Ripples #44
Compiled and Written by Lenny GiteckWe’re pleased to present the first all-animal installment of Ripples, which begins halfway around the world in South Asia … Roosters Sacrificed in India to Secure Swimming Pool Safety
Safe Havens
It’s one of the unavoidable results of living in urban or suburban areas:  People who dwell in mostly built environments feel cut off from nature.  This, of course, is one of the reasons why ponds and streams have become so popular among so many homeowners. Adding spice to the sauce, I’ve found in recent years that this desire for naturalistic watershapes and elaborate gardens has also been attended by a desire on the parts of many of my clients to attract various forms of wildlife to participate in the setting.  And it’s not just about fish in their ponds:  With increasing frequency, my clients are also asking me to design and build spaces that will comfortably host a variety of creatures, including
Keeping Pests at Bay
Integrated pest management - or IPM, as it has become widely known -- is a concept that emerged about 20 years ago when landscape professionals and others involved in the management of plants and the land began incorporating its techniques into their landscape installation and management projects. Unfortunately, however, the concept of pest management is all too often seen as the exclusive province of those engaged in landscape maintenance:  As a rule, designers and design/build contractors rarely pay more than lip service to pests in general and give even less attention to considering them as part of an integrated approach. At the risk of being labeled a "tree hugger," I believe it's time for everyone involved in the various landscape professions to embrace IPM.  The simple truth is that, as landshapers, we need to pick up on the lessons of our collective experience.  As the saying goes, those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it - as we have, over and
Alive by Design
The most famous artists and designers often become known for one particular style or motif.  When we see the cubism of Pablo Picasso or the drip paintings of Jackson Pollack, for example, we firmly link those distinctive artistic "moves" with the artists themselves. In some cases, those associations are extremely positive and add to the artist's or designer's mystique and prestige - certainly the case with Picasso and Pollack. For other artists who are less famous, however, an identifiable mode of expression can lead to confinement, predictability and, in some cases, a needless limitation of vision and creative possibilities.   Since I began my career in the early 1980s, I've focused on capturing aquatic life forms in mixed-media sculptures to such an extent that my name is associated with the genre - although I'm certainly no Picasso.  Indeed, in the years I've been active, there have been so many sculptures, statues and paintings depicting whales, dolphins and fish that the genre I love has become something of a cliché. So many consumers love such images that a vast number of enterprising artists have stepped in to meet the demand.  The problem is that so many of these efforts are uninspired and