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 […]

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, […]

Death and Life in the Garden: Learning in the Garden Classroom

As gardeners our hands are ‘bloodied’ with the chlorophyll of plants…while it may not stain us as ‘murderers’, we are never the less complicit in their deaths…as much as we are necessary for their lives.  Without us, as a group, these garden plants would never would have been propagated and, if not for our ‘selfish’ […]

The Lower Deschutes River: the Incursion of Invasive Plants and our Failure to Responsibly Maintain Native Plant Communities

  [As I go over this post yet again, July 21, the 80,000 acre Substation Fire is still burning across canyon and wheat country here.  Included in the blaze are the 20 miles of the Lower Deschutes canyon down to the campground at the confluence with the Columbia.  Much of this burned down to within […]

Argyle Winery: A Look at a Landscape in Dundee as an Example for Those on the Trail to Xeric Design and Sustainability

I don’t usually do this, write about a particular landscape with which I have no history, so this is a bit of  a departure for me.  I’ve know Sean Hogan for quite a few years, consider him a friend and a highly influential mentor of sorts.  His encyclopedic knowledge of plants, his boundless enthusiasm, has […]