Overheard at the 2011 Peak to Prairie Landscape Symposium in Colorado Springs….

Once again, I’m here to share some interesting quotes I heard in the sessions I attended at the landscape symposium. As always, I’ve done my very best to be accurate, but please forgive any tiny, tiny mistakes I’ve made.

(For those feeling nostalgic for the old days, you can see quotes from the previous two symposiums:
2010 Symposium Quotes
2009 Symposium Quotes)

From Patty Limerick (“From the Ground Up: Harvesting the Lessons of Westward Expansion to Recalibrate Human Pride and Vanity”):

“Amnesia is not good in a person, but it’s even worse in a society.”

“Is there a historian in the house?”

“I think we underestimate weeds because I’ve certainly been outwitted by them.”

“Mule deer do NOT attend engineering school, thank goodness!”

“I know we shouldn’t project into the past, but John C. Fremont would’ve bought an SUV.”

“If you can go to the Idaho Division of Natural Resources and Water and have a transcendent experience with a hypnotherapist…..”

From Judith Rice-Jones (“The Gift of Shade: History of the Colorado Springs Urban Forest”):

“Rumor is I’m also the last person who actually knew General Palmer.”

From Eric Becker (“Update on Colorado Springs Parks Water Efficiency Program”):

“I didn’t realize when they said two-to-three, they meant 200-to-300!” (On the number of people he’d be speaking to)

“Any questions? Nothing to hard…”

From Don Hijar (“Embracing the Native Landscape: An Exploration of Conversion or Establishment”):

“You’re going to have to show me how to make it go forward…at my age, I do NOT have a computer at my workstation” (on his Powerpoint slides)

“I didn’t do that!” (when his slides skipped ahead…and then…) “And I didn’t do that either – seriously!”

“We plant Kentucky bluegrass, and we want that stuff to be as green as a gourd.”

“The weed on the other side [of his slide] is downy brome, sometimes called cheatgrass; some of us call it something else.”

From David Salman (“Rock Gardening with Xeric Plants”):

“What’s the deal with getting rocks into the garden? Well that is an important part of rock gardening…”

“It makes a heck of a brick, but it’s a bear to garden in.” (clay)

“Shoot! I even put a spoonful on my breakfast cereal!” (YumYum Mix)

“Mulching with pea gravel is kind of like mulching with ball bearings.”

“Integrate them [cacti] into the overall garden; don’t relegate them to the ‘cactus ghetto'”

From Michelle Oldham (“Urban Noxious Weeds”):

“If you’ve ever hiked through waist high Canada thistle, you know it’s not a pleasant experience.”

“It’s never a good idea to think you can manage a noxious weed in your yard.”

“There are as many as fifteen native thistles in Colorado.” (Wow…so don’t just eradicate every thistle you see.)

“This is the only Colorado Noxious Weed List plant that grows in my own yard.” (bindweed, of course)

From Mike Bone (“The Wisdom of Well Adapted Plants”):

“Hello Cleveland!!”

“I am obsessed with seeds.”

“Some people say we should only grow native plants. I’m a big supporter of that. I will only grow plants that are native to the Milky Way.”

Everything is my favorite.”

“I know! Isn’t that just the cutest thing?!” (on a photo of a penstemon the size of his thumb)

“Fire is fun. Fire is great. Fire is important.”

“Drought is something that only affects people. Plants have adapted to survive.”

“I thought at the end of my presentation, I’d have a completely gratuitous video of camels. Who doesn’t love camels? Aww…look at them. Aren’t they cute?”

From David Salman (“The Importance of Plants in a Well Designed ‘Green’ Xeriscape”):

“Xeriscaping is not just about saving water.”

“Unfortunately, Colorado has some of the most archaic laws regarding rainwater harvesting.”

“Not all plants in a xeriscape are xeric plants.”

“Do you see anyone tossing a football around out there?! Anyone playing fetch with their dog? No! It’s just a green place holder that you look at as you drive into your office.” (On huge Kentucky bluegrass carpets around office parks)

“Why recreate Ohio in Colorado Springs when you can recreate what was already here?”

“Don’t fear gravel mulch; it is your friend.”

“I’ve never had gravity fail on me.”

“You might as well just put painted blocks of styrofoam out there!” (on pruning shrubs into cubes)

From Dan Hobbs (“Food and Farming in the Pikes Peak Region: An Appraisal and Actions for Creating a More Local Food System”):

“By the way, if you’re wondering why you can’t grown good tomatoes in Colorado Springs, it is because the nights are a little too cool.”

“With a city this size, we should be able to support ALOT of farms.”

“You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to get local food into local schools.”

“You wouldn’t believe how powerful it is to vote with your fork.” (by buying local food and asking for it in grocery stores and restaurants)

From Cathie Schroeder (“Rocks are Not the Answer: Common Sense Easy-Maintenance Landscaping”):

“We were doing the best we could. You know what? We’re all still doing the best we can.”

“The thing about grass is, we know how to take care of it. And it’s easy to pay someone else to take care of it.”

“It’s possible to have an attractive landscape and a life.”

“If we don’t plant something, nature will.”

“Rocks aren’t the answer when they are laid out like sod.”

“I will grow enough gaillardia to make up for you not growing gaillardia.”

“That’s beyond diversity – it looks like it was designed with a salad shooter.”

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