Sat., Oct 1 - Aligning with Natural Forces

 My Talk:
Aligning with Natural Forces:
 Sustainable Garden Design using Native Plants

Saturday  Oct. 1, 2011  

at the Westchester Community College, Valhalla, NY
10:30 am - 12:30 pm

The first rule of sustainability is to align with natural forces,
or at least not try to defy them.

 ~ Paul Hawken

Sustainable Landscape Design encourages a healthy biosphere and stresses both beauty and function.

My upcoming Powerpoint talk is a blend of inspiration and practical ideas you can use to transform challenging sites into beautiful outdoor spaces using native plants.

In my 2 hour class I will share captivating ideas and photos that illustrate
  • what combinations of native plants to use
  • which drainage measures you can take
  • and what design techniques you can implement

to transform any site whether it is steep or level, wooded or open,  suburban or urban.

For example, the Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) that I wrote about a post about (click here)  is a  lovely plant with deep roots that hold loose soil together.

It looks great with butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa).  

The native Blue Flag Iris thrives in wet sites. They can be planted 'en masse' for a spectacular effect.

I will discuss:
  • buffers for providing  habitats and absorb runoff.
  • Unique ways to combine native plants
  • Creative ideas to minimize surface water runoff
  • Rain gardens and plants
  • Alternatives to hard surface paving
  • Actual projects and layout ideas - before and after photos
  • Discussions of the best native plants for use in gardens our area
Landscape by Johnsen Landscapes & Pools

My talk is sponsored by the Native Plant Center on the campus of Westchester County Community College, Valhalla, NY

Call ahead and register here: call 914-606-6830 and press 1 or register online at

CE-GRDN 2015  #85912

Sourwood (Oxydendron)

I hope you can join me.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Great job!! Where do you get those gorgeous black river rocks?? And are they expensive?

    Thank you for your inspiration & advice!

    1. Thanks You! You can buy them in bags...Expensive ( at least to me). I place them in a single layer atop much cheaper gravel...


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