The word naturalistic is very interesting. When I first started 30-something years ago, I considered myself a naturalistic designer. However, I didn’t realize that meant studying nature and bringing that into the garden in somewhat concrete and literal ways.
It just meant to me creating things that looked naturalistic—that weren’t clipped, and overly pruned, and overly formal.
Over the years, I’ve learned that if you really want to call something natural, it ought to have some real connection to what goes on around you in the natural world. That started off by using native plants, or an increasing amount of native plants, and then it turned into in more recent years to understanding that no matter what plants you choose, but what natural processes you allow to unfold or manage in the landscape.
To me right now, that’s really the difference between being able to make these things happen over time, and overcome a lot of the difficulties that gardens have from a maintenance standpoint and an environmental standpoint.
Larry Weaner–awaytogarden.com Interview