LWLA work featured in NYT article_Barrett

LWLA’s work was featured twice in The New York Times this summer.  Writer Sara Barrett asked Larry Weaner to provide design suggestions for areas of her property damaged by two hurricanes, and a Travel section article featured LWLA meadows at Olana State Historic Site in New York.

Larry Weaner provided a series of design suggestions for restoring areas of author Sara Barrett’s property that had been damaged by Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012.  Larry emphasized the importance of assessing existing conditions and identifying goals for the area, including determining whether it is to be a low maintenance natural plant community or a more intensively designed and managed cultivated space.


Existing post-storm damage conditions. Photo © Sara Barrett.

To provide a sense of what the space could look like if restored to native plant communities that would have historically colonized such a site, our office developed a series of graphics showing the progression of these communities over time.  The graphics illustrate what the area might look like if manipulated to allow planted and existing vegetation to progress from an herbaceous meadow plant community to a mixed woody-herbaceous “Old Field” type plant community.  This progression could be allowed to unfold while meeting the client’s aesthetic preferences and functional needs.

LWLA Meadow Sim_Second Year MeadowMeadow in year two of development. Early successional species (such as Brown Eyed Susan) are prominent. Woody species are evident at the woodland edges.

LWLA Meadow Sim_Mature Meadow

Mature meadow with long-lived later stage herbaceous vegetation. “Old field” type woody vegetation (such as Stag Horn Sumac) form fingers into the meadow. The woody species can be managed to prevent their eventual domination of the meadow, or the site can be allowed to experience the natural progression from field to forest.

The intent was to stabilize the site in the short and long term, prevent the incursion of weeds and invasive species, and provide a low maintenance natural landscape with significant ecological and aesthetic value.  LWLA is becoming increasingly well known for success with projects such as this, establishing dynamic native plant communities that incorporate existing desired species, are resilient to invasive plants, and can achieve diverse aesthetic and ecological goals.

Read about how one property owner considered restoring her storm-ravaged landscape.

Then, The New York Times featured meadows LWLA designed for Olana State Historic Site, the estate of famed painter Frederic Edwin Church, in New York’s Hudson Valley.  These meadows are still in early in their development, as evident in The New York Times photo, which shows the tell-tale significant presence of such early successional species as Brown Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta).

We look forward monitoring the ongoing development of these prominent meadows. See The New York Times photo of the meadows at this historic landscape.