Workshop #4: Designing In-Ground and Container Plantings for Traffic Islands

Tuesday, March 29, 2005, Mike Walsh of Horticultural Concepts presented images of an unimproved island and discussed his design principles. He emphasized massing plants effectively, spacing them closely, using contrasting shapes and textures and choosing colors according to the effect desired. The plantings should be effective for at least three seasons. Plants should be chosen to suit the level of maintenance the group can give.

Participants divided into small groups, each led by a professional landscape designer who helped each one to create an effective concept design for the island. At the end of the morning, Mike used the drawings participants had made to summarize the design principles behind effective traffic island plantings.

145 people participated.

Designers who volunteered their time: Love Albrecht, Marylyn Benson, Maria von Brincken, Pamela Durrant, Natalie Delvaille, Pamela Hart, Beth Hume, Heidi Kost-Gross, Betsey Morse-Mayer, Joanne Paul, Lillian Newbert, Sandra Liversidge, Kathy Sargent O’Neill, Cheryl Salantino, Trent Lloyd, and Karen Wakefield.

Handouts for this workshop are available on this website or by links to Mike Walsh’s:

  1. Toughplants plant list, with link to website of images (
  2. Judging criteria for public plantings
  3. Help available for civic development committees
  4. Mike’s Notes: (

The following images used in the workshop are available below: