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 […]

Every Life is on Fire: How Thermodynamics Explains the Origins of Living Things–A Review…and a Deeper Look Into the ‘Fire’ of Life..

This is a book about ‘life’, that which animates particular organic structures, organisms, absent from other ‘structures’ which remain fixed, but for the physical and chemical forces which wear them down. From our human perspective, this sets ourselves, and all other living things, apart from the inert, nonliving, matter that comprises our world and the […]

Physics, Evolution, Natural Selection and the Generative Power of the of Far Out of Equilibrium Dissipative Structures (Organisms), part 2

On Pattern, Chemistry and Life Pattern builds upon pattern.  Whatever you start with effects and limits everything that follows whether we are talking about masonry bricks and stone or Eukaryotic cells and organic molecules.  A different starting point or ‘decision’ at any point in the process, effects every ‘decision’, or even possibility, there after, effects […]

Why Bad Things Happen to Good Plants?: On Root Problems, Root Washing, Nursery Practices and Customers

“To be, or not to be? That is the question—Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And, by opposing, end them?”  Hamlet. Is the question we face as gardeners as simple as, To ‘root wash’ or not to […]

Nature as a Model For Society and the Economy

For years now my real interest has been in plants and the life sciences.  This has lead me to better understand the physics and chemistry of life, of the organism, as I attempt to understand the truly awesome and fantastical phenomenon that is life itself.  I find it impossible to ignore the links between all […]

What Do We Do When the Whole World Feels Like its Falling to Pieces?

In this blog I focus on plants.  Any gardener, botanist or horticulturist knows that plants, all living organisms, live in an incredibly complex, interwoven network of systems, each affecting the others, the health of anyone, in large part determined by the health of the ‘whole’.  Life does not and cannot exist in a vacuum.  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 […]