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Formal Landscaping Design with Native Plants 

What is formal design?

    Formal design is your average landscape look found nationwide based on European and old-fashioned design principles. Its also the most common landscape practice utilized around our homes and businesses. 

    Formal design features neatly trimmed shrubs, clean edges and weed free open mulch beds usually filled with exotic ornamental plants. Maintenance is higher than other types of landscaping with monthly weeding or herbicide applications, yearly mulching and hedge trimming. 

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Why use natives? 

Where should I begin? 

The exotic ornamental plants commonly used in our basic landscaping aren't from around here and have no ecological controls such as fungi, insects or mammals that eat them. 

Why is this an issue?

Well, when they do escape our landscaping and they eventually do. They cause huge problems in natural areas as they out compete native plants for space, light and resources. Resulting in a less diverse ecosystem. 

This means less birds, bees and butterflies as their food sources and habitats are replaced with monocultures of unfamiliar, unpalatable plants. 

Examples of this include Japanese Barberry and Burning Bush, which are 2 of the most commonly sold landscape shrubs. 

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Burning Bush in a landscaping

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Burning Bush taking over a forested roadside. To see this in person go to areas of Patchaug State forest in North Stonington Ct 


Barberry in Landscaping 

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Barberry taking over the understory of a forest. To see this in person go to Jewett Preserve in Lyme CT

Types of Formal Landscaping with Natives 

Full Formal Installation utilizing natives, will go like any other landscape install. 

Breakdown of potential work: 

1. Quote acceptance, design prep, choosing plants, paper design, etc. 

2. Site prep-edging, weeding, removal of unwanted shrubs, growth etc.

3. Optional addition of soil amendment such as compost. 

4. Turning over soil to remove any remaining roots or weeds. 

5. Purchase, delivery and installation of chosen non-invasive ornamentals and native plants. 

6. Mulch 

Replacement of invasive or other unwanted ornamental shrubs with native shrub varieties. Varieties chosen will be based on your needs and location the plant is going. 

Breakdown of Potential work:

1. Acceptance of quote, choosing plants and designating plants to be removed, etc 

2. Removal of unwanted shrubs and weeds, etc

3. Purchase, delivery and planting of new native shrubs 

4. Optional mulch to spiffy things up  

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