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Events and Collaborations:

In collaboration with the Delaware Center for Horticulture, ELA is pleased to announce a new opportunity to learn from a master.

An Advanced Design Workshop with Roy Diblik:

Perennial Garden Design with Affection, and Planting Through Self Discovery – Thursday, August 22

Join acclaimed designer and plantsman, Roy Diblik for a rare opportunity to immerse yourself in garden design and to be inspired by nearly four decades of his design experience and extensive plant background. During this full-day workshop, Mr. Diblik will share the importance of affection in the design process, the beauty of self-discovery in coming to know plants and creating intimate plant communities, and the joy of caring for perennial plantings.

Workshop runs from 8:00am-5:00pm. Registration includes lunch.
$125 ELA or DCH members   –    $160 Non-members

Find program and registration details here!


National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP) – August Class Registration Open Now!

Monday-Friday, August 5-9  –  Boylston, MA

The one-week National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP) will take place from August 5 through August 9 at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, MA. This Green Infrastructure class is designed to meet international best-practice standards; the certification advances the establishment of sustainable communities by promoting GI. The class addresses bioretention including rain gardens, bioswales, and stormwater planters; rainwater harvesting; permeable pavements and permeable pavers; green roofs and blue roofs; dry wells; and stormwater wetlandsRead more and register.


Dan Jaffe Photo

Celebrate Native Plants

Calling Ecological Designers

Join the Ecological Landscape Alliance (ELA) as we Celebrate Native Plants at designer- and homeowner-guided tours of public and private gardens that celebrate the beauty and ecosystem value of native plants and ecological practices.
Have a native plant garden to share? Click here for more information and for the registration and release form. Or learn more about the tours here.

Spotlight on Native Plants
2nd Annual Photo Contest

To all of our participants, thank you for submitting your native plant photos. Winning photo entries will be announced in the next ELA Newsletter.
And if you missed this year’s contest, grab your camera, capture native plant images in the upcoming months, and plan to enter the 2020 photo contest.


Season 6 – A Focus on Sustainability Webinar Series

ELA’s “A Focus on Sustainability” Webinar Series presents interactive webinars taught by experts from across the country. Topics are wide-ranging and geared to landscape professionals as well as home gardeners. A Focus on Sustainability  is presented through a collaboration with ELA, the Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council (CCLC), ReScape , Illinois Landscaping and Contractors Association, Sustainability Group (ILCA), and the Kansas City Native Plant Initiative (KCNPI). ELA webinars, both upcoming and archived, are free to ELA Members and $10 to non-members.

ELA News

In July, ELA members voted in a slate of officers for a three-year term. The new officers are Toby Wolf, President; Rie Macchiarolo, Vice-president; Michael Opton, Treasurer; and Angela Tanner, Secretary.

We also welcome two new board members. Lauri Johnson was accepted for a three-year term with ELA’s Board of Directors and Dan Jaffe fills a mid-term vacancy serving a one-year term on the ELA Board. Learn more about our newest board members. 

Missy Fabel: Horace Greeley Native Plant Learning Garden

Eco-Actions for your Summer Gardening Checklist

Reduce the size of your lawn (or replace a troublesome section of lawn) with an alternative such as a low maintenance meadow, edible landscape, garden, or groundcover. Read the ELA Newsletter article:
Our Lawns are Killing Us

Let your lawn “rest” during the heat of the summer – you’ll reduce water consumption and the grass will green up again when the rains return. Check out the ELA Newsletter article:
The Art of Lawns at Chanticleer

Earth Day Every Day

Easy steps to demonstrate your commitment to your community and passion for the planet!

Read on for more Eco-Actions.

March 6 and 7, 2019
Save the Dates!
25th ELA Conference & Eco-Marketplace

The 25th Annual ELA Conference & Eco-Marketplace is shaping up to be an information- and inspiration-packed two days. A wide variety of ecological topics including the Evolving Forest, Rainwater as Resource, design inspiration, problem-solving plants, insect insights, and much, much more. Details and registration in December.

Webinar Season 5:  A Focus on Sustainability
In collaboration with the Cheasapeake Conservation Landscaping Council, ReScape, and the Sustainability Committee of the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association, ELA webinars (both current season and all archived webinars) are free to ELA Members and $10 to non-members. The new webinar season begins in September. 

