Introducing Enviro Screen

Throughout the Rising Land Design process, you can be sure that we consistently use the least invasive building techniques we can.  In fact, we are proud of our specialized equipment that helps us achieve this.

Check out the Enviro Screen:

Showing our specially made ‘Griz Screen’, which separates large rocks (up to one ton) from soil
Showing screened topsoil, alive & teaming with organic microbes

We are committed to using Low Impact construction techniques.  By processing raw excavated materials right on site, and recycling them into new and exciting terrain, many benefits are had.   Here are some examples;

• savings on hauling costs (up to 80% )

• turns waste into valuable product

• saves on having to bring in costly soils, aggregate, and fill

• lessens the burden on our landfills

The Enviro screen sifts otherwise wasted materials such as sod, fill, roots, rocks, soil, etc., into completely usable landscape components.  The amount of actual waste brought off site after the screening process is complete, is surpassingly low, and the operation very quickly performed.

With over 500 different screen sizes, the smallest grain of sand up to one ton boulders can be sorted right on site.  This portable screener is towed with an average truck.  Ask us about how we can reclaim and build a landscape utilizing this specialized tool.

Living Water

Nature is many things.  It can be beautiful and serene, and at times abrupt and intense.

Water especially can evoke so many feelings.  Here are two very different examples of the beauty which water brings to us all.

 • in stillness;

Pond at Robert’s Creek on the Sunshine Coast

• In movement;

Interior British Columbia

Our everyday experience of water is not always something we are aware of, but water sustains life as we know it, each moment of each day.

Piped water which has been through city treatment plants has a very different structure from that of ‘living water’ or water found in nature.  The structure of water changes because it is removed from the natural mechanics that perpetuate vitality.

Some very interesting research has been done around water, showing how it’s structure can transform, simply by reintroducing geometries.  Water has memory.

  World Living Water Systems is a company based in Vancouver, which is developing water revitalization tools that use vortex energy to bring piped water into a more structured molecular state.    We have begun using the ‘river of life’ revitalizer, and we’re also offering vortex water services for commercial and residential gardens and water features.   The products from WLWS have proven to drastically improve the vitality of the landscapes in which they are used.  We highly recommend checking them out.  Or ask us for more info here




How a Landscape Can be Built Using Old Cars

Building a Landscape with Trash?  Yes, we have been doing it for over 2 decades.

Although this may evoke repulsive reactions, the reality of reusing raw materials in the landscape is a necessary and useful component in our designs.

Consider, for example, the use of  “impact posts”.   These are made from the raw materials of junk vehicles,  that are not metallic in nature.  When old cars are processed for their metal, all other non-magnetic elements, are collected and processed into recycled timbers which will never rot or deteriorate.  The elements in an impact post comprise of steering wheels, dashboards, copper wire, upholstery, etc.   This is all shredded and then formed into 6 by 6 heavy posts.  Impact posts have an interesting aesthetic appeal, and blend well into the landscape.

The scrap auto industry may seem out of context in terms of gardening, however, Rising Land Design has found huge value in bringing scraped vehicles to life by extrapolating otherwise unusable raw resources, and creating something fresh.

Scrap tires are another huge component of the automotive scrap industry

There’s a great local Alberta producer which is creating bricks from used rubber tires.   The tires are shredded and molded into paving stones. These bricks are 100% recycled and create a very interesting product that never chips, or fades, is safe for children, and is easy to maintain.

Custom Rubber Tire Patio and Composite Wood Decking

Reducing, reusing, and recycling  all play an operative role in the creation of our designs.  

Designing a landscape to help reduce waste,  processing and reusing raw materials on site, and incorporating recycled materials into our projects, are all vital aspects of our work and actually contributes to a better and sustainable landscape.    Trash can become renewed, and even beautiful, when we choose to see the value of raw components,  and transform them.



Rocks, the Bones of a Landscape

       Boulders are included in almost all of our designs,  representing the earth and mineral element.

Taking hand picked boulder rock, and creating natural outcroppings with them, is one of our specialties.

Natural concepts in design can compliment urban settings and contemporary buildings amazingly well –  if it’s done right.

The Rising Land Design approach is to use a mixture of sizes, (anywhere from 3-4 ton- hand sized )  as found in natural formations.     Boulders are planted one third of their mass into the ground as well.     Combining intuition and the skilled use of equipment to place the stones

Entrance into outdoor dining and fire area

There are many benefits which the use of large boulder placement can bring about .

Large boulder sized rocks especially, can help moderate temperatures within a landscape.  They collect heat all through the day, and release it at night,  thus buffering environmental extremes, and keeping plants, humans and all inhabitants content through conserving energy.

Besides framing a landscape, they also direct the eye to certain geometries on the ground.   Textures and shapes of stones can provide contrasting backdrops for seasonal blooms.

Boulder rocks in combination with curved retaining wall
Naturalised retaining wall that functions as a secret gateway behind the water feature to come.

Doug is able to tune his intuition to quickly sense each boulder’s proper position.  Rocks have a face.  They have a positive and negative side. Seeking inspiration from natural rock outcroppings and formations, Doug has learned to arrange boulders as if they were pre-existing.  From large 3-4 ton boulder – to hand sized, each stone finds its place.  The true beauty of a stone wall is the addition of plant material to soften and compliment stones hardness, plant pockets are designed into stone walls to afford the space for roots and plants to develop.

Fish Creek Park restoration of Public Gardens

Why Use Mulch?

Using specifically created mulches and soils ensures a fertile soil for plants find a home.   This helps maintain their vigor for years to come.  When first starting out, small plants especially need mulch to sustain them,  as weeds will germinate and grow wherever they can – especially where fresh bare soil is found. Weeds aren’t just unsightly, but they steal nutrients from desirable plants in your garden.   Using a combination of filter fabric and mulch is the best solution to this problem, and significantly cuts down on the amount of weeding one will have to do with a newly planted garden.  Where mulch has helped to hold in moisture, young plants can have a better chance at healthy maturation,  and mulch helps to moderate soil temperature fluctuations –  something pretty important in a place such as Calgary.  For a more in depth look at the benefits of mulch check out this from the Ecological Landscaping Association’s website:

We get all our mulches, compost and woody plants from Bow Point Nursery,  a local nursery in Springbank, just outside Calgary.  The best of the best !



Beyond Landscape

In a previous project we created a staircase that leapt up from the backyard to the second floor to create shade and dynamism to the the landscape.





A narrow space alive with thriving ecosystem

Leanna best - 06

Spring time Energy Bursts

It’s here, and it’s feeling good.  Longer days, and the promise of new growth is always an exciting time.

 This season Rising Land Design is ready with new services for existing clients:  Book your spring maintenance and pond start up with us.  We would love to see how your garden is shaping up this year.    Doug is also starting to do workshops! Send us an email if you want to find out more.   Doug will be teaching on many of the areas he specializes in, with a focus on those who are ready to dive further into permaculture concepts.  


Rising Land Design can offer you a landscape that suits your particular needs.  With an artistic edge, we can deliver anything from landscape architecture, to natural areas of native plant environments.  Go to our contact listing on how to get started.