Becoming Gardeners

To enable more sustainable landscaping practices, landscapers will have to become more gardeners, rather than the lawn maintenance technicians of today. The repetitious pesticides applications, mowing and leaf blowing can all be replaced with more real plant care and better gardening.

The Right plant for the Right Place

We can not expect the type of knowledge from landscapers that we expect from a horticulturist or a professional garden designer. But if landscapers follow the principle of 'the right plant for the right place' we already have made tremendous progress. Simple actions like checking the soil and the location, talking to the nursery and reading the labels are also important first steps.

Know More

The internet has all the information you need to create flowerbeds, pick the right plants, how to plant trees, etc.

It is just a matter of having the interest and a little bit of time to learn the basics of good gardening. We really hope you become as enthusiastic as we, about the opportunities of more sustainable landscaping. Please see the 'Learn More' links below.

About Local Challenges

Regretfully, some areas have specific challenges that can interfere with the idea of 'the right plants for the right place'. In Westchester we have two:



Deer browsing is a serious problem in our area. There are only two practical solutions to the deer problem for someone who owns a yard:

  • Create a physical border at least eight feet high.
  • Use deer resistant plants.



Many plant species, that have been brought in from other parts of the world, now take over much of our native environment. We have a fair share of them. The best way to deal with invasives is to remove them and replace them with vigorous and dense sustainable plantings. To see the most common invasives in our area visit:

► Invasives in our area

About the Soil

For good gardening it can be crucial to know your soil type. No matter how much work you do in your yard and garden, all that careful sowing, weeding and tending could be in vain if the quality of your soil is not up to scratch.


The soil provides plants with the nutrients, water and air that they require for healthy growth and development. But every yard or garden has its own mixture of minerals, organic and inorganic matter. This mixture largely determines what crops, shrubs or trees can be grown successfully. These videos show how to take a soil sample:

Climate and Weather

Climate is the prevalent long-term weather conditions in a particular place. Generally, climate is considered the weather in a place over a period of 30+ years. Climatic elements include precipitation, temperature, humidity, sunshine and wind velocity, and phenomena such as fog, frost and snow.

For more information about the climate and weather in the state of New York, and its effect on the growing season, visit:

► Weather and Climate