More About the Author
Rick Darke heads RICK DARKE LLC (www.rickdarke.com) a Pennsylvania USA-based consulting firm specializing in landscape ethics, photography, and contextual design. Darke's work blends art, ecology, horticulture, and cultural geography in the creation, conservation, and management of broadly functional living landscapes.
A knowledgeable field ecologist and horticulturist, Darke's professional experience includes 16 years as Longwood Gardens' Curator of Plants, during which he studied and photographed a great array of world ecologies including those of South Africa, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the Canary Islands, and northern Europe. He continues to travel both hemispheres in search of ideas to sustain and enrich the global garden. His work has been featured on National Public Radio, in The New York Times, the Huffington Post, in Garden Design Magazine, BBC Gardens Illustrated and elsewhere.
Darke's approach to landscape design and management is grounded in first-hand observation of regional ecologies and cultural landscapes. He has studied and photographed North American plants in their habitats for more than 40 years, and this work is reflected in his books including The American Woodland Garden: Capturing the Spirit of the Deciduous Forest (Timber Press, 2002), which was profiled on National Public Radio and also received the American Horticultural Society's Book Award, the Garden Writers Association Golden Globe Award for book photography, the National Arbor Day Foundation's Certificate of Merit.
Darke is recognized as one of the world's experts on grasses and their use in public and private landscapes. His book, The Encyclopedia of Grasses for Livable Landscapes (Timber Press, 2007) includes over 1000 photos of grasses in global landscapes, and is the most complete reference on this subject. It has been published in French (Editions du Rouergue, 2007) and German (Verlag Eugen Ulmer, 2010)
Rick wrote the foreword for Doug Tallamy's shape-changing book, Bringing Nature Home: How you Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants (Timber Press, 2009).
Darke worked with Timber Press to produce The Wild Garden: Expanded Edition (2009). In addition to reproducing the complete unabridged text and all the original illustrations from William Robinson's revolutionary classic, this expanded edition includes new chapters and over 100 photos by Darke, placing Robinson's concept of wild gardening in modern ecological context.
Darke contributed illustrated chapters to two multi-author books published in 2011: The New American Sustainable Garden (Timber Press) includes Rick's chapter on Balancing Natives and Exotics in the Garden. Fallingwater (Rizzoli, 2011) includes his chapter Wright in the Woods: The Nature of Fallingwater's Landscape.
Rick contributed the preface, multiple essays and photography to Annik LaFarge's book On the High Line: Exploring America's Most Original Urban Park (Thames & Hudson 2012). A revised and expanded edition was published in June 2014.
Most recently Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy continued their collaboration with a jointly-authored new book, The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden, published by Timber Press in June 2014. Chapters include "Layers in Wild Landscapes", "The Community of Living Organisms: Why Interrelationships Matter More Than Numbers", "The Ecological Functions of Gardens: What Landscapes Do", "The Art of Observation", and "Applying Layers to the Home Garden". With over 500 photos and 70,000 words The Living Landscape describes and illustrates a broadly inclusive approach to garden design that supports both humans and wildlife.
Later in 2014 Darke's work will appear in The Good Gardener?: Nature, Humanity and the Garden, a multi-author work edited by Annette Giesecke and Naomi Jacobs. Published by Artifice Books on Architecture (London, an imprint of Black Dog Press). This heavily illustrated book will include Darke's chapter titled "The Accidental Landscape". The Good Gardener? is now available for pre-order through Amazon.
Darke is a frequent lecturer on a diverse array of topics relating to gardens and global landscapes. His programs utilize state of the art digital presentation technologies and typically integrate video. For further information visit www.rickdarke.com