Search for the “Perfect” Soil Specification

Imported soil specifications have evolved over the last 30 years to become quite specific about products. Frequently, they appear to be iron-clad descriptions of the most optimum soil; many specification writers would like us to think that even minor deviations from these documents will result in horticultural disasters. But “standard” specifications are not one-size-fits-all. Many… More

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3 Ways to Sustain Nature in the Built Environment

Urbanization is occurring rapidly – not just in the United States, but globally – and squeezing people, transit, and housing into denser and denser areas. This shift isn’t just about buildings and roads, of course, it also affects the way we plan, integrate, and care for urban nature. Given that trees and plants are more… More

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1 Million Trees: Vision or Nightmare?

In 1982, I was in China studying landscape architecture and architecture at the University of Nanjing. The central Chinese government had recently announced they would recommit to a nationwide multi-billion tree planting program, originally initiated in 1978. By then the Cultural Revolution was over, Mao Zedong was dead, the Gang of 4 had been jailed, and… More

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