Ecology + Design

Landscape Design Master Plans in Westchester County, NY

It’s been a busy start to 2021, planning and designing a slew of ecological landscapes and slotting construction dates for the spring and summer. After a year stuck at home, it’s no surprise that the home improvement industry is booming, particularly for those in landscaping. It seems the pandemic has shed new light on the value of serenity at home – safe outdoor spaces to relax, reconnect with nature, and recreate with family. We’ve compiled some recent Landscape Design Plans and Proposals from projects in Westchester County as examples. If you are considering renovating your landscape in 2021, contact us to schedule your consultation.

Certified Wildlife Habitat & Pollinator Pathway in New Rochelle 

Jay titled this project, ReWilding for the Love of Nature and the Advancement of Civilization, and the design goals are no less ambitious! This New Rochelle property needs “editing” of plants that lack ecological and ornamental value (like the English Ivy that got a little too comfortable).  In lieu, we selected a range of native shrubs, perennials and ground covers that will create a cohesive habitat on the property. As with all of our organic properties, success starts with the soil.  For this project, we plan to construct berms for some plantings, and enhance all planting areas with organic compost and soil amendments. Redirecting stormwater pipes will also improve growing conditions. 

An excerpt from the design proposal:  

No one knows better than you how proximity to nature enriches your life. The Earth nourishes and provides. Through mindful, caring rehabilitation of your existing landscape, we will create a vibrantly verdant eco-scape which will encourage and invite a tremendous biodiversity of life into the landscape, from the soil food web (which is the basis for all biological life) to the leaves of the treetop canopy.

To support, promote, and nurture nature, we will disturb the land with purpose and good intentions. The soil base will be improved, enhanced and amended by the addition of premium quality compost, engineered soil, biochar and bio stimulants, etc. Topsoil will used for terraforming a low berm retained with stone to elevate tree and shrub roots above the existing root mass.

The existing PVC pipes which discharge onto the lawn will be diverted to a sub grade Flow Well (NDS) to allow for infiltration and ground water recharge. This also contributes to and supplements the irrigation system for ease of maintenance.

Natural Stone Masonry & Pollinator Habitat Design in Hastings on Hudson, NY

This client desired a more conducive play area for their family.  We proposed some minor grading of the rear lawn, using a rip rap boulder retaining wall to support the new elevation.  An organic eco-blend lawn will be installed to form a lush play space. Sweeping native plant garden beds will disguise the new wall, and natural stone steps will allow you to explore the woodland garden below. A natural bluestone garden path guides you from the front yard landscape to backyard playscape. 

Excerpts from the design proposal:

We intend to create a naturally beautiful, peaceful landscape which will increase your enjoyment of your home and outdoor space. Installation of a sustainable organic lawn will compliment your large patio. The landscape planting will create a relaxed, colorful composition providing color, fragrance and interest through the seasons. An essential benefit of ecologically based design will establish a healthy biological ecosystem to attract beneficial wildlife. Birds and pollinators will happily inhabit your flowering native perennial flowers and fruiting shrubs. 

Shambala: Lakeside Paradise in Peekskill, NY

We will create a beautiful, natural landscape which will flow from the upper hillside to the lakefront in a gentle sweep of vibrant colors, varied shapes and textures. A dramatic progression of bloom will accompany the seasons of your life, caressing the breeze with sweet flowering fragrance. The diversity and variety of predominately native plants will thrive in your newly invigorated landscape, bringing together all creatures of land & sky to find sanctuary and refuge in the loving arms of your inviting hillside habitat, secure in the generous bounty propitiously provided.

Can you picture it? Sounds heavenly.  Unfortunately, there is much remediation work to be done before the lovely landscape install. From the Letter of Intent for Ecological Restoration 

The land surface has suffered significant erosion, scouring and loss of sediment along slope and lakeshore due to stormwater impacts and lack of adequate vegetative cover. Restoration, soil stabilization, stormwater management and bio habitat will be achieved by restoring the property to the original, life sustaining soil conditions without significant change in the grade of the slope.

The scope of work includes:

  • Removal of exotic, invasive weed species
  • Amending and refurbishing with engineered soil (80% mineral based, 20% high grade organic compost)
  • Soil stabilization via bioengineering with vegetated swale terraforming
  • Strategic placement of natural stone boulders (partially submerged for retention)
  • Biodegradable Jutte netting, mulch and straw blankets to be employed during mass planting of predominately native plants selected for adaption to mesic environment. 
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