Step 14

14.  Functional Analysis of Existing, Most Influential Species– of the elements that are already there, what do you need to know more about. You will have 3 Each, could be as simple as house or kitchen or some of the existing vegetation.  This is similar to what you have already done, just a different context.

Jim’s 3 Elements:


  • Needs/Imputs
    • Full sun or part shade
    • Constant water supply
    • Mulch
    • Constant supply/cycle of new needles/leaves
      • Leaves contain high carbon-nitrogen ratio, which raises soil acidity and lowers nitrogen content
  • This encourages growth of evergreens and makes it more difficult for deciduous plants to grow nearby
  • Year round color and texture on landscape
  • Can be used as specimens, hedges, privacy screens, backdrops for smaller flowering plants, or as a windbreak
  • Innate Characteristics
  • Has leaves in all seasons
  • Can grow in disturbed, nutrient poor and acidic soils

Water Flow

  • Needs/Imputs
  • Rain
  • Contoured or sloped land
  • Products/Outputs
  • Hydrogen, electrons, minerals, chemicals, acidity
  • Can shape and change the landscape by eroding existing forms (soil, rocks, ect.)
  • Innate characteristics
  • Runs with contour of land
  • Concentrates at certain points of landscape
  • Provides hydration to root systems, animals, insects and soil microorganisms


  • Needs/Inputs
  • Water flow, rain
  • Stream bed and banks
  • Products/Outputs
  • Recharge of groundwater
  • Drinking water for plants and animals
  • Provide corridors for fish and wildlife migration
  • Support the riparian zone
    • “These zones are important natural biofilters, protecting aquatic environments from excessive sedimentation, polluted surface runoff and erosion. They supply shelter and food for many aquatic animals and shade that is an important part of stream temperature regulation.”

Innate characteristics

  • Recurring or perennial
    • Has water flowing through it for at least part of the year
  • Has a gradient
  • Meanders

Anala’s 3 Elements:

Trees~   [discover species]


many!  (in number), medium-girth and age, in general (approx. ages)

on lawn, spaced with roaming~room remaining in-between


Water, sunlight, CO2, nutrients (specifically…?),


Shade, Oxygen, bird/wildlife/insect habitat and cover/protection, erosion control, attractive layout, cooler microhabitat (in summer), possibly syrup (from the maple trees, for example), possibly wood, leaves (for mulch, compost), add to the ambience and beauty of the site.

2 Mulched Cultivation Areas ~


possibly under-utilized, currently;  ~ contain some small shrubs, groundcover, mulch, border created from logs, water pipe currently draining into area on Western side.


water, nutrients, mulch, compost, sunlight, time/energy:  planing, removal of weeds, upkeep


water infiltration, potentially food, beauty, nutrients for plants,

Wild Area 


trees spaced 7-15 ft. apart (?), longer grasses, some scrubby plants, shaded, riparian (creek right nearby), possibly a bramble or two;  deer lay.  Deer path, as well.


~ ?   occasional poison ivy control?


erosion control, lessened or lack of need for upkeep of this area.  Possibility of wildlife spending time here and seeking cover, finding refuge.


clay~y, moist~~   (do we know anything more about this?), quite wet in some places, this time of year at least.

Outputs:   nutrients, plant food

Tom’s 3 Elements:

Willow Trees

Willow Trees


Wetter soils and sunlight, clay is ok

Needs a mate in vicinity and bees to pollinate


Hardy to zone 4

Deciduous and Grows to 35′

Flowers in April


Edible leaves and bark for medicine

Stems for basket and furniture making

Paper from stem fibers

Roots systems great for erosion control

Wood is good for charcoal and for carpentry won’t warp or split

Shade and lightness & cooling effect

Wind and sound breaks

Some coppice of branches from pruning

Raspberry Berry Bushes



Well drained fertile soils with ph 6-6.8, will need to improve w/compost

Proper spacing from competition and preparation of roots before planting

Semi Shade or full shade ok and protection from winds


Ok to zone 3 or 4 and can stand heat well

Green compound leaves usually found in threes

Grows to 5′ high, and creates a nice patch from a single clump

The plant is self fertile and flowers with both sexes just needs pollination from bees, flies or good shaking


Shoots can be eaten like asparagus, leaves for tea

Berries raw or cooked and used in all baking or ice cream

Medicinal with leaves and roots as an astringent, anti-inflammatory, stimulant, decongestant and a treatment for women with uterine problems in tea or juice.

