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Archives for November 16, 2016

Landscape firm lifts all-Ireland industry award for record seventh time

Belfast based Cameron Landscapes has notched up a unique achievement to win the most coveted award in the industry for a seventh time with a stunning scheme in Co Fermanagh.

The firm was presented with the Bog Oak Trophy, the overall award, at the all-Ireland awards ceremony run by the Association of Landscape Contractors in Ireland (ALCI) at Titanic Belfast.

The site comprising of two private gardens blending seamlessly into its surrounding landscape was designed by Geoff Cameron and described by judge Reg Maxwell as “outstanding”.

The family run business was founded more than 40 years ago and is one of the most successful companies in the design and construction of private gardens.

Now run by Geoff Cameron, it is also at the forefront of the commercial landscaping sector in Northern Ireland with current works underway in the Comber Community Greenway project and the Tropical Ravine restoration project at Botanic Gardens, Belfast.

The awards, sponsored by Annaveigh Plants, DAERA NI, Kilsaran and Laird Grass Machinery and attended by firms and individuals from the landscaping sector across Ireland.

At a time when the industry is emerging from recession, ALCI President Paul Crossan said: “the collective ALCI membership should be proud of what has been achieved in the current economic climate”.

There was good news also for previous Bog Oak winner, Portadown-based sports ground specialist Clive Richardson Limited, receiving both the award for sportsground construction and the special award for design and build for the FAI National Training Centre in Dublin and a Merit Award for the pitch redevelopment at Windsor Park.

Also carrying the sporting banner, Ballynahinch based Tony Pattersons received two awards for schemes in Ballymena.

Other award winners included The Landscape Centre, recently rebranded as Out There Services, picking up several awards for commercial projects and companies spanning the province, Ballycastle based Garden Design Build and Annett Landscaping in Warrenpoint winning awards in the private garden sector.

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Insurance co. launches construction of Yarmouth headquarters

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YARMOUTH — The expansion of Patriot Insurance began last week with the demolition of the former Down-East Village motel on Route 1.

The insurance company purchased the property at 705 U.S. Route 1 on Oct. 14 for $1.8 million. Negotiations and plans for the $12 million project began earlier this year.

The location will become the company’s headquarters.

“We were interested in getting a home we could stay in for a long time,” Linc Merrill, the company’s president, said Tuesday.

Patriot Insurance, which has been leasing space in the Tyler Technologies building on Route 1 since 2008, has 69 employees, 64 of whom work in Yarmouth. The expansion will allow the company to grow to 100-125 employees within the next five to 10 years, Merrill said.

Merrill said Yarmouth was chosen for the company’s headquarters because it has the potential to attract new employees.

“We’ve got to be in a location where we can get (employees) and where they want to live,” he said.

The expansion was approved by the Planning Board in September. The plan is to construct a new, two-story, 34,400-square-foot building on the property, along with a 2,500-square-foot garage. The building will include three units totaling 9,000 square feet that will be rented to businesses. 

Crews on Nov. 8 began demolishing the motel and office buildings on the site. A.H. Grover, of North Yarmouth, is doing the demolition, as well as building the foundation and the parking lot. The company will also create a new sidewalk along the front of the building, do the landscaping, and create a crosswalk across Route 1.

Denise Clavette, Yarmouth’s economic development director, in January said Patriot intends to create a property with “a building of traditional New England architecture, fitting within Yarmouth’s historical character, a well-designed landscape, gardens, and connecting to the town’s walking path.”

 It is one of the first projects approved under the town’s Route 1 character-based code, which sets standards for the appearance of buildings.

Additionally, it is Yarmouth’s second major expansion project since Clavette was hired as the town’s first economic development director in January 2015. The first was the expansion of Tyler Technologies, which began earlier this year and is expected to add 575 local jobs over the next 10 years.

The Patriot project includes a parking lot with 99 spaces. Also, three cars will fit in the garage and three will be able to park in the driveway outside the garage. 

