We opened up 2023 here on Cultivating Place focusing on biodiversity, and we close the year similarly, with diverse plant community-thinking getting the final say. We’re in conversation with Cornwall-based ecological landscape designer Sid Hill, a land and ecological artisan, creating beautiful, abundant, and thoughtful places.
Sid challenges himself, his clients, and the broader horticultural world to keep going, and to go even further in re-thinking, reimagining, how horticulture is practiced and thought of in our world.
A believer in the ability for intentional and well-thought-out design to help our gardens help the world in moderating so many of the challenges ahead, Sid asks us to think like the plant and animal communities, as well as the indigenous human communities that are, and have been, foundational to the uniqueness of our places. He asks us to think like healthy habitats and their dynamic patterns as we look to the future – as we grow the future.
I think this plant-and-ecology-of-place-centric thinking is a perfect way to close out 2023 and to herald in 2024.
Sid is currently working on an “Edible Meadows: How to Create Edible Plant Communities” online course. This will go live in January, and run as a citizen science project to develop the research.
Here is a link to register your interest:
From Sid's Bio:
Sid has 13 years of professional experience running a landscape business and trained at the world renowned Eden Project, receiving a 1st Class Honours degree in Ethnobotany & Landscape Design. He has worked on a wide range of projects giving him international recognition. With work featuring on BBC Gardeners World, Permaculture Magazine, Bloom Magazine and multiple podcasts. He was a key contributor to the Helston Climate Action Plan and acted as a consultant for Helston Town Council to support them to adapt public landscape to the effects of climate change. Sid has taught nationally on permaculture design courses, held a position of lecturer and assessor at Duchy College and speaks regularly on subjects of sustainability and regenerative landscape practices. For his work and commitment to sustainability, Sid was awarded the Prince Of Wales Trophy in Sustainable Horticulture and is a member of the Worshipful Company Of Gardeners Alumni. He was awarded the 30 Under 30 award by Pro Landscaper for being one of the top landscapers under 30 years old in the UK.
Sids passion is to create landscapes and plantings that echo wild plant communities, meadows, woodlands and wetlands, whilst producing resources, restoring environments and improving peoples lives. He is passionate about working with plants to solve contemporary issues and regenerate landscapes. When creating landscapes and artwork he focuses on natural materials and thoughtful craftsmanship.
All images courtesy of Sid Hill, all rights reserved.
You can follow Sid's work on line at: Sid Hill Ecological Gardens
and on Instagram: @sidhillecogardens
HERE IS THIS WEEK'S TRANSCRIPT by Doulos Transcription Service:
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JOIN US again next week, we open up 2024 with artisan and native plant advocate esme cabrera – whose work under the name La Mamigami is a practice providing us all with a portal to creatively reimaging our way forward. Ingenious, Colorful, biodiverse, plant and place centric– that's next week right here, listen in!
Speaking of Plants & Place sprouting back up soon....
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Thinking out loud this week....
There is so much that catches my attention in this early history of Sid’s career – the foundational setting within the ideals, diversity, and interdependence of a small holding – a mini-habitat - which is the opposite of the agro-industrial monoculture system;
the knowledge inherent in the evolutionary systems of a functioning habitat; the knowledge and learning possible from studying land-based indigenous cultures the world over who respectfully learn from and adapt to and with their habitats – this is the original dynamic in-situ design that Sid and many garden practitioners are modeling to us in these times. It is observant responsive and responsible - rethinking and reimagining the world we can grow as well as what might need to be composted from the world we have been grown in to now…
As we move from one year to the next – one thing I have complete and total faith in is our ability to wake up every day and seed the world we want to see. This has always been true, and the choice is ours.
And so while I might have a small handful of visions for the New Calendar year and this next cycle around – the top of that vision list is this: may we all learn the healthiest, most intact and diverse habitats around us, may we learn as well to think just like them from the mycelium below to the interconnected canopies above.
Happy New Year gardeners. One more to grow on.
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