FilmPlant Pop

Portraits: Lauren Wheeler, Landscape Designer

FilmPlant Pop
Portraits: Lauren Wheeler, Landscape Designer

Portraits is a new segment of PlantPop. We hired artist Matthew Gillin, who specializes in watercolor, ink, and pencil, to create a time-lapse video of his portrayal of our subject which we have used over the interview. 


Lauren Wheeler is the founder and principal designer at Natural Resources Design, Inc., an ecologically-focused landscape design firm in Washington, DC. 

One of her greatest passions is to help get the next generation back into nature. She hopes that her work can influence future generations of kids to do things like climb trees again. One of her designs in Gaithersburg, Maryland, was specifically designed to introduce kids back to playing outside.

“Climbing up logs, scrambling up boulders, engaging with butterflies, and catching butterflies if they want to…those were the types of experiences I had that were very special to me growing up.”

Having worked as a landscape laborer, putting in plants that might be considered invasive today, she has made amends by becoming an advocate for native plantings. 

“It’s been through my deep interest in providing the tools to help the environment that has attracted me to the almost exclusive use of native plants.”

For designers like Lauren who are passionate about native plants, it’s not just about the function but also how beautiful a natural landscape can be. 

Her experience as an arborist, a professor, and a Living Building Challenge Ambassador, among many other accomplishments, makes her an invaluable asset to DC and the surrounding area. 

Lauren hopes to educate individuals and communities to embrace the importance of ecologically-friendly design. 

“How can I actually use landscape as a tool for good, as a tool for providing a healthy environment for us all to be apart of and enjoy?”

For more information about Lauren’s work, visit the Natural Resources Design website.