2019 Contemporary

Landscape Planting Forum


Thomas Rainer

Thomas is an American landscape architect, teacher, author, speaker and the principal for the landscape architecture and consulting firm “Phyto” Studio in Washington D.C., major focusing on contemporary planting design in the public spaces of American cities.  He is a celebrated public speaker who has garnered acclaim for his passionate presentations to audiences across the U.S. and in Europe. Thomas is an accomplished blogger on the interface amongst landscape design, planting, people and the broader environment with a particular interest in the effects of Climate Change.  His book with Claudia West, “Planting in a Post Wild World” is already a classic of planting design thought and practice.  During his childhood growing up on the rural edge of Birmingham, Alabama Thomas spent long periods exploring the natural world and this had a profound impact on his attitudes to the importance of access to nature for city dwellers close to where they live. Thomas has a broad range of experience in project types ranging from intimate residential gardens to expansive estates, rooftop gardens, botanical gardens, civic spaces, large-scale ecological restorations, and national memorials. He has designed landscapes for the United States Capitol grounds, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and the New York Botanical Garden, as well as over 100 gardens from Maine to Florida. He has been featured in a range of publications including the New York Times, Landscape Architecture Magazine,  The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, and Architectural Digest.