I often talk to clients about dreaming and imagining their perfect landscape. The place they want to relax or unwind with a glass of wine in a comfy chair. As I reflect I feel this is a question I rarely ask myself, what is my ideal or dream landscape? Living in Portland in an urban environment you begin to cherish the open space and parks that have been protected for us by those prior. When I walk around my neighborhood and the waterfront I often think about what this place looked like prior to development. It likely offered a tremendous amount of habitat for flourishing flora and fauna to develop and thrive. It makes me question if we are maximizing the way we use our land. I understand the realities of the world and people need space to live work and play, but I often see so many unused nooks and crannies that could be rehabilitated to foster environments of beauty and natural habitat for plants and animals that have been removed from the urban environment. The roof tops of dilapidated industrial buildings, the corridors between on ramps highway spaces under bridges and along waterways. Imagine a neighborhood that instead of fences, walls and gates had interconnected front yards. The yards could become a corridor filled with native plants, rain gardens, nurse logs and foraging ground and cover for bird’s insects and amphibians. How great would it be to sit outside and watch migratory birds, or establish an environment for a child to catch his or her first frogs, salamanders and toads right in your front yard.
~Matt Holt, BLA
Landscape Designer and Consultant