Garden Designer’s Roundtable: Transitions

stone-stairs.jpgTransitions broadly refer to change.  A change in status, as in child to teenager.  as in working person to retiree.  As in winter into spring.  The moment in the garden which is neither winter nor spring, neither summer nor fall, neither fall nor winter-these are transitory periods.  Change of any kind implies challenge and uncertainty.  As a designer, I am routinely asked to address the change from one level to another.  If you have ever climbed a steep set of stairs, you know how much effort is involved to make the transition from one level to another.

stone-stairs.jpgA beginning college course in calculus is just that-a beginning.  Advancing from one level of proficiency to the next is greatly helped by a friendly transition process.  The effort it takes to move to the next level-considerable.  Steps in the landscape were invented to make that transitory experience as easy and as interesting as possible.  When I am in New York, and zooming up an elevator, I wish for a transition from the first floor to the 28th floor with some grace and style.

bluestone-stairs.jpgSometimes long flights of steps from one level to another  are unavoidable.  I try to make that trip as visually interesting as possible.  This makes the transition from one level to another an experience-not a chore.

transition.jpgThe transition from the public landscape to the private and personal landscape can be brief and substantial-as in a wall.  A hedge.  A gate.

slope.jpgA subtle transition in grade can be dealt with in a number of ways.  Short flights of steps endow a long and gently ramped soil, with a little lively punctuation.

brick-porch.jpg
The walk to the front porch is traveled by good friends, family, and UPS.  The front porch-a formal transitional space that gives friends, family, and delivery people a moment to collect themselves.  A little time to compose themselves.  A little time to shed the cares of the day, and focus on the moment.  I like big wide and ample  porches.

slate-stairs.jpg
Any transition from one level to another asks for an inventive solution.  An invitation to move from one place to another-both physically and emotionally. The time it takes to make a change from one place to another-transitions in the landscape need to be big and generous.  Transit implies a movement from one space to another.  That transit space needs as much patience as any other space in the landscape.

sculpted-ground.jpg
A steep slope  is not so friendly to people.  Some slopes can be addressed with steps.  Some slopes can be addressed with soil graded into tiers, and grassed. Any transition in the landscape needs to be addressed thoughtfully.   Imagine yourself at that transitional moment.  Design with that moment in mind.

I am keen to read what other members of the roundtable have to say about transitions-please join in!

Jocelyn Chilvers : The Art Garden : Denver, CO

Scott Hokunson : Blue Heron Landscapes : Granby, CT

Mary Gallagher Gray : Black Walnut Dispatch : Washington, D.C.

Debbie Roberts : A Garden of Possibilities : Stamford, CT

David Cristiani : The Desert Edge : Albuquerque, NM

Jenny Peterson : J Petersen Garden Design : Austin, TX

 

 

Garden Designers Roundtable: Mistaken

daffodil-shoots.jpg

The topic for the Garden Designers Roundtable-mistakes.  I appreciate the timing of this topic, as blunder season is just about here. I invariably misinterpret nature’s intent with regard to spring.  I am sure that spring has arrived, always weeks in advance of the real thing.  I am anxiously poking around, looking for the crocus and the hellebores.  If I am lucky, that poking will not damage tender shoots just emerging from the ground.    The true meaning of misstep?  Tulip leaves when they first emerge in my zone are the same color as the muddy soil.  Given that I never remember where I have planted them, I am as likely to smash them flat as not.  Every step I make on soil that is soaking wet from the thaw forces the life giving oxygen out of the soil.  Plants thrive in friable soil, and generally dislike compacted soil.  Why am I milling about in the garden when I know better?  The leaves of the hellebores are limp and brown now-and crying for a cleanup.  I am sure the number of emerging flowers I have snipped off thinking they were leaf stalks is appallingly high.  Were I to endure the mess for another week, the difference between leaf stalks and flower stalks would be obvious.  Yet here I am, in error.  Franklin P Jones put it so eloquently:   Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

dormant-lady's-mantle.jpg

Once the perennials begin to emerge, the bare spaces that would be perfect for spring bulbs are painfully obvious.  Spots for snowdrops-how is it that I failed to see them 5 months ago, when I could have planted?  The chionodoxa I did plant at the edge of a path as the spot was easy to get to-could I really have forgotten the edge of this path is part of the Corgi path?  Was that outcome not as obvious last fall as it is right now?  It will be months before my small perennial garden will be anything to look at. I could have tulips and daffodils on the way.  Phlox divaricata-every year I long for it.  Every year I do not plant it. A lost opportunity is one thing, but a lost opportunity that repeats itself year after year-a whopper blooper.

