Anthropormorphic Landscape In The Fourth Dimension

Image courtesy of Pixar
Day & Night is a Pixar animated short film, directed by Teddy Newton and produced by Kevin Reher (1) that heretofore has escaped my acquaintance. It demonstrates quite simply, succinctly, and (depending on your feeling towards cartoon animation) entertainingly, the notion of time in a landscape as the fourth dimension of experience.

Day & Night follows two characters, Day and Night. Inside Day is a day scene with a sun in the center, and inside Night is a night scene with a moon in the center. Whatever goes on inside of Day or Night expresses normal events that typically occur within a day or night, respectively, and these events often correspond with actions or emotions that the characters Day or Night express. For example, when Day is happy he will have a rainbow inside him, and when Night is happy he will have fireworks inside him. (1)

It captures quite well in all of its five and a half minutes the idea that we experience space, man-made or otherwise, in all of its dimensions, including time. Our feelings and impressions of that space are highly affected by a seemingly infinite amount of factors to create what we like to call experience.  This tapestry of experience weaves all of the physics that only physicists understand with the collective human experience and  individual memory and emotions carried autonomously by whoever occupies that space--the latter I dare say no one understands.  Least of all this author.  But what is truly interesting is that through the combination of 2D and 3D cartoon anthropomorphism and maybe a little silliness, we begin to grasp more valiantly at those concepts simultaneously.

Brilliant or silly is of course a value judgement.   The throwback 2D character style merged with the new-ish 3D animation is creative and fun.  Whether or not you 6 year-old will ponder the enormity of the universe and our human experience, well, only time will tell.  Enjoy:

Works Cited
(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day_%26_Night_(2010_film)


Edinburgh Gardens Raingarden

Image courtesy of Landezine
In 2010 GHD Pty Ltd designed this recently constructed and elegant raingarden for Melbourne Water in collaboration with City of Yarra at the Edinburgh Gardens: St Georges Road- Fitzroy North in Melbourne, Australia.  It was constructed on on the site of the demolished Ladies Bowling Club within the southern section of the park and it is intended to improve the health of Merri Creek and the Yarra River by filtering pollutants from captured stormwater. 1

Some of the facts and figures brought to us by our friends at Landezine are below, but we were impressed on first glance by the overall composition and diagram. A thoughtful design apparently well executed. Although, we would probably have to contact the City of Yarra to find out how it is truly performing. In the meantime, enjoy the some of the initial info and the eye candy!

Nice Diagram! Image courtesy of Landezine
"The raingarden is to provide a sustainable source of treated stormwater for the parks mature trees and sporting fields in a way that added to the existing landscape character of the park and added interest for users. Melbourne has experienced drought conditions for a number of years now and this project was to replace the existing need for potable water being used to irrigate our parks and gardens.

This raingarden is designed to remove 16,000 kg of annual total suspended solids per year of operation. It will also remove a further 160 kg of nutrients, phosphorus and nitrogen, through vegetation growth. This litter and pollutants would otherwise end up in Melbourne’s waterways. Filtered water is then collected into a 200KL underground storage tank, and used to irrigate existing trees within the Edinburgh Gardens; providing around 60% of their irrigation needs in a normal year.

In a normal year, the raingarden is expected to reduce potable water use for irrigation by 4 ML per annum.
The project involved sourcing stormwater from the North Fitzroy Main Drain and diverting it to a newly designed terraced raingarden within the Edinburgh Gardens, with the treated water being harvested for storage and irrigation of the trees within the park and local precinct.

Image courtesy of Landezine

The main components of the project were:
  • Diversion pipe from North Fitzroy Main Drain with gross pollutant trap
  • Surcharge pit into 700 sq.m rain garden.
  • Terraced raingarden with appropriate planting and filter media to treat stormwater.
  • Overflow pit with underground pipe connected to 200 kilo-litre underground storage facility with pump to irrigation distribution.
As described above the majority of the works undertaken to achieve this were underground with the large raingarden providing the visual element. The main design features of the raingarden are:
  • Native plant species planting
  • Filter media and appropriate plants that help to treat the stormwater through uptake of excessive nutrients and filtering fine sediments.
  • Four large terraces that respond to the sites natural grade, therefore minimising the requirement for taller retaining walls and balustrade, allowing informal public interaction,
  • Terrace walls that extend out into the landscape to create lawn ‘room’ areas for passive recreation. These areas will create elevated views over the raingarden and provide different spatial experience in this area of the park which is currently characterised by large unbroken lawn areas.
  • The strong lines of the extended terrace walls is repeated in the bands of planting in response to the recent history of the site as the location for the Inner Circle Railway Line.
  • A ‘zig zagging’ feature steel low flow channel, connected to the surcharge pit, that delivers water to all four terraces in rain events.
  • New tree planting to provide shade and enclosure for new small lawn areas
  • Continuously curved edge to reinforce line of new shared path and existing avenue planting."2

 Image courtesy of Landezine

 Image courtesy of Landezine

 Image courtesy of Landezine

 Image courtesy of Landezine

 Image courtesy of Landezine

Works Cited:
1 http://www.yarracity.vic.gov.au/Environment/Parks-and-reserves/Edinburgh-Gardens/Proposed-Raingarden/
2  http://www.landezine.com/index.php/2012/10/edinburgh-gardens-raingarden-by-ghd-pty-ltd/


(a)biotic Tree Tenders

Packed house last weekend at the Tree Tenders Course
Yeah! Emily and I recently became Tree Tenders. I know what you, the plant-snob reader, is thinking, but the Philadelphia Horticulture Society has done a really good job developing this program and it not is your grandmother's tree care seminar....but at the same time it unabashedly is just that. With instructors from Penn State Extension, Bartlett Tree Experts, Temple Department of Horticulture, and the Audubon Society, there was a lot of really great information for people of all skill levels. These were talks by people who love trees, what is there that can't be learned from people who are passionate and well read on their topic?
PHS promoting the Flower Show.  This year's theme is Great Britain.
The PHS Tree Tenders program offers hands-on tree care training in the five-county Philadelphia region. The training covers tree biology, identification, planting, proper care and working within your community. Established in 1993, PHS Tree Tenders has trained thousands of volunteers who plant and care for trees throughout the region.

If you live in Philadelphia or the ou can find a Tree Tender group near you and volunteer to help plant street trees in the Spring and Fall on this Interactive Map:

There is a wealth of information for tree planting on this website. As with any source you should shop around a little and gather best practices from many places...not everyone agrees on everything when it comes to planting trees (or planting anything for that matter). And that is what Emily and I were doing: continued research, and the Tree Tender program was well worth it. We were amazed by the shear number of attendees, and it was exciting to see the interest in trees and what they can do for the health of our cities.

Videos on Tree Planting:



Weeding, Cleaning and Protecting