Abigail Woods Abigail Woods | September 26, 2022 | Culture
BRANDY HALL, FOUNDER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR OF ATLANTA-BASED LANDSCAPE COMPANY SHADES OF GREEN PERMACULTURE, TALKS HER ROLE, GARDENING DURING FALL AND WINTER, AND SOME OF HER FAVORITE PROJECTS.
As founder and managing director of Shades of Green Permaculture (@shades_ of_ green_ permaculture), it could be said that Brandy Hall knows a thing or two about tending to the land. The landscape firm, which specializes in regenerative landscapes, ecological design and permaculture, works with over 1,000 clients to design landscapes that support ecology. Starting the business in 2008 with a passion for helping people connect with the land and encouraging them to live healthier lives, Hall explains she’s had a lifelong desire to create harmony between the human-built environment and the natural world—a feat she has been accomplishing for the past 14 years.
Brandy Hall PORTRAIT BY AUDRA MELTON
As the boss of the company, Hall says her role includes driving the big vision for the company and having a bird’s-eye view on how it operates, helping drive strategic initiatives; maintaining the overall financial health of the company; leading the educational offerings; and, currently, envisioning and implementing changes to the design department. Evidently a wearer of many hats, Hall also has a general contractor’s license, is trained as a stone mason and has a master’s in contemplative education—all of which contributed to the background she needed before opening Shades of Green Permaculture.
Some of Hall’s favorite projects include the work she and her team did with Monday Night Garage in the West End. Here, they turned a plot of thick asphalt and gravel into a sustainable garden and orchard that contributes to brewery production. A second favorite of Hall’s is an off-grid homestead in North Carolina where the team designed a complex water system, a process that involved tapping a spring and routing it mechanically through a gravity pump, which fed the entire site by gravity with 60 psi and no electricity.
According to Hall, “Autumn is a great time to tend to your garden because it’s an opportunity to start introducing sustainability. Managing your garden more ecologically this time of year will benefit wildlife heading into the winter and give your plants a head start next spring.”
Regenerative landscape designed by Shades of Green Permaculture. LANDSCAPE PHOTO BY VIRGINIE DRUJON-KIPPELEN; BACKGROUND PHOTO BY BGFOTO/ISTOCK
Fall is also the ideal time to clean up and replenish your garden with fresh compost to build healthy soil, especially in Georgia where compact red clay is widespread. Not only does this healthy soil retain water, but it also supports thriving plants, protects the garden throughout cold winter months and stores carbon dioxide. Hall also adds that with the fall months comes a surplus of fallen leaves; instead of throwing these away, she advises spreading them over garden beds to maintain moisture and protect habitats. Alternatively, she suggests mowing over the leaves to break them up and then scattering the finer pieces throughout the garden. Don’t know what to do with deadheads polluting your garden in the colder months? Hall advises leaving deadheads on all blooms during fall and winter as birds can feed off of them and insects can find sanction inside of them.