clematis-on-the-bench.jpg

Later I will find those mistakes that simply represent deficient knowledge.  Plants are very specific about what they want.  When they don’t get what they want, they have that listless and unenthusiastic look about them.  Or they die.  Wanting that catmint to thrive in a slightly too shady spot in slightly too heavy soil-that want washes over me all the time.  What would prosper in that spot, I don’t want.  The idea that the nature will suspend disbelief just for me-what is that?  Off sides is off sides.  I would conservatively estimate that my plant reference library has 50 volumes.  And I have a computer that works.  In spite of that, I persist in putting plants in the wrong place. On rare occasions, I get lucky.  I had to have a clematis growing on my garden bench-the romance of tat idea was irresistible. Though the spot had failure written all over it, I planted anyway.  Turns out, there is enough sun 4 feet off the ground to keep that clematis happy.  I know a certain gardener with a gift for making a mistake seem like a brilliant choice.  From Henry James,  She had an unequalled gift… of squeezing big mistakes into small opportunities.

hellebore-flowers-emerging.jpg

Gardeners derive satisfaction from many different things.  Some gardeners choose to grow food.  Others like tropical plants in pots.  Others want to grow plants and sell them.  Others swoon over conifers, or rock garden plants.  Others intend to reforest a city.  A relationship with nature is not necessarily a garden-it could be a wild place untouched by designing hands.  Entertaining outdoors, putting up lights at the holidays, and camping.-these are as much an experience of gardening as the parterres at Vaux Le Vicomte.  Given that the sky is the limit, that the opportunity for self expression is always there,  I think it is a mistake-not to garden.  Gardening is good for people.  Your garden should be just that-yours.  From Oscar Wilde, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken”.

older-hellebore.jpg

The most grievous error I see gardeners make is to give up a dream of having a garden environment  because they could not have it all at once.  The best part about plants is that they grow.  A bareroot tree planted in the spring and looked after will grow.  Yes, the mighty oak from the little acorn grew.  A slew of boxwood cuttings, placed in and grown on in a nursery bed, can one day become the most gorgeous knot garden imaginable.  Hellebores are gorgeous-but notoriously slow growing.  Large plants are pricey, for just that reason.  But little hellebores are readily available, and will grow into specimen sized beauties before you know it.  Now is a very good time to plant one.  From Edmund Burke:  Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

The other members of the Roundtable no doubt will have their own views on mistakes-please read on!

Mary Gallagher Gray : Black Walnut Dispatch : Washington, D.C.

Debbie Roberts : A Garden of Possibilities : Stamford, CT

David Cristani:  The Desert Edge:  New Mexico

 

Garden Designer’s Roundtable: Speaking Of Texture

curly-leaved-farfugium.jpg

Texture refers to the quality or nature of a surface.  Any surface.  The texture of a marble sculpture might be described as smooth and voluptuous.  A china plate has a hard and shiny texture that repels water.  A lake might be as smooth as glass one day, and choppy the next. A woven fabric can be nubby and open textured, or silky.  This farfugium leaf is a study in contrasting textures.  The body of the leaf is smooth to the touch, and strikingly veined and shiny to the eye.  The edges of the leaves are markedly ruffled; the leaf edges are sharp.  Were I ever to eat farfugium, I imagine its texture would be juicy and crunchy.  

panicum virgatum

Texture engages the senses. You can see a surface. This panic grass is primarily and busily vertical, with an occasional and beautifully draping stem. You can feel the surface.  Ornamental grass leaves can cut your hands-the edges of the blades are sharp!  Feeling that texture can be irritating.  Animals who eat grass-who knows how they would describe the texture.  I would guess it is chewy and stringy.  Raw carrots are as remarkable for their crunch as much as their taste.  Oysters and okra are slick, and slide down easily.  Bread can be doughy, or dense.  Or light, as in a souffle.  Texture can be tasted.  It can be seen.  It can be felt.  Heavy clay soil can be greasy.  Sandy soil is gritty.  Soil loaded with compost has such texture that air has an easy time finding a home in it.  I cannot imagine how many adjectives exist to describe various surfaces-it would be a daunting task to make a list. 