The building will include a 1,800-square-foot community room that will hold a few hundred people, according to Merrill. The space will be used at times by Patriot Insurance, but will also be available for community groups and organizations. Merrill said when developing plans for the project, he was told by town administrators that Yarmouth needs a large community space.

Merrill, a North Yarmouth resident and Yarmouth native, said getting Patriot Insurance involved in the town is important to him.

“We wanted to be part of a community,” he said.

Construction bids will go out next week, Merrill said, with the hope that work can start in December. The expansion is expected to be completed by October 2017.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

The president of Patriot Insurance, Linc Merrill, said the company’s new headquarters at 705 U.S. Route 1, the former site of the Down-East Village Motel, should be completed by October 2017.

The 34,400-square-foot Patriot Insurance headquarters, which will be completed next fall, will be one of the first projects built under Yarmouth’s new character-based development code.

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Cool Spaces: ThornCreek Winery & Gardens in Aurora is unexpected gem (video, photos)

AURORA, Ohio — If a trip to Napa Valley for fine wine and breathtaking views is out of the question, you can have a similar experience closer to home at ThornCreek Winery Gardens in Aurora.

The two-level winery, on eight acres of more than 10,000 flowering shrubs and trees, is filled with rich, warm wood throughout, a massive stone fireplace and thick oak barrels for fermenting as well as atmosphere.

ThornCreek comes as a surprise to visitors who see it for the first time, especially since Aurora isn’t exactly known as wine country, says General Manager David Walker.

“We had a guy who lives nearby walk in recently, and said, ‘Nobody told me this was here,'” Walker says. “When guests visit ThornCreek for the first time, we are happy to give them a personal tour of the winery facility and the grounds. We have people traveling to us from all over the state just to see the award-winning gardens and taste our award-winning wines.”

ThornCreek, at 155 Treat Road, is owned by David Thorn, who says his love of fine wine, fine cuisine and beautiful outdoor surroundings gradually led to the winery and gardens.

In 1995, Thorn co-founded DTR Associates, a landscape design/build company in Chagrin Falls. In 2005, he was ready for new professional challenges and needed space to expand his landscaping business, so he began looking for property with enough acreage to accommodate a production facility, design offices and space to creatively display his work. He came across the Treat Road site that included the aging Dankorona winery.

Rather than eliminating the old winery completely, Thorn decided to close its door for two years and renovate every square inch of the building and grounds, sell the existing wine inventory and produce new wines that matched ThornCreek’s fresh brand that focuses on quality fruit produced from grapes found in the best fields in the country.

“Share the Experience” is ThornCreek’s tag line, and drives every business decision that Thorn says he makes. The unique spaces inside and out, the local and organic menu along with national award-winning wine draw visitors, whether it’s for a relaxing experience, large wedding, large corporate function, non-profit gala or private one-of-a-kind party.

“I’ve spent a lot of time painstakingly creating really special spaces that people can enjoy, whether it’s an intimate dinner for two, or an event with three hundred people plus,” says Thorn.

The first floor of ThornCreek is done as a European-style tasting room decorated with rich, warm brown wood from beams that were purposely crafted to mimic old barn beams. Customers love to cozy up to the fireplace where there’s a small tufted love seat and a couple of cloth chairs. The tasting room features live music Thursday through Sunday.

The room also is brightened with bursts of colorful dried flower arrangements, including a massive one over the fireplace. A fallen white birch tree that Thorn came across one day was chopped back a bit and now stands potted in the tasting room, with soft lights dangling from its branches.

There are colorful paintings by Chagrin Falls artist Lisa Eastman, whose works include luminous landscapes, throughout. Eastman also designs the labels for ThornCreek’s wine bottles.

Downstairs ThornCreek is known as the “lounge underground.” During winter months, visitors can gather there for drinks and a meal amidst the huge stainless steel barrels and French oak barrels that not only are used for fermenting, but add to the setting.

“It’s an actual wine cellar where you can sit and be a part of the aging process of our wine,” says Thorn.

Since opening, the grounds have been transformed into lush gardens, patio spaces, a lawn area and a culinary herb garden used to enhance ThornCreek’s seasonal dishes, such as artisan French brie and duck meatballs.

