Systems are everywhere

The human body is a system composed of trillions of human cells and microorganisms. Likewise, your computer is a system founded on drives and cards and power supplies. A city is a system constructed of buildings and people and butterflies and blades of grass.

As for green roofs, rain gardens and intelligent irrigation – those are all systems too.

They rely heavily on the synergistic relationships of all their moving parts. It’s frankly hard to track those parts, giving each the right attention and care, at the right time, according to its needs.

Luckily, you don’t have to. Here at Ecogardens, we make green roofs and living systems easy.

Nature matters, and we seek always to work in partnership with her.

Before we begin any new endeavor, we explore the proposed site, identifying potential nexuses between people and environment, and nurturing those connections.

We sort through our vast array of choices when it comes to green roof components, growing media, succulents, grasses and more, to find the best ones for your project. We ensure everyone plays nicely together.

We administer timeouts when we have to.

In the end, you’re left with an ecological oasis that respects nature, provides habitat for animals, fights urban ills such as stormwater and the heat islands, soothes your eyes and makes your heart happy.

But only if you do it right.

Which we do. And when you work with us, so do you.


Our Systems Have Systems

A wise company once said, If you want to create urban spaces in step with nature, you need a plan.

That wise company was us, just now. (And yes, that phrase really is trademarked. Watch out.)


In other words, you can’t just throw down some waterproofing, a sedum mat and a few native grasses and say “Presto!” Unless you have a magic wand that you’re waving at the same time, and we’re 87 percent sure you don’t, you’ll have to do better than that.

Luckily, we offer a much more effective process.


At Ecogardens, we boast a deep attention to detail and many years in the business, all pointing us toward the best solutions.

Truly, we're not lying when we say our systems have systems. We’re so dang good at our job that we can look at any space and immediately envision the many species that might thrive there, then help you answer the real questions:

What’s your goal?

Are you looking for instant green or do you care more about what’s environmentally sustainable over the long haul?

Do you want extensive or intensive?

Those are just a few of the many questions you have to answer, of course, so you’re probably going to need some guidance.

We've noticed something throughout our years in the urban ecology biz.

There are a lot of canned answers out there. A lot of people willing to sell you a prepackaged solution, whether or not it works for your site. A lot of less-than-satisfactory results, which you might not notice right after project completion ... but will certainly notice in a year, when your little ecosystem looks less happy than it did before.

No Bueno.

Here at Ecogardens, we don't take that approach. Rather, ours is one of deep caring. Not just for you (no offense), but also for the site itself, the wildlife that lives there and the environment as a whole.


A Fresh Take, Guaranteed

Our unique approach to living systems helps us:

Let our clients and spaces guide us in our design of living systems; select the best tools for each stage of the process; cultivate harmony between people, animal, plants and places; plan from the beginning for long-term stewardship; and treat each step, component and plant not as an isolated component, but as part of a living, breathing whole.

Lest we forget, there’s one more part of the system:

You. You’re the one whose opinion we respect and whose voice we’re listening for, at every step of the project.

We’d like to know more you, so get in touch today.

Stormwater management means more than getting rid of pesky puddles and mosquito love shacks …

it means saving our cities from pollution, disease and structural damage.

Massive quantities of rain and snow fall from the sky every year, burdening city infrastructures and causing pollution, disease and erosion. (Also it’s lame to wear so many coats. Thanks for that, Midwest.)

In nature, stormwater isn’t such a problem. In a forest or on a grassland, vegetation and soil are there to catch it and soak it up. Plants retain water for a time before breathing it back out (transpiration), while water in soil eventually evaporates into the air (evaporation).

Together = evapotranspiration.

And you now have your vocab word for the day.



Time to Defeat Stormwater 

Cities, on the other hand, are coated with impermeable surfaces: cement, concrete, asphalt. These surfaces cling to the ground, rooftops and everything in between, giving water nowhere to go but into the sewers, causing combined sewer overflow events (CSO events or CSOs).

