Black-eyed Susan
Just because it looks green doesn't mean it is green SM
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About ecoChic

ecoChic landscape design uses new approaches to designing the modern landscape. Everything has changed now. We can't afford to address our landscapes and gardens the way we used to; our environment simply cannot take it anymore. There are new options for solving our landscape challenges, but few firms embrace them. Here is a more in-depth comparison between us and traditional landscape design/build firms.

Our Way

ecoChic
landscape design specializes in eco-friendly, sustainable landscape options for clients in Southeast Michigan who prefer a hands on approach and who are willing to collaborate on the installation or renovation. We do not pretend to provide tailored services for each customer, but we do aspire to approach the garden holistically.

We focus on designing for the eco-responsible outdoor living space and the living things that interact in that space. We design outdoor spaces that are as environmentally friendly as possible. Design always takes into account reducing inputs such as water usage, fertilization, and gasoline and decreasing outputs such as water and chemical runoff. Designing at ecoChic is a matter of integrity and long-term responsibility. Our designs are more plant-oriented, nature oriented -- people oriented. The hard surfaces should work around the living, not the other way around.

ecoChic takes into account using native plants and cultivars as much as possible, but not exclusively, as the design warrants. Why native plants? They are genetically programmed to survive our climate and soils. Natives need fewer resources once established. We design for Michigan landscapes, not landscapes one can see anywhere in the country.

We at ecoChic landscape design also believe in giving back to the community. Donating time and effort is important to strengthen the ties between business and communities.

Finally, there are times when drastic actions must be taken to solve landscape issues, and ecoChic landscape design will use the appropriate tools to resolve these issues in a manner environmentally responsible.

Mission Statement

We always leave a place better than we found it. We believe we can save the planet one garden at a time. Integrating a garden long term into the community is good landscaping. A garden should look great and be ecologically responsible too.

 
Materials used in the construction of this include reused gravel and rock from the site, locally harvested boulders, and recycled materials for the liner underlayment. The tropical plants decorating the pond are overwintered and used again for the next year. Using them reduces the need for chemicals.

The "Other" Way

Most landscaping firms today try to do it all: design, installation, decks and patios, walkways, irrigation, drainage, grading, lighting, water features, and retaining walls. They want to install the plant material, provide tree services, maintain the lawn, clean up in spring and fall, and remove snow. They pay little attention to where a product comes from, how it is harvested, or the consequences of its production. They care even less about the removal and disposal of product, and the effect on our landfills and water quality. By trying to do everything, they excel at nothing.

Traditional landscape firms focus on the hardscape features (patios, walkways, etc,) and not the plant material. Why? Because they can charge more.

Philosophy

Do no harm and preserve resources for future generations. Apply the axiom: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rethink to the Modern American Landscape in an ecologically friendly and sustainable manner appropriate for Michigan and our great natural resources..

·         Reduce inputs, transportation, and waste
·         Reuse available inputs and outputs on site
·         Recycle what cannot be reused on site
·         Rethink. Think outside the typical garden to solve problems.
 
Manicured lawns belong to the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Pruned hedges waste time and resources. There are many eco-friendly alternatives that cost less, and are beautiful and available now. Think 21st century Modern Landscape.

The concept of sustainability flows through this philosophy. Consider these thoughts:

       Sustainability, in a broad sense, is the capacity to endure.

       In ecology, the word describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time.

       For humans, it is the potential for long-term maintenance of wellbeing, which in turn depends on the wellbeing of the natural world and the responsible use of natural resources. An attractive environment is in balance with the local climate and requires minimal resource inputs like fertilizer, water, and pesticides. 1

       An appropriate design is functional, cost efficient, pleases the senses, is environmentally friendly and easy to maintain.

       "Meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."2

So how do we do this? Ask ecoChic landscape design...



A shady retreat. Drip irrigation keeps the watering costs down and directs the water right to the roots so there is less runoff and waste.

About Us:

 

Laura Zigmanth is the owner and president of ecoChic landscape design inc.  She has been involved in the "green" industry propet since 1998 whether working at a local nursery, local garden center, big box garden center, or attending classes, seminars, or workshops. Laura has gardened since childhood, and her parents were avid gardeners, loved their plants, and improved their outdoor spaces. This prompted Laura to always improve her outdoor space wherever she lived. She developed her design skills by trial and error, and has practiced organic gardening and used rain barrels long before they were popular. She has been designing and gardening organically for over 20 years. Being an artist who loves to garden, it was inevitable these two activities would develop into one avocation.

 

She holds Associates degrees in both Landscape Design and Horticulture Technology, which complement her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. She is certified in Green Roof design, Conservation Stewardship, Michigan Natural Shoreline Design, and as a Green Industry Professional.

 

Credentials:

 

Albion College, Bachelor of Fine Arts

Oakland Community College, Associates Degrees: Landscape Design & Horticulture Technology

Live Roof LLC, Green Roof certification

MNLA, Michigan Certified Green Industry Professional

MSUE, Conservation Steward
Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership, Michigan Natural Shoreline Professional Certification (MNSPC)

 

Memberships:

 

MNLA (Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association)

SEMNLA (Southeast Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association)

The Stewardship Network

MIPN (Midwest Invasive Plant Network)
APG (Association of Professional Gardeners)

Talks and Presentations:


Spring Home & Garden Show, Suburban Collection Place (formerly Rock Financial Place), "Birds and Butterflies", April 10, 2010
Grosse Point Ladies Garden Club, Private Residence, "Sustainability in the Modern Garden", October 2009

 

Adapted from:

1 On the Colorado State University's website.

2 The Association of Professional Landscape Designers  (APLD) uses on its website uses the U.N. Bruntland Commission of 1987 definition for sustainability.

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