A sense of place... September 23, 2008
Traveling the shores of Nova Scotia, and particularly a visit to the Keltic Lodge and Highland Golf Resort on Cape Breton Island made me think about our landscapes and a "sense of place".
The Keltic Lodge, a very exclusive resort, does it right. When you think Cape Breton Island, you should think of rocky shorelines, birch trees, evergreen balsam and spruce- and finally- this is the appropriate place to see Mountain Ash. The lodge featured all manner of local flora: birch in rock outcroppings and sprinklings of Seaside Goldenrod to accent the natural beauty of their proud heritage botany. In the past, I have totally distained the over use of Mountain Ash in landscapes, but here, I embraced it.
Mountain Ash, Sorbus americana was much over used by Ohio landscapers in the 80's. It was "the" tree every nursery sold, much like the Bradford pear phenomenon of the 90's. Sure it is a beautiful tree, but it is not native to Ohio, and it is short lived here. Too often we "change" our landscape with non-native plants and lose our sense of place.
The same Norway maples, hosta, and potentilla shrubs plunked in the ground enmass at our McDonald's are crammed in front of the Canadian Tim Hortons. The Keltic knows that landscape should enhance your experience, not meld it to oblivion! This is just one more compelling reason to check out the Wild Ones.
It took the groundkeeper of an exclusive resort to get it right: people come to Canada to see... Canada!