View Full Version : eco-friendly landscaping

06-17-2004, 02:45 PM
From: ruh3@aol.com
Date: 08/03/00
Time: 10:41 PM

I am a designer/project manager for a small landscape design/build company in the SF Bay Area. I am also a landscape architecture student. I was wondering if anyone out there knew of a good resource guide for eco-friendly materials, plants, and design guidelines in general. Thank You, Richard Harker

Thank you, Richard Harker

06-17-2004, 02:45 PM
From: Wayne Tyson landrest@utm.net
Date: 08/04/00
Time: 04:11 PM

The most "eco-friendly landscape" is a healthy ecosystem. If you restore the species complex that is self-sufficient and stable (physically and biologically) as well as indigenous to each specific site and microhabitat, you will contribute to ecosystem stability rather than replace it with a collection of plants less- or ill-suited to the site and its microhabitats.

To satisfy various practical project requirements, you can then move away from this ideal only as much as necessary. For example, if you want grass and the site and/or climate does not have grassland conditions, a degree of site modification (soil and substrate adjustment) and/or subsidy can be provided such that the result satisfies project requirements but retains the maximum useful features of a stable ecosystem.

Best, WT

06-17-2004, 02:46 PM
From: Lori Hubbart lorih@mcn.org
Date: 09/17/00
Time: 09:22 PM

Richard - This is a rather late response to your message, so I hope you are still scanning this message board!

There are many articles and books about designing landscapes for wildlife. Much of it has to do with structure - Trees, shrubs, low plants - the need for corridors, etc.

The structure information works pretty well in most areas. If a source talks about using low, spreading shrubs for animals like quail, reptiles or rabbits, and suggests a plant not native to California, just substitue a local native. For example, on the coast you would use a low-growing Baccharis (coyote bush) - local form, I hope. Inland you might use Atriplex lentiformis breweri (saltbush).

A good exercise is to look at other landscapes and try substituting Cal natives. You library should have books on landscaping for wildlife, and of course, the plants that will do the best in your area are the local natives - provided you use the right natives in the right spot!

A healthy landscape is one that incorporates wild animals, but this is not always easy to do in a commercial landscape. You wouldn't want to encourage hummingbirds around commercial buildings with large windows, for example - they would probably crash into the picture windows and die! However, commercial landscapes don't have to be as sterile and boring as they usually are.

Good luck,


06-17-2004, 02:46 PM
From: viola toniolo, viola@prbo.org
Date: 02/23/01
Time: 03:25 PM

the tilden botanical garden has an annual plant sale in the spring that is agreat resource for california and san francisco natives. i don't know exactly when it's happening, but it should be sometime in the next two or three months.