Garden Designers’ Roundtable: Designing With Native Plants

Susan Abraham of Lush Life Landscapes

For this month’s GDRT, I had the the pleasure of interviewing Susan Abraham, instructor of Landscape Design at GWU, and founder of Lush Life Landscapes, a garden design firm based in Northern Virginia that is devoted to native plants and “ecological artistry.”  I love that term!  I also love her website, which does a better job of presenting a philosophy of sustainable garden design than any other other design site I’ve seen.  It’s eloquent, informative, positive, and totally avoids the kind of preachiness that is all too evident in the world of green design.  Enjoy getting to know Susan! 

MG: Where do you think your interest in ecological garden design originated?  Did you have a different career prior to becoming a landscape designer?

SA: My interest in ecological garden design originated in Southern California as I tended my garden.  Water shortages began in earnest in the region, and I noticed information available at local nurseries about xeriscaping using Mediterranean plants suitable to the local climate.  This piqued my interest in the variety of native plants thriving in open areas, and led to an interest in historic techniques used to capture, store and use rainfall in irrigation.

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