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Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Claudia West

  • LSU Design Auditorium Field House Drive Baton Rouge, LA United States (map)


Planting in a Post-Wild World

We live in a global city and few wild places remain in today’s world.
Gardeners have the opportunity and responsibility to bring wildness and ecological value back into our landscapes. This challenge requires a new form of planting design that works with natural principles and marries horticulture with ecology. Join us as we explore how native and ecological plants will fit into our future landscape and how plant community based design strategies can help you meet aesthetic and ecological goals during your next planting project.

Learning objective:

  • Analyze differences between the way plants grow in the wild and the way they grow in designed landscapes for your garden.
  • Examine strategies for creating aesthetic frames around mixed planting to make them attractive and appealing.
  • Understand how to use site constraints as assets and minimize site preparation.


Wild and Neat: Bridging the Gap between Great Garden Design and Ecology

Our planet is rapidly losing its foundation of life—the very plants that sustain us and most other creatures on earth. We know that planting more native plants in our gardens is an important part of the solution. However, many native plant gardens that focus on ecological benefits often suffer for aesthetic challenges and fail to inspire us. Great planting design is an essential part of the solution. Join us as we dig deeper into inspiring design principles derived from wild plant communities that resonate deeply within us and trigger stunning emotional responses. We will analyze archetypal landscapes and translate their principles into smaller garden spaces to help you create the native plant oasis of your dreams that will blow you away with stunning beauty!

Learning objective:

  • Understand the reasons for aesthetic and functional challenges surrounding native plantings.
  • Discover the principles behind inherently beautiful archetypal landscapes.
  • Apply principles of stunning wild landscapes to smaller garden spaces and learn how to spark strong emotional responses.


Perennial Plant Strategies:  The Science of Successful Planting Systems

Arranging perennials in aesthetic and stable compositions continues to be the ultimate challenge for designers and gardeners alike.  Much scientific research has been done and many attempts to classify perennial plants have been made in order to solve the problem of successful plant combination.  This presentation will give a professional introduction to international perennial plant strategy systems and their landscape applications.  Join us as we explore perennials and their garden habitats and learn how this method of inter-planting is currently evolving into a revolutionary new planting strategy in Europe.

Learning objective:

  • Discover the scientific principles of natural plant communities.
  • Understand the value and limits of perennial plant strategy systems.
  • Learn how to use perennial plant strategies in your next landscape project.


Claudia West is a leading voice in the emerging field of ecological planting design. Known for her passionate advocacy of plant-driven design, Claudia is a widely sought out speaker and consultant who applies the technologies of plant systems to bring essential natural functions back into our cities and towns. She has worked on all sides of the green industry—as a designer, a grower, installer, and land manager—grounding her innovative work in pragmatic solutions that address the realities of our urbanizing world. She is the co-author of the critically acclaimed book, Planting in a Post-Wild World (Timber Press, 2015).

Having grown up on a family-owned nursery, florist business, and design/build firm in eastern Germany, Claudia was propagating plants before she could walk. Her love of American native plants brought her to the U.S. where she worked at Blue Mount Nurseries in Maryland and immersed herself in the study of American flora and mid-Atlantic ecosystems. Claudia holds a Master’s Degree of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning from the Technical University of Munich, Germany. Her intense studies of plant habitats and the science of plant community-based design strategies at the renowned school for horticulture in Weihenstephan, Germany built a solid foundation for her current work. Before co-founding Phyto Studio, Claudia was ecological sales manager at North Creek Nurseries, a wholesale perennial grower in Landenberg, PA. Her work was focused on bridging the gap between growers, designers, and land managers as well as introducing more functional and beautiful ecological plants into the nursery trade.

Questions call 225-767-6916 or email

Earlier Event: January 2
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Thomas Rainer
Later Event: January 15
Normal, Illinois: Claudia West