Updated: Dec 16, 2022
Welcome, if you are new to Good Steward Ecoscapes you can find out more about our company and who we are by reading the previous article. The three cornerstones of our work includes providing habitat, a natural food source, and naturally filtered water for local wildlife. Our specialty is building naturally filtered water features such as koi ponds, waterfalls, and fountainscapes. To provide a food source, we also have made the commitment to only use native plants in our landscaping work. Our goal is to encourage Backyard Conservation with beautiful living landscapes that are an oasis for local wildlife.
Waterfeatures are the simplest way to transform a barren lawn backyard into a lush, living oasis for wildlife. From installation to maintenance, we offer services so you can enjoy your very own backyard paradise. Whether it is a koi pond, waterfall, or fountainscape the tranquil sound of water is a welcoming beacon after a long hard day of work. Many times I’ve enjoyed watching birds hop around my own pond as they stoop to drink the water, or they bathe. Even better, the water they drink and bathe in has no harmful chemicals as it is naturally filtered. On a warm summer day you may benefit from watching dragonflies dance amongst rays of sunshine.
The best way to reward all the birds who stop to drink or bathe in your koi pond, waterfall, or fountainscape is with food from native plants! We use native plants in the landscape to provide food for native wildlife. This is especially important for birds who feed their babies solely with the caterpillar larvae of butterflies and moths. Native butterfly and moth species rely on native species of plants for their caterpillar offspring to feed on and grow. Without the native plants, there are then no native caterpillars to feed baby birds.
If you’ve read this far, you wouldn’t be surprised to learn we landscape keeping wildlife in mind! Unlike other green landscapers, we do not offer lawncare services. Lawns are a foreign concept originating in France. Unlike its name implies, Kentucky Bluegrass is actually from Eurasia. In some areas of the United States it is actually considered an invasive species. Due to its foreign origin, it has almost no positive impact for local native ecosystems. For customers looking for a lawn, we recommend native alternatives, or using native groundcovers. During Fall, we recommend leaving the leaves where they fall to form a mat of leaf litter in your garden. This leaf litter will protect insects and overwintering butterflies and moths from harsh winter temperatures. It also provides an area for birds to forage in as they search for food.
As for trimming plants, we use a naturalized approach. Unlike other landscapers who use hedge trimmers to form geometric shapes such as spheres, pyramids, or squares, we cut back branches to maintain a natural-looking plant growth. Similarly, I have noticed many times in omy own garden, birds such as chickadees and goldfinches prefer to perch on the dead branches of the honey locust trees. To support this behavior, I like to leave some dead branches for the birds.
One key final difference between native landscaping to traditional landscaping with exotic plants, is using the right plant for the right conditions. The benefit of native landscaping is using plants that need little maintenance. Trying to use plants that require wet soil conditions in an area of the garden that is often dry means the homeowner must constantly water those plants. It is best to consider the appropriate plant for the site conditions; this technique allows us to use plants that are low maintenance for homeowners, that will continue to thrive for years.