These occur because our sewers aren’t mean to manage stormwater. They handle wastewater and sewage from our homes and businesses, funneling them toward treatment plants before they head back into the environment, and they only have so much capacity. For obvious reasons, this liquid contains a lot of gunk and disease. When stormwater causes it to flow back out into the world, the results are gross … if not downright disastrous.

In addition to smelling not-great, overflows also pick up pollutants from city surfaces, transmit human and animal diseases (such as E. coli), and eventually spill over into waterways – contaminating and eroding them as they go.

Think of stormwater like the bad guy, with a cape made from untold gallons of water just waiting to cause all that damage.

We say: No to that, Stormwater Guy. Ecogardens is having none of your shenanigans.

Here’s how we defeat him:

Rain Gardens

Just another paved space won’t make a dent in stormwater, whereas green and growing spaces can do much. Rain gardens are shallow depressions that soak up the water running off impermeable surfaces nearby, filtering it to remove pollutants and providing a sight for sore eyes at the same time.

Rainwater Harvesting

Guess what? The sky gives us free water all the time … so why shouldn’t you make use of it? With our sustainable rainwater harvesting methods, you can capture and store rain to be used later on landscapes or household tasks.


Stormwater carries high loads of pollutants, which plants and soils do a fantastic job filtering out. The goal, then, is to put that water in contact with plants who can take care of those pollutants … and that’s exactly what a bioswale accomplishes.

These gentle troughs collect water and funnel it slowly toward drainage, picking up and retaining chemicals and toxins along the way. By the time water reaches its final destination, it is much cleaner and much safer. Thanks, bioswale!

Our systems are as unique as you are.

While green roofs and stormwater management are our bread and butter (or almond butter on whole-wheat toast, when we’re feeling virtuous), there are plenty of other ways to help Planet Earth.

Whether you live on the ground or twenty stories up, you have lots of choices for helping the Earth. We'll help you envision the perfect use for your space, from giving birds a home to helping those native bees, from reducing water waste to creating a sweet outdoor hangout. You know, for you. And the birds.

Interested? We thought so.

Our other services include:


Living Systems

A true sanctuary involves more than native greenery. Our living systems include stylized installations for front and back yards, combining hardscapes such as decks, patios and walkways with our expertise in plant media.

Prefer to leave the traditional plane behind? We’re happy to help you expand the concept of “ecosystem” with living walls or other alternative installations.


Urban Gardens

Blending a bustling cityscape with a native environment is no mean feat, but at Ecogardens we have perfected the process.

We deploy systems and products specifically tailored to your location, and we weave in plants indigenous to the area. Our careful methods help ensure each nook and cranny has a native connection. This enables an increased appreciation of the landscape as a whole, minimizing maintenance and energy consumption.

By the way, there’s no reason you shouldn’t enjoy your garden just as much in the evening or at night as you do during the day. Our elegant lighting solutions are tailor-made to enhance entertaining areas and plant scenery at night. We offer LED fixtures, smart lighting and energy-efficient systems to enhance your nighttime environment without harming the planet.


Xerigating | Smart Irrigation Systems

Smart irrigation is all about water management. Too much water, and you waste a precious resource while drowning your plants. Too little, and no one’s happy.

Like Goldilocks, you’re looking for the just-right, low-water solution … and xerigating is it, a technique works to reduce or eliminate the need for supplemental irrigation.

Our irrigation methods direct water to the soil and plant roots utilizing SMART technologies to sense when water is needed. By operating efficiently, these systems reduce water use substantially. They also reduce fertilizer applications, preventing excess water from washing both applied fertilizers, naturally occurring nutrients and friendly microbes down the drain (literally).


Habitat Creation

If supporting native ecosystems is a high priority for you, we can help.

Ecogardens offers specific designs to shelter and feed birds, bees, butterflies and other fauna. These serve as important sanctuaries for both native and migratory species of concern – and offer a very cute show, to boot.

