A Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation grant enabled Ben to begin exploring different approaches for creating resilient perennial plantings in urban public spaces. The Growing Grit project let him undertake real-world experiments using the novel European approaches to sustainable urban plantings. Techniques such as growing plants in deep mineral mulches or in artificial substrates both reduce soil fertility, which accommodates much more diverse plant communities, and reduces the potential for weed invasion. Either way, the result is a designed planting that is simple to manage over the long term by busy homeowners as well as maintenance crews who lack advanced horticultural training. Perhaps this style of planting includes solutions for you!
Ben O'Brien is the owner of Wild by Design, a naturalistic garden design business in Prince Edward County that specializes in artfully crafted, richly planted, lovingly tended gardens. Since 2014 Ben's passion for plants has informed every project, from small town gardens to large rural properties and urban public spaces. Ben's trial garden research explores innovative ways to create beautiful, biodiverse and resilient designed plant communities.
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Member of the Ontario Horticultural Association
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