Green Design: AIGA SD Tours Good Earth Plant Company

The green revolution has been around a lot longer that most people think, way before Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth became widespread knowledge. “Going Green” has gotten a lot of acreage, even in our water-challenged region. In the lives of President and “Eco Warrior” Jim Mumford and his staff at Good Earth Plant Company & GreenScaped Buildings, it is their daily work – the artful planting of California and the nation since 1977.

On Saturday, February 10, seventeen members of AIGA San Diego toured the facility located in Kearny Mesa. Mumford gave us an in-depth and behind-the-scenes tour. Our members learned how spectacular plantscapes and green environments were imagined, designed, engineered and brought to life.

Mumford and his team expertly create living walls, green roofs, rainwater harvesting systems and foodscapes. You’ve seen their work at restaurants, upscale hotels, shopping centers, universities, hospitals, corporate headquarters, schools and nonprofits nationwide. The people at Good Earth have a true calling to create low impact development, sustainability and regenerative buildings, a legacy that will be enjoyed for generations.

From the True Foods restaurant in Fashion Valley to the Hotel Del Coronado and the Fallbrook library roof, they have devised plant designs using engineering skills, watering, drainage and the science behind plant longevity, tested and trialed in over 31 different systems. These systems include: small shallow cells irrigated by drip and gravity, vertical farms which are great for edibles, replica moss walls which require no light, no water and require no maintenance (and look like plant paintings), fiberglass angled walls, and interior bio-filtered walls that do the double duty of looking fantastic as they clean the air of indoor environments.

As a green finale, each member was allowed access to the roof of the building. Standing on the top and taking in the view, we experienced what Mumford described as he experimented over the years. “The green roof is like a large shallow pot, and the only part of a building that gets better with age.”

Our heads filled with moss wall art, dirt bags and cellular systems, chefs taking cuttings for recipes in a real “farm to table” environment (directly from the restaurant walls outside), the creative plantscape workshop gave each AIGA member the opportunity to create a customized air plant terrarium. Tour guide and plant technician Brianna Onstad taught us about several of the common varieties of air plants (tillandsia) and their care. As a majority of the group were print and web designers, it was a fresh change from staring at our computers, instead, creating unique, living works of art.

The people at Good Earth Plant Company & GreenScaped Buildings will be glad to show you how “going green” with plant design can make a beautiful, healthy difference in your life. Contact them today at!

By Joelyn Brickner, Copywriting Director
Published February 23, 2018