Watershed Friendly Landscaping

What is a watershed friendly landscape?

Everyone lives within a watershed and is dependent on watersheds to provide for the basic needs of everyday life, from water and food to materials to build homes and keep us warm. Water is fundamental to life. Terrasophia integrates a synergy of water strategies to make best use of available water resources in meeting water needs. This synergy of strategies includes property assessment, creating a water budget, land forming (such as swales and rain gardens), building healthy living soils, selecting micro-climate appropriate plantings, applying mulch, , incorporating graywater, installing rainwater catchment systems, and using effective irrigation systems to meet any remaining demand.

Opportunity awaits to transform our landscapes into places of health, beauty, and functionality. Each site is designed to enhance the unique character of the place in a way that meets the needs of the people and community. Terrasophia works closely with you to create cost-effective strategies for maximizing the beneficial outcomes from landscape decisions. Clients are engaged in the ecological design process as we integrate rainwater harvesting, edible landscaping, herbal medicine, natural building features and other elements to create a phased approach to developing a landscape fit to place. Garden Coaching services are offered to support you in becoming empowered to maintain your own landscapes and/or better understand the seasonal cycles of place.

Emphasize types of service and typical flow: Consult, Assess, Design, Coach/Hands-on workshop...seek to empower and provide value each step of the way....

Detailed Property Assessments are available and can include: precipitation patterns, water use assessment, water bill analysis, soil texture and fertility, irrigation and ETo analysis, stormwater runoff volumes from various surfaces and roofs, and land capability for potential strategies to meet site goals.  Property Assessment helps to gather site information and do preliminary assessment of the potential strategies appropriate for a given site and budget. Clients are empowered to continue developing their projects on their own, or can engage terrasophia for additional Consultation, Education, and Design Services.

Watershed Friendly Landscape features (Best Management Practices) include :

  • Rain Gardens and water harvesting earthworks designed to protect infrastructure and welcome water into the landscape where it can infiltrate into the soil.  Runoff from buildings, parking lots, driveways, hardscaping and landscaping is directed to appropriately selected and placed water harvesting landscape features combined with appropriate plants, mulch, logs, rocks and art to provide aesthetic habitat that improves water quality and provides useful yields.
  • Water Wise Plants adapted to local conditions to thrive on minimal supplemental irrigation while providing aesthetic and wildlife benefits, producing shade, privacy and/or wind breaks, and other beneficial functions. Selecting plants to provide integrated pest management benefits and support soil fertility replace the need for using petro-chemical based fertilizers and bio-cides. RIght plant Right place;
  • Edible landscaping, orchards, and vegetable gardens providing nutritious, locally grown food and culinary herbs.
  • Soil building, composting, and mulching treatments to support healthy living soil, cycle on-site "waste" into resources, and enhance soil water holding and infiltration capacities.
  • Roof Water Catchment systems to collect rainwater from roofs in cisterns to store for later use. Catchment systems help to buffer peak storm events that cause flooding and erosion, and can be drained between rain events to maintain this flood-buffer benefit. Water stored in the tank is used in the dry times for landscape irrigation, emergency supply, wildlife or livestock water supply, fire protection, and/or indoor uses depending on project goals and system design.
  • Greywater systems to safely distribute household greywater into the landscape where it can benefit plantings and decrease strain on other water and wastewater infrastructure.
  • Smart irrigation systems to provide any remaining water needs in an efficient and effective manor.