Skip to Main Content

The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Planning for the unplanned: Incorporating ecological restoration techniques into the practice of landscape design
Year: 2002
Author(s): Weaner, L.
Source Title: Proceedings of the Third Eastern Native Grass Symposium
Source Type: Proceedings
pages: 164
Original Publication:  
Abstract: As the fields of landscape design and ecological restoration become increasingly intertwined, it is important to explore ways that the two disciplines can effectively interact. Landscape designers, concerned with human needs and aesthetics, and restoration ecologists, concerned with ecological function, can share numerous techniques to enhance the effectiveness of their respective practices. From the perspective of the landscape designer, blending the traditional practices of horticulture and landscape design, with the patterns and processes of native plant communities can add entirely new dimensions to their work. The thoughtful use of native plants can help to express the distinctive natural character of the regions in which they are working, while decreasing the amount of time and resources required for landscape upkeep. Considering and planning for natural processes of change to affect the designed landscape can also help decrease maintenance needs, increase long term viability, and offer an enriched experience to users. Be they, private, commercial or public spaces, built landscapes can become ecological contributors by providing wildlife habitat, controlling stormwater runoff and reducing pollutants associated with fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and fossil fuel consumption. The replacement of large turf area with native meadows, woodland ground layer plantings and other native treatments alone could have a significant effect in this regard. While this approach to landscape design could have obvious understanding of context and aesthetics. In this presentation case studies will be used to illustrate these concepts, including residential gardens, woodlands that combine new plantings and natural recruitment strategies, native meadow installations, and the design of a plant community based passive park. Projects will be followed in detail, from conception to full establishment, illustrating the exciting results that can be achieved when ecological restoration is combined with the visual art of landscape design.
Publisher: The North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, NC, October 1-3, 2002. Omnipress, Madison, WI
Editor(s): J. Randall