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As demand grows for plants that support pollinators and other wildlife, ELA reached out to a few experts to find out which species they recommend including in every landscape design.
by Maureen Sundberg
ELA member Marie Chieppo initiated a collaboration with the Town of Needham to install a native plant demonstration garden at a busy public park. With the help of local volunteers and her own teenage children, the installation took place over six weeks this spring, and she continues to maintain the site.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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…
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.