Ask yourself this: How often has a closed mind saved the world?

If the closed minds had their way, the Earth would still be flat. The sun would still circle us on its endlessly human-worshipping loop.

We would look no farther than carbon-based fuels to power our cities, vehicles and inventions.

And – most importantly – pet rocks would never have been invented. Which, we can agree, would have been the biggest crime of all.

Personally, we prefer to live on a scientifically forward-thinking, environmentally sustainable, insanely awesome planet, rife with googly-eyed pebbles.

That’s exactly the mindset we bring to every effort we make to improving the ecology of our urban environments.

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Always Moving Forward

Living in the past serves no one, so we don’t do it.

 

That’s not to say we dismiss the tried-and-true out of hand. Quite the opposite: When we find something that works, we bring that trusted method or technique to our projects with a will. 

When something no longer fits the bill, though? When an experiment flops? When a product isn’t cutting it?

We move on to greener pastures (yes, we went there). This ensures both you and Mother Nature get the service you need to grow in the direction you want.

 

We’re not afraid to push the envelope, you see.

We believe urban ecology is the first line of defense when it comes to combined sewer overflows, urban flooding, pollution and poisoned waterways.

If nothing is done, our cities will not-so-slowly become uninhabitable to more than flora and fauna: they will turn against their creators as well.

Nobody wants that. It’s our responsibility as a people, and more particularly our mandate here at  Ecogardens, to ensure our cities grow ever more livable, not less.

Ecogardens is doing something new.

See, we’re not your average come-out-and-assess-the-roof-then-slap-down-a-sedum-mat kind of company.

No, we like to do things a little outside the norm.

If it makes sense to put down a sedum mat, okay. We get that it’s “instant green,” and we all like that.

But that’s not always the best approach. Sometimes a habitat is happier when we use seeds and cuttings, allowing it to develop from infancy. In some cases, we opt for a mix of mat and other techniques.

In all cases, we do a thorough evaluation of your site to determine the ideal solution, then have a conversation to make sure you agree. If not, we keep working to find the right answer.

Is this the most popular way? Well, no. Seeds and cuttings can mean your space goes through some awkward teenage years (usually only months). In the end, though, you have a cost reduction of up to 50 percent, a higher success rate and – with the diligent stewardship we provide – often a stronger ecosystem.

Whatever approach we take, we ensure it’s the best way. For the Earth, for your building and for you.

That's right:

We learn. We correct. We tailor. We strengthen. We reimagine. We repeat.

But we don’t stop there. Our expertise extends to other urban spaces as well, on the ground as well as the roof. The fact of the matter is, while most of the available square footage in urban environments is up on the roof, there are other ways to make a difference as well.

Rain gardens. Bioswales. Rainwater collection.

We’re always designing plant communities that can live happily together. Proper plant selection means harmony for all, and we’re on an endless mission to find that perfect mix.

The same goes for components, soils and amendments. Each project is different, and we will do our darnedest to make sure it gets top-quality attention, even if that means reinventing the wheel. Or the solar system.

Just call us Copernicus.

In short, we try to embrace Mother Nature in everything we do, but when she embraces us back … that’s where it’s at.

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We Live for the Results

We imagine you’re with us when we say, nothing makes us happier than seeing a goat grazing on a roof. Very Viking, no?

There’s no better show than watching a young rooftop garden slowly take root and come to life over a period of months or years.

We love looking out of our windows and seeing Canada geese settling in a dozen stories up.

Although we hope that one family breaks their five-year streak of providing the hawks with a tasty meal. Come on, guys! Circle the wagons!

Anyway ... get ready for rooftop drinks among swaying grasses. Get ready to welcome the squirrels, birds and jewel-bright butterflies to your home or office complex.

Open your arms to the beauty of a well-designed living ecosystem on a formerly disused space, protecting the structures beneath while soothing the eye … and get ready to enjoy it for the long haul.

Oh, and lastly, get ready to keep our waterways cleaner, your buildings safer from rain and in many cases, your energy bills lower. If that sounds pretty good to you, then we might just get along.

In the meantime: pet rocks. Right?

Every week brings new ecological innovation.

Cloud computing, industrial design, green infrastructure … and it doesn’t stop there. If you’re interested in ecological design, we feel safe betting that you’re not having the easiest time keeping up.

Ecological design is an evolving process.

We can help you there.

First, though, let’s just get this out of the way upfront: We’re not the end-all-be-all on ecological design.

We are the end-all-be-all when it comes to which native grasses work well in Chicago neighborhoods such as Lincoln Park, Bucktown or Lakeview. We’re equipped to answer your every question about growing an urban green space in Brush Park or Corktown, Detroit.

We love thinking through tough stormwater management challenges in St. Louis’s U. City Loop. And hey, definitely put us in your Rolodex for the quintessential snack mix recipe.

Ecological design, however, is a different kettle of popcorn. (If you will. Oh, you will? See, we’re getting along already.)

The process evolves constantly, and that means if we want to stay at the top of our game – a place our team members have comfortably rested for decades now – then we can never really “graduate.”

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Lifelong Students ...

Whether we’re researching a new technology, finding a unique solution for you or nerding out over trade magazines, learning is our passion.

We’re learning all the time. Frankly, if we don’t stumble across some new study, tidbit or apparatus every day, we get a little bummed out. (Then we have to go make more popcorn.)

We invite you to help us search for a better solution – one that protects the environment, boosts the economy, drives innovation and makes squirrels happy.

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... Taking a New Approach

Do you need something a little different, a little new, a little against the grain? Gotcha.

Do you think, as we do, that a green roof can evolve over time? Do you believe that stormwater management can take a huge number of creative forms? Are you always looking for a new way to bring birds, butterflies, bees and Black-Eyed Susans to your urban environment?

 

Check, check and check. That’s our guarantee: Learning together, experimenting in partnership, giving you the best deal throughout.

Sound good? Good.

If you’re anything like us, you like to keep things interesting.

Sure, sometimes it’s fun to pour some cheerios and milk into a bowl then freeze it just to see the looks on your kids’ faces … but that’s not always enough.

So here at Ecogardens, we make an effort to educate ourselves each and every day. It’s what brings us to work in the morning, and sends us home happy every night. In short, we’ve pretty much always got something on our radar.

Check out our current obsessions here and on the blog to keep up-to-date.

At the moment? We’re obsessed with water.

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A Better Way to Water

Water is a valuable resource, after all. Why waste it on your plants when they don’t need it that much? It’s time to wean them off the juice, friends!

Well, sort of. Plants still need water to thrive, of course, but do they need as much as they get with conventional irrigation systems?

We think not.

 

 

That’s why we’ve been working hard to develop a cloud-based irrigation system, deploying later this year, that lets Ecogardens access irrigation controllers remotely.

Our smart irrigation software uses moisture sensors to let us know when plants have enough. At a certain saturation point, the system shuts off to prevent overwatering and waste. When plants get thirsty again, back on it goes.

How’s that for smart?

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Cloud to the Rescue

No longer are you at the mercy of what happens beyond your field of vision. Valve failure? Electrical fault? Stuck valve? Issues such as these can result in countless wasted gallons if they’re not caught quickly, a misfortune for your wallet and the world.

Well, say goodbye to poking at hoses and trying not to wet your dress shoes.

 

 

Ecogardens takes the guess-work out of the system with full access to your irrigation system remotely, via WiFi or cellular connection, at any time of the day or night. We will even receive a text if there’s an issue.

Interested in how we can save you more money and water your landscape more efficiently? We thought so.

At the end of the day, finding new solutions to urban ecology is what we do best. We invite you to come along for the ride.

 
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