What Is an Ecological Landscape?
Ecology & Ecosystem Services
The 4 R's of an Ecological Landscape
to Ask
Ecological Landscape Services

What is an Ecological LandscapE?

Designed by Nature

Resource Efficient

Landscape design in tune with the local environment and which utilizes each sites unique characteristics for maximum form and function.
Minimizes the use of renewable and non-renewable resources.  (i.e. water, organic materials, lumber, concrete, fossil fuels).
  1. designed by nature - low negative impact
  1. resource efficient - an ecosystem

Low Negative Impact

An Ecosystem

Ethical purchases and sustainable construction methods drastically reduce the amount of waste and pollution entering our environment.
Ecological landscaping strategies provide habitat for increased biodiversity.  Bacteria to trees, diversity creates stability.

Ecology & Ecosystem Services

The importance of Understanding Ecology

Ecology is defined as the interdisciplinary study of the biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living) environment and the interactions of and between those elements. Ecology seeks to understand the vital connections between plants and animals and the world around them. Ecology is rooted in the understanding and valuation of biodiversity (short for biological diversity) which is the range of variation found among microorganisms, plants, fungi, and animals. Some of this variation is found within species, such as differences in shapes and colors of the flowers of a single species of plants.

Ecology also provides information about the benefits of ecosystems and how we can use Earth's resources in ways that leave the environment healthy for future generations. Learning about ecology provides us with information to better understand the world around us which can help us improve our environment and manage our natural resources.

Ecosystem Services

Ecosystem services are the benefits that people obtain from ecosystems. An ecosystem, therefore,  is any geographic area that includes all of the organisms and nonliving elements of their physical environment. An ecosystem can be a natural wilderness area, a suburban lake or forest, or a heavily used area such as a city.

Scientists have distinguished four categories of ecosystem services: Supporting -such as nutrient cycles and pollination, Provisioning -such as the production of food and water, Regulating -the control of climate and water and Cultural -such as recreational and educational benefits. Supporting services are regarded as the basis for the other three services and also includes (not show in the image at right) the maintenance of genetic diversity.

Our role as Stewards of the Land

The mission of our business is to ensure local ecosystems remain healthy and balanced so they can continue to provide the services humans need from them. One element we focus heavily on is the creation of habitats within our landscapes. Habitats provide everything that an individual plant or animal needs to survive -food, water and shelter. As we become better stewards of the land our living landscapes can provide us with the ecosystem services we need -such as cleaner air and water, healthy natural food, the filtering of pollution and the decomposition of waste.

The 4 R's of an ecological landscape




Re-cycle / Rot

  • Using permaculture strategies
  • Energy efficiency with appropriate placement of plants and structures
  • Water conservation with rainwater harvesting elements and greywater systems
  • Stormwater runoff prevention with permeable driveways, hardscapes and swales
  • Addition of food and timber producing plants for increased self-sufficiency
  • Greywater from laundry, bathrooms and showers
  • Concrete from broken up driveways for pathways or raised garden beds ("urbanite")
  • Wood from old structures for arbors, fences, trellises & pergolas
  • Plants from the garden when re-designing  for efficiency by placing in better locations
  • Sprinkler parts, bender board, bricks... and so much more
  • Compost organic materials (carbon)
  • Plastic materials like patio furniture, nursery plant pots
  • Shred pruned limbs from healthy trees for fresh arbor chips in garden beds and pathways
  • Hardware and metal used in any project
  • Noxious weeds, diseased plants, and wood materials not kept on site should be sent to local green waste facilities
  • Green waste movement off site by using Mulch-on-Site techniques
  • Fresh water consumption by installing drip irrigation systems, smart controllers and rain sensors
  • Pollution by using organic fertilizers and IPM methods of pest control
  • Need for material transportation by buying local eco-friendly landscape products
  1. infiltration trench - mulch basin
  1. rain sensor
  1. reuseable materials
  1. compost

Questions to Ask

Some Questions to Ask yourself about your Landscape

  • Right plant.  Right place. What plants should (or should not) be in your landscape?  Example: We live in a Mediterranean climate, are your plants suitable for hot dry summers and moderately wet winters?

  • Are there micro-climates your landscape provides? (generally around your home the temperature will be warmer than further out in the landscape) 

  • How is the grade or slope to your landscape?  Does water flow through the landscape (infiltrate) rather than pooling on patios or running off into streets?

  • Are there many structures on your property (house, garage, shed, gazebo etc)?  In which direction do they face?  Are there rainwater catchment systems on such buildings??

  • How well is your irrigation holding up and how efficient is it (for your pocketbook and the local water table)?  Do you have an irrigation system?  Is there a need for one?

  • Do you know your soil texture? Is your soil in good condition?  Is your soil ALIVE? 

  • What do you do with the leaves that fall every Autumn and the prunings from your trees and shrubs?  Do you Mulch-on-Site? Do you compost?

  • Are there pest issues or diseases present?  Do you see beneficial insects in the landscape?  Is there biodiversity in your landscape?

  • Do the plants and trees in your landscape serve more than one function? Example: Do your plants and trees offer shade for your home, food for wild birds, nectar for bees and butterflies, wood or kindling for fires or vegetables, fruits and nuts for your family?

  • And most importantly, how is the over-all health of your landscape?  Do you feel connected to Nature as you meander through your gardens?

Ecological Landscape Services

Ecological landscaping integrates horticulture and ecology and finds solutions to inherent landscaping problems. We nurture a deep understanding of the structure, function, and relationships that exist within our ever-changing ecosystem and wish to provide our community the ways and means to achieve lasting relationships with their own landscapes.  Contact us for a initial consultation.
Consulting & Design
Installation & Managment
Lawn to Landscape
Check out our other Services
  1. use rainwater
  2. dry creek for stormwater
  3. forest garden
  4. aquaculture pond
  5. aquaculture pond
  6. lawn to landscape conversion
  7. lawn to landscape conversion
  8. lawn to landscape
  9. rainwater mulch basin
  10. deer grass
  11. lawn to landscape conversion
  12. rainwater harvesting system
  13. permeable driveway
  14. praying mantid
  15. borage
  16. cilantro in bloom