Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sustainable Garden Design

Two presentations on sustainable garden design - one frightening, one practical - are available on podcast at the Gardens Illustrated podcast site.

As part of a Masterclass in Sustainable Garden Design sponsored by the Sustainable Design Advice Committee of the UK's Society of Garden Designers, these two talks by Mark Laurence and Nigel Dunnet address sustainable design from two dramatically different perspectives.

Mark Laurence presents a virtual end-time scenario in which the decline of fossil fuels will lead to the necessity of a total change in our way of living if we are to survive. It's a rather depressing talk, but one we all should hear. On the lighter side, Nigel Dunnet talks about water gardening and stormwater management. Nigel's point is that our houses and gardens should be designed to reuse all stormwater that falls on our particular piece of the world, preventing the cost of infrastructure to carry it away (a growing problem with development) and eliminating the pollution, erosion, flooding, and other negative consequences of ignoring the fact that stormwater can't be engineered away. Eventually, the cost is prohibitive. Interestingly, due to strong stormwater management regulations, America is far ahead of Britain in sustainable stormwater management.

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