In a world trying to lean more toward sustainability and environmental friendliness, imagine not watering your lawn as often, using a lot of fertilizer or even mowing it as often. These are all possibilities today.
Cal Poly landscape architecture professor David Fross will speak about landscape diversity and sustainability at the SLO Botanical Garden on June 11.
“He is a huge advocate for using native plants,” landscape architecture junior Ryan Burger said. “These plants are a lot more sustainable because the plants are more adapted to this environment. He even has his own nursery that he takes his students to, which is truly amazing.”
Burger said he has learned a lot about native plants in his classes. He said it is a growing trend in society lately because native plants last longer and are easier to care for because they do well in the weather and are from the area.
Fross is the co-author of the book “Ceanothus, California Native Plants for the Garden and Reimagining the California Lawn.” The event is part of his book tour.
He said it took approximately two years to write the book, and the topic came up due to drought issues in western North America.
“This specific event will focus on lawns and how there are many design alternatives to replace a traditional lawn,” Fross said.
Some alternative lawn styles include greenswards, meadows, cobblestone and gravel gardens that add diversity and sustainability to diversity.
Fross said many people don’t know how impractical their lawns are but don’t know about alternatives that can be used. Through his classes at Cal Poly, his book and events like this one, Fross said “he hopes to better educate the population on their improved options for gardening especially in this area.”
Lindsey Collinsworth, press release director at SLO Botanical Garden, said Fross was chosen by a program committee that chooses a different professor or community member each month to help inform the public on what is up and coming in environmental awareness.
“At the garden we try and focus on education and connecting people back with nature,” Collinsworth said. “We want them to get to know the plants that we rely on, and work to get a more sustainable lifestyle. We also try and get people more interested in gardening.”
The SLO Botanical Garden is located on 150 acres of land across from Cuesta College off Highway 1. When the garden is completed, it will be the only garden of its kind in the United States because it is devoted to systems and plants of the five Mediterranean climate regions of the world.
The garden aims to build a partnership between people and plants to increase understanding of the natural environment.
The event will be held at the SLO Botanical Garden from 1 to 3 p.m on June 11 and costs $5 to attend. The gardens are open seven days a week from dawn until dusk. The Saturday at the Garden events are held on the second Saturday of each month.