The Soil Factory

Exploring Interactions Between
Social, Arts and Scientific Networks

The Marshy Garden

The Marshy Garden project is a living, restorative and scalable artform. Through cooperative design vision and native plant installation, what was once a monoculture turf lawn and debris dumping ground, is now transforming into an ecological oasis and experimental site for local restoration. The project’s principal objective is to increase flora & fauna biodiversity through the growing, planting, and caring of native plants. This increase in plantings enable the attraction of both generalist and host-specific insect, bird, and mammal species, providing them with edible sustenance and ability to find shelter and nesting sites.

We have also witnessed through this endeavor that this work has valuable educational value. Through community events we help to inspire other people in regenerating their own land and spaces by demonstrating the process of how to plant and support native species, construct brush piles, and reduce their need for mechanized equipment for maintenance.

At the work’s core is the heart of alternative landbased practice, a down-to-Earth design approach which prioritizes positive impact on ecosystems and peoples’ well being.

This approach is derived from the unique backgrounds of the two core collaborators of the project: Ash Ferlito as an artist and skilled bird + moth ecologist and Brandon Hoak as a trained designer, researcher, and ecological gardener. They view the project through a lens of sculpture – architecture for animals – developing texture, topography, and interest through diverse plantings and habitat. “By viewing ourselves as a meaningful extension of our environment, knowing the vitality we can bring to it, we continue to work diligently, growing thousands of native plants from seed, planting them by hand, and tending to them as kin”.