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Make a Garden, Change the World

I recently attended a webinar featuring Nigel Dunnett (author of "Naturalistic Planting Design") called "Future Nature, Transformational Green." I can really appreciate his approach to ecological landscape design in that you must first WOW your audience to get them to think about their own landscapes in a new way.

Dunnett emphasized that we cannot leave our urgent ecological needs to the ecologists. "Gardening" cannot be looked upon as a past-time or purely frivolous endeavor. Gardening is a skill REQUIRED for our efforts to save this green and blue planet of ours.

Ecology and biodiversity are the focus for those of us trying to get you to plant native, and the visual appeal of those gardens has traditionally been a bit of an afterthought. However, we will not convinced the uninformed to consider this new way of planting without being artful and visually appealing at the outset. I really believe this is the way to bridge the gap.

So I'll keep trying to get you to plant native plants, slipping them into your design even if you are not interested in having any... But will also continuing to learn new ways to make those plants wow you and your neighbors, drawing you out into your garden to enjoy them up close, and then to witness and appreciate the ecological value they have.

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