Naturescape Your Yard

Naturescaping is landscaping with nature – attracting and sustaining wildlife, using native and well-adapted plants, using resources wisely, avoiding environmental pollution.

But it also means landscaping like nature. Nobody plants, waters or fertilizes the forest or the prairie, yet they survive – beautifully – on their own. Naturescaping – also called Ecological landscaping – creates self-sustaining (i.e. low-maintenance) landscapes that function like nature.

Naturescape Your Yard is informed both by the work of notable ecologists and ecological designers and my own understanding that everything comes from somewhere, everything goes somewhere and it’s all connected.  I present big-picture ecological thinking, nitty-gritty how-to tips and images of sustainable yards and gardens that serve the needs of the people who use them, look attractive and function as small ecosystems.

“Naturescape Your Yard” encourages

  • emulating the ecosystems we have here in the forested East by planting in layers and covering ground -– and benefiting from ecosystem services
  • thinking about plant communities rather than just individual plants
  •  planting to feed wildlife all year long
  • attracting pollinators and other beneficial insects
  • choosing plants that want to be in the soils we have rather than constantly disturbing and amending soil
  • managing invasive plants
  •  designing to allow water to infiltrate the ground rather than running off
  • looking at leaves, garden clippings, sticks and even dead trees as resources to return to the soil rather than waste problems
  • using local and recycled materials
  • organic gardening

Using natural processes makes our yards easier to maintain, more conserving of time and resources, less polluting, more beautiful and enjoyable.

About The Naturescaping Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide for Bringing Nature to Your Backyard

Just as I launched my Eco-friendly Garden Coach business after years of photographing and writing about ecological landscaping, native plants, biodiversity, xeriscaping, organic gardening, planting for wildlife, gardening with nature and related topics, Oregon landscape designer Beth O’Donnell Young called out of the blue to ask if I’d be the photographer for the book she was writing on Naturescaping. I am pleased that my photos – and the stories behind them – now grace her exceedingly useful planning guide, published by Timber Press in 2011.

Contact Karen to book this talk, discuss additional workshop or master class, or to book an eco-friendly garden coach consultation.