More About the Author
Rick Darke is President of 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 livable landscapes.
A broadly 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 profiled on National Public Radio, in The New York Times, in Garden Design Magazine, and in BBC Gardens Illustrated.
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 35 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)
Darke recently wrote the foreword for the updated and expanded edition of Doug Tallamy's shape-changing book, Bringing Nature Home: How you Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants (Timber Press, 2009)
Rick's most recent book project is The Wild Garden: Expanded Edition (Timber Press, 2009) In addition to the complete text and illustrations from William Robinson's revolutionary classic, this expanded edition includes new chapters and over 100 color photos by Darke, placing the concept of wild gardening in the context of modern ecological design.
Darke has contributed illustrated chapters to two multi-author books to be published in early 2011. The New American Sustainable Garden (Timber Press, 2011)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.
Darke is a frequent lecturer on a broad array of topics relating to gardens and diverse global landscapes. His programs utilize state of the art digital presentation technologies and typically integrate video. For further information visit his website www.rickdarke.com