Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need at the first meeting?

Your with list, jot down everything you would like to have, whether practical or not. The project may evolve, but this is the best time to put everything on the table. What you need to have, what you would like to have and what you dream of having

A plot plan of your lot. This is often attached to your purchase documents and will give me accurate information about the size and shape of your property.

All of the decision makers. This is important because even people who are on the same page often have slightly different priorities and very often everyone can get what they want, but I need to know everyone's priorities at the start of the project.

Is a sustainable landscape maintenance free?

Almost nothing in an urban environment is completely maintenance free. If left completely alone most landscapes in Ottawa would, very slowly, revert to forest. The amount of maintenance your landscape will require will depend on the features and style you choose. If you opt for a vegetable garden, potted herbs and lots of lawn you will have a higher level of maintenance. If you opt for massed plantings of perennials and shrubs, no annuals, no planters, and no lawn you will have some seasonal maintenance but less than a traditional landscape.

Is a sustainable landscape high maintenance?

In most cases, no, a sustainable landscape is usually less maintenance than a traditional landscape because it is adapted to the site and is designed to be a functioning systems with healthy soil, considered use and management of water, materials which will weather well and as many of the ongoing interventions eliminated as possible.

Does a sustainable landscape cost more?

If you go with every possible option? Then it may, in most cases though the focus is on using less more efficiently and taking advantage of the possibilities the site presents rather than making huge changes such as hauling away materials or changing grades where it isn't necessarily. You will likely pay a bit more for some of the products, but the overall project is often be less expensive than a comparable traditional landscape.

Do you build the projects?

I don't have a crew or provide construction services. I do work with contractors as your consultant to implement the projects I design and I can work with you to select the right contractor for your project.

Do you speak at events?

Yes, I am available to speak to garden clubs, community associations or other groups interested in sustainable urban landscapes. I am generally available in the fall and winter, but feel free to contact me to talk about what you have in mind.


50 Ideals
for Sustainable Landscapes

#5 Use Less – More Efficiently
The lowest impact material is the one that isn't produced in the first place. Careful planing of your space can help ensure that you only include what is needed. This can help reduce environmental impact and project cost at the same time.
A well thought out plan, built around how the space needs to function, can help ensure that you have just enough - be it a deck, patio, parking, or something else - and not more than you really need.
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