Redesigning Suburbia

Little boxes on the hillsideLittle boxes made of ticky-tackyLittle boxes, Little boxesLittle boxes all the sameThere’s a green one and a pink oneAnd a blue one and a yellow oneAnd they’re all made out of ticky-tackyAnd they all look just the same ~ Pete Seeger, Little Boxes Suburbs get a bad rap environmentally — spreading […]

Living on The Edge

“Edge effects are the changes in biodiversity that occur inside the space surrounding the shared edge of two or more distinct ecosystems. This transitional zone rich in biodiversity is known as the ecotone; examples are between woodlands and plains, forests and mountains, and land and water.”                 ~ Gia Mora I live in a small […]

Street Trees

To this day, its origins remain a mystery. But somehow, amid the chaotic meeting of the so-called New World and the Old, two plants from continents thousands of miles apart — an American sycamore and an Oriental plane – met and reproduced.                                 ~ Zaria Gorvett One of the nice things about the old neighborhood […]

Good Lawn Almighty!

“I think idly about maybe, just maybe, this year I might just walk the talk and grow a natural yard, my own version of rewilding. Let nature have its way and see what evolves. After all, nature was here first and maybe she knows best what to do here.”                                                 ~ Steve Tarlton Every spring, […]

Stuff

Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service — then let them go.                                                                 ~Marie Kondo We’re doing some painting and drywall repairs in our upstairs bedrooms, including a couple of closets. Of course, that required the shuffling of furniture and […]

Ecological Landscaping

“He was as happy as a 12-year-old, trying to see what Mother Nature does there and then work it into a design … Science has kind of divorced itself from spirituality and emotion, but Darrel cultivates that experiential side of what landscapes evoke in us.”                                 ~ Ulrich Lorimer about landscape architect Darrel Morrison Nature […]

Let The Sunshine In

I don’t get many phone calls, but for the third time in two days, I just received another sales call from some solar company. I support solar power and had actually looked into getting it for our house at one time. I went through the calculations and talked to a salesperson. But we live in […]

Brute Force and Ignorance

For generations, we have spent the first third of our lives acquiring the college degrees we need to find jobs. These degrees are the stamps on our professional passports that paved the way for the remaining two-thirds of our journey.                                                 ~ Ravi Kumar and Steve George “Don’t use force; get a bigger hammer.”                                                 […]

Like Legos

“… it was all about refurbishing and reusing existing buildings. Wainright’s meaning is much more sophisticated; we may not keep every building forever, but if they are designed for deconstruction we can keep using all the parts. That’s the way to truly ban demolition.” ~ Lloyd Alter It was a hard lesson for a young […]

Old Urbanism

“New Urbanism is an urban design movement which promotes environmentally friendly habits by creating walkable neighborhoods containing a wide range of housing and job types.” – Wikipedia New Urbanism is one of our primary tools against sprawl. Greater density, alternative transportation, layered development, increased diversity — all contribute to a more efficient community. I had […]