Ecology + Design

GJL’s BEST Landscape Designs of 2020 | NY & CT

We love wrapping up a year and reviewing all of our accomplishments as ecological landscape designers & builders. So, in that spirit, we’ve selected our seven best landscape designs of 2020 to share with you. Let us know which is your favorite!!

#7 Coyote Woods in the Cradle of the Forest | Irvington, NY

This Landscape Design Master Plan focused on revitalizing some seriously overgrown foundation plantings, and creating safe play areas for the young family in the backyard.

The property was also plagued by clogged storm drains, standing water, and mosquitos (not a nice play environment!) so we included stormwater management in our overall design goals.

We also updated the front entrance masonry, using large irregularly cut bluestone that clearly designates what entrance to use (the previous design was confusing and seemed to emphasize the side door over the front door).

Learn more about the project on our previous blog! Elegant Front Landscaping with Stone Masonry

#6 Shangri-La: Ecological Restoration & Dam Construction | South Salem, NH

We restored the water level of this freshwater pond by constructing a concrete dam and footbridge with J-R-One Contracting. The dam allows the pond water level to stay consistent enough to support native plants and aquatic life, and also allows for overflow into the watershed during high rain events.

GJL planted the banks with a native mix of perennials and grasses to help stabilize the slope, purify the water and create aquatic and pollinator habitat. The riparian border around the pond is a direct extension of the nearby wet meadow, connecting habitats within the estate and the larger bordering forest.’

Learn more about this South Salem project on our previous blogs:

Pond & Wetland Native Planting w. Dam Construction

Dam Construction, Pond & Wetland Restoration

#5: Lakeside Retreat: Bird’s Eye View in the Cradle of the Clouds | Holmes, NY

Of course we had to include this stunning lakefront property in our Best Landscape Designs of 2020. GJL was hired to reimagine this slope — to make it more beautiful, stabilized and ecologically productive. We utilized many different erosion control devices to construct terraced garden beds before planting.

The planting palette selected is a mix of shrubs, ornamental grasses and perennials for full sun. We also uncovered and accentuated some of the bedrock, a great natural feature of the property!

Now, the slope looks fabulous from the water, the home and the walkway. We love how the lake breezes and afternoon light hits the ornamental grasses!

Learn more about the landscape design and the installation of this project on our previous blogs:

Hillside Garden: Landscaping a Steep Slope for Erosion Control

Hillside Stabilization Planting with Lakeside Views

#4 Harvest Hill and the Terrace of the Sun |Hastings, NY

This fabulous permaculture project was very fun to design. Since the lot is on a relatively steep slope, we decided to design a network of garden terraces with meandering walking paths in between.

The paths and terraces are lined with small boulders and we employed logs for a naturalistic erosion control in the pathways. The plantings are mostly native with the addition of some non-native fruiting trees — still to be planted this spring.

Lastly, our friends at Cooper Ponds constructed an amazing disappearing waterfall that is situated perfectly for viewing from either patio. Trust when we say, the sound of this waterfall can soothe even the worst day out of you!

Read up on the project on our previous blogs:

Terraced Native Gardens w. Water Feature & Natural Stone Masonry

Permacultre Terrace Garden w. Erosion Control

#3 Where the Sun Smiles | Stamford, CT

The number three spot in our best landscape designs of 2020 goes to this front lawn removal / replacement with a native pollinator garden! The new landscape is completely organic (duh) and incredibly ecologically productive. Not only does it provide habitat, it also captures and filters stormwater and secretes more GHG emissions than the former lawn did.

Learn more about the project on our previous blogs:

Landscape Design in Fairfield County: Front Yard Pollinator Garden

#2 Field and Stream, Camp Refugia | Greenwich, CT | Runner Up Best Landscape Designs of 2020

This newly constructed home received a fresh landscape that encompasses all our favorite elements: pool landscaping, front yard landscaping, wetland restoration plantings, natural stone masonry and an organic veggie garden!

The aesthetic was both modern and naturalistic: contemporary clean lines in the masonry, softened by lush and textured habitat gardens.

Learn more about the project on our previous blog:

Modern Patio Design, Pool Landscaping & Front Yard Garden in Greenwich

#1|Best Landscape Design of 2020: Wonderful World, Beautiful Bequest|Hastings, NY

Our TOP LANDSCAPE DESIGN OF 2020 goes to… this stunning front yard renovation into a beautiful habitat garden. We had fun playing with textures in this garden, from exposing the bedrock to employing ferns, grasses and of course grand sweeps of pollinator-attracting perennials.

Since this is a front yard garden, we knew it had to be a show-stopper not an eye sore for the rest of the neighborhood. The natural slope is actually great for displaying plants of different heights. We made sure to choose long-bloomers for maximum effect.

Learn more about the project on our previous blog:

Front Yard Hillside Native Pollinator Garden | Hastings, NY

What do you think — do you agree with our compilation of our best landscape designs? Which one is your favorite? We’d love to hear from you!

Contact us about your landscape design project: 914-560-6570.

Where Design x Meets Ecology

Green Jay Landscape Design

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