I’M TAKEN by the provocative work of landscape architect Thomas Rainer, which is why he’s the guest speaker August 20, at my next Garden Conservancy Open Day. Even if you can’t visit then, two conversations I’ve had with Thomas warrant a read or listen. He asks—and tries to answer—the questions I’m pondering in my own garden environment, especially at midseason when it can all seem overwhelming. He daringly tackles questions like these:
- How can our gardens be sustainable, and beautiful, requiring management but not heroic, unrealistic maintenance?
- How can we put plants together in a way that actually is a little more resilient in ecological terms?
- And will the palette of plants we choose from necessarily then be natives-only, or something wider?
LINKS TO reserve a ticket for the Thomas Rainer events I’m hosting next month are also in both of the following stories, should you be nearby for his morning lecture or afternoon workshop—or again, just enjoy:
- Taking inspiration from nature’s layers, and Thomas’s home garden, a section of which is seen above
- Planting strategies for resilient gardens, and Thomas’s recent book, “Planting in a Post-Wild World”
I am trying to use native plants in a large bed in my backyard. It’s bordered by annuals for color. There are some large shrubs in it as well. I only yank out things like poison ivy and Virginia creeper. I’m leaving Violet’s which are becoming ground-cover .
My new planting project is using ONLY native plants to support the wildlife in my area.
I just attended a workshop on creating and maintaining native plant gardens, and his book was among those on the recommended reqding list.
For the ones who can’t attend are you planning to record and share on the internet?
Thanks for your interest, Scarlett. Hadn’t though of doing so, but will ask whether we have the tech ability. You may want to watch him give a speech at NY Botanical Garden a couple of years ago (before his book came out) at this Vimeo link.
Thanks Margaret for that link to T. Rainer’s vimeo. Wonderful to hear his pre-book passions!
I had the privilege of listening to Thomas Rainer this past Spring and was so inspired I purchased his book – it is wonderful reading and I will be mulling over the fantastic information and design and applying it to my own garden in the future. I really enjoyed his presentation!
He’s great; agree, a provocative thinker.
This year my fallow gardens and meadow came back with daisies, asters, whistles, and other beautiful wildflowers, because the golden rod that took over my gardens got a good mowing before it reseeded and the pigweed got the same treatment. I had to mow twice to make sure I caught both pigweed and goldenrod, because they go to seed at different times, but it was worth it.
I loved the gardens I didn’t garden this summer!