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Land F/X Article Opinion: Why manicured lawns should become a thing of the past

May 30, 2019

Published in: News

Why manicured lawns should become a thing of the past

Amanda Berry

An opinion by Amanda Berry

Landscape Architect and Land F/X Support

The most jarring argument in this Washington Post article is that a natural garden design doesn’t have to be all native. I think a lot of landscape architects would nod their heads at every concept here until getting to that one. It’s been drilled into me since my first year of B.L.Arch. that regionally native plants can do no wrong, so I found this premise a little difficult to accept at first.

That said, when combined with the remainder of this modern yet age-old planting design theory, the non-native argument makes sense. You can design solely with native species, but the result may look too much like an unkempt field and ultimately be rejected and landscaped over again. Instead, the focus outlined here is on a community of plants that work together, work with the site conditions (soil, water, nutrients, and sun), and work with human desires for order. Cultivars and strong architectural forms are embraced as a way to emphasize natural patterns so garden visitors can better understand and accept the design.

Fortunately, the public has begun to develop an awareness that natural, functional gardens can be beautiful too. As landscape architects, we can be on the leading edge of this growing revelation. Carefully planned, complex mixes of plants can be the new planting norm taught to next year’s B.L.Arch freshmen.

Read the Washington Post article.

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