Ecology + Design

Best Landscape Design in Westchester County, NY: Our Favorite Projects EVER!

Green Jay Landscape Design has served the community of Westchester County, New York with ecological landscape design, landscape construction, and sustainable land stewardship for ten years! Our founder and president Jay Archer has over thirty years of experience transforming outdoor spaces into natural oases that improve both our clients’ quality of life and the local environment. Read Jay’s story here. We’ve re-imagined countless outdated landscapes into functional spaces using native plants and ecosystems as our inspiration. Looking back at the last ten years, some projects are true stand outs. Below are our top ten landscape design projects in Westchester County EVER!

We would love to work with you! Please fill out a form or give us a call at 914-560-6570 to schedule a consultation.

Note: this blog has been updated! Read the archival post here.

European form meets native planting in this lakeside parterre garden.

#1 Ecological Parterre Garden

We absolutely loved the design intent here: reimagine the classic European parterre garden with ecologically valuable native plants.

Detail shot of one of four garden beds within the parterre. Designed and installed by Green Jay Landscape Design.

We designed a planting that was less rigidly symmetrical as the traditional style but used repetition to connect the individual parterre gardens. The upper terraces received new natural stone walkways and a patchwork of shade-loving ground covers.

River rock bio swale with an ecological planting on either side aids with stormwater management.

Vegetated, river rock bioswales direct stormwater intentionally through the front slope.

From the client:

“We had heard wonderful things about Green Jay, and love their respect for the environment, but didn’t know if they would want to work around our firmly held vision of an English country cottage garden. Boy did they! They took our dream and created a reality so stunning we (and our neighbors and casual walkers-by) are in heaven. Blossoming times and colors seem to have been perfectly executed so that there is interest in all seasons. Bumblebees, butterflies, and hummingbirds abound. Jay has checked in frequently to see how things are coming and responded quickly to requests for additional help elsewhere on our property. We absolutely couldn’t be happier!”

Natural stone walkway lined with native ground covers for an elegant entrance to the main garden.

Read the full project blog and portfolio case study.

A trio of garden terraces progresses from formal entryway to wild habitat as you navigate the backyard slope.

#2 Naturalistic Terrace Gardens

This property had an impressive series of existing terraces to navigate the backyard slope, but the plantings were tired, traditional, and overgrown. We incorporated native plants for pollinators and birds in a naturalistic, matrix planting to effectively soften the hardscape.

Around the pergola, we chose high-impact summer bloomers: Anabelle hydrangea, Coneflower, Russian Sage.

Perennials for pollinators and spilling ground cover softens the powerful natural stone staircase.

The stone steps leading to the pergola received a rock garden plant palette of cascading ground covers.

The sun dial is a visual focal point as well as a spatial juncture between three paths.

In the formal entrance off the backyard, we designed a symmetrical planting to guide the gaze toward the sun dial focal point.

Hedges of hydrangea make a tidy border for a more biodiverse hillside planting.

Read about the full project blog here

#3 Backyard Courtyard with Natural Stone Masonry

The inspiration for this backyard renovation was the mature trees that encircle the space, lending a sense of enclosure and intimacy. GJLD designed a courtyard garden featuring a natural stone patio off the house for dinning, entertaining, and relaxing, and several stone paths that meander through the garden. Benches are strategically placed throughout the garden for unique viewpoints of the landscape.

Naturalisitc plantings and natural stone – a natural pairing!

GJLD designed a cottage-style native planting that looks stunning year-round. From the earliest spring bulbs to the architectural red and yellow twig dogwoods in fall and winterberries in winter, this landscape provides food for wildlife and visual stimulation 365 days a year.

Garden stroll paths that lead to seating nooks – two ways to contemplate the garden.

In the words of the client:
“I am sure that my words will not do justice to the happiness that Jay and his wonderful team have brought me. They transformed a plain yard into the most glorious garden! It is peaceful, serene and my most favorite place for morning coffee. I would never hesitate to use Green Jay Landscaping, Jay really listens to what you want and then makes the dream a living reality. They are truly marvelous.”

This landscape design invites quiet strolls through the circular paths

Learn more about our natural stone masonry construction, landscape design process, and organic installation on our project blog and portfolio case study.

A prairie-style native planting for this full sun pool area in Westchester, NY.

#4 Native Pool Landscaping & Entry Courtyard

This stunning Westchester property had a decades old landscape that was overgrown and outdated. We transplanted the non-native miscanthus from the pool area, creating a new ornamental grass within the backyard lawn. The pool area got a planting redesign with an emphasis on long-blooming summer perennials.

In fall, asters, golden rod, and pink muhly grass keep the show running and the late-season pollinators fed.

We love how the warm summer perennial colors pop against the white picket fence.
Entry courtyard layout featuring lush, cottage style garden beds.

For the front entry courtyard, we added new garden beds along the walkway and fence, adding a wealth of native plants to the mostly exotic existing plant material.

Vegetable garden with pollinator-attracting perennial and grass border.

The vegetable garden received a perennial and grass border to help attract pollinators and yield more veggies and herbs.

Read all about the project on our blog and portfolio case study.

Backyard fire pit nook with native plantings and natural stone masonry. Designed and constructed by GJLD.

#5 Celestial Wild Garden with Waterscape, Lawn Removal

 

This landscape renovation began at the early days of Green Jay and has been a continuously edited and expanded upon over the last ten years. The original scope of work was to remove the backyard lawn entirely and design a waterscape and native woodland garden.

