Design & Build Services

Sustainable Landscape Design is the process of meeting our clients’ needs while also meeting the needs of Nature. We constantly look for ways for people and Nature to co-exist harmoniously. When you step into your garden we want you to find a place of healing for your body and mind, a place of recreation for your family and pets, and a place that encourages wildlife to visit often.

Creating a garden that you want to spend time in is our goal. Of course, we want your garden as healthy for you as it is for your plants and the birds, butterflies and bees. Putting the right plant into the right place, lowering your maintenance time, capturing and filtering water on site, and protecting the natural environment are just a few things that we look at. But just as important we want to give you a place to entertain and relax, kick a soccer ball, enjoy your feathered friends and garden if you so desire.

In practice, sustainable design leads to low-impact construction practices and a diminishing need for maintenance. The three primary categories (Design, Construction and Maintenance) focuses on eight guiding principles:

  • Protect and Conserve Soils
  • Conserve Water
  • Protect Water and Air Quality
  • Protect and Create Wildlife Habitat
  • Conserve Energy
  • Sustain Healthy Plants
  • Use Sustainable Methods and Materials
  • Protect and Enhance Human Health and Well‐being

Within each of these guiding principles is a myriad of decisions to be made. All these decisions are made with people and Nature in mind. These decisions lead to a convergence of people and Nature sharing a healthy relationship with your property. (If you would like to see the Best Practices for Sustainable Landscapes you can follow this link and see a handy, but fairly complex, table breaking down the eight principles) 

BEYOND SUSTAINABILITY IS PERMACULTURE

Another design field is emerging called “Permaculture” that could be viewed as an extension of organic and sustainable practices. The word permaculture was coined in the 1970’s by combining the words “permanent” and “culture.” While the early adopters of permaculture focused on self-sustaining and holistic agricultural practices, it is applicable across many disciplines.

We employ permaculture because design decisions are first made on ethics and then incorporate the logic of natural systems. When we mimic Nature’s patterns we develop systems that require less and less resources as the landscape matures. We think this is good not just for the person managing the landscape but also for Nature.

In essence, permaculture is the meeting of human needs through ecological and regenerative design.

OTHER PHILOSOPHICAL DESIGN STANDARDS

Of course, we also pull from the philosophical work of those that walked the garden path before us. Nobody is more dear to our heart than the original Landscape Architect, Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903). In a wonderful essay, writer Matt Linderman summaries Olmsted’s design philosophies into 10 parts and is well worth reading. To Olmsted, as well as us, all design work starts with “the genius of a place,” a belief that every site has ecologically and spiritually unique qualities. Combining your needs with the needs or Nature and recognizing that each property holds a unique quality of “place,” truly creates very special garden spaces.

All design work is custom tailored to meet the needs of those that inhabit and visit the landscape. Give us a call to see if we may be a good fit to re-envision a very special outdoor living place for you.