“Before the current age of technology, people all over the world protected themselves from the extremes of weather and climate by working with nature. They shaped their homes and landscapes to minimize nature’s harshness and make the most of its beneficence.

“However, around the middle of the twentieth century, we modern humans adopted a new comfort-enhancing process, one that has continued essentially unchanged since that time. In total innocence, and without any intent to do harm, we ignored basic, well-understood methods to prevent heat from accumulating in our houses. Instead we put our faith in strategies that would remove the heat after it had already accumulated.”

StepsSusan Reed

Landscape Architecture

Designing home landscapes to be: • Ecologically rich • Comfortably livable • Energy efficient • Inviting to wildlife • Naturally beautiful.

About Susan Reed

Professional Qualifications

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  • Licensed Landscape Architect, registered in MA 1995
  • Author, “Energy-Wise Landscape Design: A New Approach for your Home and Garden.” 2010, New Society Publishers
  • Core and Adjunct Faculty, Conway School of Landscape Design; 1991-2003, 2005-2006
  • Other publication: Seeing the Forest: A New Attitude Toward Your Landscape (the Nature Conservancy, Berkshire Taconic Landscape Program, 2001)
  • MA, Conway School of Landscape Design, 1987
  • BA, University of Rochester, 1975


harpsichord gutsI came to landscape design in 1987, after 11 years as maker of modern and Shaker-style furniture, including four years as a builder of French reproduction harpsichords. In that first career, as in my current one, I enjoyed solving complex three-dimensional problems, and working with excellent tools and beautiful materials. Most important, I have always loved envisioning the design of completely new objects, then transforming those ideas and concepts into a tangible reality, a thing or a place that will simply, efficiently and elegantly serve real needs and satisfy a real purpose. This is what I do when designing landscapes.

As an instructor at the Conway School of Landscape Design, I excelled at explaining complex ideas and technical concepts in simple language. This skill carries over into all of my design work with clients, as it did during the writing of my book, which presents basic but complicated knowledge to everyday homeowners and gardeners.