Designer Tips

Edible Landscaping for Industrial Settings: Tips and Best Plants

June 27, 2013 7 comments
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Last week, I talked about some of the benefits and drawbacks of edible landscaping in “public” spheres such as commercial/ business landscaping or in a multifamily residence such as an apartment complex. This week, I want to talk more about how to actually succeed with this. Though there are a number of settings in which […]

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Edible Landscaping for Industrial Settings: Benefits and Drawbacks

June 20, 2013 10 comments
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Does edible landscaping belong in the public sphere, which is to say in the landscapes owned by cities, businesses, and in multifamily housing like apartment buildings? It sounds like a great idea, and if asked, I think most people would give an unqualified and enthusiastic “yes”! However, there are a lot of considerations with edible […]

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Low-Maintenance Planting Design: More Than Just Plant Selection

June 1, 2013 17 comments
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There are a lot of misunderstandings about low-maintenance planting design. A lot of people think that in order to have a low-maintenance landscape, you just need to choose low-maintenance plants. But the way you design your planting beds is as important as the plants you select – maybe even more so. Here are a few […]

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Providing Water for Wildlife: How Not to Screw It up

May 21, 2013 9 comments
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There’s little that irritates me more than going to the garden center and seeing an array of gorgeous, well-made bird baths that are all completely and utterly useless. It seems that the manufacturers of such things have never really researched or even given the most cursory amount of thought to what qualities a bird might […]

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Wildlife Garden Design Tip: Use Less Lawn!

September 7, 2012 12 comments
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When talking with another designer recently, she said something that stuck in my head: “Lawn? We call that “green concrete”. Sure, sometimes you need a bit of it here or there, but it brings so little to the table that we try to avoid it!” And it’s true! I love sunning myself and playing with […]

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Wildlife Garden Design Tip: Using Native Plants Effectively

August 27, 2012 24 comments
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For most of us, our first thought when designing a landscape is how to make an aesthetic difference. As landscape designers, we want to inspire people and give everyone who spends time in our landscape an opportunity to reflect, feel uplifted, and just enjoy the sheer beauty of the plants that share our world. This […]

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Wildlife Garden Design Tip: Focus on Shape

August 5, 2012 10 comments
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Think native plants and wildlife-attracting gardens look messy? It doesn’t have to be that way. In this series, we’ll talk about the techniques involved in designing a beautiful wildlife garden. At left, landscape design by: Shades of Green Landscape Architecture, Sausalito, CA. Recently, Rachel Matthews wrote a guest post here about what she sees as […]

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Wildlife Garden Design Tip: Choose a Simple Color Palette

July 18, 2012 11 comments
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Think native plants and wildlife-attracting gardens look messy? It doesn’t have to be that way. In this series, we’ll talk about the techniques involved in designing a beautiful wildlife garden. Today’s tip goes well with my last piece of advice, which was to plant native and wildlife-attracting plants in masses: The tip? Choose a simple […]

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Wildlife Garden Design Tip: Plant in Masses

July 13, 2012 9 comments
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Think native plants and wildlife-attracting gardens look messy? It doesn’t have to be that way. In this series, we’ll talk about the techniques involved in designing a beautiful wildlife garden. Many native plant enthusiasts and wildlife gardeners start out by trying to replicate the randomized “design” of nature, by planting a lovingly-curated collection of individual […]

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A Designer’s Take on Wildlife Gardening

July 11, 2012 16 comments
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Though recent polls show that using native plants and attracting wildlife are big priorities for gardeners, these types of landscapes have a terrible reputation for being messy and poorly-designed. It’s gotten to the point that many landscape designers I’ve spoken with shy away from mentioning native plants to their clients, even if they plan on […]

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