I’m Gary Campbell – principal of Campbell Natural Landscape Design. My long-time interest in nature and ecology led me to leave a successful mechanical engineering design and management career to pursue a dream. I wanted to help homeowners create landscapes that provide environmentally friendly elements without compromising their human needs. I earned a B.S. degree in Horticulture from Temple University in a program allied with Landscape Architecture that emphasized an environmental based approach to improving the quality of our urban, suburban and rural communities. My thesis focused on the viability of natural landscaping for modest sized residential yards. I began my design career working with Larry Weaner, one of the nation’s pre-eminent practitioners and teachers of environmentally conscious landscape design. I still serve as an Associate.
The designs I create are more practical because of my hands-on experience. As I began my formal training, I immediately applied the principals I was learning to my own yard. I conduct experiments with plants and plant communities, do my own installation and maintenance, and test and develop maintenance techniques. My current property is a garden and wildlife paradise that I converted from a drought-prone 4 acre fallow farm field and woodland edge. Now it has an extensive meadow, complex mixed native perennial beds, a wetland area and vegetated swales, naturalistic pond and stream, outdoor living areas for entertaining and personal reflection, varied paths including use of eco-grass, and organic vegetable and herb gardens.
The designs I create, which embrace natural processes, naturalistic aesthetics, and wildlife attraction, are informed by my lifelong observation of nature. I started as a birder, and more recently became an insect and pollinator enthusiast. I observe wildlife in its natural environment in order to understand its impact and relationship with our landscapes.
My wife and I share our garden experience on the Gardens For Wildlife Channel on YouTube. I also write and lecture on meadows, natural landscaping and residential home landscape design. Past lecture experience includes Millersville Native Plant Conference and the Morris Arboretum’s Landscape Design Series. Published articles include newsletters of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers and a local Audubon chapter.