Philosophy

ON SUSTAINABLE DESIGN


As one who grew up rambling the woodlands, meadows, and beaches of the Southeast, I am committed to protecting and restoring native ecosystems wherever possible and appropriate.

As a designer and painter who has lived in England, I am committed to creating garden spaces that delight those who experience them. I believe in doing all things beautifully.

Landscapes are webs of living entities to me — in the air, the canopies, the water, and the soil. I cannot see land as an object to be thoughtlessly manipulated. People — as a part of nature themselves — have a rightful place in those landscapes. Beautiful and healthy landscapes are necessary for our sustenance, including our joy. This is what it means to be sustainable.

Who we are

And why we're committed to healthy and beautiful landscapes

We all want to live in places that are healthy and beautiful — to sustain our bodies, minds, and spirits. What is healthy is beautiful — children playing, clean water and rich soil, streams, forests and meadows, vegetable gardens and orchards, birds singing, bees and butterflies at their work.

As development has spread and human population grown, much of our built landscape has become unhealthy — huge areas of lawn and paving, for instance, are creating urban heat islands and stormwater runoff problems. Industrialized farms devoted to a single species — plant or animal — create conditions for disease, which are passed on to us in our soil, water, and food.

As we change our understanding of what is unhealthy, we change our ideas of beauty to reflect healthier and more functional systems in the built environment.

This firm is devoted to reweaving healthier natural systems — of plants, wildlife, water and soil — back into residential, public, corporate, and agricultural systems in a beautiful and delightful way.

All of us with the firm are trained in landscape architecture and the ecology of the southeastern United States: stewardship of natural resources, art and design, history of built environments, the shaping of public spaces for human enjoyment and safety, naturalistic and conventional grading and drainage design, hardscape materials and construction techniques, and the use of plants for shaping space and restoring the health of ecosystems.

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Meet The Team

Leah Pine
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Leah Pine

PRINCIPAL

Landscape Architect, and Arborist— brings the skills and experience of ecologist, artist, writer, and teacher…

Jane Merkle
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Jane Merkle

ASSOCIATE

Jane received her Master of Landscape Architecture (1994) under the direction of then-Dean Darrell Morrison—concentrating…

Renee Russell
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Renee Russell

CONSULTANT

Renee is the quintessential landscape architect and the go-to for all things technical (grading, drainage,…

Maureen O’Brien
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Maureen O’Brien

CONSULTANT

Curator of the UGA Founders Memorial Garden and horticulturist extraordinaire—Maureen is also a long-time proponent…

We Create Beautiful & Sustainable Landscapes

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Blog

Occasional musings on the world of garden design

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treecropped

When cheap trees aren’t

“What are the cheapest, biggest, fastest trees I can get?”  This is my brother on…

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Pendulum

Woo Woo Two

I was checking the grounds for a summer camp art class when–as though by stage direction (Enter…

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Goldgrass41600

What I saw Saturday morning

December 7, 2015 Native-plant Design, Urban Design

Early Saturday in December, our tiny front garden: the grasses are bathed in light. Behind…

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Goldspring

New American Cottage Garden

A friend of mine was visiting and blithely called my front garden “cottage style.” It…

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Woo woo begins

I’ve decided to come clean–about using a pendulum and connecting with nature spirits. I like…

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DSCF3182

Seeing red

Recently, I read a blog by a disappointed purchaser of “Shenandoah” switchgrass (Panicum virgatum “Shenandoah”)….

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What’s a homeowner to do?

February 6, 2012 Landscape Design, Sustainable

The grass won’t grow but the moss is. The shrubs are covering the windows and…

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Leftover lawns

January 2, 2010 Landscape Design, Sustainable

When you don’t think about defining space, lawns become troublesome. They become the leftover carpet…

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Reviving an urban core

January 2, 2010 Urban Design

This first appeared as a guest column in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on November 11, 2009,…

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Drinking from an empty cup

June 24, 2009 Landscape Design

We design space. When I first heard that, it sounded like one of those Japanese…

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