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   Ecological Landscape Designs

                                                                          inspired by nature

As a biologist, landscaper, environmentalist and beekeeper, the company founder, Annie Martin, seeks inspiration based on the science of ecology and her love of nature. Annie re-directed her career after 24 years in the corporate world, this to better align her work values. Through commitment to innovative ideas and education, she hopes to inspire individuals and group attitudes and behaviours towards more sustainable ways of landscaping.

 

  

 My Monarch Butterfly Project

Just emerged male monarch butterfly getting ready for migration to the Mexican alpine forests to overwinterJust emerged male monarch butterfly getting ready for migration to the Mexican alpine forests to overwinter

Is your community monarch-friendly?  According to the David Suzuki Foundation (https://davidsuzuki.org), the eastern monarch population plummeted by more than 95 per cent between the 1990’s and 2014.  If you are like me, reading this makes you feel sad and powerless.  But everyone can help.  Since I moved to my new home in 2014, I have kept the Common milkweed plants (Asclepias syriaca Linnaeus) growing on my property and also incorporated a native flowering meadow in my landscape.  At the end of the summer of 2019, I witnessed a record number of monarch sightings, from eggs, to caterpillars, chrysalis and adult butterflies.  

The monarch butterfly is one of the largest diurnal butterflies in Quebec. The body of the caterpillars have small white, yellow and black bands and they mobile filaments located on their head and at the end of their abdomen.  The chrysalis is initially bright green, with little golden specks.  As metamorphosis advances, the chrysalis darkens and the wing patterns become visible through its protective shell.  

Image Gallery

The Common Milkweed

The Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca Linnaeus) is easy to grow.  Unfortunately, it has the reputation of being a weed and its numbers have been declining, mainly due to urbanization and industrialized agriculture.  The survival of the monarchs depends on the common milkweed because the caterpillar feeds exclusively on its leaves.  So I started collecting the ripe pods in the fall and saving seeds.  I collected over 300g of seeds and I am ready for planting next spring.  I encourage you to join me in this preservation effort!  Do not hesitate to contact me if you need seeds.  They can be planted directly in the ground, before snow in late fall, or retained in a cool, dry location until the following spring, where they can be planted directly outside, or indoors for an earlier start.  

  

What is Ecological Landscaping?

Humans have been changing and manipulating landscapes since the onset of agriculture.  Acceleration of ecological damage began with 

the industrialized revolution and the burning of fossil fuels, causing climate change, the ultimate ecological disturbance worldwide.  Human activities have caused habitat fragmentation, loss of biodiversity and contamination of soil and water.

Ecological landscaping is the philosophy of creating responsible, adaptive, yet resilient landscape designs for the future of our human habitat.  Ecological landscapes are designed based on the science of ecology, are self-regulating in their process and self-renewing.  They enrich biodiversity, work with natural processes, enhance natural systems and regenerate resources.