Suffice it to say that there are a multitude of utterly unique and enchanting textures in plants.  Salvia argentea is notable for its felted leaves.  It is the devil to grow, but its surface, its texture, is utterly unique.  I have no luck with this plant in the ground, and only sporadic luck with it in containers, but I keep trying.  The texture of the leaves reminds me of fur and felt both.  

This pepperomia is noted for its markedly fissured leaves.  The leaf is rough to the touch.  It is interesting to the eye.  Designing a container, or a garden, or a landscape, asks for all kinds of attention beyond the horticulture. The design details can endow a planting with a special beauty.  There is color to contend with.  There is volume and mass.  There is line, and form.  And there is texture. 

lettuce

I do not grow vegetables to eat.  But I do grow them to look at.  This ruffly leaf lettuce satisfies my eye’s demand for interesting texture, just as much as I admire the color.

 lime club moss

Selaginella, or club moss, has dimuitive leaves.  I would say it is very textural-the surface is lively.  But given that it is a very small plant that hugs the surface of the soil, I would describe its texture as densely uniform.  The idea here?  Small leaves have an entirely different texture than big ones.  The relationship of one texture to another adds another layer of interest to any planting.

On a stormy night, my boxwood read as a mass-the individual texture of all of those individual leaves is not so apparent.  The roses are a lot of fluff, a lot of stalky canes-the blooms are soft to the touch. The roof is smooth from this distance; the clouds have a lot of color, a little bit of volume, and a weighless appearance.  Many textures are apparent here. The relationship of one textural element to another is what makes for a design party.

 

 

A lanmdscape is comprised of many different elements-each of these elements have a surface and texture all their own.  The relationship between distinctive and individual surfaces is what insures an enduring visual interest in a landscape.  

Every surface here is hard-as in impermeable, or shiny.  The textures are smooth and uniform.  My client is asking-what would you do here?  Perhaps, a contrasting texture!

This essay was written in conjunction with all of the other members of the Garden Designer’s Roundtable-be sure to check out all of their postings!  

 

Thomas Rainer : Grounded Design : Washington, D.C.

Rebecca Sweet : Gossip In The Garden : Los Altos, CA

Pam Penick : Digging : Austin, TX

Lesley Hegarty & Robert Webber : Hegarty Webber Partnership : Bristol, UK

Douglas Owens-Pike : Energyscapes : Minneapolis, MN

David Cristiani : The Desert Edge : Albuquerque, NM

Christina Salwitz : Personal Garden Coach : Renton, WA

Rochelle Greayer : Studio G : Boston, MA

Garden Designers Roundtable

 

Garden Designers Roundtable

 

The Garden Designers Roundtable was established in December of 2009.  A group of well known garden designers who write from across the US and in Britain post on a topic relating to landscape and garden design every month.  I was very pleased to have been asked to guest post with this group last year, and am even more pleased that I have been asked to join their group as a permanent member.  The topics provoke a wide range of essays, as each designer writes from their distinctly unique point of view.  If you are not familiar with or a regular reader, I would encourage you to visit their website and read.  It is a very diverse and talented group with loads of expertise and enthusiam.  I am indeed privileged to be a part.

http://gdrt.wordpress.com/

The members:

Andrew Keys

Andrew Keys – Topsfield, MA

A self-professed plant nut, Andrew Keys is the principal of Oakleaf Green Landscape Design of Topsfield, Mass., 20 miles north of Boston. Andrew blogs at Garden Smackdown, an exercise in extreme plant geekery with a dash of pop culture. Andrew also contributes to Fine Gardening Magazine!

A lifelong gardener, Andrew started Oakleaf Green in 2009, with the philosophy that the crux of every 21st century design problem is our role as stewards of the Earth. Through Oakleaf Green he offers accredited organic design/build services with a focus on planting design and specification.

Connect with Andrew at LinkedIn, or follow him on Twitter.

______________________________________________________________

Christina Salwitz

Christina Salwitz – Renton, WA

THE PERSONAL GARDEN COACH

Christina Salwitz is a home garden training specialist

Christina provides every level of gardener with a fresh and objective perspective on their special needs. By focusing on organic methods, improving soil quality, pruning technique and seasonal focus, Christina translates “garden speak” into a language that gets people of all ages excited about achieving their gardening dreams! Christina has a fun, dynamic and enthusiastic approach to teaching. She has a unique and way of connecting to clients and students to make them feel like they can do anything! Her unique style is crafted through leading numerous Technical College courses, seminars for garden clubs, radio shows, and many articles that she has written for various gardening publications. With her experience in world-class nurseries for the more than twenty years, Christina has heard it all! Specializing in instructing adult gardeners, experienced or not, in how to become a confident gardener. With an exceptional focus on saving each client MONEY, TIME and LABOR, she has become foremost in gardening education for many years. Christine Blogs at The Personal Garden Coach.

