Organic Landscape Design
We create sustainable landscapes that reconnect you with nature.
There is no perfect formula for sustainable landscape design, but one thing is for certain: the choices we make today affect our world tomorrow.
Every organic landscape we design or install is done so in a manner that is respectful to you and to the environment. On a micro level, the environment is your property and the neighborhood around you. We strive to be professional and courteous, minimizing any impact or inconvenience. On a macro level, we are talking about the earth. We source our materials locally, operate efficient equipment whenever possible, and stay on top of the most responsible construction practices to lighten our footprint.
The end result is a landscape that looks good and feels good: environmentally responsible, aesthetically stunning, and completely custom to your lifestyle.
“Marc created a wonderful design that fulfilled a vision we had had but had not been able to realize. His creativity, quick understanding of our wishes, and warmth made him a great partner in installing beauty that should last some time.”
- Elizabeth, Chicago
Sustainable Landscape Design Consultation
At the initial design consultation, we will walk the site with you and listen to your needs, wants, and objectives for the project. We discuss your preferences (style, plants, materials, and budget range), and begin to formulate solutions based on what we see. We will present our designs and proposals in one of three ways:
Proposals are created for less complex projects—such as sod, mulch, and drainage—that can be adequately described for clear understanding in a written document. These do not require drawings or permits of any kind.
For more complex projects, a retainer is agreed upon for the development of a concept and budget, followed by a final plan and proposal for installation. This is a commitment to the design process with Greenwise, and allows us to fully explore design options and present a well thought out plan that is both beautiful and functional.
For projects that require a long-term plan to guide a phased installation, a design fee is determined. Greenwise then develops concepts, budgets, and phasing options. When the direction and vision of the plan is followed over time, the completed project will come together as cohesive and unified.
Organic Landscape Installation
At Greenwise, our organic landscape installation work is driven by sustainability. We start by taking inventory of the plants, soil, sun exposure, and other ecological components of your site, so that we can make the wisest choices and select the best materials for your landscape. Here are some examples of the work we do:
- Evaluating site hydrology and proposing effective storm water solutions, such as permeable paving, rain gardens, and rain collection systems to direct runoff and maximize water usage on site
- Placing plants, trees, shrubs, and structures that provide shade in summer, redirect harsh winter winds, and reduce energy costs for your home or building
- Preserving mature trees, enhancing native habitats, encouraging mutually beneficial species, and discouraging invasive species
- Using locally sourced, energy efficient, repurposed, or recycled materials
- Incorporating native plants that are not only beautiful but well-suited and adapted to our climate
Meet our team
Marc's interest in creating a greener environment and concern for the health and safety of his own dog led him to begin an organic lawn care company. Marc started small, but made an immediate impact by using only organic, natural, and safe lawn care products. Marc has grown his team over 10+ years, and each hire shares his passion for the environment.
As a boy, surrounded by German gardens and plantsmen, Sandro's love of plants came early and naturally. He was inspired to formally study horticulture by the beauty he saw in the gardens at Muskau Park, and received a Masters of Science in Horticulture from Freie Universität Berlin, one of Germany's leading research universities. For the past 13 years, Sandro has gained experience in landscape design and landscape construction management, bringing a wealth of plant and construction knowledge to our landscape design process.
Growing up on the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks, Brian's interests in plant propagation and architecture led him to Mizzou, where he studied plant science with an emphasis in landscape design. Here in Chicago, Brian has worked on landscape design projects of all sizes. He also adds a level of technical software expertise to our team, and his scientific and technical interests push him to stay current on industry trends and developments, which he integrates into the design process.
Tim is a leader in the industry, thanks to his work as a registered landscape architect and his years of design-build experience. While practicing his craft, he also taught landscape architecture for several years at Kansas State University. You can trust him with any size project, from small planting designs to sophisticated, engineered water systems.
Marilyn grew up on a working, organic farm in the Midwest, and had such a fondness for the land and plants that she became a member of the Future Farmers of America and built her own greenhouse. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts at Iowa State and spent many years as a graphic designer before building her career in landscape design. Marilyn’s talent and passion for art, design, and the environment have influenced the wide range of landscape projects she has designed—many multi-million dollar master plans, but also small urban rear yards. In 2013, she earned an Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA) Gold Award for a “natural” estate.
As a girl, Heather had dreams of being an architect—only to realize that our world is already built up, and that urban sprawl has gone too far. She merged her love of design with her interest in gardening, finding a new sense of responsibility for the environment. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Ornamental Horticulture with an emphasis in Landscape Design from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has dedicated her career to helping clients reclaim the outdoors.