Ecology + Design

#7 Bright & Easy Low-Maintenance Landscape | Best Landscape Designs of 2021 | Hartsdale, NY

Sometimes the most impactful designs are simple in nature. With proper planning, timing and execution this project stayed uncomplicated, yet delivered beautiful results – just in time to enjoy in the spring warmth!

The key was to begin the process in early winter, when Green Jay’s Design Team had ample time to analyze the site and complete the residential design. The scope of work was a full property Landscape Design Master Plan, featuring bermed border plantings, improved foundation plantings, a reconstructed terrace bed in the front yard, and much-needed masonry. It all came together in a cohesive, low-maintenance landscape design.

Master Plan for landscape renovation in Hartsdale, NY.

Timeline for Landscape Design & Build

With the project designed, presented, and sold by mid-winter, we were able to begin site development in late winter.  The site work included removing unwanted vegetation, including some turf grass, and creating the berm. The berm snakes around the border of the property and was tasked with providing screening from the neighbors and ecologically beneficial habitat for local wildlife. In late winter we were able to bring in the additional soil, amend it organically, and grade the berm to the desired height.

Front yard landscape design with boulder terraces featuring flowering shrubs and perennials for pollinators.

Another aspect of the winter site work was completing the masonry. Our master mason Aztlan repointed the existing front steps to refresh the front entrance.  We also installed a garden path to connect the front yard to the backyard and rear door.  As always, we used natural stone and a dry-laid technique that avoids cement and concrete. We added an organic border of decorative gravel to contrast and accentuate the rectilinear bluestone path.

New natural stone masonry featuring bluestone and decorative gravel.

Additionally, the rear door had awkwardly high steps that created a trip hazard.  We added a new natural stone landing to make the entrance more functional and match the aesthetic of the new garden path.

Side yard landscaping featuring hydrangea and native perennials.

In the front yard, there was an existing (crumbling) retaining wall planting bed. We expanded the bed by adding a second terrace constructed from boulders. Sloped properties are great for planting as the natural height variation gives the planting vertical visual structure. This existing feature, however decrepit, was an asset to the property!

Terraced planting beds were expanded from one terrace to two for a front yard landscape feature.

By early spring, GJL crews were ready to begin planting. The plant palette for this Hartsdale property was designed to be low-maintenance, yet ecologically impactful. We chose a selection of flowering shrubs that attract pollinators with their blooms and birds with their berries and nesting materials. Evergreen Arborvitae combined with native Amelanchier provided height and screening in the back berm. We transplanted and repurposed some existing evergreens and Hosta to the berm and underplanted with native ferns and shade-loving perennials.

Boulder retaining wall terrace for low-maintenance landscaping with ecological benefit.

The front yard includes more sun-loving, flowering shrubs and easy, long-blooming and low-maintenance perennials.

Looking for a low-maintenance, ecological landscape design for your property? Schedule a winter consultation today and enjoy your new oasis by Spring!

Green Jay Landscape Design

Where Design Meets Ecology 

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