ELA Announces 2017-2022 Strategic Plan
Since its founding in 1992, the Ecological Landscape Alliance has been a leader in promoting sustainable approaches to landscape design, construction, and management. Twenty-five years after its founding, ELA continues to grow… Continue reading the newly developed Strategic Plan

Create Ecological Landscapes
through a process of designing, building, and maintaining landscapes that consider the ecology of a site and create gardens that enhance the surrounding environment for the benefit of humans and all other life in the ecosystem. Each month the ELA Newsletter informs and inspires you to create ecological landscapes and the newsletter archives contain more than 15 years of valuable information. Sign up for the free ELA Newsletter today!

ELA’s Virtual Eco-Marketplace
Resource for Ecological Products & Services

Landscape Design Schools

  • The Conway School

    The Conway School is an accredited graduate program in sustainable landscape planning and design. Students spend ten months working on real projects that address the most pressing issues of our time. Graduates leave with a whole systems design approach, a professional portfolio, and a Master of Science in Ecological Design.

Landscape Equipment

  • Air-Spade Division, Guardair Corporation

    Founded in 1991, Air-Spade is the market leader in pneumatic tools used by arborists and utilities for soil excavation.

  • Earth and Turf

    Improving turf through proper topdressing has always been a key goal for Earth & Turf Products, LLC. Since 1997, Earth &Turf has been providing lawn care professionals, sports turf managers, golf course superintendents, and parks & recreation departments with quality-built topdressers that won't break the budget.

Landscape Nurseries

  • Amherst Nurseries

    Amherst Nurseries is a Massachusetts based grower of nursery stock for landscaping, restoration and conservation. We offer a large selection of plants grown B&B, in containers, and in grow bags.

  • Fourth Generation Nursery

    Fourth Generation is a family owned and run business, providing you with a complete source for all your Water Garden needs and an interesting selection of quality plant material to accent the landscape around the water garden. Our goal is to supply all your WATER FEATURE needs, encouraging the intelligent and sustainable use of water in the landscape, incorporating everything from aeration to ultra-violet, from pond liner to water storage systems, low-pressure irrigation options to porous paving, waterlilies and lotus for your pond to native plants for rain gardens. Who we are: We are your Supply Partner - a traditional stocking distributor old fashioned service and support to service & quality oriented “brick & mortar” dealers like Garden Centers, Nurseries, Pet stores and pond/landscape instalIers as you compete in the age of the computer and smart phone. Water in the landscape is our focus - Providing the products and knowledge to enable you to sell Ponds, waterfalls, streams, fountains, as well as pond & lake management, water harvesting & storage, responsible irrigation and storm water management solutions to new 21st century "Green" consumer. Fourth Generation Nursery, Inc 52 Bates St Mendon, MA 01756 Ph: 508-634-1914 Fax: 508-634-9030 e-mail:

  • Izel Plants

    Izel Plants is a marketplace and unique e-commerce solution to the challenge of sourcing native plants. By combining the inventories of wholesale growers and nurseries from the East Coast to the Midwest, we offer an unparalleled selection plants sold as plugs, and the convenience of a fully functional shopping cart with upfront pricing. Trade and non-trade customers are welcome!

  • New Moon Nursery

    New Moon Nursery is a wholesale growers of eastern native perennial plant material for landscape professionals, container production, storm water management, and restoration. New Moon grows all plant material in deep plugs, suitable for planting directly in the landscape.

  • North Creek Nurseries

    As the innovator of the Landscape Plug™, North Creek’s mission is to propagate and market plants that develop the relationship between people and sustainable outdoor environments. We specialize in growing Landscape Plugs™ of perennials, ornamental grasses, ferns and vines with an emphasis on Eastern US native plants.

  • Planters' Choice

    We are a full-service wholesale nursery in Fairfield and Litchfield counties providing a complete line of ornamental plant material to the trade. With field and container production on separate farms in Connecticut, we sell a complete line of nursery stock including an extensive selection of landscape quality native plants at exceptional prices.

  • Van Berkum Nursery

    A family owned wholesale perennial nursery, proudly growing since 1987. Van Berkum Nursery is located on 22 beautiful acres on a marsh surrounded by hills, in Deerfield, NH. This property was originally in the woods, thus ideally suited to their growing interest in native perennials. It is there that they set to grow and propagate quality perennials for New England horticulture professionals. This has become such a large focus of their operation that they created a line called “New England Woodlanders” of strictly propagated woodland plants native to the New England region. Today their business has grown to offer over 1200 varieties for sun and shade. Their plants and business model has won numerous awards. Among them the Jeffrey H. Butland Award for outstanding family owned business, given by the SBIA. And the 2015 Outstanding Leadership Award, presented by Ascentria Care Alliance for excellence in hiring practices and helping with immigrant workers.

