Thomas Rainer is a registered landscape architect, teacher, and author. He has designed landscapes for the U.S. Capitol grounds, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and The New York Botanical Garden, as well as more than 100 gardens from Maine to Florida. He is a celebrated public speaker who has garnered acclaim for his passionate presentations to audiences across the U.S. and in Europe. Mr. Rainer serves as a Principal for the landscape architectural and consulting firm Phyto Studio in Washington, D.C.  He has a broad range of experience in project types ranging from intimate residential gardens to expansive estates, rooftop gardens, botanical gardens, large-scale green infrastructure design & implementation, and national memorials. His work has been featured in numerous publications, including The New York TimesLandscape Architecture Magazine, The Washington PostThe Chicago Tribune and Architectural Digest.


Cities are often thought of as the antithesis of nature, but among every weed patch, a dynamic natural system exists. A new way of thinking is emerging. It does not seek nature in remote mountain-tops but finds it instead in the midst of our cities and suburbs. It looks at our degraded built landscapes with unjaded eyes, seeing the archipelago of leftover land not as useless remnants, but as territories of vast potential. Join landscape architect and writer Thomas Rainer to explore the new hybrid of urban and natural, horticulture and ecology. The talk will explore a range of strategies, from working with spontaneous vegetation to using long-lived perennials to maximize the ecosystem services and beauty of urban plantings.


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