Whether you are in field or forest edge in Westport or have a traditional lawn and foundation landscape in New Canaan or a rooftop terrace in Stamford, you can beautify your landscape environment, elevate your wellness and provide a Pollinator Pathway.
Ask yourself: what do I want from my landscape?
Answers could be: attractiveness, colorful, winter interest, curb appeal, low maintenance, etc.
This process informs the criteria for your happiness and success in satisfying your expectations and desires.
Some base considerations: trees and shrubs provide structure and architectural interest with layers and variety of height, depth and form/shape. Long blooming perennial and annual flowers offer color, excitement and interest, water features, lighting, artwork, containers, stone and woodwork add a greater richness to landscape design compositions.
In a terrace design such as this, the container selection is hugely important — it sets the scale of the design and (obviously) impacts the size, depth and complexity of what can be planted.
Considerations/criteria should include: when will the landscape be most visual in terms of seasons, traffic patterns and overall use and functionality?
We began this planting pallet with three evergreen Juniper trees to anchor the design year-round. Underplantings of trailing ground covers provide a whimsical element during the growing season. The largest planter boxes received a highly colorful mix of native perennials (coneflower, salvia) and pollinator favorite annuals (lantana). The effect was powerful — from inside the apartment the color and architectural structure draw you out into this true outdoor room.
As always when designing, we consider: are the plants hardy for the microclimate? In this case we were dealing with full sun, high winds, and the potential to dry out quickly on the seventh floor terrace.
Always consider how the landscape will evolve. Will the landscape require weekly, monthly and yearly maintenance? What would that entail and cost?
It is no longer good enough that our landscapes are pretty to look at and manageable in time and money. Our landscapes should also improve the quality of our existence and our experience and interaction with life on Earth or what has commonly been referred to as nature.
We should increase biological diversity out of a true need and desire. We should look for the spirit of the wild in each and every landscape composition. We don’t need to be in Yellowstone to experience a sense of the wild. We can capture it here in our hearts, at home in our yards and on our balconies. No space is too small and every effort is important.
By engaging this experience we can hope to connect to a positive experience with our own true nature.
This is what I hope for us all, each and every one.
Landscape Ecologist, Designer, President
Green Jay Landscaping