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Ten Elements of Natural Design

Ten Elements of Natural Design

by Larry Weaner

The elements that make a landscape design “natural” are difficult to define. A landscape with curved bed lines, informal plant arrangements, and no pyramidal yews does not always qualify as a natural landscape. And advocates of natural design are not necessarily eager to banish a host of beautiful exotics from the plant palettes of American landscape designers, replacing the plants with a motely crew of straggly natives. The basic concept behind natural design, however, is fairly simple – to incorporate native plant communities into the designed landscape. But their successful incorporation requires a basic understanding of how native plants operate in nature.

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Urban Landscape Inspirations from Native Plant Communities

Urban Landscape Inspirations from Native Plant Communities

by Ethan Dropkin

Many designers and horticulturists have the unique and challenging task of greening our cities where growing conditions are less than favorable. Too often they resort to using a limited palette of largely exotic species, but by looking to native plant communities, they can develop landscapes that thrive in and contribute to the urban environment.

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On Revitalizing Garden Culture Through Experience Design

On Revitalizing Garden Culture Through Experience Design

by Meg Herndon and Sandra Nam Cioffi

Since post-industrial urbanization drew people off the land, we’ve lost a personal connection with farms and with the natural world. Those of us with experience need to connect new generations of gardeners with their landscapes in ways that recognize the challenges of modern life.

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Eco-Answers from the Pros: Designing Complementary Sun and Shade Gardens

Eco-Answers from the Pros: Designing Complementary Sun and Shade Gardens

I can’t figure out how to have a shade bed complement the sun bed directly across from it – it’s not that things have to be matchy-matchy, but the brickwork makes them a symmetrical pair of beds. I am having trouble finding shade plants that I can combine into an ecological design, except low groundcovers and short woodland plants, and I am having a hard time visualizing what would work right across the bed of climbing roses, lambs ears, baptisa, gaura, japanese anemones, euphorbia, and salvia. ANY suggestions would be so, so appreciated. I am completely stumped!

 

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Effectively Intermingled Perennials

Effectively Intermingled Perennials

by Dr. Noel Kingsbury I remember, back in 1996, showing the late James van Sweden around a public garden project I was working on at the time, over here in England. I was trying out an approach that intermingled the perennials I was using, rather than using the block planting which was customary at the…

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ELA News

ELA Names Winners of 2019 Spotlight on Natives Contest

ELA Names Winners of 2019 Spotlight on Natives Contest

Photographers from across the country submitted nearly 100 images to ELA’s 2019 Spotlight on Natives Photography Contest. Each sought to capture the special allure of native plants – the unique structure of trunks, stems, leaves, blossoms, seeds; the juxtaposition of plants in a community; the interaction of flora and fauna. This year’s entries again encompassed an outstanding array of plants and habitats.

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Gleanings

Archived Newsletters

You do a wonderful job with your newsletters. Everything might as well be a MUST Do with the way you present the programs.  We appreciate your dedication to doing a good job, and are most impressed with ELA.

Ginny S. Talbot Ecological Land Care

I really love ELA. Can't believe I only discovered y'all last year!

Laura B

Can I just say I have enjoyed all the lectures, conferences, classes and tours put on by ELA. You are doing a fabulous job. Thank you so much for all the work you put into this really incredible resource.

Georgia H

I am an avid consumer of your web information and webinars. Keep up the excellent work!

Judy P. Connecticut Sea Grant

THANKS FOR THIS WEBINAR EVENT -- and to the author for the links to the Rodale Institute. To-the-point, compact (but not compacted!), memorable and motivating!

Joeth B.

I just wanted to let you know I thought the conference was fantastic. It was so informative and the speakers where great! Thanks so much.

Kim H. Kim Hoyt Architect & Landscape Architect P.C.

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