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Travis Beck on Landscaping & Writing

In a new post on the NY Botanical Garden blog, Travis Beck talks about his experience as a landscape designer and writing his new book, Principles of Ecological Landscape Design.
Travis Beck humbly recalls his first gratifying experience as a landscape designer, a xeriscape project he planted with his own company in Colorado. “It was a small border,” he says, “but we finished on time, on budget, and it grew in very nicely.” Years later, walking through the multi-tiered landscape of the Native Plant Garden, his ego still keeps to a small space–though his undertakings seldom do. The words Beck uses to describe his work are efficient and to-the-point, even as our tour group skirts the massive water feature he’s helped realize at the center of this latest NYBG revision. But his pragmatism has a purpose in this near fairytale landscape, just as it does in his recently published book: Principles of Ecological Landscape Design. Not one to settle for the “green” aphorisms being passed along in today’s design industry, Beck’s book captures his approach to environmentally sound landscapes with practical examinations of the before, after, and in between of each project. Thoroughness is key and few aspects are left to chance. More than a simple source of inspiration, Principles of Ecological Landscape Design is a compendium designed to address every consideration for the professional or student designer. Plant selection, competition and coexistence, wildlife interaction, biodiversity, and stability are only a sampling of the many topics tackled.