Caring for and Healing the Earth


A Landscape Design Methodology

Sweet Grass Gardens


A Landscape Design Methodology - Overview

Contrary to the landscape trade, the design methodology of Sweet Grass Gardens is simple - let the site dictate the plant material - ecological gardening. Native plants and Aboriginal plants (species that are significant to the culture of Native North Americans) are used almost exclusively in past landscape projects.

Ecological gardens - A JOINT VENTURE WITH NATURE

  • Lends itself to improving and rebuilding the environment
  • Native plants do not require adaptation to climate or soils
  • Have the ability to better withstand diseases and pests which may attack the garden
  • Elimination of chemicals provides an environmentally sound approach to gardening

Landscaping with native flora offer the following benefits:

  • Low maintenance & drought tolerant landscaping
  • Aesthetically appealing
  • Attracts wildlife and songbirds
  • Restores our lost Native plant habitat
  • Economical

ABORIGINAL PLANT USAGE: Plant species that are significant to the culture of Native North Americans.

  • Medicine & drugs
  • Food
  • Fiber & Dyes
  • Other - (ceremonial, charms, fragrance, fuel, hunting & fishing, traditional teachings and story telling)


Native Plants in the Modern Landscape

Working with native plant material allows diversity in the landscape. Any or all of the following gardens can be incorporated into the landscape in either a formal or informal setting.

Rock Gardens

Rock gardens are best suited to poor soils with low moisture. Practicing the principles of xeriscaping (water conservation) lends itself to an extremely low maintenance landscape. One type of rock garden can feature plant species native to the western Sagebrush steppe and alpine zones along the Rocky Mountain crest.

Prairie Meadow Gardens

Attention to detail and patience will transform an open area into a beautiful, natural looking, low maintenance landscape. A tall grass prairie installation would be significant to the restoration of Canada’s native grasslands; of which, only 1-% remains.

Aboriginal Gardens

Plant species, which are significant to the culture of Native North Americans for either; medicine, food, fiber, dyes, ceremonies or traditional teachings would be incorporated into the aboriginal garden.

Wildlife Gardens

Essentially, this type of garden creates habitat for wildlife. Using native plant species, the garden will provide cover, nesting grounds and a natural food source necessary for sustenance of area wildlife.

Butterfly Gardens

Butterfly gardens require plant species that will necessitate all life stages of the butterfly. Native plants will be selected for each of the following purposes: species on which to lay eggs, food plants for the larvae and nectar sources for the adult butterfly.

Natural Wetland/Wet meadows/Pond Gardens

Wetland gardens are useful for enhancing the look of functional storm water ponds. They are instrumental in natural wastewater management systems by providing water purification. A third use for wetland gardens is to provide cover and a food source for local water animals, fowl and amphibians.


See also Species & Soil Types in the Native Plants section of this website (also provided by Sweet Grass Gardens).


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