To create more vibrant, ecologically oriented urban landscapes, we need to change our perception of what landscapes are and how we manage them. Usually, maintenance is seen as a burden, when it should be appreciated as an asset, providing social and environment health and ecosystem services. A landscape ecosystem should not be a static thing,
Of all the ecosystems out there, forests and woodland are possibly the most abundant and diverse. Think about it; we have a thin layer of soil on the surface of this planet and without foliage, nothing between us and the stars. Plants and especially trees, add layers in-between, build microclimates and nurture life. We should
Some of you will know that I have been following the ups and downs of a brownfield site in Abu Dhabi, near the Corniche. I’ve written two articles on it already, one in 2018 and one earlier this year. Links to these are at the end of this post. I visited again last week, the
What is an adaptive landscape, how is it different from other forms of landscape? Is a regenerative landscape also different? Simply put, they are landscapes, either natural, man-made or modified, that demonstrate an ability to adapt, survive and thrive under current and future conditions. Adaptive and regenerative are both expressions of this statement, with some
When we think of green space in a city, we think of trees, parks and gardens. Seldom do we think of these areas as self-sustaining ecosystems, yet they can and should be. Approaching landscape in this way brings multiple benefits but requires a subtle shift in thinking and a new way of understanding plant communities.
For the first time ever, this summer the UK recorded temperatures in excess of 40°C. Parts of Wennington, a village in East London were consumed by fire. If ever there was a moment to wake up and change how we live, it is now. If we don’t we are individually and collectively committing, in the
The world is changing, I think we all know that now. In terms of climate and ecology, we probably don’t realise how much and how fast. Climate zones are shifting North and Southwards from the equatorial regions with the most extreme change seen near the poles (4 times the rate of elsewhere). For us in
This is a follow-up to an article I wrote in 2018, about a brownfield site in Downtown Abu Dhabi. The original article can be found at the end. I was fascinated at the spontaneous self-seeding of plants – all non-native ‘invasive’ plants – that had taken place. Less than a year later, Google maps revealed
Gravel gardens have been around a long time yet with a few well-known exceptions (Denmans, Beth Chatto and more recently, Olivier Filippi), never really make it into the mainstream of garden design. I suspect that for some designers, there is insufficient structure to satisfy, yet that is actually one of the main benefits. This makes
The emergence of the idea of resilient planting is a response to a number of different pressures which all have one underlying cause – climate change. Whatever the cause – and I’ll get on to that later – I see it as the most exciting change to the way we design our gardens and landscapes.