Bob Perry Treats Tree of Life Audience

October 24th, 2010  |  Published in LR Blog: Growing Sustainability

If you have ever been to a landscape seminar or exposition, you have undoubtedly sat through a presentation from a plant “expert” extolling a constant stream of facts and figures about specific plant characteristics.  Although most know their subject material intimately, it can often be a dry presentation with little to walk away with.  Your head is left abuzz with a dizzying amount of plant sizes, temperaments, cultural requirements, colors, leaf forms, and other information.  Teasing out helpful information later on is usually borderline impossible.

perry 001 Bob Perry Treats Tree of Life AudienceBob Perry (renowned landscape architect, educator, author, and by all standards a plant “expert”) is a refreshing exception to the above observation.  Most recently at the Expert Guest Speaker Series at Tree of Life Nursery, Perry treated a crowd of landscape enthusiasts to a different style of landscape lecture.

Clearly, through his text, Landscape Plants for California Gardens, Perry knows his subject material better than most.  After authoring a handful of books and decades of close observation, Perry can drop botanical names like no-one’s business.  But luckily for his audiences, the subject material of his talk took a more abstract, and more interesting, discourse on the nature of plants.

Much of Perry’s talk focused on plants as an expression of energy and elements.  A reoccurring reference was made to a one pound piece of dried orange wood.  To most, including the author of this piece, a “stick” such as this never prompted much deep thinking.  But Perry closely examined the biomass of orange wood, analyzed its elements, the energy required to build, inputs required, and the byproducts of its life cycle.  Such detailed observations filled his lecture and fill the 650 pages of his book.

So what helpful information did Perry leave the audience with?  Surely, everyone in attendance will remember more than a few of his talking points.  This attendee left with following nuggets:

-1 lb of biomass produced = 1 lb of Oxygen produced

-60 gallons of water are required to produce 1 lb of dense biomass

-Plants enable and sustain life on our planet


perry 006 Bob Perry Treats Tree of Life Audience

Tree of Life’s wide selection of California native grasses.

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Shade Tent

perry 003 Bob Perry Treats Tree of Life Audience

Magnificent Lester Rowntree Manzanita.

perry 004 Bob Perry Treats Tree of Life Audience

One of many stunning landscape displays in the native garden surrounding the Tree of Life retail store Casa La Paz.

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