Portland Sustainable Landscapes: Toward Health and Diversity – Creating an Organizational Structure for Implementation

    Introduction An Office of Sustainable Landscapes that oversees all landscapes within the City and provides active leadership to both private and commercial property owners through the following: Public Landscapes (active urban contrived) Horticultural Management Public Landscapes (urban plant communities) Corridor Management: Transportation and Riverine Division of State Lands Tri-Met P-BoT O-DoT Multnomah County […]

What Really is a Sustainable Landscape & Why it Matters

(I’ve made earlier postings on this topic, but this piece actually predates those.  I wrote this in 2013 while still working as a horticulturist for the City of Portland Parks and Recreation as a member of a Bureau committee that was working to define ‘sustainable landscapes’ so that we could begin to make our policies […]

Losing Our Urban Landscapes: Sustainable Goals and Our Crisis in Leadership

The following is intended as a template for action or a beginning point for a discussion that is long overdue. Landscapes are more complex than most people realize.  They can go seriously awry in a very short time.  Undisturbed native plant communities are relatively stable and are able to respond on their own, as they […]

Adaptive Management and the Dynamic Maintenance of Sustainable Landscapes

  Part of the Over Thinking Series We, all of us, are part of the urban landscape.  The lack of connection, understanding of and regular involvement with our landscape, a condition which has become pervasive in modern society, sometimes referred to as NDD, or Nature Deficit Disorder, has brought us to the rather precarious place we […]

Gardening in Public, Charismatic Mega Flora and the Need for a Public Horticultural Intervention

We ‘need’ charismatic mega-flora today, plants that scream out to even the most plant blind of us to take notice, those that create such a sudden and uncontrollable ‘stir’ within us that our simple glimpse of them breaks our momentum, our chains of thought, interrupting whatever we’re doing in that moment bringing about a reflexive […]

COVID-19, Pandemics and How They Will Change the World For the Better

I’m not a biological ‘fatalist’, but there are several reasons why epidemiologists were attempting to plan for a pandemic and why the Obama administration was empowering institutions, creating protocols and organizing resources that could be mobilized quickly, before the COViD-19 outbreak, not for this one specifically, but one of some kind. Viruses, bacteria, mycoplasma and […]

On Ecology, Politics and Climate Change: the Links that Tear us Asunder

Warning!!! This is a rant! It’s political, economic, ecological and, most definitely, covers all of the connections between with climate change, these things and our future as a species.  I hope you choose to read it, but be forewarned!! I woke up yesterday at 4:30am, unable to go back to sleep, so I got up […]

Experience: Gardens, Mentors, Peers and Friends…Essential Elements to the Growing Gardner!

  Gardeners find inspiration and support from all over, from nature’s expansive landscapes to the very personal and intricate jewels of fellow gardeners, to botanic gardens and the nurseries that often fuel our ardor.  We visit gardens locally, and travel when we can, seeing and experiencing what other regions and countries offer.  Sometimes it is […]

On the Necessity of Poetry in the World

Unlike the Irish, who embrace and celebrate their poets, or the Japanese with their several centuries long history of haiku, we Americans embrace the rational, the utilitarian and too often jot our observations down in reductionist, artless lines….I know that is not always true, but face it, we scoff at poetry, unless it is dressed […]

A Course Correction: The Wild and the Human, On Repairing the Relationship Between Politics, Economics and the Environment

“We are the odd ones, with bright eyes, that see the wonder of a bountiful world.  We don’t look through rose colored glasses…we’ve only removed the veil that breaks and blinds….Now, to cut the strings that tie us to the lie. ”  Lance Wright, Jan. 2019 Gardeners are my people…well, actually, so are botanists, horticulturists, […]