Slow Landscapes…Built from Waste

How often do you feel overwhelmed with excess waste in your lives? Cardboard, take-out containers, mail offers you didn’t ask for, lawn clippings, yard trimmings, and everything else that goes directly into the blue or green bin. You are not alone…and we have a secret recipe that could forever change your relationship to waste!

You may already know this, but it’s worth repeating: the gardens we, at Studio Petrichor, design and implement are neither instant nor static. Like any solid relationship, the building of a strong foundation takes time, patience, and regular evaluation. Tinkering and experimentation are essential to our growth as well as the development of a resilient, functioning, and healthy habitat.

During this time of year, one of the things we are thankful for is WASTE. You must be thinking we’re crazy! Where some might see the excessive disposable, discarded remains of our overly-consumptive species, we (Studio Petrichor) see opportunity…for reduction AND transformation. This is a foundational practice for supporting new life through the nourishment of our soil.

Before the “waste” can even be created, perhaps we could consider making more mindful choices about what and how we consume, and what “stuff” we bring into our lives. You know that motto: Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Refurbish, Repair, Repurpose, Recycle? It is a great starting place AND we want to acknowledge Rehabilitate.

The practice of waste transformation can serve as a second or third chance for some “thing” deemed no longer useful to the majority of society to help transform the landscapes and gardens we cherish into thriving ecosystems. 

Thankfulness and mindfulness go together hand in hand. Team Petrichor aims to change your relationship with “waste,” and that begins with Me and You. This begins with questions…

Are you open to simplifying your lifestyle to reduce wasteful practices?


Do you feel empowered to repurpose your discards and transform them into life-supporting soil?

One of our tenets at Studio petrichor is to be mindful of input and output. In other words, we aim to produce as little waste as possible, and ideally no waste. Just about everything is reusable when we let go of what it was and instead re-imagine what it could be. That cardboard box that just arrived on your doorstep, the takeout container from lunch, the paper coupons from your local market, and even old organic clothing are all made from a biodegradable resource, carbon. One of our well-known practices, Hugelkultur, is a way to transform “waste” so that it doesn’t get sent to that magical place we know as AWAY. Instead, Hugelkultur transfers that energy to support life, a process also known as Syntropy. 

The following everyday materials can be transformed into food abundant nutrients for our soils and are sugar-rich invitations to our old friends, mycorrhizal fungi:  

  • Food Waste / Compost
  • Cardboard and paper takeout containers
  • Old clothes made of cotton and other plant-based materials
  • Shredded paper from the office
  • Dead animals….unwanted humans (JK LOL)
  • Felled trees/logs/branches with bark
  • Yard Trimmings….yes, as we cut back our gardens, all of that green waste is biomass that can be used as mulch. We like to call it Chop and Drop. 

How can we produce less waste and what do we do with the waste we’ve already created? These are profound and difficult questions to address, yet here you are with us, inspired to move forward. You may not be able to do this at home, but you can do this in your community. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter here and attend our hands-on workshops to learn how you can be a part of the solution revolution. 

A core foundation of Studio Petrichor is practicing gratitude. Gratitude for our families, our team, the communities that shape us, and the natural world that inspires us to be in action. It is important to acknowledge the indigenous people’s land on which we live and how much we can still learn from them with regard to repairing the damage that has already been done. We are grateful for you, our clients, our colleagues, our families and the Indigenous nations that have been caring for this land for millenia. Studio Petrichor wishes you all a restorative and mindful Thanksgiving holiday.

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