Human | Nature

Horticulture involves art, science, technology, and business, uniquely human endeavors that intersect with natural systems much larger than us all.

We hear it all the time: our landscapes need restoring. Years of unrealistic expectations and overconsumption, coupled with a disregard for future consequences, have torn, and in some cases trashed, our connection to the environment. But as gardeners, we can—must—be a part of the solution.

This issue is filled with stories about garden creatives who are crafting and tending contemporary gardens that are in sync with local conditions. Leach Botanical Garden recently revealed a charismatic master plan designed to engage the community with exciting plantings, gathering spaces, and new technologies while preserving the vision of founders John and Lilla Leach. Other parts of the West remain crippled by drought. But the innovative response to this challenge is nothing short of inspirational as designers, contractors, city officials, and homeowners, implement new water management strategies to adapt to what appears to be the new normal.

Increasing your garden's permeability reduces runoff and provides area for releasing captured water so it can recharge the soil. Photo: Tom Rau/Urban Water Group

Increasing your garden’s permeability reduces runoff and provides area for releasing captured water so it can recharge the soil. Photo: Tom Rau/Urban Water Group

Stories like these and many others covered in our pages are grounded in awareness and respect for nature. And generosity. Many thanks to Marilee Kuhlmann and her colleagues at Urban Water Group for contributing this year’s Water Sensitive Landscape Design series. This issue wraps up Garden Allies series. For ten years (!!) Frederique Lavoipierre has shared her enthusiastic perspective and knowledge about lesser-known inhabitants of the garden. Her remarkable stories illustrated by Craig Latker are a valuable and lasting resource on our website. And of course, none of this would be possible without PHS members whose continued support allows us to publish this work.

From the micro to the macro, whether we’re examining insects and seasonal seedpods or reinventing our gardens and landscape practices, human creativity and resourcefulness is helping to mend our environment. Collectively we’re restoring the landscape one backyard, park, wildlife corridor, and urban center at a time.