Field of Science

Helping hand at the zoo

TPP was offering a helping hand to a local zoo. Oh, it had nothing to do with the animals, but the landscaping of some exhibits being built and planned. Here's the rub, you're not going to have authentic Australian plants landscaping the area around a wallaby exhibit. The hard zone 5 climate here in the upper midwest USA very much limits your landscape choices to plants from similar climates. That pretty much leaves Australia out. Too bad, TPP would love to have a tree fern or two, or maybe a Wollemia nobilisNo gum trees, no grass trees, but perhaps a cycad in a planter box so it could be moved inside for over wintering. There was a time when TPP had house-sitters who left his cycads outside for the winter. That only happened once. Sigh. Actually many zoos are quite interested in getting and keeping plants. Hardy bamboos were discussed, and curiously the spreading habit of some is not a liability when the prunings become animal fodder in a sort of "grow your own" plan. Kroger bamboo is always so expensive. It was actually quite a bit of fun, and some rather bad suggestions from their architect who obviously didn't get any horticultural help were improved upon. The zoo people found it amusing when TPP pulled out his much used, much annotated, much stuffed with labels copy of Dirr, and if you have to be told what that is, then you are not a serious gardener in these parts. Why, Dirr is the woody plant Bible of the upper midwest.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cycads? Outdoors? In an Illinois winter? Sob. Mine doesn't even like my bedroom in the winter.