Ive Haugeland and Tyler Manchuck, of Shades of Green Landscape Architecture in Sausalito, Calif., spend many hours researching, debating the pros and cons of different products, asking questions, and working with sustainable manufacturers to provide landscapes that are not a posh-type green project, but rather areas that truly benefit the environment. Shades of Green used a newly completed residence in Sausalito as an experimental project in which to introduce new, sustainable grass seed. "The no-mow lawn uses a blend of fescue. It takes way less water and you only need to cut it once a year," says Haugeland.
According to Haugeland, "There are a lot more native lawns available on the market now. For example, Delta Bluegrass is producing several new different types. We started incorporating some of them into our design projects last year. The new grasses haven't been problem free for us, so we are monitoring the projects to see if they hopefully do well over time."
"Everybody wants to grow food these days, with veggie beds, fruit trees, and berries. Many more households are converting their food purchases to organic and local. Our design challenge is to make these areas look interesting year round. Water is becoming a bigger concern; we are incorporating more rainwater harvesting technologies; and people are okay with getting rid of their traditional lawn mentality. California just passed new laws on residential graywater use, so it will be much easier for us to get graywater irrigation systems installed, yeah! LEED for Homes has been popping up more now as well, so all in all, people are becoming more aware of environmental issues! It seems like people are seeing the environmental value they can add to their home by investing in their gardens sustainably," continues Haugeland.
Stephanie, an NCARB registered architect and LEED AP, draws upon her studies in architectural history and theory from Sarah Lawrence College and her master’s degree in architecture from The Ohio State University. Providing copy for publications and performing marketing work for the construction industry, Stephanie works as an independent freelancer from Columbus, Ohio.Website: greengaloredesigner.blogspot.com/