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College of Design

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Week In Itasca State Park

Thumbnail image for 29760015.jpegI just returned from the Masters in Landscape Architecture Week research course in Itasca State Park. The trip seemed to be aimed at exploring the themes, goals, work and theolgy behind landscape Architecture and the MLA program we will be completing over the next three years. We met at Rapson Hall at 7am on Saturday...a bit early for us design students. 29760003.jpegThe 4 hour drive went quickly, and we arrived at the research facilities in Lake Itasca State Park in good humor. We got started right away, learning and designing every day under the tutelage of Professor David Pitt, Adjuncts Sam Geer and Michael Keenan (who own and run ReGen Land Design), along with one 3rd year MLA student and two 2nd year MLA students. We had a great array of voices, experiences, and professional interests that made our trip well rounded and eye opening to all us new MLA students. I can't really believe how much I fun I had learning about Minnesota's geological landscape and how that has affected and formed the current situation in Northern Minnesota. We developed site plans and planting gradients for the prairies, we worked on thing about how place and space can enlighten one's design, and got to immerse ourselves in the woods while doing some really cool work!29760014.jpeg
Thats not to say we didn't have a ton of fun all week long. We swam in Lake Itasca, we canoed to a bog and walked gently on a rarely touched place, we visitied the old fire tower and got to see a view of the pine forest almost 10 stories high. All said and done we had a lot of laughs, made a ton of new friends and got some well deserved bumps, bruises, and itchy bites from the woods that I will never forget.

Until Next Week,
Sarah S.
MLA accelerated program 2013

Friday, August 2, 2013

Designing and Planning Your Garden

Espalier is the art of training branches to grow in lines on small woody plants and trees. This summer I have had a great experience with working in a private garden with a master gardener. I am doing work that I know and feel confident from working on my own garden. There are so many things to do, however, that I am just learning. Like espalier, adding sulfur to the soils for coniferous plants, using grey water for plants, and learning that this is not acceptable for your edibles!!! Being smart and having a planting plan, weeding plan and harvesting plan is super important when creating a outdoor layout.

Not only does taking a garden and making it your own, transforming it to express your stylistic views and your production goals, if you have any.

So much for summer plans, starting your own garden takes a long term plan as well as seasonal planting. Bulbs need to be started the fall before they will bloom, the cold process will open them up when the warm season begins. Things like this can make the difference between a strong healthy garden and a struggling one. So plan ahead, do some research and ask people who have gardens or plans you like! Its easy to do a garden DIY!!!

Until Next Time

Sarah S.