Organic land-care companies such as Hemingwayscapes
balance aesthetics with environmental awareness. “Going
organic with landscaping requires a shift in focus from the
plant itself to the soil where it grows,” says Katie
Hemingway, co-principal of the Nantucket firm.
Hemingway and her husband and business partner,
Jonathan Hemingway, are both accredited by the
Massachusetts chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming
Association, a nonprofit agency that educates landscape
designers about the latest organic gardening practices. At
right are what she considers the top three considerations
for an organic garden.
fertilize with care
Hemingwayscapes uses a
house-made custom compost
blend and applies fertilizers and
soil amendments approved by
the Organic Materials Review
Institute, a nonprofit
organization that lists products
allowed for use in organic
production and processing.
plant for conditions
The long-term goal for organic
gardens is achieving balance
between the plant, its
environment, and the soil.
“At this site, we planted
perennials,” says Katie
Hemingway of the Monomoy
estate, which is blasted by the
salty winds off the harbor.
protect and treat
The Hemingways eschew toxic
chemical fertilizers and
pesticides. During the growing
season, they routinely apply
compost tea (a liquid solution
made by steeping compost in
water) to condition the soil and
prevent plant disease.