Check out these tools and resources to help you learn more about sustainable design principles, low impact development practices, and more. I’ll add others as I find and vet them.
- One of the best resources for learning about landscape and garden issues is Garden Web. They’ve been around for ever. It’s a forum, covering everything gardening, A to Z. Find out info about plants, problems, preparation and more. Join up and enjoy!
- Georgia Gardening also puts out a print magazine. If you have questions about gardening in Georgia, this is one of the first places to go for answers. Their regional sections are especially enlightening.
- Some landscapes may meet the criteria for certification under the Sustainable Sites Initiative. Check out the free webinars on their site for an overview of just what the SSI is all about.
- Landscape for Life is based around the SSI, and teaches you how to garden with nature, whether you live in the city, the suburbs, on a farm, or in the woods. You can take their Teaching the Teacher course, and learn to train folks interested in sustainable practices. I’ve taken the course and am qualified to teach it, so if you want to know more, or would like me to teach your group, just email me.
- If you live in Georgia and you’re a rabid gardener, you might enjoy becoming a Master Gardener. Candidates must take an extensive course of instruction created around university-based applied research, pass a relatively simple test, and complete 5o hours of volunteer service their first year. It’s all about community service, passing your knowledge forward – and hanging with some pretty cool fellow gardeners!
- Looking for trustworthy answers to your landscape and gardening problems? Try out eXtension, an interactive learning environment delivering highly researched knowledge from the best land-grant university minds across America. eXtension connects knowledge consumers with knowledge providers – experts who know their subject matter inside out. I use this site a lot.
- For information on Georgia natives, try the UGA Extension publication Native Plants for Georgia series. This one covers trees and shrubs. Once on the site, follow the links in the right column for Part 2 (Ferns) and Part 3 (Wildflowers), as well as a cool photo guide.
- Pro Contractor Studio is one of the software suites I use. It’s geared more towards professionals, but a savvy homeowner could use it with little problem. It’s kind of pricy, though, for a one-off landscape design.
- Find My Shadow is a fun site with practical implications if you’re designing your own landscape. You can waste a lot of time playing around with this, so beware!