In 2013, ThornCreek added a tented garden and entertainment space complete with a waterfall, babbling brook, lush plantings and twinkling lights that can accommodate up to 250 people. That same year, ThornCreek introduced another wine, its 10th wine.

ThornCreek doesn’t grow its own grapes. Instead, the winery sources premium produce from around the country. Fermenting and blending is done onsite. Earlier this year ThornCreek, in the annual Tasters Guild International wine-judging contest, won silver awards for its Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon, and a bronze for its Merlot.

Thorn says what makes ThornCreek unique is that each space inside and out “has its own ever-changing flavor and style.”

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November Gardening tips from our expert


November is already here, so what can we expect from the weather this month! Unsurprisingly there is always a chance of frost now which could very well bring an end to your summer displays. But even at this time of year there is plenty to do in the garden, whether it’s pruning, tidying or sowing, so we’ve put together a few tips to get you started.

November Gardening


* Rule 1! Keep off the lawn when it is sodden or frozen, a startling degree of damage is remarkably easy to inflict.

* Continue to clear fallen leaves off the lawn – left in place they will encourage fungal disease and bare patches.

* Make your final cut when the grass is reasonably dry with the lawn mower set to a higher cut-height.

* Book your mower in for a service – putting it off until spring just places your machine firmly at the end of a very long queue.

Bedding Bulbs

* There is still time to plant Daffodil bulbs and other spring flowering bulbs to give you that ‘wow factor’ for the start of next year’s display.

* Plant Tulip bulbs now, the cooler soil helps avoid the fungal disease Tulip Fire.

* Brighten your borders, hanging baskets and containers with winter bedding such as Pansies, Violas, Primroses and Cyclamen.

* Start to plant bare-root Roses – they can be planted anytime between now and March.
Edible Garden

* Lift parsnips after the first frosts when their flavor will have sweetened.

* Why not invest in some mushrooms kits? It’s surprisingly easy to grow your own mushrooms.

* Now is the ideal time to plant currant bushes and raspberry canes for a delicious home grown crop.

* Remove the top netting from fruit cages as heavy snow in the winter can make it sag.
Feathered Friends

Winter is tough for birds – as temperatures fall, regular supplies of food and fresh water become ever more important to help them survive the cold months and emerge in good condition for the breeding season next year.

To help them along why not put out a feeding station, with a supply of good quality bird food and fat or suet balls – but make sure these are out of the way of cats, then you can enjoy the company of our feathered friends during the winter.


Jason Harker
Jason Harker

Jason Harker is a professional gardener and landscaper. He is owner of JHPS-Gardens Ltd, covering North Staffordshire and South Cheshire. Contact Jason on 01782 396168 or online at

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Your garden in November: Sean Murray’s latest tips for North East gardeners

No matter how large or small your garden, introducing a water feature can bring your garden to life, creating a theatrical feel and improving habitats for wildlife.

As a designer, I have the pleasure of visiting clients whose gardens range from a few acres to tiny postage stamp sized courtyards. All the people I meet have gardens that tell a story and their owners are keen to improve their gardens narrative. Sometimes a common theme emerges and lately it’s all been about water.

You may have already noticed that successful gardens have a sense of theatre or excitement about them when you visit. Nothing creates that feeling more than the sight or sound of water.

In a week of contrasts, I met a couple with a large natural pond who wanted me to enhance it with some bog planting, a client who designs ocean liners, (water again), who was keen to include a water rill in his contemporary garden design, and a family with young children who were keen to have the sound of water in their courtyard design.

Features such as pebble rills can be used to connect the garden together.

Features such as pebble rills can be used to connect the garden together.

Using water in your garden can be tricky to get right so a bit of planning goes a long way.

If you have space, a natural pond surrounded by bog planting can look terrific. The golden rules when building this type of pond is firstly to think big; the larger the pond the easier it is to get the oxygen balance right and keep the water clear. Secondly think about its location; choose an open site in full sun and away from trees where the falling leaves will decay and pollute it.

