There is a soil-plant continuum—an ecological symbiosis—that is essential for the growth and sustainability of all vegetation. Unfortunately, largely because many factors of the balance in soils are not well understood, soil becomes more of an abstract in horticultural management and often looked at as a dark art. Many horticulturists have treated soil and plants as if they are two different entities. The healthy marriage between plants and soil is inseparable and must be viewed as one living system. 


J. Columbus, Houston Botanic Garden, Houston, Texas; J. Sottilo, Ecological Landscape Management, Miller Place, New York; T. Hartsig, Olsson Associates, Des Moines, Iowa