Regenerative Landscape Architecture
October 9, 2019 0 Comments

How to Use Rainfall to Your Advantage

How to Keep What Rainfall Your Yard Gets

Rain.  Some of us get more of it than others.  In some cities it pours most of the year, while in others total annual rainfall is measured in a tuna can.  You might not need to conserve as much water if you get a lot of rain.  But even in high-precipitation areas of the country (and world), it’s more about infiltration than how much rain falls.

Infiltration is king when it comes to making the most use of rainfall.  In areas where soil is exposed and compacted, water can’t make its way in.  Instead, it sheets over the top of the soil.  This means it ends up in the ill-conceived street drainage system.  I say ill-conceived because the storm water engineering we’re all living with was designed to carry water away, not into, the landscape.

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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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Desertification Reversal Isn’t Only Possible, It’s Simple

How to Easily Reverse Desertification

image: desertificationIn my experience as a designer and an intuitive, forest destruction is the single most dangerous activity of mankind.  The result of taking out trees is the decline of the landscape toward desertification, or entropy.  I’ve always shaken my head at the mainstream tale we’ve been told about entropy being Earth’s natural tendency.  If you’ve spent as much time gazing into Nature as I have, you probably agree that this is a flat out lie.  To anyone watching, natural systems move automatically toward a climax ecosystem state unless they are disturbed to a degree that breaks down the inherent ability of the system to recover.  In extreme cases of deforestation, true deserts occur, such as the Sahara in Africa.

An Egyptian Take On Desertification

Speaking of the Motherland, on the subject of desertification I find the research of those wise and brave enough to disregard Egyptology to be important here.  They are the most fun researchers and writers IMHO (in my humble opinion) because they are boldly willing to pass right by the misinformation campaigns fed to the world.  Read More

Why You Need Whales And Wolves To Stabilize Climate For You

Can You Stabilize Climate?

image: wolves stabilize climateI don’t know about you, but I don’t have the capability to stabilize climate on a grand scale (so far beyond 55 acres).  I can’t add appropriate levels of organic nutrition to the ocean where needed and at the right time.  Like you, I also don’t have the time to guide wild deer and elk populations away from overeating young forests before saplings have a chance to regenerate.  (I can specify deer-resistant buffer zones, but that’s another story.)

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The Zen of Dish Washing

A Buddhist monk once said something like, “There is so much to do Image: Thich Nhat Hanh washes dishes.and so little time to do it, we must take great care not to move too quickly.”  A great dishwasher I used to know once said, “There are so many dishes here before us, and lunchtime is approaching; thus, we must employ great speed.”

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