Design Workshop - Rick Darke

Join Rick Darke for a special design workshop on Dynamic, Conservation-based Landscape Design

Designers responding to clients’ increasing enthusiasm for landscapes that sustain a diversity of life need multidisciplinary skills, knowledge and experience that are often beyond the borders of traditional landscape architecture. Projects involving dynamic rather than static goals are best served by novel collaborations between professionals in related fields including horticulture, field botany, floral and faunal ecology, phytogeography and cultural geography.

This discussion-based workshop will explore best practices for authentic conservation-based design of biologically diverse and dynamic landscapes.  Topics will include inventory and assessment tools and techniques, the concept of living layers, editing techniques, strategic intervention into dynamic living process, issues involving ‘native’ vs ‘exotic’ planting choices, the concept of ‘invasive species’ and related management strategies.

Rick Darke heads RICK DARKE LLC, a Pennsylvania-based consulting firm focused on the design and management of living landscapes. Darke's work is grounded in an observational ethic that blends art, ecology, and cultural geography. Projects include parks, scenic byways, transportation corridors, corporate and collegiate campuses, conservation developments, post industrial brownfields, botanic gardens and residential landscapes.

Darke has studied and photographed North American plants in diverse habitats for nearly 40 years, and this experience is reflected in his articles and books including The American Woodland Garden: Capturing the Spirit of the Deciduous Forest and The Living Landscape: Desigining for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden (co-authored with Doug Tallamy).  A broadly knowledgeable botanist and horticulturist, Darke has traveled extensively in both hemispheres exploring diverse ecologies and cultural landscapes in search of ideas to enrich the global garden. He is an internationally recognized authority on the use of grasses in designed gardens and managed wildscapes and his book The Encyclopedia of Grasses for Livable Landscapes is the world's most complete single reference on the topic. Believing that managed wildness will play an increasing role in tomorrow's urban and suburban landscapes, Darke worked with Timber Press to introduce William Robinson's classic work to a new generation of gardners. The Wild Garden: Expanded Edition places Robinson's work in modern ecological context and illustrates its continuing relevance.

The workshop is $249 and limited to 35 participants.  Registration to attend the 2018 Western is required to purchase the Design Workshop ticket.