No matter which combination of services you choose, you can feel confident that the results will improve your outdoor spaces, help protect the environment, and provide habitat for the plants and animals that desperately need it.

Plan your outfit. We have a feeling you’re about to be invited to a squirrel party.

At Ecogardens, our goal is to be the best.

Thankfully we hit that goal most of the time (though, we must admit, not at the pool table). Our secret?

No secret, really. More a technique … a technique that involves riding the coattails of others’ hard work.

If we want to be the best, we know we have to work with the best.

So we do. We strive every day to align ourselves with top companies in the industry, our ultimate goal to bring the best system or solution to our customers.

Our partners offer customizable, built-to-last solutions.

Solutions that stand the test of time, that help the environment by kicking planned obsolescence to the curb. If anyone’s becoming obsolete, it may just be our partners, because their products are too durable.

(J/k … they’re not going anywhere.)

Without further ado, here are our favorite manufacturers to work with right now.


Smart Green Technologies for Greener Roofs

Providing a wide array of green roof technologies, Smart Green Technologies outshines the competition with their alternative solution to the sedum mat. This innovation provides instant cover for your green roof, with a few significant advantages to you: reduced weight, increased square footage per roll, and hydroponically grown for less plant stress during transport or transplant.


IR Analyzers to Help You

Water Safe and Smart

The value of a green roof or rooftop garden goes down way fast if the roof starts leaking. IR Analyzers provides peace of mind and quality assurance that the roof is watertight prior to installation. They’re a leader in their industry, and like Ecogardens, always striving to find the best solutions to every problem – such as TruGround™ waterproofing membrane to ensure a tight seal on your roof.


Keene Building Products to Protect Buildings Long-Term

Ecogardens is proud to work in concert with Keene Building Products, currently helping them design several product lines for green roofs, rooftop gardens and civil engineering applications – think stormwater management and erosion control. Moreover, drainage is a key component of any green roof or other living system, and Keene Building Products helps you get it right.


Growstone for Epic Water Retention at Lighter Weights

We like those who swim a little outside the mainstream … or in their own river. Growstone is the latter, truly pushing the envelope on the innovation of new growing substrates. Their featherlight, 100%-recycled glass medium stores a significantly greater volume of water than any other lightweight aggregate, and is changing the way stormwater is managed not only on the roof, but on the ground.

Be sure to check back as this list is updated frequently to reflect new partners in sustainability.

See something you like?

Consulting: You just need it sometimes.

You might have a pretty good handle on a project, but can’t seem to answer a few questions about the green roof assembly.

Maybe you know exactly what you want to do at a site, but aren’t sure which materials will enable you to do it best.

Or possibly, you’ve got the products and the muscle covered, but you want someone with knowhow to guide you through each step of a daunting project.

Have fun with that!

We’ll just be over here, keeping our heads down, doing what we do best: Designing beautiful urban spaces that embrace the natural world while meeting the needs of humankind.

… What? Oh, for sure.

We can totally help you out too.


30 Years of Solutions

We’re here to provide you with individualized help designing solutions that speak to the immediate needs of your project.

See, we’ve been a lot of places and seen a lot of approaches, and we know firsthand how many different solutions exist to every problem.

But without bragging, we don’t know many people who can match our level of expertise when it comes to designing living systems within urban borders. 

We’re here to help you find them, by bringing you as much information as possible and helping you make the most educated decisions. Here's all we'll say:


If you’re looking for products and solutions, do yourself a favor and speak to an expert who’s used them before.

It doesn’t have to be us – although hey, we are right here – but it’s always smart to seek the advice of a professional before embracing a new green roof component or growing media.

The truth is, few flashy gadgets or nice business cards can stand up to more than 30 years in the industry, which is what we bring to the table. The value is there in each conversation and each decision and is reflected in each site upon completion … and for years to come.

When you have a problem that needs to be solved, we’re here for you.

(BTW, we also have flashy gadgets and nice business cards. Just so you know.)

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