Ecology + Design

Our Featured Article on – Pro Spotlight: Enhance Your Life With a Better Landscape

Who: Jay Archer of Green Jay Landscape Design
Where: White Plains and Rye, New York
In his own words: “It’s a wonderful feeling to see people respond positively to beauty and nature in their own environment.”

Imagine a garden overflowing with flowers and bursting with butterflies. If your backyard doesn’t quite measure up, don’t despair. “You can improve the aesthetic, health and biodiversity of your landscape and design one that improves the quality of your life and experience with nature,” says Jay Archer, who co-owns Green Jay Landscape Design with Lora Hugelmeyer. With locations in White Plains and Rye, they help clients create welcoming, sustainable landscapes that are ideal for relaxing and entertaining.

A passion unfurls. “My love of nature, natural science, music and art has been my inspiration to study and explore landscape design, construction and ecology,” says Archer, who founded Green Jay Landscape Design in 2013. “I have a burning passion for beautifying and improving the ecology of any and all landscape environments.”

Rooted in ecology. Archer studied landscape design and horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden and studied landscape ecology, bioengineering and wetland restoration at Rutgers School of Urban Ecology. “Breakthroughs in biotechnology contribute greatly to our ability to offer extraordinary landscape features,” he says.

1. Use Your Assets
Work with the natural resources available, uncovering and enhancing your site’s existing beauty. Archer used this strategy to transform a once-bland backyard near a tidal estuary in Larchmont. “The estuary is fascinating all by itself; the way the light reflects on the water and the way the tides rise and fall are beautiful,” he says.

The garden, seen here, was a blank canvas when the team arrived, giving them the opportunity to use the stunning setting to create a fully developed portrait. They rejuvenated the trees with biostimulants, built a stone terrace with an outdoor kitchen and repaired the sea wall, topping it with a living fence of native flowering shrubs and other eye-catching greenery. They also added a natural swimming pool with a waterfall, stream and stone entry.

2. Create an Inviting Flow
Design a backyard that lures you outside and encourages you to explore. For example, Archer designed winding paths and pocket gardens amid lush foliage for artists in Rye. They can travel down a stone path to their woodlands and the wetlands beyond. An herb garden, sculptures and a series of streams, ponds and waterfalls entice them to move through the landscape.

“The strategically placed sculptures add a rich dimension to the composition and play a role in making art an essential part of the garden,” Archer says. The pocket gardens offer quiet spots to sit and reflect on nature’s artistry. The team also installed bat boxes to combat the property’s mosquito problem; bats devour mosquitoes by the thousands.

3. Design for Your Sensibilities
Let your style and preferences shine through in your landscape. The sensibilities of two healthcare professionals are manifest in the Brewster backyard seen here. “The landscape reflects the clients’ highly organized, more formal and linear taste while establishing a casual yet stimulating landscape environment,” Archer says.

The steppingstones’ geometric pattern strengthens the home’s rectilinear form and the aesthetic of the pool house and patio, while wraparound foliage softens the hard lines. “By surrounding the pool with large beds of ornamental grasses, flowering native perennials and shrubs, we created an intimate and inviting space,” Archer says.

READ the original Pro Spotlight Feature on here

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