Then buy the best quality butyl liner you can afford, it’s easier to work with and far outlasts the cheaper preformed rigid plastic versions. Lastly, do some research on oxygenating pond plants that will keep the water clear. Potamogeton crispus, curled pondweed, is my favourite, followed by Ranunculus aquatilis, water crowfoot. Both are invasive and need to be kept in check.

Moving water in the form of a simple fountain or cascade also keeps the water oxygenated. Without careful planning your dream pond can very rapidly turn into a bowl of pea green soup. That said, if you get it right a natural pond will create a haven for wildlife and certainly bring your garden to life.

Alternatively, you could go for a contemporary look and create a reflective pool where the sole purpose of the water is to reflect the sky or surrounding planting. In this instance you can omit the pond plants and replace them with a specialist dye, which is nature friendly and keeps your water algae free. The result is a water that’s reflective, inky black, and mysteriously moody.

If your garden is small you could make a container water garden, stone troughs and those galvanised water tanks you used to find in your loft before they invented the plastic ones are great finds. A minimum depth of 50cm means you can add a few plants. Try the enchanting Nymphaea pygmaea Rubra, its small star-shaped pink flowers turn red as they age and it has dinky leaves the size of a 50 pence piece.

Stone troughs can be used to add a container water garden to smaller gardens.

Stone troughs can be used to add a container water garden to smaller gardens.

The sound of water can be equally theatrical. In my Chelsea show garden I used copper piping to create water spouts that poured into a breathing water rill, making the water level rise and fall with the aid of some clever mechanics. On a much simpler scale you could use a cheap submersible pump to create a water spout into a raised tank, creating a gentle trickle of water. A word of caution: the constant powerful flow of water hitting any surface can be far from soothing, reminiscent of a large horse emptying its bladder – ‘store horse’ I think is the northeast expression – theatrical maybe, restful not.

Creating a splashing pool covered with a decorative metal grid or a shallow pebble water cascade are great safe alternatives to ponds if you have young children.

Talking of pebbles, if your garden is small why not make a water dish from a salvaged upturned bin lid, preferably metal so it will rust nicely. Fill it with pebbles and place it up on a couple of bricks. Nestle it amongst some waterside planting and you have a great feature, the birds will love it too. Try this combination of planting around it: Siberian Iris Tycoon, Persicaria amplexicalus, Firetail and Hosta Sum, whose large tough leaves are said to show some resistance to slugs and snails.

With the whole theatrical event of winter still to look forward to in our gardens I am bridging the gap until it arrives with a bit of planting design. Next week I am off to visit a garden where the owner is building an Island Folly on their lake, it doesn’t get much more exciting than that. It’s a hard life this garden design malarkey.

Sean Murray runs a garden design company based in Ashington, Northumberland,

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5 garden tips for the week starting Nov. 12 – San Gabriel Valley …

More tomatoes

In autumn, tomatoes often grow beautifully but stop producing. Here’s a way to get one more crop from them this season. First, stop watering the tomatoes and trim back the tops of the plants a few inches (not much). Then “root-prune” them by inserting a shovel its full length down one side of each plant near the trunk. This shock treatment will stimulate them to form more fruit. Water only if and when the plants wilt; and if frost comes before they ripen completely, harvest green tomatoes for cooking, or let them ripen on the counter inside.

Water less

If you haven’t already done this, reduce automatic sprinkler settings for watering fruit trees, roses, landscape beds and even lawns. With the weather cooling, plants don’t need as much moisture. By early next month for most of us, automatic sprinklers can safely be turned off practically until spring. No sense wasting our precious water — or your precious money to pay for unneeded irrigation.

Winter harvest

Plant your winter garden soon, if you haven’t gotten around to it yet. Winter veggies include beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, Chinese peas, garlic, leeks, lettuces, onions, peas, radishes, snap peas, spinach, Swiss chard and turnips. To be sure the ground is loose, friable and fertile, add aged steer manure or other organic soil amendments as needed before planting. Replant favorites as you harvest them, anytime through early February.

