Design Feature In – Green Child Magazine

Posted by on Mar 6, 2012 in Blog, Landscape Design, Media | 4 comments

Design Feature In – Green Child Magazine

Urban Eden Design was recently featured in Green Child Magazine, in the late winter 2012 edition. The article is below.

GC: Why did you choose to be a holistic/sustainable landscaper?

LF: My passion and curiosity lead me down an interesting path on a search for a career that would allow me to work within my values and create sustainable beauty. I trained as a graphic and media designer, but part way through my schooling I was hit by a car as a pedestrian!

During my recovery I realized the amazing healing power of nature and this discovery started me down the path of horticulture and landscaping. I believe that sustainability, at its core, it’s not carbon credits, it’s not peak oil and it is not politics. It is the realization that everything is cyclical, what you put in you will get out, all life supports each other.

GC: What is one essential “rule” you apply to every space you create?

LF: The rule for every space; function before beauty! In the design process we talk about how I add the beauty factor in once it is determined how the space is to be used.

GC: How should one feel in a holistic outdoor space?

LF: I ask a lot of questions and talk at length with the homeowners before starting a design. People want to experience different colors, scents and seasons in a way that is unique to their own tastes and preferences. Each design takes into account favorite colors and seasons.

One person may be excited at the start of summer because of the vibrant energizing color and another may welcome spring with it’s fresh and calming greens and yet another will relish the thought of driving into her driveway in winter because she loves the winter blooms. The end result is that they are at peace with their surroundings.

GC: What is your favorite material/plant to use in your designs?

LF: I am quite partial to natural rock, and try to incorporate it in each design. This could be as simple as a flagstone walkway or as complex as a water feature. Favorite plants? I love plants and have way too many to list, but here a few of my favourites:

Viburnum bodnatense “dawn” is a scented winter flowering shrub that has stunning pink flowers on bare branches. Two of my favorite grasses are Mexican feather grass (Stipa tenuissima) and Red Rooster Tail (Carex buchanii). Mexican feather grass dances in the wind, when the light catches the seed heads at the end of summer, it shimmers. It is a true delight to watch. Red Rooster Tail is equally at home in the shade as it is in the sun. It has these whimsical curled tips that are just perfect and it looks the same throughout the changing seasons. My all time favorite flower is Echinacea as it’s so versatile. It comes in virtually any colour of the rainbow, it flowers in early summer right through frost and as it’s a prairie flower it’s drought tolerant so it can be planted places where it receives very little water! Check out the BigSky series, they are spectacular!

GC: What is one element you think that all outdoor spaces should have?

LF: All outdoor spaces should have something edible in them! Food is beautiful and doesn’t have to be limited to a raised bed. In a Mediterranean themed garden I planted fruiting olive shrubs. Edibles can be incorporated throughout the ornamental garden. It’s an amazing thing to walk to your front or back door and be able to pop a few blueberries into your mouth on the way!

4 Comments

  1. I like the idea of having a holistic outdoor space, I’d love to experience the different colors, scents and seasons in a way that is unique to my taste and preferences. Wouldn’t you? Great interview!!

  2. Hey Lora, love your thoughts on sustainability and everything being cyclical. So true in many areas of life, i love the notion of appreciating all seasons for their beauty. And as always your work is beautiful :)

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