  • Wild Seed Project

    Wild Seed Project A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Wild Seed Project sells seeds of locally grown native plants, produces an annual publication called Wild Seed, and educates the public so that a wide range of community members can help foster native plant populations.

Landscape Products & Services

  • Compostwerks

    Compostwerks is your source for organic products and equipment designed for the organic land care practitioner. Compostwerks provides a comprehensive range of tea brewers and sprayers and brewing supplies, tools, top dressing equipment, natural soil amendments and organic fertilizers.

  • Essex Horticulture

    Essex Horticulture takes pride working seamlessly with any team as a prime, sub, or specialty contractor, regardless of project size or group composition. We foster lasting relationships with our clients by always providing a level of teamwork and care that fully satisfies client expectations and project requirements. Services include Native Plant Installation, Invasive Species Removal, Slope Stabilization, Bioengineered Solutions, Monitoring & Maintenance, and Green Infrastructure Certifications include: Massachusetts Certified Landscape Professionals, Licensed Pesticide Applicators, Licensed Hoisting Engineers, OSHA HAZWOPER Trained, and Massachusetts Certified Arborist

  • Filtrexx

    Filtrexx International uses natural, bio-based materials for storm water filtration, soil erosion, storm water reduction, vegetation establishment and sustainability applications.

  • Native Habitat Restoration

    Native Habitat Restoration, LLC provides all aspects of habitat restoration services to private landowners, conservation organizations, and town, state, and federal agencies to help them manage invasive plant species and create healthier natural environments, great and small.

  • OESCO, Inc.

    OESCO (also known as Orchard Equipment & Supply Company) has been in continuous operation in Conway, Massachusetts since 1954, supplying growers, gardeners and green industry professionals with professional grade machinery, tools, parts and service. We take the time to know the industry and research products before we offer them to you. Our search for new and innovative products includes Italian manufacturers of flow meters, all-terrain grass and brush mowers, transporters and dumpers by Bertolini, and the reliable Goldoni Transcars and muliticultivators. We continue to expand the forestry products manufactured by Tajfun in Slovenija. Our dependable, tried-and-true US vendors continue to bring great new products to the marketplace.

  • Pavers by Ideal

    When considering your impact on the environment, consider Pavers by Ideal. If you are environmentally conscientious, or perhaps facing zoning restrictions on surfaces or areas that are limiting what you can build on your property, our eco-friendly permeable interlocking concrete pavers could be the right choice for you. A 4th generation family-owned business.

  • SumCo Eco-Contracting

    SumCo Eco-Contracting, LLC provides full-service ecological contracting – from excavation and custom soils to revegetation and invasive species control. SumCo's scientists and project engineers team with owners, consultants and general contractors to ensure that the ecosystems we build provide the functions and values of natural systems.

  • Wild Seed Project

    Wild Seed Project works to increase the use of native plants in all landscape settings in order to conserve biodiversity, encourage plant adaptation in the face of climate change, safeguard wildlife habitat, and create pollination and migration corridors for insects and birds.

Soil Products

  • Green Earth Ag & Turf

    Green Earth Ag & Turf is run by scientists and backed by technical advisers and representatives across the country that can advise clients and help put together your treatment programs. We have experience in building soil health and with methods that reduce inputs, increase your yields or quality and save you money. Collectively, we bring decades of experience in commercial landscaping, agriculture and horticulture to our customers. We research and back all of our products so we can provide full technical and consulting support for your growing or treatment programs.

  • Horticultural Professionals

    Distributors Of The Highest Quality Microorganisms, Biostimulants, Natural Fertilizers, And More.

  • Neptune's Harvest

    Organic fertilizer made from fresh caught North Atlantic fish, cold processed.

  • Organic Mechanics

    Organic Mechanics is a wholesale manufacturer of premium, organic, peat-free potting soil, soil amendments, biochar-enhanced soils, fertilizers, stormwater soils, including soils for rain gardens, bioswales, and more. Our philosophy embraces environmental sustainability as a core value. We are pursuing the dream of producing the most environmentally friendly, highest quality soils on the market.

  • Read Custom Soil

    Read Custom Soils supplies nearly any specialty soil specification - with the knowledge, experience and expertise needed to blend soil components to achieve the desired design characteristics.

