April Plant of the Month
Redbud Cercis canadensis
- Native range: Eastern U.S.
- Hardiness Zone: US 4-8
- Sun: Full Sun to Shade
- Plant Habit: Small tree
- Water requirement: Medium
Amidst the many hues of spring, redbuds add another layer of vibrancy to the electric greens and sunny yellows of this time of year. With its lavender-pink mist of flowers sprouting from the branches, redbud makes an excellent addition to the Outdoor Learning Environment. As an adaptable tree, native to the eastern U.S., redbud can be found growing on the edge of forests, but also thrives along highways and in tough urban settings, making it a hardy choice for an OLE.
Like many professions, medicine being an example, landscape architecture is beginning to subdivide into specializations informed by empirical evidence.
The design and management of children’s outdoor environments is one such area of practice, with evidence drawn from many disciplines, including landscape architecture itself. A burgeoning mountain of evidence supports the importance of kids spending time outdoors – and the negative consequences of not doing so. For the most recent, compelling research-based statement, read Dr. Frances Ming Kuo’s 2010 monograph sponsored by the National Recreation and Park Association. (click to download Kuo's monograph).
All kids need a daily dose of Vitamin G (for “green”), she urges.