Strategies for Sustainability

Designing Sustainable Gardens in San Luis Obispo County

At Gardens by Gabriel, Inc, we take an ecological approach to building landscape environments, helping them grow in harmony with their natural surroundings while providing you with a living sanctuary. Our designs use Nature as a blueprint, reflecting the diversity of the Central Coast while sustainably harnessing resources. We believe that gardeners are stewards of the earth, and we take pride in developing it responsibly.

In our site evaluation, we give careful attention to your garden’s particular micro-climate, its soil types, sunlight exposure, and watershed patterns. Understanding these patterns of natural systems allows us to address your garden as an ecosystem, and design a landscape plan that utilizes your natural resources to the fullest while mitigating factors like excessive heat, wind, and poor drainage.

The result of bringing these natural systems into harmony is a thriving, low maintenance environment for plants, wildlife, and you! 

 

Our Methods for Conservation:
 

Rainwater Capture: In a mediterranean climate where we only get rain 4 months out of the year, water is our most precious resource. Most rooves and hard surfaces drain it away from the house. Take the extra step and drain this precious resource to feed your garden! Even better than a holding tank is directing winter rainfall into the soil via gutter downspouts, captured in the landscape by earthen contours, and then preserved by insulating layers of mulch. Instead of creating run-off, these water infiltration basins encourage water to sink into the landscape – replenishing local aquifers and forming deep moisture reservoirs for plants to draw from throughout the seasons. 

Greywater Harvesting: Known as ‘GREYWATER’, water from laundry, sinks and showers that is piped into the garden after every use, providing nutrients and irrigation for plants, lessening fresh water usage, and reducing strain on septic and water treatment systems. Rather than biodegradable soaps, Greywater uses biocompatible detergents, meaning that your plant material actually benefits from the soaps you use. Good for the planet, and good for your water bill, Greywater is one of the easiest ways to recylce. 

Ecological Plantings: The adage "right plant, right place" makes for healthy plants and successful landscapes. We take care to group plants known to nurture and mutually benefit one another in order to capture nutrients, repel pests, attract wildlife, and add valuable organic matter to the soil. Choosing native and mediterranean plants that are well-adapted to our soils and climate means less maintenance, water, and plant replacement in the long term. A thriving plant community contributes to the ecological harmony of your space through its beauty and through its sustainability. 

Edible Plants: Edible tree crops, vines, perennials and herbs are integrated for their ability to produce seasonal shade, contribute beauty and texture to the garden, and provide delicious foods and flavors for the whole family. San Luis Obispo county's mild climate means garden owners can grow a rainbow of foods in their own back yards. Cultivating edibles at your home is one way to reduce the number of trucks on the road, reduce the amount of pesticides draining into the earth, and in so doing, reduce your own carbon footprint.

Lawn Replacement: A lawn is a beautiful thing--when it's properly enjoyed. If your space is home to children or pets, a lawn may be the perfect backdrop for their rompings. However if you're ready to reduce your mowing from once a week to once a year, consider a replacement. Ways to save on money, maintenance, and reduce your water usage are to substitute water-hungry turf grasses with water-wise native grasses and ground covers. Friendly to California's climate and soft underfoot, 2 varieties of NO-MOW SEDGE can cut your water usage--and therefore your water bill--by half. 

Strategic Succulents: More bullet-proof than 007 himself, succulents store enough water in their "leaves" as to not need irrigation for months on end. Once established, a succulent planting takes a miniumum of care for its fascinating features. Succulents are used not only to save water and add beauty, but also as a FIRESCAPING barrier, especially in fire-prone regions like our chaparral coast.

 

testimonials

John and Hollee Parker, Nipomo, California 

 

"The guys at Gardens by Gabriel are wonderful and my husband and I would highly recommend them. The decision on who to choose as our landscape designer was difficult for us to say the least. We interviewed several and finally choose Gabriel because he was the only one who took our concepts that one step further. We needed someone to guide us through the process as well as come up with a vision for our project and Gabriel Frank did just that. We wanted a creative mind to make our backyard one of a kind and that is exactly what happened. We love our new backyard; it is everything we dreamed of. Thanks Gabriel!"

 

J.K., San Luis Obispo, California
"Gabriel and his team took our ho-hum front yard and made it beautiful and low maintenance. We didn't have a big budget, so I was not sure what could be done. He re-purposed some of our pots and plants in a creative way and added wonderful plants and rocks to give the look continuity. His fresh approach to design along with his great crew to implement the design was greatly appreciated by my husband and me."

William S., Morro Bay, California
"Recently Gabriel and his team landscaped our yard in Morro Bay. They were on time and on budget. We liked the design and appreciated receiving options at different prices. Things were done flawlessly and clean-up was immaculate. Over the past 6 weeks, the new plantings have begun to take off and we are more pleased as time passes."