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Sustainable Landscaping

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Want to reduce your carbon footprint? Start with the soil around your home.

The grass lawn is as conventionally American as the white picket fence. Most homes in this country are surrounded by green grass. To stay healthy and green, grass requires large amounts of inputs, including water, fertilizer, and energy. Sure, grass lawns have some aesthetic and recreational benefits, but so do parks. Considering the state of the climate, it may be due time to reconsider the idea......read more

Matthew Levesque's Reimagined Gardens

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Local, repurposed materials open up new possibilities for gardens.

Matthew Levesque is on a crusade to prove that landscape design doesn't have to be boring or expensive. In his new book, "The Revolutionary Yardscape: Ideas for Repurposing Local Materials to Create Containers, Pathways, Lighting, and More," Levesque offers inspiration and tips on using unexpected materials to spruce up the area around your home. The book is filled with images and......read more

Swirling Landscape Architecture by Charles Jencks

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Totally cosmic land works inspired by biology and space

Looking like scenes from some fairy tale and/or acid trip, the swirling landscape works of Charles Jencks are in fact informed by big scientific ideas like fractals, genetics, chaos theory, and waves. Take, for instance, The Garden of Speculation, in Scotland, where a Jencks designed a terrace that shows the distortion of space and time caused by a black hole, a "Quark Walk"......read more

In California, Brown is the New Green

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In a state plagued by water shortage, drought tolerant gardens make more sense than ever

In the arid American West, green grass lawns are as "natural" a part of the ecosystem as polar bears. Now California's drought is making well-watered lawns even less sensibles. Many homeowners are either replacing water-intensive grass with more suitable landscaping, or simply letting lawns turn brown. From The New York Times: With rainfall at below-normal levels for several years, and......read more

A Year on the Road: The Walled Gardens

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Stepping back into sustainable Victorian England

Hailing from Norfolk, England, I can’t help but have a sense of pride, especially when it comes to matters of sustainability. With a rich history, I can really nerd out on this stuff. Let's start with the 1700s, when 2/3 of the region was being used to grow food. Throughout the next century, Norfolk farmers gained a reputation for their progressive farming techniques, inspiring English......read more

Urban Air: Stephen Glassman's Green Kickstarter

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Project aims to transform LA billboards into aerial gardens

Wit the popularlty of New York City's High Line, other cities are looking for ways to incorporate elevated green spaces into public infrastructure. Recently a Los Angeles developer announced plans for "High Line West" in Hollywood. With "Urban Air," LA-based designer and SHFT compadre Stephen Glassman introduces a new twist on the aerial garden rage. The plan involves converting LA billboards......read more

Light: LED Installations by Bruce Munro

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British artist trips the light fantastic at Longwood Gardens

If these pictures are any indication, Bruce Munro's first-ever large-scale solo show won't be his last. In "Light," the British artist fills 23 acres of Pennsylvania's Longwood Gardens with six outdoor installations, two interior projects, and a collection of illuminated of illuminated sculptural works. Subtle environmental commentary informs the entire project, from the "Waterlilies" piece......read more

Kids Get Hands Dirty at School Gardens

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In Canada, the school garden trend is in full bloom

As any parent can no doubt attest, kids like dirt. In Canada, teachers are taking advantage of that impulse with seeds and soil that teach kids vital lessons about food, sustainability, and the environment. In fact, school gardens are getting so popular up north that the Canadian charity Nutrients for Life this week launched a school garden network, complete with case studies, lesson guides and......read more

Dye Hard

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Organic gardens deliver natural hues for dyeing fabric

Generating fresh organic produce for the table isn't the only reason for gardening. In fact, the latest rage in growing isn't food-related at all. Trend Central points to the booming number of planters that are cultivating ingredients for all-natural dyes. In Brooklyn, a new CSA project from Sewing Seeds -- a Textile Arts Center initiative promoting the use of natural......read more

Workplace Gardens

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Office gardens encourage a healthy workforce.

With the economy still sputtering, Corporate America hasn't put the shears away yet. Jobs are still being cut, pay is still getting sliced. Shrinking budgets are making some forward-thinking companies look for other, non-monetary ways to benefit employees. One such response are workplace gardens, which are a perfect fit for companies with large office spaces and plenty of unused land on......read more

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