Peter Swan: Soil

Soil is the foundation for a fine landscape, says Peter Swan. The lifelong resident of Humboldt County in Northern California and the highly-sought after professional landscape has always had an artist’s pallet when it comes to appreciating the difference a choice in soil makes. Different soils suit for different occasions, settings, purposes and levels of maintenance. It is the essential base of where plants will or won’t grow and it harbors all of the potential for that plot of land. Below, he talks about how different bases, like soil, can have a completely different impact on growing conditions as well as quality of life for the individuals walking on top of it.

Sand is great for people to live on, but it is not the place you want to grow anything. There is no moisture or even nutritional sediment for conventional plants to thrive. The one exception would be seaweed, which is pretty good dried.

Rocky soil is also not great to grow plants on, nor is it very friendly to be barefoot on top of it. It’s best to have a pair of boots or running shoes to be on rocky soil to protect your feet from ant sharp rocks.

When in dirt, both plants and humans thrive. Peter Swan learned this early in life; and it is the reason why he devoted his professional career to working in it, shaping it and molding it to be the centerpiece of a beautiful landscape on someone’s property.

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