Ecology + Design

Pool Landscaping, Wetland Mitigation & Modern Bluestone Front Entrance | Riverside, CT

Landscaping for a newly constructed home is always an exciting job – a completely blank slate!

This contemporary country home in Riverside, Connecticut already had great design features to work with: a modern rectangular pool in need of landscaping, and mature trees lining the front and back of the property.  The client also needed to complete wetland mitigation requirements with an attractive and ecologically valuable planting.

This type of project necessitates a Landscape Design Master Plan.  Given the scale and scope of the design work, there was no doubt that our design ideas would be best communicated through a detailed site plan drawing. During the initial Professional Consultation, we established the design goals / program with the client and took status of the site conditions.

Design Goals

  1. Modern front entrance, with custom masonry and front yard gardens
  2. Colorful, meadow-like landscaping for the pool area
  3. Foundation plantings
  4. Woodland garden
  5. Wetland mitigation
  6. Organic vegetable garden
  7. Boosting the ecological value of the property through habitat creation, encouraging biodiversity, and storm water conservation.
Landscape Design Master Plan including poolscape, organic meadow, summer garden, woodland garden, front entrance and wetland mitigation.

Site Development

The post-construction landscape often has significant site development challenges including remaining construction debris (on the surface and often buried in the soil) and intense soil compaction from heavy construction machinery.  For this projet, our site development included:

  • Clearing all construction debris and gravel and de-compacting all ground surfaces.
  • Soil regrading for elevation and drainage (particularly for the front walkway).
  • Addition of structural soil with amendments including: premium screened topsoil, high grade organic compost and biochar mix.
  • Radical reduction and pruning of existing Forsythia and Dogwood trees.
Front yard, post site-development, ready for planting!

Modern Bluestone Walkway & Front Entrance Planting

We opted for large, rectilinear bluestone pieces in a geometric pattern for the front walkway to compliment the clean line architecture of the home. The linear walkway is softened and enhanced by a simple and colorful fragrant planting with a seasonal progression of bloom and aesthetics. The planting consisted of a tapestry of low-growing sedges, flowering perennials for pollinators, and ornamental grasses for year-round structure and interest.

Rectilinear sweeping bluestone pathway to the front entrance.
Post planting the front Butterfly Walk — can’t wait to see this garden grow!
Ground cover and low-growing flowering perennials accentuate the new walk.
New bluestone walkway from driveway to side door.
We love these native flowering plants with great foliage!

Front Yard Landscaping – Habitat Gardens

Scalloped border gardens featuring sunny pollinator-attracting perennials and woodland sections with native shrubs and flowering perennials under the existing mature trees. pollinator-attracring

Front yard perimeter garden for maximum curb appeal!
Heuchera and Allium in Spring! (newly planted garden)
Woodland perennials for the front yard shade garden.
Goat’s Beard in the front yard woodland shade garden.
Shade gardens can stick have flowers! And be ecologically valuable!
New walkway from the street to the front yard via the native woodland garden.

Wetland Mitigation

Per the design plan, the landscape environment is now surrounded, embraced and framed by a native wetland planting bracketing the property. The entire design plan was named Field and Stream, Camp Refugia, and the bracketing wetland gardens represent the stream aspect of the composition.

Meadow Poolscape Landscaping & Summer Garden

The sunny pool area invited a bold and beautiful planting that would attract butterflies and birds to a highly visible garden enjoyed by the whole family. GJL designed a meadow-inspired garden to surround the pool.

This pool landscaping design supports the Pollinator Pathways initiative in Fairfield county by using native plants to invite pollinators and create sustainable habitat.

The summer garden lines the back border of the property, directly across from the main patio and adjacent to the pool area.  It features a similarly colorful and ecologically valuable perennial plant pallet, with emphasis on summer-blooming plants.

Terraced garden featuring spring blooms. This will be fantastic in summer too!

Together, these garden areas manifest the ecological design intent and inspiration. In Jay’s words:

The fields/meadows and summer garden will present life abundant and enduring, possessed of the inherent memory and morphic resonance of plants in the continuum from the before to after.”

The Beautiful Bird Beds

This trio of oval-shaped planting beds was specially designed to attract both migrating and year-round resident bird species by providing shelter, habitat and pollinator resources. This brotherhood of islands provides continuity for the property’s eco-system.

The planting pallet includes native flowering shrubs including fragrant Clethra and repeat-bloomer St John’s Wort.  Native ornamental grasses like Tufted Hair Grass achievces mutli-season interest, and perennials provide pollen, nectar and seeds for the birds.

Woodland Border Garden

The rear of the property has a border of mature evergreen trees, but needed some underplanting to build visual interest from the ground up.  We designed a native woodland garden with boulder accents.

Native variegated dogwood is a great shade shrub and the birds love it too!
We love the natural and architectural feel achieved by incorporating boulders into garden beds!

Enclosed Raised Bed Veggie Garden

Protecting your vegetable garden from hungry wildlife is essential! We install fencing around the perimeter and as a ceiling. Of course the raised beds are filled with organic compost with biochar and potting soil.  If you are planting something acid-loving like blueberries, make sure to amend the soil appropriately!

Raised bed veggie garden in progress.

We can’t wait to share more photos of this project with you as it matures and evolves throughout the seasons. Stay tuned!

Contact us about your Landscape Design project! We’d love to speak with you.

Green Jay Landscape Design

Where Design Meets Ecology


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