Rick Darke, award-winning landscape design consultant, author, lecturer, and photographer will lecture on The Living Landscape at the Darien Library on Wednesday, January 14 at 7:00 p.m. The talk, co-sponsored by Tree Conservancy of Darien, Darien Land Trust, Darien Nature Center, Darien Library and Friends of Selleck’s Woods is free and will focus on using biodiversity in home garden and community landscapes.
Rick Darke blends art, ecology, and cultural geography in his work and is dedicated to the design and stewardship of livable landscapes. In his talk, he will discuss how an understanding of living layers in nature and relational biodiversity can be put to practical use in making and maintaining both home gardens and community landscapes. He will explain the role plants within the living layers play in the larger environment, such as providing berries for birds, food for bugs, or a place for bees to pollinate. Strategies for employing “organic architecture” in creating beautiful, conserving, highly functional layers will be presented in detail.
Above, a biodiverse landscape viewed in different seasons
Darke, an accomplished horticulturist based in Pennsylvania, was inspired early on in his career in Fairfield County. As an undergrad engineering student, Darke attended a course on summer flora at UConn’s Stamford campus and the Bartlett Arboretum. He learned how to identify wild plants in local Connecticut woods and fields and was moved to return to the University of Delaware as a Botany major. According to Darke, it was this change of course that eventually led to his 20-year career at the well-known Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania and his work in horticulture that has won many awards including the Scientific Award of the American Horticultural Society.
Darke has also enjoyed nearly two decades of independent design work and publication. His most recent book, The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden, and co-authored with Doug Tallamy, is a definitive guide to designing a beautiful, biodiverse home garden. The book includes design strategies to implement in a home garden and helpful charts with plant suggestions, including natives and nonnatives. The Darien library is located at 1441 Post Road in Darien. For more information, email [email protected].