______________________________________________________________

David Cristiani – Albequerque, NM

 

David Critiani

David Cristiani, author of the blog The Desert EdgeDavid has over 20 years of experience designing outdoor environments in the Southwest. His projects include a variety of resource-conservative commercial, institutional, and residential designs. David has merged the practice of landscape design with his knowledge of climate and the study of arid-region plant geography and species composition. This unique insight has proved valuable for both site-specific design work and for assisting regional growers, by collecting seed and cuttings for large-scale production of promising high desert plant introductions.

______________________________________________________________

Debbie Roberts

Debbie Roberts – Stamford, CT

A lifelong love of digging in the dirt eventually lead Debbie Roberts to a career as a professional landscape designer. Debbie is the owner of Roberts & Roberts Landscape and Garden Design, where she specializes in designing low-resource sustainable gardens to complement each client’s unique lifestyle.  Her own garden, located in southwestern Connecticut, is used to test and trial plants and gain as much hands-on experience as possible so she can pass it along as a garden coach and in the garden design classes she teaches.

Debbie is a founding member of the Connecticut chapter of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. Her articles about gardening and landscape design have appeared in a variety of regional magazines and newspapers.  Debbie shares her thoughts on gardening and design at A Garden of Possibilities.

______________________________________________________________

Deborah Silver – Detroit, MI

Deborah Silver

Deborah resides and works in southeastern Michigan.  She has been the owner and design principal for her landscape and garden design firm, Deborah Silver and Co Inc, since 1986. Her shop, Detroit Garden Works, is devoted to offering fine ornament and specialty plants to gardeners nation-wide.  She designs and manufactures garden ornament of all kinds in steel, concrete and wood at a third company, The Branch Studio. She writes regularly about topics related to the landscape and garden on her blog Dirt Simple.

______________________________________________________________

Douglas Owens-Pike

Douglas Owens-Pike – Minneapolis, MN

Following his MS degree in plant ecology at the University of Washington, Douglas Owens-Pike looked around, could find little evidence of landscapes designed for the health of our planet, and founded EnergyScapes in 1989.  We plan, transform and nurture landscapes for beauty and sustainability.  Doug writes about and teaches these principles in forums including: MN Landscape Arboretum, MN DNR, MN State Hort Soc, Friends of the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden, and the Association of Professional Landscape Designers.

______________________________________________________________

Genevieve Schmidt

Genevieve Schmidt – Arcata, CA

Genevieve Schmidt does landscape design, garden coaching, and fine landscape maintenance in the redwoods of Northern California. She approaches landscape design with an eye towards sustainability and usability, and her experience running a skilled landscape maintenance crew means that her gardens are fun to maintain, and function the way they are supposed to.

Read her garden musings and advice at North Coast Gardening, and see her work at Genevieve Schmidt Landscape Design. You can also follow Genevieve on Twitter.

______________________________________________________________

Ivette Soler

Ivette Soler – Los Angeles, CA

Ivette Soler, is a Southern California garden designer/consultant/writer who has a particular passion for succulents, food, and getting dirty! Her intricate, “Maximalist” plantings for Los Angeles design firm Elysian Landscapes have been featured in several major books and magazines including Garden Design, Metropolitan Home, Sunset, and House & Garden. Her writings on all things GARDEN have appeared in a variety of garden and shelter magazines, and her blogging as The Germinatrix brings her enthusiasm and plant mania to the vibrant internet gardening community.

______________________________________________________________

Jenny Peterson – Austin, TX

Jenny Peterson

Jenny Peterson is the owner of J. Peterson Garden Design inAustin, Texas, a design-and-build company specializing in small space landscaping—patios & balconies, terraces, container gardening and smaller urban and suburban settings.  JPGD is committed to organic methods and the practice of xeriscaping to conserve water.

In addition to landscape design, Jenny writes for her blog, jpetersongardendesign as well as for various lifestyle websites.

