At The Green Earth, we see problems as opportunities. Spatial constraints, poor soil quality, maintenence concerns, erosion worries - we can tackle all of these difficulties and more with a combination of communication and creativity. We listen to you and account for your needs using good old fashioned ingenuity and state-of-the-art methodology.
Are you faced with a steep grade with full sun exposure? We can create a beautiful stone retaining wall and accent it with sun-loving, erosion-preventing plants. Got a swampy area in your back yard? We'll turn it into your very own lilly pond. Have a space that rarely sees the sun? That's a perfect place for a shade garden.
See, we consider not only aesthetics, but also the environment, the natural features of the land, the style of the building(s) on the property, and of course, the principles of good design when creating a design for your yard or development site.
The environment is a concern not only for conservation purposes, but because certain types of plantings will thrive in one space and falter in another. In order to maximize the success of our landscape designs, we make plant choices that work within the local environment. We account for not only the area's climate and soil, but also light and shade and access to water sources in specific portions of any plot of land.
A well-designed landscape should contain all levels of planting from detail to massing, from ground cover to a majestic tree canopy when space permits. Not every plot of land will allow for grand artistic gestures, but even small spaces can accomodate a multi-level approach without looking over-crowded. Details make all the difference, and The Green Earth understands more than just plant details.
We view outdoor space as an extension of your property, another room of the home or office. Not mere decoration. Spaces in the outdoors reflect areas of entertaining, privacy and repose, playful activity, and welcoming guests as do the rooms inside the home. By creating a sense of entry, incorporating appropriate lighting fixtures and coordinating the decoration of the home or building with the landscaping, we develop something that is more than just a garden, it's a living space. Custom-designed architectural features and water features can increase the "homey" feel of your landscape by further defining these special spaces. We create functioning spaces that have mood and meaning.
A mosquito infested mud puddle becomes a child-friendly wildlife habitat drawing frogs, birds, and snakes that natually resolves the infestation.
It IS Easy Being Green!
Although water is fairly plentiful in this Western PA climate and our clay soils typically hold a great deal of moisture, there are still several reasons to conserve. The simple economics of saving money and being able to water during those pesky dry spells are just two examples. But let’s discuss an important third example - lightening the load on the public water and sewage systems.
Public water systems pump fresh, treated water into our kitchens, bathrooms and other areas of our homes. Water piped back out of the home enters the sewage system to be cleaned, treated and released back into the water cycle. The amount of water pumped in for treatment or retreatment by the public system can be reduced if we use less treated water in our homes.
Maybe we already take shorter showers and shut off the faucet when we brush our teeth. But, there is a quick and easy way to reduce even further. Let’s consider using alternate, on-site water sources to water our gardens. Here are some ideas:
On-Site water sources:
- Roof run-off,
- Sump pump water,
- Gray water - the relatively clean waste water from baths, sinks, washing machines, and other kitchen appliances.
Retaining or redirecting water in ways that are both practical and decorative:
- Rain barrels – Rain barrels can be placed under down spouts and fitted with a spigot.
- Ponds – Rubber lined ponds can be located at the terminal of down spouts and sump pump outlets.
- Natural low points in the landscape – Surface water can be captured at low points in the yard lined with plastic or rubber to retain water.
- Piping – redirect water flow from the house:
- Down spouts can be drained directly into garden and distributed by perforated pipe,
- Although initially labor-intensive, gray water pipes can be separated from black water and discharged outside.
Interested in conserving treated water? Want more ideas on simple ways to live green? Feel free to contact me!
See you outside,