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Architect Bill McDonough said it best: "How do we love all the children of all species for all time?"

It really is this simple: We are all connected. Everything is connected. Everything we do has an effect on others. What we need to do is to remember this phrase every time we have a decision to make. I try to reflect on this each time I prepare a landscape plan.

The terms “sustainable” and “green” have become common buzzwords, and for an important reason. But what does sustainable landscaping mean to you, the homeowner? It means using native plants which need less watering and are a natural source of food and shelter for birds, bugs, and wild creatures. Native plantings require fewer applications of fertilizer and, once the plants are established, less physical effort to keep things going. Sustainable landscaping means using rain runoff efficiently; not sending excess water to your neighbors, but routing it responsibly. It means honoring your outdoor space and using its resources mindfully.

For landscape architects, sustainable design is simply good design guided by solid environmental goals. Sustainable design, or “green” design, is what landscape architects have been educated and trained to do. We take careful site and resource analyses, along with site planning and design, to make the most of a given place. The green revolution has opened up the conversation, giving our clients a common language and us an opportunity to educate them. Let's plant more native plants. Let's do better storm water management – with rain gardens