Fundamentals of Garden Layers

plant communities, ecosystem function, and climate resilience in natural garden design

Nature-based garden design means paying attention to what works in the wild and then translating those plant community aspects to the home landscape, where the aesthetic ante can be upped, so to speak.

In this class learn how to read natural plant communities and what lessons to bring home from the species within them, how to use layers of succession (seasonal and year by year) to increase ecosystem function and decrease management (like weed control), and explore some of the plant options to fill niches in each physical layer for maximum aesthetic appeal and climate resilience.

Additionally, we'll touch on bed prep as well as management over the first several years, and the ways in which working in a natural garden differ from traditional mulchscapes as we let plants guide us toward a healthier garden space.

Join award-winning author, speaker, and garden designer Benjamin Vogt on a fifty-minute journey to inspire and invigorate your natural landscape. All sales are final and no refunds will be issued. The class is self paced and remains online at the sole discretion of the author. You have unlimited access to the class as long at it remains online. The class and all material is the sole copyright of Benjamin Vogt (author) and can't be rebroadcast, transcribed, or shared in any way without the prior written permission of the author.


Your Instructor


Benjamin Vogt
Benjamin Vogt

Benjamin is the author of A NEW GARDEN ETHIC, owner of the design firm Monarch Gardens, has a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska, and was an award-winning professor of over 50 classes. For five years he wrote a garden column for Houzz.com -- his nearly 200 articles explored the philosophical and practical sides of our gardens, from design strategies to wildlife value using native plants. Benjamin has spoken nationally to botanical gardens, environmental organizations, and city parks staff. He lives in Lincoln dreaming of restoring a prairie, opening a nursery, and hosting an artist residency program on 40 acres.


"I liked how he connected what we do in our gardens to the overall health of our ecosystem. He provided facts I hadn't heard before and I walked away from the presentation inspired to make changes."

"Wonderful! Combination of knowledge, wit, and alacrity of presentation.... So interested in his topic that he made me interested!"

"He did an outstanding job bridging practical gardening with the philosophy behind why we need native plants in our landscapes. He had great photos, statistics, and personal stories."

Course Curriculum


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Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We are sorry to hear that, however, all sales are final and no refunds will be issued.

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