Color your world

For garden color from now until spring, take time to plant annuals and hardy perennials. Ornamental cabbages, calendulas, candytuft, cyclamen, dianthus, forget-me-nots, larkspur, pansies, Iceland poppies, primroses and snapdragons, stocks and violas will sport their stuff quickly and continue through spring. Also put in bulbs, such as anemones, crocus, daffodils, hyacinths and tulips. These won’t flower so quickly or as long, but you’ll be glad you planted them when they show up next spring.

Decorating idea

Take time to enjoy the astonishing reds, yellows, oranges and purples of autumn leaf colors in Liquidambars, Boston ivy and even grape vines. Take pictures to make a collage, or prepare and photograph an autumn-leaf screen saver for your computer. Or do it the old-fashioned way by pressing the prettiest leaves between layers of wax paper. Remember that? Wax paper folded in half over a wooden dowel at the fold, leaves inserted in between the top and bottom of the wax paper, towel, press it with a hot iron to seal the wax, then tie yarn or string to the dowel ends to hang it up.

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What to do in the garden, Nov. 9-16

This week in the garden, lets focus on some fun things, such as adding color and doing some planting.

  • Pansies are a cheeful annual that, if planted this month, will produce colorful flowers through the winter and into spring.
  • One of the biggest problems gardeners have is watering too much. Pay attention to the weather and avoid watering plants that don’t need it. Many plants and trees are going dormant and don’t need any or much water to sustain them.
  • We love ornamental cabbage and kale for providing lots of color and interest in the garden and in existing planted pots. They prefer full or partial sun.

  • Autumn is the time to divide your perennial plants. If they are bearing smaller flowers and have dead spots at their bases, it’s time. Dig deep and remove the entire root clump. Cut apart the individual clumps and immediately plant them at the same depth. Accomplishing this chore now will establish roots, giving them a good start for the spring.
  • Fall also is a great time to plant trees. Cool nights, mild days and seasonal rains give trees a strong start that will serve them well when growing season begins in spring. It also is a great time for transplanting smaller trees and shrubs, and planting California natives.
  • If you wait until spring to plant wildflowers, you’ll be waiting in vain. Now is the time for planting wildflowers that will bloom in the spring. Scatter seeds in your flower garden when rain is in the forecast, then continue to sow seed whenever rain is expected. This will give you a staggered bloom and near continuous bloom of wildflowers next year.

Contra Costa Master Gardeners and Agromin contributed to this report.

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World Leader in Modern Design Opens at Westfield Garden State Plaza in Time for the Holiday Season

“Garden State Plaza is a new market for us, so we expect that a lot of people will experience Design Within Reach for the first time,” says DWR CEO John Edelman. “We’re excited about the opportunity to engage the community, especially during this time of year. We believe shoppers will look to DWR as a resource as they prepare their homes this holiday season.”

The experience at the new DWR Paramus Studio will be unlike that offered by any other furniture retailer in the area. A glowing installation of hundreds of pendant lights, the Light Cloud, welcomes customers to the space at both entrances and invites them to discover the company’s extensive product assortment. The Studio displays thirty-six room vignettes that integrate iconic classics by designers such as Charles and Ray Eames or George Nelson with pieces designed by emerging designers like Egg Collective, Norm Architects and Chris Hardy.

Shoppers looking to individualize their décor will love the Swatch Wall (itself a piece of beautiful design), which shows off more than 300 of the thousands of upholstery options available from the likes of Maharam fabrics and Edelman® and Spinneybeck® leather, and the opportunity to see how products will look in their own homes using the DWR 3-D Room Planner.

DWR continues its partnership with New York-based architecture firm DFA to bring the Paramus Studio to life, as well as enlisting the help of Light Studio LA in creating dramatic lighting design throughout the space.

DWR Paramus Studio is at One Garden State Plaza, Paramus, NJ, 07652. The Studio can be reached at 201.843.2650 from 10am–8pm Monday–Saturday; closed Sunday. Design Within Reach is hiring:

About Design Within Reach, Inc.