Constructed waterfall and stream contribute a multitude of habitat and ecosystem functions.

The waterscape features a constructed waterfall, stream, and fishpond with bog plants along its borders.

Streams provide drinking and bathing sources for wildlife, and also dragonfly habitat (a natural mosquito predator).

A series of paths from a variety of natural materials – woodchip, gravel, and natural stone – wind through the garden to various seating nooks. Kinetic garden sculptures are focal points throughout the landscape.

Gravel stroll paths culminate in a central sculpture.

Before the backyard transformation, the client rarely used the backyard because of the insufferable number of mosquitos – the property borders a 22-acre wetland. Since the native plant transformation and waterscape construction, there are far more mosquito predators (dragonflies!) and the client enjoys daily walks through the garden.

Front walkway framed by naturalistic planting navigates from front entrance to backyard.

Recently, the front lawn was completely removed and planted in a gradient of full sun to full shade. The color and curb appeal is unmeasured, and the biodiversity unparalleled.

Roadside perennial makes a statement! And delivers habitat for countless insects and birds.

Learn more about the project in our portfolio case study.

#6 Shady Hillside Planting

Sometimes design constraints produce the most innovative thinking. For this property, a small steep slope made up most of the backyard.  By designing a natural stone staircase that turns into a woodchip path, the clients can enjoy more of their backyard.

Native woodland understory garden in Westchester, NY.

GJLD designed a series of shady garden terraces with adjacent gravel seating areas. The planting is composed of native woodland understory plants – shrubs, evergreens, grasses, perennials, and groundcover.

Terraced gravel seating area expands the useable space of the backyard slope.

The backyard patio was reconstructed with natural stone, to match the new staircase and overall naturalsitic aesthetic.

Natural flagstone patio elevates outdoor entertaining.

The full sun front yard received a makeover to create more pollinator habitat, more biodiversity and sequester more carbon dioxide than the lawn it replaced.

High impact pollinator garden in a high visibility area – we love to see it!
Stunning summer plant combinations for the front yard garden. Designed and installed by GJLD.

Read all about the project on our blog!

Perennial and grass border for effortless garden beauty (and habitat) all summer long.

#7 Certified Wildlife Habitat with Natural Swimming Pond; Front Lawn Removal

 

Another property that has evolved wonderfully over the years, gradually removing more and more lawn, leaving it only where it serves a function! We started with the backyard, removing about a third of the lawn to construct a natural swimming pond with bog garden filtration.

Bird eye view of the landscape plan for the backyard.
Constructed waterfall cascades into a Natural Swimming Pond.

To retain the backyard border planting, we reconstructed the sea wall in the channel that the backyard borders. Then, we had ample space to plant a diverse, contemporary, salt-tolerant border.

Bench framed by perennial border, with sea channel and pond focal points.

A few years later, we removed the entire front lawn, replacing it with spreading groundcovers and dwarf shrubs for a low maintenance front yard garden.

Learn more about the project in our portfolio case study.

Sitting boulders offer a whimsical gathering space to enjoy the expansive gardens.

#8 Ecological Playscape with Woodland Trail

GJLD designed this backyard with the objective of making it a family friendly escape, with plenty of nooks, trails, and play areas to entice everyone outside. We added native perennials and ornamental grasses to modernize the pool area planting and designed an expansive pollinator garden on the outside of the stone wall surrounding the pool area. The property had many mature tree and shrub plantings but lacked herbaceous diversity and continuous color!

Updated pool border features ornamental grasses and long-blooming summer perennials.

We also directed gutters from the house into a rain garden to aid with stormwater management.

This woodland stroll trail invites you to get lost in the great outdoors.

Encircling the backyard border, beneath a mature tree canopy, we designed a meandering stroll path, dubbed by the client’s daughters the fairy trail.

Learn more about the property on our blog and portfolio case study.

Central patio overlooks a series of garden terraces.

#9 Permaculture Terrace Garden

This client wanted to transform a weedy sloped front yard into a permaculture paradise. GJLD designed garden terraces navigated by woodchip paths, increasing the functionality of the space, and acting as erosion prevention. A natural stone staircase navigates the slope and connects the two pathways.

Garden terraces are interspersed with woodchip walkways on this hillside property

The pathways culminate in a natural stone patio overlooking the landscape. A recirculating waterfall completes the nature immersion transformation.

The planting is a mix of native plants and vegetables, herbs, and fruits. This was such a fun project!

Tomatoes next to perennials for a true permaculture approach to the front yard!

Read all the project details on our portfolio case study.

Pollinator perennials, ferns and shrubs for the front landscape

#10 Hillside, Front Yard Native Garden 

Probably our favorite front yard transformation to date! We renovated a weedy monoculture front yard into a biodiverse native garden ranging from part shade to full sun. The plant biodiversity translates directly to insect biodiversity and the client has become an amateur etymologist!

Sneezeweed, Daisies and Coneflower are pollinator favorites.

We extended the planting to the sidewalk hell strip (with permission) – it completes the composition! Recently we added ferns and woodland perennials to the side yard along the existing stream.

After removing invasives by hand and re-planting.

Learn more about the project on our Portfolio and blog.

Green Jay Landscape Design

Where Design Meets Ecology

914.560.6570

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