Designing with Plant Communities in Mind

Presented by Claudia West, Author of “Planting in a Post-Wild World”

Ecological plantings are gaining popularity, but also face challenges due to environmental conditions and cultural expectations. When these plantings fail, it discourages future ecological landscaping efforts. We won’t solve this problem if we continue to design as if it we were painting on canvas, perceiving plants as individual objects in space. It is time for a new approach: a plant community based approach that evolved from the world of ecological science. Join Ms. West as she explains how plants fit together in the wild and how we can use this knowledge to create landscapes that are resilient, beautiful, and diverse. This presentation will provide information that is practical as well as inspiring.

westClaudia West is the ecological sales manager at North Creek Nurseries, a wholesale perennial grower in Landenberg, Pennsylvania. Ms. West holds a Master’s Degree of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning from the Technical University of Munich, Germany. In her current role, Ms. West works closely with ecological design and restoration professionals, offering consultation services from initial project planning stages to adaptive management strategies after project completion. Her work is centered on the development of stable, layered planting designs and the desire to bring American native plants back into our landscape. Together with co-author Thomas Rainer she recently published her first book: Planting in a Post-Wild World, which promotes a new approach to ecological planting design.