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Talk To The Experts Event: Coastal Restoration & Designing With Native Plants

Sally Johnson, RINLA member and former member of the Rhode Island Wild Plant Society, hosted Registered Apprentices and other RINLA member businesses and staff for June’s Talk to the Experts Event. Her company, Ecoastal Design, whose mission it is to create beautiful, ecologically sensitive spaces along the New England coast, offers a variety of services to help clients grow native plants in spaces planned to improve soil and clean water, as well as promoting resilient ecosystems and gorgeous gardens. Her home was the site of this event and attendees were engaged in a tour of her salt-water abutting property where she showcased the direct application of coastal restoration techniques, combined with site-specific native plant designs that enhanced not only the overall health of the property, but also the human interactivity and personal enjoyment of the space. Incorporating all the elements of her homegrown business, Sally demonstrated for us the value of keen site assessment, citing the specific considerations she took into account with managing this landscape, for example the challenges one faces with stormwater runoff, salt water flooding, and invasive plant management. Everyone present was enthusiastically engaged with conversations in plant identification and specific site considerations for specimens. Of course, such bountiful discussion was accompanied by a comparative plentitude of refreshments. 

Written by Mason Billings

Photographs by Mason Billings