Our Services

Ecological Landscaping is a method of designing, building, and maintaining landscapes that considers the ecology of the site and creates gardens that enhance the surrounding environment for the benefit of humans and all other life in the ecosystem.  –  Ecological Landscaping Association

A well executed landscape starts with a thorough design.  Whether you are doing a small, residential renovation or a large, commercial installation, the design process ensures that all of the goals of the project are accomplished.  By doing a complete design with all the project’s goals incorporated, homeowners can develop a systematic approach that best suits their objective and budget.  Each project is supervised by the landscape designer to ensure continuity as the project proceeds from the drawn plan to constructed final product.
Initial Consultation
This free consultation is an opportunity to meet and discuss in detail the goals of the project.   After the details of the project are discussed, a site analysis will be completed.  At that time will take measurements, determine orientation and micro-climates, and look at drainage.
Preliminary Design
Your designer will take all of the information gathered from the initial consultation and create a design customized to your needs.  Once the preliminary plan is completed, another meeting will be arranged to go over the design and discuss the details.
Final Design
The final design, with any revisions from the preliminary plan and an installation proposal, will be presented at this time.  Once the plan is finalized and the installation proposal has been signed, the project will be scheduled for installation.
This is the phase in the process during which the crew implements your landscape plan and the design becomes a reality. Throughout the installation your designer will be supervising the project to make sure everything is being implemented as planned and any questions are answered.
*Call today to find out how to receive a FREE Landscape Design
Hardscapes refer to the structural components in the landscape such as walkways, patios, stairs, and walls. Hardscapes add functional elements, as well as enhance the beauty and tranquility of the surrounding landscape.  Native Notions specializes in the installation of interlocking pavers and natural stone for walkways, patios, driveways, and pool aprons.  We also install stairs, permeable pavers, retaining wall systems, fire pits and outdoor kitchens.
Hardscapes last a lifetime and are very “low-maintenance” when installed properly.  Especially in Maine, where frost heaves are prevalent, a hardscape is only as good as its foundation.  That is why we engineer our bases to provide long term structural integrity.  Depending on the soil type, we excavate 12-24″ of the existing soil and replace it with a compacted base of structural aggregate.  This deep, structural base provides drainage and long term stability.   You can rest assured that when we install your project, it is completed to the highest standards in the business.
Lawns play an important role in the landscape.  They provide a lush carpet for children and pets to play; they also help absorb water, provide oxygen, prevent erosion and even have a significant cooling effect.  However, traditional landscape practices have taken a toll on the environment.  There is increasing evidence that excessive fertilizer and pesticide use can lead to health issues, polluted waterways, and long term soil degradation.
At Native Notions we look at the lawn as a functioning system.  Lawns are only as healthy as the soil below them.  Excessive weeds, disease, and insects are all indicators that the lawn’s system has broken down.  Traditional lawn care practices break down the soil food web, creating a dependence on chemical applications. Our natural approach adds essential organic matter to the soil and will dramatically enhance the soil’s micro-organism population, which is the life of your soil and your lawn.
Our services include:
Compost and Compost Tea Application: The soil food web is made up of many different micro-organisms that work together to keep soil and plants healthy. Recent studies have shown that the application of a synthetic fertilizer actually kills a significant percentage of beneficial micro-organisms. Applying quality compost and compost tea puts the beneficial biology back onto the plants and into the soil. Healthy, organically balanced soil encourages a plant’s natural immune system, while limiting the population of disease organisms and insects, to create the best conditions for growth.
Aeration and Overseeding:  Aeration increases the infiltration of water and nutrients to the soil, stimulates root and shoot growth, increases the lawn’s drought tolerance, and improves its overall health. We generally combine aeration with overseeding to fill in thin spots. This thickens the lawn so weeds and moss have a difficult time getting established.
Lime Application:  Soils in Maine tend to be naturally acidic.  Adding lime to the turf helps neutralize the acidity, which builds a better lawn and a stronger competitor for weeds, moss, and problem insects.

Maine’s pristine lakes have attracted people to their shores to swim, fish, and boat for many generations.  These scenic lakes not only provide recreation and beauty, but they also are a major economic driver for the surrounding area.  As these lakes become compromised from their natural state, not only do the wildlife and the lake ecosystems suffer, but so does the entire community.  Many studies have shown a direct correlation between a lake’s water quality and property value; as water quality decreases so does the value of property that surrounds it.

Irresponsible development and ignorance have led to many of the problems that are affecting our lakes today.  For too many years people have treated the lakeshore landscape the same as a suburban landscape, with expansive lawns mowed all the way to the water’s edge, and very little, if any, aquatic vegetation.  Lawn areas can provide many benefits, however, on lakefront properties these sprawling monocultures create problems.  Lawns tend to be high maintenance areas that require fertilizer and mowing.  During heavy rains, very little infiltration occurs on lawn areas, which allows fertilizers, soil particles, and other pollutants to be washed into the water.  This runoff increases the phosphorus level in the lake, resulting in algae blooms that disrupt the aquatic ecosystem.  Lawns at the water’s edge also increase shoreline erosion.  By incorporating a diversity of plant material, all zones of the soil strata are stabilized, thus promoting long-term shoreline stabilization and cleaner lakes.

At Native Notions we promote Lakesmart Landscaping practices.  We install buffer plantings, raingardens, infiltration steps and trenches, as well as many other techniques that minimize erosion and runoff.  We are certified by the DEP as a Lakesmart company.

Plantings: Native, Traditional, Edible
We practice the concept of “Right Plant in the Right Place.”  Every site has unique growing conditions and micro-climates.  It is important to take notice of these conditions and place appropriate plants that best fit these growing conditions.

We use a mix of native, ornamental, and edible plants depending upon the site and the client’s goals.  All of the plants we use are adapted to the local climate.  When choosing plants, we look at color, bloom time, texture, seasonal interest, and disease resistance.

*Call today to find out how to receive a FREE Landscape Design