Ecology + Design

Our Best Landscape Designs of 2022 | Westchester, Fairfield, Putnam & Bergen Counties

We are incredibly grateful for another year in the books doing what we love: designing impactful, ecological landscapes that both improve the environment and inspire a reconnection to the natural world. We’ve had the pleasure of meeting some amazing, passionate clients this year who continue to push us with complex design challenges. With no further ado, we present to you our BEST Landscape Designs of 2022. From front yards, to backyards, to steep slopes and pool landscaping, we hope you enjoy this compilation of (mostly) native landscape design & construction projects.

#5: Rain Garden & Soil Remediation for Landscape Drainage | Harrison, NY

We were hired to rectify a soggy backyard that remained flooded for days after large storm events. Through the on-site, professional consultation, we learned that the large home had insufficient stormwater infrastructure: everything was fed toward the driveway, where the anti-gravity sump pump often got overwhelmed and failed, leading to flooding.

We designed a plan to feed about half of the roof’s gutters & leaders into underground pipes directed at pitch to the corner of the yard. The piping is solid for the first ten feet, to move it away from the house and foundation, and then becomes perforated. This allows both excess stormwater to leak out as irrigation, and allows groundwater (in a high water table situation), to enter the pipes as an evaporation drain. The pipes culminate in a technical Rain Garden, designed with well-draining soil and native facultative plants that are excellent at absorbing water, and double as habitat for wildlife.

Read about the full project on our previous blog!

#4: Front Entrance Masonry & Native Plant Landscaping | Putnam Valley, NY


This estate is in a stunning setting, surrounded by mixed hardwood forest in beautiful Putnam Valley, NY. However, the landscaping around the house, especially the front entrance, left much to be desired.

We knew we had to rectify the asphalt drive, which extended all the way to the home’s front and side doors. After completing a Landscape Design Master Plan, we removed the asphalt around the home to create space for new natural stone walkways and planting beds.

On either side of the new front entry flagstone walkway, are native gardens designed to extend the natural bird, pollinator, and wildlife habitat from the surrounding forest. Using a mix of native perennials, flower & fruiting shrubs, evergreen shrubs, ornamental grasses, and groundcover, we achieved a naturalistic front entrance that melds perfectly with the surrounding environment.

Read about the full project on our previous blog.

#3 Rectifying Hurricane Damage: Erosion-Proof Slope with Garden Terraces | Old Tappan, NJ

This is one of the most extreme cases of slope damage we’ve seen to date! During hurricane Ida, this steep slope collapsed, thanks to very intense rain, poor quality sandy soil, and insufficient drainage infrastructure. To rectify the slope and prevent further erosion, we employed several Green Infrastructure techniques.

First, we directed the leaders from the roof into solid piping connected to NDS Flo-Wells. Then, we removed the sandy soil (that had too much drainage capacity). We installed six compostable Filtrexx Siltsoxx and staggered rows of boulders to support the slope. Together, both these features help to retain the slope while plant roots become established. Next, we brought in new engineered soil with a higher water holding capacity. Finally, we planted native shrubs and perennials into Jutte netting, for adding stability as the new plants become established.

We also had to reconstruct the outdoor staircase and retaining wall, that had become damaged in the storm.

Learn about the full project on our previous blog!

#2: Backyard Courtyard Landscape Design with Natural Stone Masonry | Somers, NY

This landscape design invites quiet strolls through the circular paths

One of our favorite projects ever! We transformed this backyard expanse of lawn into a charming, native courtyard garden. The foundation of the design is the new natural stone masonry. We designed a flagstone patio off the backdoor, that leads to a circular natural stone walkway that meanders around the garden, with a gravel shortcut path through the middle.

Native, textural perennials and shrubs soften the hardscape layout

Along the walkways are strategically sited benches, inviting you to slow down, rest and take in the magic of the garden. The plant palette is a naturalistic, mostly native selection chosen for wildlife benefit, year-round interest, and texture.

Learn more about the project on our blog, portfolio, and YouTube!

#1: Native Pool Landscaping & Front Entry Courtyard | Pound Ridge, NY

Native perennial planting blooms for weeks on end in summer

Coming in at #1 in our Best Landscape Design Projects of the Year is the fabulous Pound Ridge estate that received a pool landscaping makeover! We turned an overgrown, non-native pool landscape into a haven for pollinators, birds, and of course, our clients!

We transplanted many of the non-native ornamental grasses from the pool area and created a new grass garden in the large back lawn. This ornamental grass garden is lower maintenance than the lawn and provides visual interest in the expanse of turf.

With a clean slate for the pool area, we designed a garden of native, sequentially blooming shrubs and perennials that are pollinator favorites.  In fall, native, appropriately sized, ornamental grasses steal the show with their stunning seed heads (looking at you, Pink Muhly Grass), that double as bird food in late fall and winter!

For the front entrance, we revamped an existing courtyard to include more color and habitat-friendly plants. The vegetable garden was also reorganized into quadrants, for ease of gardening, and we added a border of pollinator-attracting plants to aid with veggie pollination.

Learn more on the full project blog!

Thanks for recapping the year with us! We’re so excited to see what 2023 will bring for us – new sites, new design challenges, new clients with a passion for improving their local environment. Bring it on!

If you’d like to work with us in 2023, schedule a consultation or free 15-minute discovery call.

Green Jay Landscape Design

Where Design Meets Ecology


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