Water Sensitive Landscape Design

Throughout 2016 Pacific Horticulture featured a series of articles contributed by Marilee Kuhlmann and her colleagues at Urban Water Group in Los Angeles.

Our series focused on the basics: soil, carbon, water, and plants, as well as alternative technologies, and resource consumption. And always, our eye was on design: what is the new “beautiful”? Read on to explore new ways of thinking about changing garden conditions and how to create a nature-friendly, resilient landscape.

Illustration: Alex Stevens

Illustration: Alex Stevens

Where Did the Water Go? – A Watershed Approach by Marilee Kuhlmann along with Paula Henson and Tom Rau

A look at California’s changing relationship with water and how gardens—and gardeners—cannot continue being insensitive to water use in the landscape, no matter what climate change has up its sleeve.

Photo: Marilee Kuhlmann

Photo: Marilee Kuhlmann

The Big Shift – Earth’s Renewal from the Bottom Up by Marilee Kulmann and Paula Henson

Over the past few decades, earth science knowledge has blossomed with some surprising revelations. This story explores new approaches to traditional garden practices that work in concert with, not against, natural systems.

Photo: Philip Otto

Photo: Philip Otto

Designing for the New Normal – Asking Questions by Tom Rau

A look at how Urban Water Group, a water-sustainability collective in Los Angeles, is retooling their design process and working to devise creative solutions for more resilient landscapes that enhance and support the environment.

Photo: Tom Rau

Photo: Tom Rau

Making a Difference – Managing Water by Marilee Kuhlmann

Managing a landscape during an extended drought means more than making smart plant choices. We’ve looked at shifting climate patterns, nurturing soil biology, and adjusting our approach to designing gardens. But it all comes down to water.