Regenerative Landscape Architecture
September 21, 2019 0 Comments

Create Green Infrastructure With This Information Sheet

What is Green Infrastructure?

I recently considered how many people have told me they don't know what restorative design really means.  I spend a image: what is green infrastructuregood deal of time answering questions like, "what is green infrastructure," "is a swale paved," and that kind of thing.  And these questions don't only come from my clients.  I've found that a lot of builders aren't familiar with ecology.  They install jobs according to 'traditional' methods.

This almost always means high costs, maintenance, water use, pollution, and waste.

I am deeply invested in seeing my designs installed as intended, so that my clients get all the benefits.  There is nothing like hearing that a design-only client hired a traditional installation firm only to end up with an unsustainable landscape because the company didn't know how to read or build their master plan.  So rather than answering such questions one at a time, I thought I'd create this post to help homeowners and builders get it right.

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Factors of Climate Change Humans Can Manipulate

Factors of Climate Change We Can Use to Restore Balance

image: factors of climate change

Some factors of climate change are malleable.  Whether or not Earth Changes are natural or man-made, it is a fact that human beings can directly impact local temperature, moisture, soil health, wildlife habitat, and food availability.  This article discusses Trump Forest, planted in 2017 in response to the U.S. withdrawing from the Paris Agreement and our president’s executive order forcing the EPA to rewrite the Clean Power Plan to prioritize energy production.  I’ll also discuss the success of the forest and make recommendations for other things we can all do to restore the functioning of the landscape as a climate-stabilizing powerhouse.

The goal of Trump Forest was to plant 10 million trees around the world.  This would, according to researchers behind the project, offset a significant amount of carbon emitted by a step backward to industry-focused energy production.  The actual number of trees planted ended up being 1,409,857, so the project was cut short.  But that’s still a good number of trees.  Now let’s take a look at replanting survival and how to keep new trees alive.

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Humane Pest Control: Gophers and Squirrels

Humane Pest Control or Compassionate Conversation?

I was image: Humane Pest Controlat a client’s home recently in Sherman Oaks, California.  They told me about the gopher who had been eating the roots of their plants and creating little sink holes all over their yard.  During our site visit, I noted the telltale signs of a landscape out of balance.  I knew it would be my job to teach them how to fix their gopher problem by re-balancing their landscape.  While we talked, the gopher responsible came out of a hole at the base of an umbrella plant.  He looked directly at us while proceeding to remove three umbrella plant stalks and carry them backwards into his hole.  I pointed this out to my client, and we laughed at his audacity.

Being that I’m a student of inter-species communication and believe that animals are sentient, I spoke to the wide-eyed little performance artist.  I said, “I know you need to survive here just as much as the people who live in that house there, and so don’t worry, I’m going to include you in a solution that works for everyone here.”

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What Is The Best Mulch To Use In Los Angeles?

In L.A. What is the Best Mulch to Use?

If you’re anything like me, you’ve noticed the barren, compacted parkways all around L.A.  Most of them have at least some plant life, some have trash, others nothing at all.  Just sun-baked, bleached dirt.  My guess is that most of you reading this are not quite as nerdy as I am about the health of our parkways.  Like, you may never have asked what is the best mulch to use in your yard or the planting strip out front of your house or apartment, known as a parkway.  Technically, the city owns parkways, but citizens must maintain them.  Perhaps where we can come together is that parkways could stand a makeover.  I’m here to share my techniques for revitalizing the parkways of L.A., cheaply and with little work on your part.

The methods I use with my clients are super simple, yet they, like most Permaculture techniques, pack a massive punch.  In the field, ecological designers like me call this sort of approach, where minimal effort produces maximum results, a fulcrum move.  The idea is that a fulcrum moves only a little at the joint, but at its end it swings wide.  In other words, you put in little work to effect a change, but the landscape jumps into action and sweeping change is the result.  Another great benefit of using fulcrum moves like the ones I’m going to share with you here, is that your costs are reduced.  That’s right, your water bill will go down, and if you pay a “mow, blow, and go” landscaper, you won’t need them to maintain your parkway as much, if at all.

If this sounds good to you, read on.

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Five Southern California Plants That Reduce Maintenance and Water Costs

image: Southern California Plants

Plants do a lot for human beings. If I were to try and list all of the services provided by the Plant Kingdom to the Animal Kingdom, it might amount to an encyclopedia set.  Most of us know about a handful taught to us in school:  plants breathe out oxygen, provide shade, and offer us delicious produce to eat.  In this article, I'd like to share a few of the many additional gifts we get from Southern California plants by highlighting a few species you can grow if you live in Los Angeles County.

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The Gift Of Yourself

I wondered if writing this article would help anyone get through the holidaze, and I remembered the story about the starfish:  A man walking along a beach tosses washed-up starfish that are still alive back into the sea.  A stranger passing by asks him why he bothers to do it when there are so many of them.  He tells the stranger that his small action meant something to the one he was about to toss back out into the ocean.

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