Sustainable Landscaping

Here are a few of the environmentally friendly landscaping services we offer:

Permeable Pavers: Rainwater runoff can be harmful to the environment.  Standard landscaping pavers do not allow water pass through them and can increase runoff. We offer permeable pavers which allow rainwater to drain through the pavers and pass through a filtration system before reaching ground water. This also means there won’t be unsightly and annoying puddles collecting on your walkways and patios.  Permeable pavers systems can hold up to 4” of rainwater per square foot.  To help put this in perspective, the largest one-day rainfall on record for Ann Arbor was 4.54” in 1998. For almost all storms, permeable pavers will be able to filter and contain all of the rain that falls. Ask us about permeable pavers before your next landscaping job.

Read more about possible tax credits for reducing storm-water here.

Swales: A swale is a shallow, sloped area that contains grasses and durable native plants. The plants used in a swale have root-systems that transport water deep into the soil. The plants allow the swales to contain a great amount of rainwater and put it back into the soil where it replenishes groundwater. Rainwater runoff can be harmful to the environment; it can carry pollutants to streams and wetlands, over-load storm drains, cause flooding, and erode soil. Swales help minimize these problems and the look nice too! We can help you design, build and utilize a swale. Ask us whether a swale would be right for you.

Rain Gardens: A rain garden is a flat, low area filled with water-loving plants. The plants have the ability to tolerate living in standing water.  Like swales, rain gardens process rainwater, reduce runoff, and filter pollutants that can otherwise be carried into local water bodies and storm and water systems. We can help you decide the best location for your rain garden. Usually they are located close to a home where rain can feed from downspouts to the rain garden.

Sustainable Gardens: Water is valuable and the truth is you shouldn’t have to water your garden. Gardens should be able to survive and prosper on average rainfall, with minimum irrigation, during the hot and dry months. Using native, self-sustainable plants is the key to reducing the amount of water used on gardens. Nurturing the plants with supplemental water during the first couple of years is necessary, but the plants will be able to survive after that with minimal to no extra water.

Replacing Brown with Green: Using wood mulch to cover the dirt in beds is standard in landscaping. However, green plants that are living and have texture are much more aesthetically pleasing than brown mulch, or even worse red mulch. Planting garden beds with plants that grow to cover the ground eliminates the use of wood mulch. Not only do the plants look nicer, but in the spring their foliage can be cut back and used as mulch allowing the plants to thrive on their own debris.

Incorporate vegetables in your ornamental garden: There are several great vegetables that can be planted amongst your ornamental gardens that will not only produce food, but look great too. Ornamental gardens that contain vegetables allow you to offset your monthly food bill, know where your produce is coming from, and promote a sustainable lifestyle. Here are some vegetables to consider:

Ornamental Kale – Edible and has great color.

Brussel Sprouts – Great height and outstanding variety of purple colors.

Broccoli and Cabbage – Both very hardy with excellent foliage.

Beans – Easy to grow and easy to harvest, both pole and bush varieties available.

Artichoke – Have silver thistle-type foliage.

Patio Tomato – Easily grown in pots; compact and easier to grow than garden tomatoes.