______________________________________________________________

Jocelyn Chilvers

Jocelyn Chilvers – Denver, CO

Jocelyn Chilvers is a professional garden designer with a passion for creating beautiful landscapes that are lifestyle friendly and Colorado “green.”  A graduate of Colorado State University’s landscape horticulture/design program, Chilvers has over 25 years of experience helping clients in the Denver area enhance their outdoor environments.  She also lectures and teaches a range of design related classes at Denver Botanic Gardens, ProGreen Expo, and garden centers throughout the region.  Her work has been featured in numerous regional publications as well as Sunset’s Backyard Makeovers. Chilvers enjoys sharing her vision of the world of plants and garden design through her blog, The Art Garden.

______________________________________________________________

Lesley Hegarty

Lesley Hegarty – Bristol, Avon, UK

After studying modern languages at university, careers in the Royal Navy and stock broking in the City of London, Lesley Hegarty’s interest in plants and design was ignited by taking on a rather unruly and very challenging garden full of potential and a great training ground for all things horticultural.

A Royal Horticultural Society Diploma in Horticulture and formal garden design training at the prestigious Pickard School followed and culminated in Lesley teaming up with Robert Webber to form The Hegarty Webber Partnership. Together they design a wide variety of gardens from country estates to city courtyards.

After advising clients on investment in stocks and shares, Lesley is finding much greater satisfaction in inspiring clients to realize the real joy and ‘guaranteed return’ to be gained from investing in their gardens.

Outside of work, Lesley enjoys music, playing tennis, all things French and an active family.

Website (and integral blog): The Hegarty Webber Partnership

______________________________________________________________

Mary Gallagher Gray – Burke, VA

Mary Gallagher Gray

A northern Virginia native, Mary Gallagher Gray has always loved the outdoors and drawn great inspiration from nature.  This love, combined with the desire to pursue a creative profession, led her to dive headlong into the study of landscape design back in 2007.  Currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Sustainable Landscaping at George Washington University, Mary also does freelance garden design and coaching  in the Metro DC area.

Mary is also a lifelong writer, and loves to muse about gardening, design, and the environment on her blog Black Walnut Dispatch.

______________________________________________________________

Pam Penick – Austin, TX

Pam Penick Austin TX

A hot-zone gardener from Austin, Texas, Pam Penick is the owner/designer/garden coach at Penick Landscape Design, promoting creative design with native and adapted plants that thrive in Austin’s temperature extremes and drought/flood cycles. She’s also the author of Lawn Gone!: Low-Maintenance, Sustainable, Attractive Alternatives for Your Yard (expected publication in Spring 2013).

Pam’s award-winning blog, Digging, provides daily inspiration on topics as diverse as drought-tolerant plants, garden design, lawn alternatives, garden tours, and garden happenings in Austin and her own back yard. Her articles have appeared in Fine Gardening and other publications, and her photographs have been published in various books and magazines. Follow Pam on Twitter and Pinterest, and “Like” her Facebook pages for Digging and Lawn Alternatives.

______________________________________________________________

Rebecca Sweet

Rebecca Sweet – Los Altos, CA

Rebecca Sweet lives in Northern California and is founder of the garden design firm Harmony in the Garden. Rebecca’s signature style is ‘California Fusion’ – a style that blends a client’s personal desires with regionally appropriate plants.  In Northern California, this means having a garden that is lush yet drought tolerant – able to withstand the area’s long dry summers. Rebecca’s gardens have been featured in several local publications as well as national magazines such as Fine Gardening.  Join her at Gossip In The Garden, her entertaining yet informative blog, to read more about all things gardening.

______________________________________________________________

Robert Webber

Robert Webber -Bristol, Avon, UK

Robert Webber grew up in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. He read modern history at university, but after 10 years in the City of London in international banking he returned to his ‘roots’ and retrained in amenity horticulture at Cannington College, Somerset. After 13 years as Head Gardener of Bristol University Botanic Garden, he left to train as a garden designer, living proof that Arians do re-invent themselves.

Robert now works with Lesley Hegarty in their garden design partnership based in Bristol and North Somerset. Their design ethos combines rigorous attention to the client brief, context and plantsmanship, with an imaginative use of space and a contemporary twist. They have designed as far afield as Scotland and Tuscany.

Left to his own devices and with a deep enough pot of money Robert would become a serious art collector.

