Fools and Dreamers indeed… and the weeds may redeem us all

Magical place nurtured back to nature. Great lesson here about gorse. Soil wishes to be covered, so, there are always plants up for the job. Some of them, and most of them in places we disturb, are likely considered weeds.

Perhaps we need to be clearer in our intention, step back in our understanding, and listen to them. They are actually trying to return nature’s balance. Best we learn, and use this to our advantage when we can, eh?

You can watch the film for free, and even host a screening.

All-Season Beauty + Texture

(Christmas in July??? Or just understanding your landscape year-round?)

Plant combinations, massing, and matrices, are chosen for their ability to play off one another with timing and textures, for their ability to hold interest during multiple seasons, and because they “get along” well culturally.

This video was made during the second winter for this corporate landscape. Nearly 50% of the plantings were only in their first winter. Over time, the structure will develop, and the forms and textures will become stronger, and more distinct.

These landscapes are best installed over the course of about 5 years, with 50%+ being installed year one, 30% year 2, and the ensuing years getting about 15% per year.

Yes. 50%+30%+15%+15%+15% is more than 100%. That is why we call it stewardship.

Why “stewardship” and not “maintenance”? Stewardship merely guides Nature. The physical labor required is more akin to Ecological Stewardship. These plants want to thrive, and we just need to remove weeds, invasives, and do minor amounts of what might be considered traditional gardening.

Want to know more? Please feel free to contact me at Semiramis Studio!

Thank you for watching….!!!

shifting the paradigm…. bridging the gap

There is a gap in our landscape and land managing industry today between conventional landscapes and ecological landscapes.  My work bridges the gap, integrating native plant communities-based landscapes into the built environment.

Our immediate environs can be designed to support Nature, by making beautiful, legible, designed landscapes, that people consider to be an amenity, not just a wild place they visit somewhere else or see from afar.  As development pressures continue on our lands, there are more opportunities to restore, and to design, in ways that support nature. 

The leading edge of the landscape industry is native plant community-based designed landscapes.  These landscapes, used in our “ornamental landscape” settings, rely on familiar visual landscape archetypes and ecological-principles-based design. 

Stewardship sensibilities, rather than gardening sensibilities, are the best way to maintain these landscapes, even when it is an highly designed aesthetic.  The plants, arranged in this designed, but nature-inspired manner, work together and can thrive together.  Because the landscape is healthy, it can provide valuable ecological services. 

Design continuity over time is important to maintain the landscape as intended, as our desire for a static aesthetic will be challenged by succession. The oversight of the stewardship work, and incremental changes over time are best overseen by the designer.  Typically, documentation and plans should be incorporated to guide future work, and at minimum, a professional with design sensibility and plant knowledge should be empowered with management. 

Ecological restoration-trained crews can be tasked to do most of the regular work of weed management, supplemental plantings, and dividing.  Naturally, there are certain gardening tasks that still must be done depending on how “front door” the space, but by no means do these landscapes require the continuous maintenance of the conventional landscape paradigm of bare mulch, individual plants, chemical controls and irrigation.

Questions? Please send me a comment!


GOLD Award!

We are thrilled to announce our project is being honored with a GOLD AWARD in ECOLOGICAL PLANTINGS from the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association. The ceremony is in January at the iLandscape Show, but we could not wait to share the happy news!
Here is a link for a full screen view, or see below: