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Natural Landscape Design

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Natural Landscape Design

Home About Us Portfolio Links Contact Us Schedule an Appointment Bulk Salt Sales SnowWolf Equipment Winter Services Landscape Design and Construction The Natural Landscape does it all efficiently and effectively. With both design and construction in the hands of The Natural Landscape, we are the single point of responsibility for quality, cost and schedule. As the designer, we have the creativity to conceptualize beautiful and functional outdoor living environments and translate that into a workable plan. As the installer, we have the skill and experience to implement the best methods and materials for each project. The Natural Landscape design and build team delivers an outstanding final project by fulfilling multiple objectives, from aesthetic and functional quality to budget and timely completion. Our Experience Steps & walkways Outdoor kitchens Pools, spas & water features Walls & veneers Chimneys & fireplaces Driveways Chimneys & fireplaces Patios & terraces Lawns, irrigation & planting Landscape design Grading & drainage Each of our designs is unique bringing a one-of-a kind elegance to the finished project. See more of our portfolio here. Our Network Architectural services General contracting Site development Heavy equipment & trucking TNL at work
natural landscape design 1

Natural Landscape Design

Landscape Design and Construction The Natural Landscape does it all efficiently and effectively. With both design and construction in the hands of The Natural Landscape, we are the single point of responsibility for quality, cost and schedule. As the designer, we have the creativity to conceptualize beautiful and functional outdoor living environments and translate that into a workable plan. As the installer, we have the skill and experience to implement the best methods and materials for each project. The Natural Landscape design and build team delivers an outstanding final project by fulfilling multiple objectives, from aesthetic and functional quality to budget and timely completion. Our Experience Steps & walkways Outdoor kitchens Pools, spas & water features Walls & veneers Chimneys & fireplaces Driveways Chimneys & fireplaces Patios & terraces Lawns, irrigation & planting Landscape design Grading & drainage Each of our designs is unique bringing a one-of-a kind elegance to the finished project. See more of our portfolio here. Our Network Architectural services General contracting Site development Heavy equipment & trucking TNL at work
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Natural Landscape Design

The elements that make a landscape design “natural” are difficult to define. A landscape with curved bed lines, informal plant arrangements and no pyramidal yews does not always qualify as a natural landscape. And advocates of natural design are not necessarily eager to banish a host of beautiful exotics from the plant palettes of American landscape designers, replacing the plants with a motley crew of straggly natives.
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Natural Landscape Design

Landscape designers and architects influence the treatment of vast areas of land. We have a responsibility to treat the land as more than our personal paint canvas. The landscape designer should be part artist and part repairman, restoring some of the aesthetic qualities and environmental functions of the native landscape that have been destroyed. By making an effort to truly understand the workings of our indigenous landscape, and combining that understanding with the horticultural and design knowledge long associated with our profession, we can legitimately lay claim to the word “natural” when describing our work.
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Too often, random informality passes for “natural,” when in reality nature is highly ordered and anything but random. Understanding this order and using it in our designs is the key to making natural design workable and successful. This does not mean, however, that we must design exclusively with native plants, attempt to copy nature exactly, or exclude the influences of other design styles. The goal is to create a framework for the overall designed landscape that has an aesthetic and ecological relationship to our indigenous landscape through the use of native plants in their natural associations.
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With both design and construction in the hands of The Natural Landscape, we are the single point of responsibility for quality, cost and schedule. As the designer, we have the creativity to conceptualize beautiful and functional outdoor living environments and translate that into a workable plan. As the installer, we have the skill and experience to implement the best methods and materials for each project. The Natural Landscape design and build team delivers an outstanding final project by fulfilling multiple objectives, from aesthetic and functional quality to budget and timely completion.
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With both design and construction in the hands of The Natural Landscape, we are the single point of responsibility for quality, cost and schedule. As the designer, we have the creativity to conceptualize beautiful and functional outdoor living environments and translate that into a workable plan. As the installer, we have the skill and experience to implement the best methods and materials for each project. The Natural Landscape design and build team delivers an outstanding final project by fulfilling multiple objectives, from aesthetic and functional quality to budget and timely completion.
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Blend into the landscape – For natural gardens in rural areas, plant groupings or drifts can be larger to echo those in the surrounding landscape. If possible, choose plants that grow wild in the region to blur the boundaries between your garden and the wider landscape.

The environmental considerations of natural design are equally important. Many detrimental landscape practices can be minimized or eliminated. Such landscape practices include the excessive use of pesticides, herbicides, inorganic fertilizers, fossil fuels burned while mowing large areas of turf grass, and exotic species that have aggressively naturalized in the wild.
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Although natural design is not new, current public interest in natural aesthetics, reduced landscape management and environmental issues is making its widespread acceptance a real possibility. In order to capitalize on this opportunity, we need to develop concrete and reliable strategies for the design, implementation and management of these landscapes based on real ecological principles.
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The design will be determined by numerous factors including the character of the surrounding landscape, client dictates, architectural style, site characteristics and the scale of the site. A large site may allow for the design of a functioning ecosystem using strictly native species. A smaller residential site can be designed with a perimeter of site-appropriate natives, becoming more cultivated as the landscape nears the house. Native plant cultivars such as ‘Golden fleece’ goldenrod (Solidago sphacelata ‘Golden fleece’), ‘Purple Dome’ aster (Aster novae-anglia ‘Purple Dome’) and native azalea cultivars can be very useful in making a transition from wild areas to more formal ones.
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We can design and manage a small woodland as an edge ecosystem, or selectively remove some of the edge species and manage the landscape to contain some of the aesthetic and functional characteristics of an interior forest. Ecotones are dynamic and diverse communities that hold a very prominent visual position in the landscape, and the design opportunities are exciting. Woodland edges also present both challenges and opportunities for the designer. Many of the most pernicious weedy vines such as Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) and Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) can be found in this type of environment where a combination of trees for support and adequate light for growth are present. A dense planting of desirable edge species, such as Arrowwood (Viburnum dentatum), Pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolioa) and Sweet fern (Comptonia peregrina) can help to eliminate these vines, but selective removal may be needed as a supplemental management tool in many cases.
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Unlike a painter whose art occupies an isolated canvas, our work visually interacts with the surrounding landscape, both natural and constructed. We therefore have a responsibility to contribute continuity and a sense of place to the larger landscape. To successfully accomplish a marriage of art and nature, we should sometimes put our egos aside and let nature be our guide.
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Protecting existing native growth, particularly woodlands, is easier and less expensive than trying to restore it after it’s destroyed. Even our best restoration efforts may never achieve the beauty and mystery of an undisturbed woodland. Developers, architects and clients need to be aware of the benefits of considering ecological systems before designing the structures for the site. Early decisions relating to the siting of buildings, topographic changes and excavation disturbance can help minimize destruction of natural growth during construction. Unfortunately, landscape designers and architects often are brought in after construction is complete and have no opportunity to influence the treatment of the existing landscape.
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And that god-awful parade of exotic trees across the front of the property? The decision? Voila: instant firewood!Down came the fence. Out went the front walk. Up came the asphalt driveway. In went a surface of “porous pavers” (precast concrete blocks that allow grass to grow through). A coat of paint subdued the still-shocking pink of the house. A portion of the backyard was turned into a vegetable garden. All the rest was to be returned to the forest from which it was originally stolen.A lucky break for the Brewsters, and for the forest, was their discovery of a native-plants nursery less than 10 miles away. Struggling for a living against the competition of nurseries and plant marts of the kind that sold the popular and brightly colored alien plants, the natural-plants people were happy to offer the Brewsters low prices, especially when the couple said they intended to use no poisons or chemical fertilizers in their reforestation project.In just a few months, what had been a roadside horror show was fully transformed into an almost inconspicuous woodland setting. It would take generations, of course, before the new forest even began to return to some semblance of its orginal state, but the land now appeared to be back in harmony with the other area woodlands.So now it was time for the Brewsters to enjoy their splendid fortune even more intensely by creating walkways and paths throughout the woods. They understood instinctively—and from seeing that long, horrendous strip of concrete—that the best way to get from here to there is very seldom the straight one. Walks and paths are part of the natural world; they should follow its suggestions.One walk was to go to the lake, another to the old stone foundation and a third to the giant oak. Others would be side trails leading to hidden treasures.After thinking about the kinds of walks they wanted, and about the problems of future maintenance, erosion, drainage, clearing and resurfacing, the Brewsters realized that no single material offered a complete answer. Lightly traveled ways could be simple dirt paths; others would have to be surfaced with pine needles or bark mulch to prevent wear. Still others, especially where many feet or garden carts would travel, needed hard surfaces, the choices being asphalt, concrete, wood, brick or flagstone. Kate and Arthur decided to use whatever proved to be least expensive, but they ruled out any heavy use of concrete.Step number one was design. It could be done formally, using a landscape architect and a surveyor, or the Brewsters could wing it and lay it out themselves. Having lived with the land for a year, they had become even more sensitive to its needs than most experts would be. They formed a committee of two, and on their days off began walking the property—every inch of it—sometimes having to crawl through brush, sometimes climbing over fallen trees, in order to see just what this forest of theirs had to teach them. Their discoveries amazed them.

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