightened minds, and healthy living that assist in gainful employment opportunitues.