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When it comes to managing our planted landscapes, we humans seem to prefer working against Mother Nature. Where she would provide a diverse mix of flora and fauna, we prefer trying to carpet the ground with a monoculture of lawn and then sprinkle a few colorful (and often foreign) trees, shrubs and other plants here and there as accents. We like to think that we’re in control, that we’ve created some- thing static and beautiful, but in reality we are regularly doing battle against natural processes and in many ways against our own best interests. We’ve come to accept near-constant mowing and trimming, regular use of pesticides to kill unintended plants and insects, lots of irrigation to keep things green, leaf blowing and sidewalk edging for even more tidiness and the regular removal of grass clippings, leaves and other plant residue to the landfill—necessitating a regular use of fertilizers to maintain soil fertility.