by John Swaringen

We’ve heard it all before, haven’t we? Drip lines clog and stop working. They take too much time and labor to install. It’s harder to complete bed maintenance around drip irrigation. Overhead watering is easier and is just as good for the plants.

Irrigation contractors and landscapers can come up with lots of reasons not to install drip irrigation. In reality, however, for trees, shrubs, and all other plants in beds, low-volume drip irrigation is hands-down the best way to provide water to them. Continue reading

by Lisa Stiffler

Originally posted on Sightline Daily, January 22, 2013, by Sightline Fellow Lisa Stiffler, this post is part of the research project: Stormwater Solutions: Curbing Toxic Runoff.

If you’re concerned about water pollution, you’ve likely heard this message: The water that gushes off our roofs, driveways, streets, and landscaped yards is to blame for the bulk of the pollution that dirties Puget Sound and numerous Northwest waterbodies. You probably also know about the most popular stormwater solutions, including rain gardens and other green infrastructure that soak up the filthy water, cleaning it before it reaches sensitive waterways that are home to salmon, frogs, orcas, and other wildlife. Continue reading

Maintaining and Monitoring the Project

by Lisa Cowan, PLA, ASLA

At a recent meeting with fellow landscape architects, there was a lengthy discussion and agreement about the importance of maintenance and follow-up monitoring for project success. That discussion was primarily focused on the challenges of ensuring good maintenance on traditional site development projects. Continue reading

by Darcy Paige

I’ve been designing, installing, and tending gardens for 16 years. About two-thirds of my time each season is spent in gardens, with my trusty, dusty team. Each season has its own quirks and personality; like cream rising to the top of the milk, rich images separate themselves out from the jumbled memory of the season’s seemingly endless tasks. Continue reading

by Darcy Paige

Design Notes

As a gardener, I am afforded a lot of design input as I care for gardens: re-doing beds, planting annuals and bulbs, and festooning containers come to mind. The gardening season is busy, but alongside my horticultural duties, I also take on several design projects just to make sure that I don’t have a single moment to myself. This season I was kept extra busy with some fun design challenges. Continue reading

Article by: Kate Venturini, of the URI Outreach Center

Buffer zones between development and shoreline habitat are attempted in many states, but rarely work well enough to protect the ecosystem. Laws and enforcement vary between communities, as do development histories and how people interact with the environment. Realizing this dilemma, land developers are finding common solutions to invigorate buffers across the country by turning to ecology. Relying on native plants to distance fragile coastal shores from the impact of human development does more than obey a zoning laws. Growing healthy native buffers gives coastal habitat a true shot at survival and regeneration. The Native Plant Design Manual offers a new strategies to design rich coastal buffers. The Manual was created for a New England coastal climate, though the paradigm shifting approach presented is transferable to any ecosystem.
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