Parking & Carport and Walk & Porch

Carport and deck


Snow and ice management, place to move snow to

Safety with lighting and railings

Outdoor outlets and hose hook up

Erosion control and ascetic improvements

Consider permanent garage


Ugly metal carport, good flat parking area

Convenient location and decent pedestrian entry, Zone 1

Attractive walkway and deck areas

Sized well to allow potted plants and people

Wood construction of deck good for entertaining

Drive entrance is off main road on side, more private


Parking for multiple cars and semi permanent covered parking for one car

Staging area for events, provides for greeting and entertaining

Some infrastructure for vine type plants, like morning glories

Pretty entry and walk where plantings could be added

Nice edge for creating new premaculture niches

Jenti’s 3 Elements:

Oak tree:


  •  oak trees grow best in full sun or partial shade.
  •  Oaks have moderate water needs, and can withstand periods of excessive moisture or moderate drought.
  • Avoid planting them in a spot where the soil is very dry or routinely saturated with water.
  • Locations where water collects after a rain are not ideal for most oak trees.
  • Oak trees generally thrive in moist, well-drained soil.
  • Neutral to slightly acidic soil with a pH between about 6.0 and 7.0 is ideal for most oak trees.
  • Deep, fertile soil is best.
  •  Oaks can generally make do with average soil, but avoid sand or heavy clay.


  •  Iowa’s state tree
  • Most oaks have lobed leaves with either rounded or pointed edges
  • Oaks also provide homes and nesting cover for wildlife
  • Oak trees are relatively low-maintenance.
  •  Supplemental water is helpful to newly planted trees, but established oaks generally do not need irrigation except in periods of serious drought.
  • Fertilizer is also usually not needed.
  • You can prune your oak tree during summer, removing only dead and broken branches.


  • Acorns are the fruits of oak trees.

Front lawn


  • Creeping clover: will provide nitrogen, grass will grow stronger, deeper green, no need of nitrogen fertilizers.
  • Clover: this plant provides a humid microclimate that benefits many plants by stabilizing their moisture
  • Yarrow: will grow well especially with drought.
  • Daisies:  good lawn plant.


  • Zone 1
  • Open
  • Spacious
  • very green
  • receives strong flow of water.


  • Yarrow will attract lady bugs.

Existing veggie bed


Compatibility with existing Blueberry Bush & Asparagus:

Blueberry bush: Bush Beans, Lettuce, Onion, Spinach

Asparagus: Aster Family flowers, Dill, Coriander, Tomatoes, Parsley, Basil, Comfrey, Marigolds

  • Asparagus will need to get full sun for at least six hours per day and a certain amount of protection from strong winds.
  • If soil is too acidic, you’ll need to apply the appropriate amount of lime as indicated by your soil test
  • Blueberries will need full sun and several types of Blueberry cultivars for maximum benefit.


  • Zone1
  • Acidic soil from Blueberry bushes.
  • well-drained soils from Asparagus.


  • Blueberries
  • Asparagus

Aaron’s 3 Elements:

Sapling maples – 

outputs and products –


sap for syrup

leaves for mulch and compost.

shade / privacy

inputs and needs –




Drainage ditch – 

outputs and products –

water for crops


inputs and needs –


annual maintenance

Thicket – 

outputs  and products –


nutrients for other plants in the area

mulch if needed

coppice if needed

noise or traffic buffer


haven for wildlife

inputs and needs –



basic maintenance, ie trimming or pruning


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