Tag: Design

  • The Succession of Cities: Organic Patterns Shaping Urban Growth

    The Succession of Cities: Organic Patterns Shaping Urban Growth

    Do Cities Grow Like Ecosystems? Until millennia, city building was an organic, bottom-up, incremental process beginning with a handful of people looking for opportunities at the confluence of waterways, trade roots, and resources. Speculating newcomers establish temporary structures, replaced over time with permanent buildings. Enterprising citizens set up shops to supply growing demands, and streets…

  • How To Grow a 1000-Year-Old Tree

    How To Grow a 1000-Year-Old Tree

    Edmonton Public Library How-To Festival What would it be like to live in a world where people tended 1000-year-old trees? How might planting long-lived trees change our thinking about the future and our role in its creation? The following is a recording and edited transcript of a talk I gave at the Edmonton Public Library’s…

  • The 5 School Garden Pace Layers

    The 5 School Garden Pace Layers

    Designing Better School Gardens Using Pace Layer Thinking School boards live for centuries, school buildings last decades, teaching careers come and go in thirty to forty years, the curriculum changes every decade or so, students come and go every three years, semesters turn over twice a year, units last weeks, and lessons are over in…

  • Garden Design Course

    Garden Design Course

    Online ecological garden design course covers five techniques for creating a garden that reduces work, increases yields and works with nature

  • 11 Woody Superpowers That Grow Better Cities

    11 Woody Superpowers That Grow Better Cities

    Trees have woody superpowers that, when used correctly, can grow better cities. We plant trees in our parks, boulevards, and yards, but for many of us, they’re little more than greenery in the landscape. But noticed or not, trees are silently making our yards, communities, and cities better places to live. Whether shading our homes,…

  • Making Walnut Ink and Dye

    Making Walnut Ink and Dye

    Making Ink and Dye From Walnut Seeds I discovered walnut ink while collecting and processing (dehusking) walnuts to plant with the Shrubscriber community. Locally, the most common Walnut is the White or Butternut Walnut (Juglans cinerea but I occasionally run across Black Walnuts (Juglans nigra) and Manchurian Walnuts (Juglans mandschurica). I gather seeds, a process…

  • Gardening in the Zombie Apocalypse

    Gardening in the Zombie Apocalypse

    How Gardeners Will Survive the End of the World The zombie apocalypse is upon us, and it’s up to the gardeners to save us. Armed with shovels and a handful of ecological design principles, it’s time to turn this zombie threat into a horticultural opportunity. This isn’t your grandparent’s rose garden. This is gardening in…

  • Creating Garden Microclimates

    Creating Garden Microclimates

    What a Poop Pit Can Teach Us About Garden Microclimates I stumbled upon pineapple pits while researching old botanic gardens. The Heligan Garden in Cornwall, England, was created in the 18th century by the Tremayne family. The garden fell into disrepair after the First World War but was restored in the nineties. During reconstruction, a strange…

  • Cold Hardy Food Forest Plant List

    Cold Hardy Food Forest Plant List

    A Growing Inventory of Cold Hardy Perennial Plants Since 2015, I’ve been propagating and growing tonnes of USDA hardiness zone 1 to 5 perennial plants in my Edmonton backyard and urban farm plot. The list has grown to over 285 species across 152 plant genera. Tagging each species by edible component (fruit, nut, leaf, bark,…

  • Classroom Container Gardening

    Classroom Container Gardening

    Start A School Garden With Pots and Containers One of the easiest ways to introduce gardening to students is through classroom container gardening. A significant obstacle to growing food in the classroom is finding a permanent space, but pots and containers allow any teacher to start small without a fixed garden space. Container gardening can…

  • Creating A Classroom Aquaponics System

    Creating A Classroom Aquaponics System

    Why Set Up A Classroom Aquaponics System? Lots of classrooms have plants and fish, but not many combine them into a symbiotic classroom aquaponics system. When connected, fish waste provides water and nutrients to the plants while the plants clean the water for the fish. Aquaponics systems contain a complete nitrogen cycle and symbiotic relationships but are…

  • Slow Landscaping – Slow Trees in Fast Cities

    Slow Landscaping – Slow Trees in Fast Cities

    The Long Now Cities are fast-paced, ever-changing places filled with fast fashion, quick commerce, short election cycles, and perpetual development. What does living in the fast lane do to our ability to see the big picture and tackle life’s biggest challenges? How might fast-paced cities influence what musician and producer Brian Eno coined a sense…