C. Colston Burrell

A Gardener’s Primer to Understanding Nature’s Cycles and Flows

Nature’s sustainable systems balance inputs and outputs through flows of energy and cycles of nutrients, water and carbon. When we consider the balance we find in the biomass pyramid and the water cycle, we unfortunately find human systems are often out of balance. As a result, they have diminished sustainability. This presentation demonstrates why sustainable landscapes are only achieved when designed to facilitate rather than hinder or interrupt nature’s cycles and flows.

Colston Burrell is an acclaimed lecturer, garden designer and photographer. The author of 12 gardening books, Cole has twice won the American Horticulture Society Book Award. Cole worked as curator of native plants at the US National Arboretum and as garden curator at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. He escorts garden and natural history tours throughout the United States and abroad through Garden and Nature Tours with C. Colston Burrell. He is principal of Native Landscape Design and Restoration, which specializes in blending nature and culture through artistic design. In 2008 Cole received the Award of Distinction from the Association of Professional Landscape Designers for his work promoting sustainable gardening practices. His work is part of the Smithsonian Archive of American Gardens. He gardens on 10 wild acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. 



  • Hellebores: A Comprehensive Guide
  • Perennial Combinations
  • Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants
  • Perennial Combinations: Stunning Combinations That Make Your Garden Look Fantastic Right from the Start                                                      
  • Ferns: Wild Things Make a Comeback in the Garden
  • A Gardener's Encyclopedia of Wildflowers: An Organic Guide to Choosing and Growing over 150 Beautiful Wildflowers


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