In 2005, following two decades of professional accolades, Margie Ruddick created a new kind of garden that landed her in court. Through selective mowing, planting, pruning, and frequently doing no maintenance, the internationally renowned landscape designer, a winner of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award, created a wild landscape that—while beautiful—was unlike any front yard her neighbors had ever seen. When she received a summons from the city citing her garden’s weed height, Ruddick questioned her “wild experiment” and began to wonder: What are the principles that make a landscape wild without being chaotic? It was this experience that set Ruddick on a mission to redefine the meaning of sustainable landscape design.

With Wild by Design: Strategies for Creating Life-Enhancing Landscapes, Ruddick delivers an inspirational guide for innovative landscape design that integrates ecology, urban planning, and culture. Her globe-spanning examples demonstrate how a project’s function and design can work in concert to create beautiful, healthy places that connect people with the natural systems around them. Check out an excerpt of the book below and order your copy today.