Where Design Meets Ecology You may have seen us use the hashtag #WhereDesignMeetsEcology recently on our social media posts (and if you’re not following us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, you should be!) We’d like to take a moment to explain what exactly we mean, what sets us apart, and why you should care. First, some context: for the past fifty years standard landscaping practices were short-sited, compartmentalized, and largely unimaginative. A formula developed for every house on the block: foundation plantings of mostly evergreens and uninterrupted, immaculate lawn everywhere else! Landscapes were designed for viewing from afar, not for interacting with daily. How boring, and what’s more, what a wasted opportunity! WE BELIEVE THAT EVERY LANDSCAPE HAS GREAT POTENTIAL ON MULTIPLE LEVELS. Yes, overall attractiveness, cohesiveness with the built architecture, and general curb appeal are all valid objectives for designing a landscape. We can do that, and more. We can create habitats for vital insect species that are rapidly dropping in numbers; for birds, bats, bees, moths and butterflies. In a world of constant development, your backyard can be a safe haven for nature’s biodiversity. It doesn’t stop at the plants either! We specialize in Natural Stone Ponds, which can be filled with fish, frogs, turtles and other wildlife, or made larger for swimming. The water is always purified through bio–filtration by bog plants. We can preserve our watersheds through responsible pond, stream and wetland management. Unchecked, wetlands can become monopolized by invasive species (Phragmites) and algae; stagnant water becomes a breeding ground for mosquitos and ticks, posing public health risks. Instead, we can use landscaping to improve our watersheds, by leveraging the natural bio-filtration and erosion control effects of wetland plants. The importance of cultivating healthy soils cannot be overlooked. We start with a soil analysis, which informs our soil enrichment program. GJL uses only natural-source, non-toxic products; our aim is not to kill one life form to enable another. We work holistically, steeped in ecological principals, to produce soils rich in microbiology. A healthy soil supports happy plants that thrive, photosynthesize, sequester carbon dioxide and improve our air quality. They are essential in our fight against global warming and air pollution. By eliminating the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and insecticides, we enrich local biodiversity. At GJL, we reject the old school of thought, where trees and shrubs were sprayed blindly with gallons of “preventative” chemicals every year, with no regard for the effects on habitat and water quality. HOWEVER, DETOXIFYING YOUR LANDSCAPE REQUIRES FAR MORE THAN JUST A PRODUCT SWAP. Instead, we design landscapes from an ecological perspective: nature has its own checks and balances for every pest, blight, and wily plant out there. Thoughtfully designed plant communities with rich layers of biology have natural immune responses. They respond and thrive together. Biodiversity is key. Our aim is not just to increase your property’s species count. We want to enhance your experience with the landscape. Don’t just eye it from afar –go outside and experience nature! Watch a Monarch butterfly drink from a Monarta flower, hear the vibrations of the neighboring bees (it’s not called Bee Balm for nothing!), see the migrating birds stop by for a berry. How many times have you gone outside to interact with your lawn? Reconnect with your wild nature. Know that your yard is safe for your children, your pets, and generations to come. Our goal is to best manage your resources with the least disruption to the natural environment. The challenge is to create landscapes that can flourish in a time of climate change, seasonal irregularities, and weather extremes. Together, we can reimagine our land use to benefit ourselves and the environment: Where Design Meets Ecology.