Colloquy Downeast Blue Hill Maine

Colloquy Downeast

Spirited Conversations in Great Company

FacilitatorAvy Claire and Cathy Rees
Date & TimeWednesdays,September 12, 19,26 (three sessions)
6:00 pm -8:00 pm
LocationHoward Room, Blue Hill Public Library

This colloquy will consider the current climate of landscape design as it moves towards a more native plant palette. We will consider landscapes that can serve the natural world while providing a more sustainable solution for the built environment. We all remember the “mixed border” as a designing tool, which gave way to naturalistic plantings using “drifts”. In recent years, designers have turned their attention to plant based strategies that mimic nature with concepts of layering, and plantings based on a “matrix”. Discussions will focus on how plants can do the work in the garden by understanding their functions and relationships to each other. 

Avy Claire and Cathy Rees, co-founders of the Native Gardens of Blue Hill, have been maintaining and designing garden landscapes on the Blue Hill Peninsula for 20+ years. Their integrated approach navigates between the needs of human behavior and protecting and enhancing a bio-diverse landscape. 

  ▼ Syllabus/Reading


Readings & Videos:

Session 1, Sept 12

In Session 1, we will focus on a discussion of ‘What is ecological planting?’. The links below will give a broad spectrum of ideas from the very basic introduction of terms, to considering recent ideas for using plants as the workers in the garden, to  our emotional need for nature and the garden experience.
video links: 

The Next Green Revolution by Thomas Rainer

Planting Design Lecture by Aleandra Feliciano

A good video with ideas around forest plantings, and free to skip ahead if you don’t find this video speaking to you, to time stamp 27.23 where Dan Pierson will start talking about planting a smaller area within the forest park.

Dan Pearson on immersive spaces in landscape design   

Audio Link: scroll down to the bottom of the article to find the audio link to this interview

‘Plants are the Mulch’ and Other Nature-Based Design Wisdoms, with Claudia West

Reading: from book:
Planting in a Post-Wild World  by Thomas Rainer and Claudia West
• Introduction: Nature As It Was, Nature As It Could Be  pages 13-25
• Chapter 1 (first half): Principles Of Designed Plant Communities  pages 29-62

Session 2, Sept 19

Session 2 will explore the methods used in garden design.
video links:

The Liberated Landscape Letting Nature Do the Work by Larry Weaner

Cassian Schmidt : The New Perennial Movement at Hermannshof Gardens

This is a long video and may not suit everyone. Feel free to start watching at Time Stamp, 46 minutes.
Planting: A New Perspective by Piet Oudolf and Noel Kingsbury
Chapter 5: Mingling Currents in Contemporary Planting Design  Pages 199-231

Session 3, Sept 26

We would like to facilitate discussion around how you can apply these ideas to your own garden.  We will likely review videos and reading material from previous sessions, and add new videos or reading to this session based on how the conversation has evolved.

Planting: A New Perspective by Piet Oudolf and Noel Kingsbury
Chapter 3: Combining Plants pages 121-173

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  ▼ Registration


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