Introduce your company to the people who are responsible for ecological landscape management Sign up for the ELA Virtual Eco-Marketplace to promote the products and services you provide that will help them meet their stewardship goal

Make your company part of the ecological success stories and become essential to the future of sustainable landscaping!

There is synergy in the gathering of colleagues and peers. You asked for more opportunities to gather and talk with other ELA members about projects and strategies, and ELA listened. In June, ELA introduced ELA Members’ Receptions. Stay tuned for upcoming Members’ Reception events.

2015 ELA Members’ Reception


Amy Wolfson, BlueFlax Design; Kristin Andres, Conservation Agent, Town of Chatham; and Keith Johnson, Billingsgate Land Management (left to right).

ELA South Shore Members Meet to Socialize

ELA members on the South Shore met for an evening of socializing and swapping landscape stories at the second ELA Members’ Reception. Members were welcomed by Southeastern Pine Barrens Alliance, an ELA collaborator, who hosted the April event at their new Community Center.

Michael Talbot, M. Talbot & Associates and founding member of ELA, and Adrian Punch, Harrow and Seed (left to right).

Michael Talbot, M. Talbot & Associates and founding member of ELA, and Adrian Punch, Harrow and Seed (left to right).

According to Theresa Sprague, ELA Vice-President and South Shore member, “This intimate and informal gathering gave members an opportunity to share stories and plans as we were all getting ready to jump into the upcoming season.

We enjoyed meeting new friends, catching up with old ones, and lots of laughs throughout the evening.”

Would you like to schedule a Members’ Event in your area? Email ELA to get started.

2014 ELA Members’ Reception

Stevens Coolidge2

Stevens-Coolidge gardens at ELA’s first Members’ Reception.

The inaugural event took place in northeastern Massachusetts at the Stevens-Coolidge Place in North Andover. This property, owned and managed by The Trustees of Reservations, features kitchen and cut-flower gardens, potager garden, rose garden, and orchard on 91 acres. The evening began with a walking tour of the gardens with our TTOR host. Attendees enjoyed an interesting venue, a bite to eat, and time to talk to other ELA members about their exciting projects as well as landscape challenges.

Sue Storer, ELA founding member and current Treasurer, noted that she’s “excited to see ever more opportunities to connect with others in the field. The new Members’ Reception events actually bring ELA full circle to where we began – in small informal gatherings of practitioners eager for opportunities to compare notes, share information and resources, and often collaborate on projects.”

Stevens Coolidge3

Egglant in the potager garden.

Additional Members’ Receptions are being planned: for September along the Massachusetts south shore; and October in the Boston area (details coming soon). We hope you’ll join us at one of these casual gatherings, but if you live outside of New England, perhaps you would like to host your own ELA Members’ Reception. Contact Penny Lewis, ELA’s Executive Director to to discuss options for regional events throughout the US.Stevens Coolidge1

Inspiration comes from many sources but it is especially appreciated when it comes in the middle of a long, cold winter. Meet recent winners of the ELA Environmental Vision Award at the Boston Flower & Garden Show.

An Environmental Vision – 2015

For the second year running, The Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s exhibit at the Boston Flower & Garden Show received the Ecological Landscape Alliance Environmental Vision Award. This year’s exhibit, “An Enchanted New England Woodland Walk” featured the border where planned landscape meets woods from a child’s perspective. One goal of the exhibit, according to John Forti, the organization’s Director of Horticulture and Education, was to encourage people, both young and old, to “find magic in the landscape” and to go out and explore their own yards.Log.420

The exhibit included a large hollow log, enticing garden gate, pint-sized chairs and table set for tea, and an array of visually appealing plant material that all worked together to draw a visitor into the landscape on both sides of the garden gate. But, according to Tricia Diggins, one of three ELA judges, “the wonderful complexity of the exhibit demonstrated how a child-friendly landscape goes much further than just not using chemicals on the lawn.”

MA Hort Exhibit.2.220Tricia along with Mark Richardson and Theresa Sprague, all members of ELA’s Board of Directors, judged the exhibits against a list of criteria that included conservation of resources, use of recycled materials, and a design guided by knowledge of and respect for natural ecosystems. According to Mark, an ecological highlight of An Enchanted New England Woodland Walk “was the abundant use of native plants, many of which were sited with other plants as you would normally see them in natural plant communities.” He also noted the use of natural materials, like pine needle mulch, and the emphasis on habitat, including a vernal pool.