Design Within Reach, Inc., founded in 1998 and headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, is the world leader in authentic modern design. The company sells its furniture and accessories to residential and commercial customers through retail Studios in North America, via the Web at, by phone at 1.800.944.2233 and through the Contract division at Design Within Reach, Inc., is a subsidiary of Herman Miller, Inc. For additional images and information, contact Kim Phillips at

About Herman Miller, Inc.

Herman Miller is a globally recognized provider of furnishings and related technologies and services. Headquartered in West Michigan, the global company has relied on innovative design for over 100 years to solve problems for people wherever they work, live, learn and heal. Herman Miller’s designs are part of museum collections worldwide, and the company is a past recipient of the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper Hewitt National Design Award. Known and respected for its leadership in corporate social responsibility, Herman Miller has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the past 12 years and has earned the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s top rating in its Corporate Equality Index for the past nine years. In fiscal 2016, the company generated $2.26 billion in revenue and employed nearly 8,000 people worldwide. Herman Miller trades on the NASDAQ exchange under the symbol MLHR.

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Mr. Handyman encourages families to work together on household projects

Asking your kids for their ideas and for help with designs gets the process started. Children are very creative and imaginative; they may think of things you hadn’t considered. They can visit websites and look at magazines and books from the library, and then discuss their ideas with you. They learn how to research a project, how valuable their input is, and the importance of sharing ideas with others.

Kids can be in charge of tools; younger ones can coordinate them and hand you what you need, and older ones can use certain tools. They can learn to use a level, a tape measure, and a screw driver, along with the adage “measure twice, cut once”.

Working on any project teaches patience, including checking for all parts before beginning a project. For example, if an older child will be helping you put together a bicycle for a younger child’s Christmas present, they learn to be organized and focused, and they develop pride in creating the finished product. Younger helpers will also learn to clean up after a project; they can help rinse out paint brushes, return tools to their rightful place, and help pick up trash.

Project ideas to work on with your kids include landscaping (pulling weeds, planting flowers and small trees), adding solar lights to a walkway (measuring, inserting lights), painting a chalkboard wall or a small section on a wall, painting your mailbox, building a sandbox, and building a birdhouse. Your local home improvement store will have ideas, instructions, and supplies for whatever projects interest you and your kids. For more information, please contact:

Mr. Handyman of Wheaton-Hinsdale

245 W. Roosevelt Road #69

West Chicago, IL

Phone: 630-657-0378

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Landscape architects face crossroads to address shrinking ecological resources

This presentation was part of the Landscape Architecture Foundation’s The New Landscape Declaration: A Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future held in Philadelphia June 10–11. The 25 speakers were asked to write a 1,000-word “declaration of leadership” and ideas for how landscape architecture can make its vital contribution in response to the challenges of our time and the next fifty years. These declarations were then presented at the summit.

With what are we welcoming our future generations? Piles of plastic? Polluted air and dirty water? Life in degraded environments with mismanaged resources is the normal human experience in many parts of the world. The statistics are staggering. Of the total world population of 7.2 billion, about 6 billion live in developing countries, where access to clean water, clean air, and efficient systems of waste disposal is a daily struggle. Water, especially, is a severely contested resource in these contexts, both in terms of quantity and quality. In India, for example, over 100 million lack access to safe water, and diarrhea causes 1,600 deaths daily. Where water mafia and water dacoits are a grim reality, where suicides, murders, and street-fights over water scarcity are a serious issue, and where commuting back and forth from work could involve wading through chest or knee-high flood water, the problems associated with water management in India point to a crisis, which is only expected to get worse with impending climate change and rapid urbanization. And while some problems clearly fall outside the scope of a landscape architect, there are many issues that can be addressed through better water management landscapes. This is where the agency and action of landscape architects at both system-and site-scale become critical, applicable not only to water but also to other contested resources.

