Ecology + Design

Best Ecological Landscape Designs in Westchester, NY | Archival Project Highlights

Jay Archer has served Westchester County, NY in landscape design, build / construction / installation, and organic holistic maintenance for nearly thirty years! Jay is one of the tri-state area’s leading experts in ecological landscape design, ecological restoration and organic land care. Reflecting on our years of custom eco-friendly design work, we’ve compiled our favorite Westchester County, NY projects to date!

This an archival blog. View the updated list of best landscape design projects in Westchester County, NY here. 

Native wet meadow with mowed paths for viewing pleasure.

#1 Native Wet Meadow, Riparian Buffer & Pond Restoration|South Salem, NY

We’ve had to the honor to design and manage this fantastic estate for many years now. Since coming under Jay’s management, the property has gradually reduced its overall lawn area in favor of a naturalized wet meadow, an orchard, more perennial gardens and a riparian buffer circling the freshwater pond.

Freshwater pond with native Rudbeckia serving as a riparian buffer.

The organic wet meadow is particular point of pride, and a pristine example of what beauty can emerge when we stop trying to control and manipulate nature! Catch up on our Organic Meadow Management blog post for all the details.

GJL also worked to restore the pond via native wetland and aquatic plantings along the banks, and constructing a concrete dam to help maintain the water level. Read up on the project: Dam Construction, Pond and Wetland Restoration in South Salem, NY.

#2 Hillside Front Yard Pollinator Pathway Garden | Hastings, NY

This sloped, corner lot was overrun with weeds and invasive species. It was impractical as a lawn, but had great aesthetic and ecological potential as a native garden. GJL designed a perennial and shrub garden for soil stabilization (erosion control) and to provide all the criteria for a thriving bird, butterfly & pollinator habitat.

Sneezeweed is a favorite of pollinators and looks terrific in the garden.

Learn more on the project blog – Weeds to Habitat: Front Yard Renovation.

#3 Family Playscape ft. Habitat Gardens | Rye, NY

This Rye, NY property was a true treat to design! The client wanted lush and vibrant garden spaces where his children could learn about nature, as well as spaces to recreate and entertain in.

Woodland walkway meanders through mature trees for an enchanted garden respite.

Jay designed pollinator poolside gardens that softened the extensive existing hardscape and created an outdoor classroom of pollinator activity.

Sitting boulders beneath mature trees offer perfect views of the pollinator garden and organic landscape in Rye, NY.

A woodland walking path encircles the entire property for leisurely strolls and a trampoline was installed in-ground to reduce its unsightliness in the landscape. Rain gardens help capture precious stormwater. And an organic vegetable garden completes this productive and ecologically valuable landscape. Read up on the whole project on our past blog, Designing an Ecological Playscape.

Newly planted hillside garden stabilizes the slope and creates habitat in this Holmes, NY property.

#4 Erosion Control Lakeside Garden w. Ornamental Grasses & Perennials

This was a beautiful property to work on — incredible lake views! — with a very important ecological mission: soil conservation! Given the steepness of the slope, GJL designed beds with deep rooted plants to help stabilize the soil. We also employed erosion control techniques like jutte netting to hold in the foundation of the garden beds. Learn more bout this soil-saving landscape with amazing habitat benefits on our previous blog: Hillside Stabilization Planting with Lakefront Views in Holmes, NY.

Sweeping rectilinear bluestone front entry walkway is softened by native pollinator-attracting perennials with married textures.

#5 Woodland Certified Wildlife Habitat ft. Fish Pond Water Feature | Bedford, NY

Front entry featuring birches, dogwood and Japanese maple.

GJL designed and built this Bedford landscape for clients that wanted a true naturalistic retreat, working within the fabulous mature trees of their property. Jay designed and constructed a pond for fish and turtles, complete with a naturalistic waterfall that delivers the most beautiful trickling ambiance.

Constructed backyard pond creates habitat for numerous wildlife including: fish, turtles, ducks and more!
The waterfall creates an irresistable ambiance of soothing sounds; the shallow levels are perfect for birds bathing!

#7 Organic Lawn Lift with Ornamental Grass Pollinator Terrace Garden | Harrison, NY

Viburnum, ornamental grass, and summer-blooming perennials — still look fabulous in early fall!

Creating this level playing field for the client’s young children was great fun! Jay designed a two tier, boulder-supported terrace garden to support the new grade of the lawn. Planting with native viburnums ensured year-round ecological benefits for birds, while summer-blooming perennials for polliantors are a show-stopper paired with ornamental grasses. Catch up on the project on our previous blog, Above the Fields of Grass: Backyard Grading, Organic Lawn Installation & Terrace Gardens.

Anise Hyssop and Russian Sage, two purple beauties that attract innumerable pollinators.

Contact us to start your landscape design and construction project! 914-560-6570.


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