Theresa noted that “while the majority of the plant material was native, the exhibit also included a mix of non-native species that were appropriate to the ‘site conditions,’ particularly in areas where there would be more human activity such as by the seating area.” MA Hort Exhibit.1Though the exhibit incorporated many native plants, some carefully chosen non-native “traditional” plants, such as primrose, hellebores, and a variety of heather, she felt added “some human-habitat, creating a nice balance with the wildlife habitat and illustrating that the two are not mutually exclusive.”

The winner of the ELA Environmental Vision Award receives a $150 donation to the environmental non-profit of his choice.

An Environmental Vision – 2014

The Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s exhibit “Eden on the Charles” at this year’s Boston Flower & Garden Show (March 12-16, 2014) received the Ecological Landscape Alliance Environmental Vision Award. “Eden on the Charles” illustrated the show theme, “Romance in the Garden,” with a design that highlighted two love stories that took place at Mass Hort’s Elm Bank Estate in Dover, MA.

Exhibits were judged against a list of criteria that included conservation of resources, use of recycled materials, and a design guided by knowledge of and respect for natural ecosystems. Eden on the Charles featured moving water, a central player in the courtship of Ray and Betty Frost who canoed the Charles River at Elm Bank and stopped to picnic along the shore, but also an important component in habitat creation. Native plants used for focal points and “water wise” layering of plants added to the ecological qualities of the design. Kerry O’Kelly, ELA Board Member and judge, commented that the winning design provided a “hopeful reminder that stewardship of the landscape provides much more than clean water – it helps create landscapes people want to enjoy.” The exhibit’s waterside path and bridge draw one into the landscape where they can enjoy activity, such as canoeing, or a leisurely picnic lunch.

"Eden on the Charles," MA Horticultural Society's exhibit at the 2014 Boston Flower & Garden Show won the ELA Environmental Vision award.

“Eden on the Charles,” MA Horticultural Society’s exhibit at the 2014 Boston Flower & Garden Show won the ELA Environmental Vision award.

The Mass Hort design team led by Landscape Institute/BAC designers Suzanne Higham included Heather Heimarck (Landscape Institute Executive Director); Julia Esteves (owner of Juliagarden Landscape Design of Osterville); Piera Sassaroli (owner of Piera’s Landscape Design of Boston); Jeff Dube (University of Michigan graduate student in Landscape Architecture); Suzanne Higham (owner of Frog Hollow of Georgetown, MA); Bill Cuddy (owner of WJC Services of Rowley, MA); and Mass Hort staff David Fiske, Charlie Harris, and Clark Bryan. Together they created an exhibit designed to engage the public in the beauty of plants, gardens, and landscape design and to highlight the talents of landscape designers and green industry professionals in the practice and love of horticulture.

The winner of the ELA Environmental Vision Award receives a $150 donation to the environmental non-profit of his choice. This year MA Hort chose to donate to .

An Environmental Vision – 2013

The creator of the winning design, Crystal Brinson, Horticulturist from Fairhaven, MA, envisioned a garden design that took what appeared to be a naturally occurring spring, created a grotto that flowed into a dry stream bed, and gently inserted a cultivated area that “let the gardener enjoy nature up close.”

Exhibits were judged against a list of criteria that included conservation of resources, use of recycled materials, and a design guided by knowledge of and respect for natural ecosystems. Brinson’s design showed a mastery of ecological design. And she extended her ecological ethos to all aspects of the display, using only organic fish and seaweed fertilizers and predatory insects to control fungus gnats and aphids. In addition to more decorative native plantings, she also included dandelions in the design “to remind everyone of their importance for feeding the bees in the spring.” Lettuce was grown in troughs to reduce fertilizer runoff.


Babikow LogoCrystal was responsible for the concept and design for this year’s theme. She also oversaw installment after selecting and growing all the plant material. Her partner, Kenneth Jardin, designed the bluestone and reclaimed-granite bench, as well as the bluestone troughs. Phil Cook of Quintessential Gardens designed and installed the grotto and granite sculpture. Jessica Cook, also of Quintessential Gardens, contributed selected plant material and along with daughter, Dehlia Jane, was inspiration for the sculpture.

According to Trevor Smith, ELA Vice-President and one of the judges, Crystal’s “design incorporated numerous sustainable aspects, native plants, habitat, edibles, but the aspect that put it over the top for me was that the display was sustainably forced and maintained prior to the show. That is true environmental vision.”

The winner of the ELA Environmental Vision Award receives a $150 donation to the environmental non-profit of his choice. This year Brinson and the Cooks donated to the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA).