Show #197 – Award Winning landscaper Monique Allen on the benefits of “Life-Scaping” your green space.

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And onto this week’s show!

Meet Monique Allen, the Founder & Creative Director of The Garden Continuum, an award-winning landscape design/build and fine gardening company. This week we unpack what it means to ‘life-scape’ and why that’s better than simply landscaping. We go through tips for newbies, ‘black thumbs’, veggie gardening, and layering your plant types to create greenspaces, balconies, and gardens that will feel like home. We also talk about the mental health benefits of creating a lifescape, what resources to surround yourself with to succeed and even redefining what success means when it comes to gardening. 

 

The questions I asked Monique:

  1. Let’s talk Lifescaping – what is it? Where does the term come from? What does it mean? 
  2. I was talking to construction industry icon Teresa Coady author of “Rebuilding Earth” last month and she talked about the misconception that designing greenscapes and wildspaces into construction projects was going to make them ‘more work’ than concrete, but the opposite was true in fact – do you feel like we see a lifescaped garden space and because of the variety and scope of it visually it appears it would be way harder to keep than a lawn? Does that need to change? 
  3. Did you grow up in wilder life-scapes or with a perfect lawn? Was it natural or an epiphany? 
  4. What led you to seeing why something needed to change with the average home’s green-space situation? 
  5. What will we gain from rethinking the way we view and interact with the land and how do you think we can dig deep to find that ‘why’ that’s so needed for someone to make profound changes like this – what could you tell someone out there that would be a bombshell to make them rethink their backyard?
  6. We get so frustrated when a plant doesn’t ‘perform’ in our yards yet we don’t know much about them… It’d be like being surprised that a malnourished baby had health issues, right?  
  7. So how do we design and build better life-scapes? Any top tips? 
  8. Where do edibles and veggie beds come into this lifescaping picture? 
  9. I’d imagine there would be a huge mental health benefit to this endeavour? Something you’re more deeply connected to than a lawn? 
  10. Can people with balconies and terraces do anything here or is this really more for people who have green space ‘out back’ or a property with surrounding gardens? 
  11. And how do we know what building a care-plan for our life-scapes entails? A lot of people grow up living the ‘black thumb’ stereotype of being someone who can’t keep a plant alive to save itself… I’d imagine they’d be a little worried about what would go into their new lifescape’s upkeep? 
  12. What do you feel is the bigger picture here when it comes to the potential a collective has to redesign any greenspaces we’re responsible for and the impact we can have in doing so?  

Other helpful links:

Learn more about the Garden Continuum and their work here: https://www.thegardencontinuum.com/

You can also grab her book, STOP Landscaping, START Life-Scaping or this FREE eBook with worksheets, Picking Plants

 

Here are a few starter blogs you may like:

Why Now Is The Time to Start a Home Veggie Garden

How Much Sun Does Your Garden Have?

Why Systems Thinking Makes a Better Landscape

The Importance of Water for Your Garden

 

Join her on Instagram @thegardencontinuum and on Facebook

 

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Low Tox. Happy us. Happy planet

 

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