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Developing Healthy Landscapes

An unhealthy environment should not be the price of a beautiful landscape. Inappropriate plant choices and inadequate soil preparation can lead to a reliance on excessive use of water and on toxic chemicals to resolve problems. Ecological landscaping encourages practices that promote a healthy environment through conservation of resources, respect for biodiversity, and ecologically-sound techniques.

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The Beauty of Blue Carbon

By Hilary Stevens

Coastal wetlands are a valuable component of our landscape for many reasons. They provide habitat to many species that are important for fisheries and recreation. They reduce wave energy and help mitigate coastal flooding.  It turns out that they also help control the rise of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by trapping carbon dioxide in plants and in soils.

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Figure 4:  Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
 

Climate Change and Invasive Species

By Carrie Brown-Lima

Invasive species are on the rise as trade and travel accelerate the introduction and spread of new species in a way never seen before. Simultaneously, our climate is changing at an unprecedented rate resulting in climate extremes. While these two phenomena are each daunting challenge to biodiversity, their impacts can act synergistically and present additional hurdles for conservation and sustainability. 

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Beauty in nature abounds, it is always present no manner how quickly we think the world is spinning. 

 

COVID’s Pendulum

By Trevor Smith

Goodbye 2020 and good riddance!!! Though we are not out of the woods yet, I couldn’t help but feel a weight lifted as the ball fell at the stroke of midnight. 2020 started like any other year, with hope and possibility. The anticipation of a new season combined with knowing how crazy things would be in spring felt like I was on a rollercoaster about to hit that big drop. All I could do was hold on as the world rushed past. Little did we know that drop would be less like a rollercoaster and more akin to Niagara Falls. 

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Update: Plastic Pots Used in the Green Industry

By Marie Chieppo

In 2019, the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) sustainability committee asked me to research and write about plastic horticultural pots use and disposal methods. Because plastic is so easy to use, billions of plastic pots were being produced without a blueprint for what would happen as demand increased. Unfortunately, we’ve produced so much plastic that we can’t possibly recycle it all.

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The Four Laws of Ecology

By Barry Draycott

Last year I found a copy of The Closing Circle, Nature, Man & Technology by ecologist Barry Commoner. I started rereading it and was stunned to find in the first chapter, even before he states the Four Laws of Ecology, Commoner discusses the fundamental interaction of nutrients, humus, soil microbes, plant health, and climate! What is amazing is the book was published in 1971!!

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Five Things I Learned This Year

By Cathy Weston

Back in my professional working days, I relished the quiet time around the holidays. I went into the office and used the time to clean and organize files, make a priority list of the next year’s goals, and start my year-end review. Now, as an ecological gardener, I do something similar. I  develop next year’s planting projects and reflect on what I have learned on the journey to ecological gardening.

 

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Green Stormwater Infrastructure

By Anna Shipp

Our current economic downturn caused by COVID-19 and ongoing social and climate crisis demands a transformational change in everything from business practices to public policy, including how we approach stormwater management. In rebuilding our economy, the government must prioritize green stormwater infrastructure because it’s a tool that fosters job growth, public health, community well-being, and resiliency.

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