Research has shown that rich, varied and colorful landscapes have multiple positive effects on humans, such as faster healing, improved attentiveness, gratitude, calm and a general sense of well-being.
The sensory pleasures of beautiful landscapes and gardens—vibrant flowers like Lantanas and Marigolds, the evocative scent of White Sage or the spring-welcoming fragrance of Pink Jasmine—provide peace of mind and a deep link back to nature. This includes natives and drought-tolerant plants.
Renew, a turnkey design, build and care landscape service based in the growing and evolving business district of Bixby Knolls, teams up with its clients to achieve these effects, combining a holistic, hands-on, Earth-first approach with good design and plant science.
“We treat every landscape with the respect all living systems deserve,” said Renew CEO Laurence Watt about the company, which produces maximum horticultural results with a minimum negative footprint.
Renew’s approach is a clean and refreshing alternative to the methods often employed by the hyper-industrialized landscape industry; A Renew client will never hear a power mower or leaf blower, nor will they be subjected to any chemical pesticides or herbicides. All pest control and clean-up work is done by hand and organically. Renew also consults with each client to help ensure that there is no water wasted in the upkeep of its landscapes.
“Our goal is to bring nature home,” said Shelby Batalla, Design Director for Renew. “Seeing the joy and appreciation from our clients has to be the best part of my job.”
Shelby and the Renew team savor the challenge of creating landscapes that complement the diverse architectural styles in the many unique neighborhoods of Long Beach, and the challenge of educating local businesspeople and residents about sustainable landscape design, construction and organic garden care.
Over the last decade, Shelby has created a portfolio of work that combines sophisticated landscape architecture with sustainable ecological systems. Her innovative designs bring unity and cohesion to places where people live, work and play. From restoration ecology to environmental planning, Shelby is working diligently to construct models of biodiversity with the best environmental landscape practices. For her, it’s all about working with nature, and not against it.
Renew takes a three-step approach to its landscape services; Design, Build, Maintenance.
It’s in the Design phase that Renew uses its finest high-tech resources: A picture-taking drone is flown to get a bird’s-eye-view of the landscape to be developed and state-of-the-art computer renderings of prospective designs are discussed. This takes place after a careful, boots-on-the-ground evaluation of the existing plants, soil, irrigation and drainage. These preparatory steps ensure that Renew can create a holistic design that works to improve biodiversity, stores and filters water and removes toxic materials from the environment.
In the Build phase, the Renew crew installs projects using locally sourced materials, permeable paving and restorative native planting and biofilters. Always respectful of the client and their property, the Renew staff members are friendly and approachable, always ready to share their knowledge as they work.
The Maintenance phase is when Renew grooms, feeds and maintains the landscape by hand, employing naturalistic pruning techniques, companion planting and integrated, organic pest management. Renew produces zero air and noise pollution on a job site (a gasoline-powered leaf blower puts out more pollutants than a car!).
Renew describes one of its goals with clients as transforming gardens into “an ever-changing exhibition of color and constant delight.” A shaded area of the garden could feature robust winter bloomers such as Camellias and Azaleas, while the sunny areas could be full of colorful, drought-tolerant spring-blooming perennials.
Renew seeks to help realize the client’s wishes for their garden, whether it’s a place to grow food, to relax in, to grow flowers to cut and display inside the home, or to entertain.
“A garden is an investment in health,” said Shelby, ” not only for you and your family, but for the whole community.”
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