Landscape architects resources

Summer water scarcity, also in Raipur. (Courtesy Alpa Nawre)

Today in developed countries, we are shocked and even resigned by reports and personal experiences of the air quality in Beijing, the water crisis in India, or the food scarcity in Africa. Conditions, however, were not so very different in the 1950s and 1960s in North America when people wore gas masks in Los Angeles and decried the region’s filthy rivers. When a small group of landscape architects gathered here in Philadelphia and crafted the “Declaration of Concern,” noting the degradation of America’s water and air, the world was not such a different place. If anything, the issues have become more global, critical, and widespread. And in this context of contested resources, landscape architects must step in to do what we can to restore and re-establish healthy relationships between humans and their environment. I entreat all landscape architects to rise above parochial discussions, territorial predispositions, and disciplinary comfort-zones to address the very real issues of water, air, food, waste, minerals, and energy, with which rapidly urbanizing and developing countries such as India now grapple.

The “Declaration of Concern” is a demonstration of the enormous responsibilities the profession attempted to take on. The last fifty years have seen the coming of age of the profession of landscape architecture. Landscape architects have drawn on formidable skills of research and analysis to understand and map multilayered issues, and conveyed this understanding to the general public through visualization of complex landscape systems spanning both scale and time. Many landscape architects have attempted to restore damaged ecosystems and designed better human and non-human habitats. Yet, we have just scratched the surface, and much remains to be done in the context of resource management, especially that of water, food and waste in developing countries.

From these countries, there are many lessons to be learned on alternative definitions, frames, paradigms, systems, and landscapes of resource management, all of which are rapidly being transformed and degraded as we speak. We urgently need to understand the various ecologies of resource management in the developing world. What can we learn from cultures that designed multifunctional resource infrastructure and practiced community-ownership of landscapes to inform the design of resource management in industrially developed countries, and vice versa? Before we engage in design, we must understand and evaluate existing systems.

As designers, we have two avenues of intervention for addressing resource issues. The first is through design to improve existing resource landscapes, and the second is to create alternative paradigms for better resource management through the structuring of new built environments. The projected increase of the world’s population to nine billion by 2050 will almost entirely be population growth in developing countries, accompanied by rapid urbanization. For example, in the next 50 years, India’s population will peak at 1.6 billion and the country will be adding more than 400 million to its urban population—about 20 more Mumbais! The development of urban territories to accommodate these millions desperately needs the expertise of landscape architects equipped to design urban landscape systems for better resource management. It also presents unprecedented opportunities for design experimentation. How do we take the lessons we have learned in the urbanization of developed economies and apply them in our design responses to the resource management problems of the developing world?

Part of the challenge ahead is not only to address resource management issues head on but also to make the general public, especially the decision makers in the developing world, aware of the contribution that we can make in improving resource management. In most parts of India, when I introduce myself as a landscape architect, people either catch only the first part and transform the phrase to “landscaping” or “gardening” or latch on to the familiar word “architecture.” Not surprising — because there are very few landscape architects in India. About 800 landscape architects serve a total population of 1.25 billion and of this handful, fewer still engage with issues of resource scarcity and/or mismanagement. As landscape architects, we must actively make opportunities for engagement happen by better preparing ourselves with alternative design solutions and communicating them to the public.

Today’s landscape architecture students live in a complex, networked world and must be prepared for a future defined by global professional practice, to meaningfully engage in and to craft the built environment of not only their own community but also of cultures dramatically different from their own — dealing with life-threatening issues related to water, food, and waste. These issues often fall outside a landscape architect’s traditional scope, which is a missed opportunity for the discipline. Training the future generation of landscape architects to deal with these issues at different scales is the only way to make our discipline relevant in the coming 50 years.

It is an exciting time to be a landscape architect, but only if we embrace the opportunities and challenges ahead of us. There must be a crusading determination on the part of landscape architects to address the real issues of resource management if we are ever to permanently establish and realize the true potential of our discipline.

This article was part of our Oct. 12 issue which focused on how water is shaping today’s landscape architecture and urbanism. Communities face deluges and droughts—for some, the stakes can be survival itself, but others see opportunities for decadence. To explore these stories from around the U.S. and the world, click here.

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