Ecology + Design

Backyard Landscape: Courtyard Design in Goldens Bridge, NY

This farmhouse-style home in Westchester County, NY did not have a landscape to match the stunning architecture. When GJLD first visited the property for a professional consultation, the backyard was a boring expanse of lawn. Jay observed the existing features—mature trees encircling the backyard—and was struck by inspiration to design a native courtyard garden for the backyard. He named the garden The Cloister of Sweet Serenity.

Backyard Masonry Design & Construction

The foundation of the landscape design is the natural stone masonry. An irregular flagstone patio off the back door creates an ideal gathering space for morning coffee, lunch, or summer evenings al fresco. From the patio, a flagstone path encircles the yard beneath the canopy of trees. A secondary gravel path meanders through the middle. Together, the pathways are both meandering and direct, offering multiple ways to experience the garden. Stone and metal benches are nestled within the garden for even more spots of respite.

Our flagstone walkways and patios are engineered for New England weather and climate including frost heaves. We choose to avoid cement because it is a very energy intensive material to produce, creates emissions during production, and is hazardous to human health.  Silica, in cement, is considered carcinogenic and recognized as so by OSHA.

Instead our base is composed of Item 4 (processed stone) with a washed gravel sub base for drainage with stone dust, sand, or polymeric sand for bedding and joints.

Native Cottage-Style Planting Design

The planting design for this Westchester County, NY property is predominantly native. From the early spring bulbs, to the extended summer blooming perennials, to the red and yellow twig dogwoods commanding the space through winter, the garden was thoughtfully designed to be enjoyed in all seasons. This aesthetic sequence doubles as an ecological one, for every ornamental feature also creates food for wildlife, from pollen, to seedhead, to berry.

As usual, all the planting was installed according to GJLD’s organic specifications. The highest quality, natural source compost, biochar and soil amendments were incorporated into the soil for optimum organic garden performance. We love Organic Mechanics and Organic Plant Magic products.

Landscape Design Process

This project began with the client hiring us to develop a Landscape Design Master Plan designed by our very own Nature Design Studio. The design plan allows us to decide the overarching layout, while also getting into the granular details of the planting plan. The Design Plan comes with one set of revisions as well as a Proposal with a ready-to-build plant list, and cost for installation.

It is never too early to start the design process. For those that pursue designs during the winter, we can often get started right away on the masonry work. Site development and planting installation can be scheduled for spring, and the landscape is complete just in time for the warm weather!  Contact us to start the design process.

Green Jay Landscape Design

Where Design Meets Ecology



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