Here’s how Brandy M. Hall of Shades of Green Permaculture gets it done.
For this tiny urban oasis in Pine Lake, Shades of Green made use of every inch with an outdoor shower, fruit trees and more. PHOTO BY VIRGINIE DRUJON-KIPPELEN
Shades of Green Permaculture (shadesofgreenpermaculture.com), founded in 2008, has been helping Atlantans “create a healthier world for our children, every single day,” says founder and managing director Brandy M. Hall. Through her building experience and training as a stonemason, when she “fell in love with the way intelligent design responds to the natural world,” Hall offers a truly unique perspective far beyond beautiful landscapes.
Brandy Hall, PHOTO BY VIRGINIE DRUJON-KIPPELEN
Your focus is on sustainable practices—why is this important in design and construction? Our sustainability practice stems from looking to nature. Our core company values are modeled after natural systems: to take care of each other; work like nature, for nature; welcome the unexpected; and do better at every opportunity.
What is permaculture? Permaculture is an ethical design science and methodology that integrates human activity with natural surroundings so as to create highly efficient, self-regenerating ecosystems. Our approach focuses on increasing the land’s ability to infiltrate water by earth contouring with swales and rain gardens, as well as carefully selecting diverse plant communities that thrive in site-specific conditions.
The owner of this Virginia-Highland home wanted spaces for entertaining guests that would highlight the natural beauty of her gardens. PHOTO BY VIRGINIE DRUJON-KIPPELEN
What’s it like to be a woman working in this field? Tending to the land and working with my hands is so innate for me, so initially it didn’t really occur to me that this was a male-dominated industry, but I’ve always been drawn to things that ‘women can’t/don’t do’ like construction, fixing my own cars and other such things. My father is a builder in western North Carolina, and my mother and stepdad owned an ornamental plant nursery and seed company in South Florida. This experience, growing up between the natural world and the human-centric one, shaped my work as a young adult.