What do we mean
when we say organic?
Organic landscapers/gardeners have a slightly
different task than organic food growers, but both are committed to
which are safe and sustainable. Food growers are committed to
bringing safe crops to market and table. A conscientious
landscaper's goal is to have beautiful landscapes that have a beneficial
impact on the earth.
To promote a healthy environment, we pay attention to these details:
Know the plants and choose locations suited to their needs. Learn the
cultivation requirements of a plant, and satisfy them. For example,
Blue Spruce need to be sited in full sun with good air circulation.
They don't do well in barrier plantings, where crowded conditions lead
to fungus, disease, and pest problems. By meeting this requirement at
planting, you minimize the problems that can plague this
- Compost: Instead of a quick fix with "miracle
grow", we fertilize Mother Nature's way, with organic matter.
Sustainable ecosystems foster the cycle of growth and decay. Organic
amendments and mulches feed the soil, and your plants.
Long term thinking:
Any thing we introduce to the garden environment should have a
sustainable benefit. Petrochemical fertilization offers short term
nutrients to plants, but leaves soil barren in the long term.
Organic fertilization builds the soil. Topsoil depletion through
chemical fertilization is one the the major challenges of the
- No poisons: Modern technological solutions combined with
age-old practices are making the chemical arsenal obsolete. Chemical
use in the garden is rarely justified, and inevitably does more harm
than good, whether we perceive the damage or not.
Water Issues: A
well-designed, installed and maintained garden should need water only
during plant establishment and drought. We have found that over-
watering kills as many plants as under-watering Increasingly
scarce and valuable water resources inspire us to minimize using
thirsty plants, such as turf grasses and annuals. We have found
that if the funds allotted for a watering system are used to build the
soil, a watering system becomes unnecessary. All of our plantings are
designed to thrive without watering systems.
- Local Consumption: Organic requirements for food require that
seed sources and all components be organic, and this is as it should
be. However, the ornamental plant industry is decades behind the
food industry, and organically grown trees, shrubs, and perennials are
still extremely hard to come by. Rather than
trucking plants and materials in from Maine or California, we feel it
is more environmentally sound to buy locally, and to plant and
maintain without chemicals. If, because of certification issues, you
must meet more restrictive requirements, we are happy to work with you
to do that.
In the quest for a perfect weed-free lawn, American homeowners use 10
times the toxic chemicals used by American farmers. We can all do our
share by eliminating the toxic chemicals that come with "weed and
feed" and use earth-friendly techniques to maintain our
lawns. We encourage people putting in new lawns to consider no
mow/low mow grass varieties, like the one offered by Prairie Seed
Company. Furthermore, we encourage people to deeply consider how
much turf they really need, and to consider putting unused areas into
low-maintenance, ecologically beneficial plantings, like gardens or
prairies. Acres of lawn are out in the 21st century.
Prairie and Woodland restorations not only benefit the environment
right now, they are also a way that any one of us can to leave a
legacy for the future. Check out
The Organic Lawn Guide.