Website (and integral blog): The Hegarty Webber Partnership

______________________________________________________________

Rochelle Greayer

Rochelle Greayer – Boston, MA

Boston Based, but world minded Rochelle Greayer, is a design obsessed garden creator, writer and ‘go local’ advocate. She is the owner of Greayer Design Associates, founder of multiple farmers markets and the editor of Studio ‘g’, a landscape design blog full of ideas for creating unique gardens. Rochelle is one of the co-authors of The Garden Makers Manual and The Garden Design Workbook, as well as a regular contributor to Landscape Middle East Magazine.  She has won numerous design awards including a Bronze Medal from the Royal Horticultural Society for a show garden at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in England. Her work has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, Design New England, and Landscape Architecture magazines among others.  Connect with Rochelle through the Studio ‘g’ group page on Facebook or on Twitter.

______________________________________________________________

Scott Hokunson – Granby, CT

Scott Hokunson

Scott Hokunson, designer and principle behind Blue Heron Landscape Design, has been creating landscapes since 1981, and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to each project. A proponent of natural and sustainable principles, Scott works closely with his clients to create elegant outdoor living spaces, minimizing the impact on the environment through all phases of the project, including ongoing stewardship.

Scott is also a garden writer, whose work has been featured in Fine Gardening Magazine and Connecticut Gardener Magazine. He writes the company blog Blue Heron Landscapes, and is a founding member of the international garden design blog Garden Designers Roundtable.

Scott lectures to garden clubs and other interested organizations on garden design, plants and gardening, and in 2011, he served as an advisor to a class on Sustainable Landscape Design at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.

Since 2009, Scott has been co-host and designer for The Ultimate Backyard Makeover show on FoxCT. The show airs on Father’s Day weekend.

Follow Scott on Twitter, and connect with him on LinkedIn. Become a fan of Blue Heron Landscape Design on Facebook!

______________________________________________________________

Shirley Bovshow

Shirley Bovshow – Los Angeles, CA

Shirley Bovshow is an in-demand landscape designer in California as well as a nationally- recognized garden television host and new garden media broadcaster. Shirley describes her approach to landscape design as “out of the box,” (she drags a ladder around new projects to envision the yard from different heights) and demands “multi-purpose” function from her landscapes.

“It’s not good enough that a landscape stand there and ‘look pretty!’  It has to do something for me! Feed me! Save me some money on the water and electricity bill! Function as a sanctuary and entertaining showplace!  Increase the value of my home!” Shirley commands.

Check out Shirley’s website her syndicated blo g, Eden Makers and watch her trailblazing online garden TV show, the Garden World Report.

______________________________________________________________

Susan Cohan

Susan Cohan – Chatham, NJ

Susan Cohan, APLD, is a woman with an opinion.  A landscape designer blogging as Miss R, she is a lover of the land, passionate about design and living a creative life.

Her boutique landscape design studio, Susan Cohan Gardens specializes in residential landscape design and creating artfully designed spaces for outdoor living.  Susan is an active user of social media… some of the many places you connect with her are Twitter, Facebook, Susan aka Miss R, or just see more eye candy on her Flickr page.

______________________________________________________________

Susan Morrison

Susan Morrison – East Bay, CA

Susan Morrison is the owner of Creative Exteriors Landscape Design, a residential garden design firm located in the East Bay of Northern California. She is passionate about creating sustainable designs for both traditional and New California gardens. While puttering around online one day, Susan came upon the infamous Stewart Brand quote “information wants to be free.”  Through her Blue Planet Garden Blog and as a founding member of the Lawn Reform Coalition, she has taken this philosophy to heart. She speaks regularly in the Bay Area on design principles, sustainable gardening and lawn-free landscape design, and has been interviewed in such publications as the San Francisco Chronicle and the Contra Costa Times.  As a Master Gardener and a Bay Friendly Qualified Landscape Designer, Susan participates in various educational projects throughout the year.

______________________________________________________________

Thomas Rainer – Arlington, VA

Thomas Rainer

Thomas Rainer is a registered landscape architect, teacher, and writer. He is a passionate advocate for an ecologically expressive design aesthetic that does not imitate nature, but interprets it. Thomas has designed landscapes for the U.S. Capitol grounds, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and The New York Botanical Garden, as well as over 80 gardens from Maine to Florida.

You can find his musings on the form, meaning, and expression of designed landscapes, at his blog Grounded Design