Ecological Guidelines

We’re committed to improving the ecology of every site we design. Here’s how we do it.

  1. Go Native: Look to native plants first – they foster habitat for birds, butterflies, bees and other pollinators by providing food sources. This really does make a difference. Gardens get transformed into havens for wildlife, often within the first season of installing natives.
  2. Increase Biodiversity: Plant a variety of species and types of plants.  A mix of shrubs, trees and perennials create nesting sites, protection from predators and a variety of food sources for wildlife. Biodiversity also increases the ecological health and balance of a site so that it is less likely to have issues with unwanted insects.
  3. Consider Site Conditions: Plants have a preferred environment and there is a plant list for every site condition. When the plants are in their preferred setting, they thrive and there is no need to assemble the chemical arsenal – fertilizers and pesticides. The plants will be healthy, gorgeous and resistant to disease and pests. This translates to less maintenance.
  4. Keep Rainwater On Site: Why? When we send rainwater off into culverts, ditches, and drainpipes, it ends up in the watershed. It takes with it the chemicals and eroded soil from lawns, driveways and roadways, with deleterious effects on the water quality of our local streams, rivers, lakes and bays. By keeping rainwater on the property, it has an opportunity to slowly infiltrate the soil, filtering out many of the pollutants. This is done by increasing pervious surfaces (plants, gardens, rain gardens, green roofs) and minimizing impervious surfaces (driveways, decks, lawns).
  5.  Reduce Lawn:  Biodiversity can be increased by replacing some areas of lawn with native plants.  Lawn is a monoculture that does not provide habitat. Existing lawn can also be replaced with low-mow grasses and other low-maintenance plants such as clover. Healthy practices for lawn maintenance include mowing high and leaving clippings in place.
  6. Avoid Chemicals: Avoid the use of fertilizers and pesticides to protect the safety and health of our children, pets, wildlife and waterways.