The Earth Ecology Style
‘What do we do differently?’
Our highest priorities are ecological health, and quality of life. This means we do things a bit differently than the standard landscape company. We hope some day our style will become more mainstream. This is how we are different:
- Ecological health = Water cycle restoration + diversity of species. Once we get all the available water soaking into the soil of the site, and get enough species established in a garden, the result is usually a stable yet dynamic ecosystem, always adapting yet always thriving, with beneficial interactions all around. Our favorite designs are home to many different types of rare and beneficial plants, as well as wildlife, such as birds, bees and other beneficial insects, snakes, mice, rabbits & various other larger mammals, etc. We are inclusive and tolerant. As an example, we prefer to imagine vast swaths of meadows or grasslands (the second most diverse ecosystems on the planet, second only to tropical rainforest!), rather than lawns.
- Edible Landscaping: Growing food is just what humans do! It is so easy to integrate food producing plants into a landscape meant primarily to provide beauty. It is also so fun to design a food producing landscape to be awe inspiringly beautiful! Whether you are a low maintenance garden lover or a high maintenance farmer, we'll do our best to optimize your yield.
- Land Stewardship: We feel that land ownership requires responsible land stewardship. Our emphasis lays in helping you to feel great about how you steward the land for the health of future generations.
- Certified! Our favorite designs meet the criteria for Certified Backyard Habitats, Certified Organic, etc. We can help you certify your garden so you can feel proud that you are doing your part to support a healthy environment.
- Education: We will work directly with you to give you a long-term education in land stewardship. We will talk while we work, explaining our decision making process and our strategies from a beginning level to an advanced level. Nature is ultimately complex, and there is always more to learn. We are happy to learn together.
- All Organic! - No pesticides and herbicides, for they inhibit the health of the overall ecosystem. Many of the desired outcomes can be achieved with compost tea / biological inoculant application on plants and soil, or manual removal of unwanted species.
- An alternative aesthetic: This can be a tough one for some people, but it can be necessary to develop an appreciation for an alternative aesthetic to the standard ‘perfect lawn, perfectly trimmed hedge, weed free’ landscape in order to appreciate certain aspects of our ecological goals.
- Weeds take on a different role: Weeds can identify soil conditions, and they are nature’s way of fixing a problem. We must recognize that they were there for a reason (to do work), and if we remove them we are required to do that work instead of the plant, or we need to find another plant that can do that work. Perhaps they are useful medicine. It is always best to learn about a weed before deciding it is noxious.
- Integrating Greenwaste: Biomass is a high value yield. When space allows, we try to keep branches, leaves, and your kitchen scraps on site. We can utilize worm bins, branch piles for habitat, compost piles, or we can mulch with what is grown on site (‘chop and drop’), or make art with these materials.
- Long Term Timeline: Our projects typically require a 1-year minimum commitment for proper timing of season-sensitive actions.