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Forest Beach, Michigan

The Michigan Dunes present a spectacular sight. Mountains of sand rise a hundred feet above swales in Forest Beach. The dunes sit upon glacial drift and have been formed by sand blown on the prevailing winds.

Henry Cowles, from the University of Chicago, studied dunes in the area and was a founding father of the science of ecology. His theory was pieced together by observing changes in the plant life and in the landscape where they grew. His work became known as ecological succession which leads to a regional climax, a stable community of plants that cover an entire landscape.

The introduction of carefully selected plants, trees and shrubs sustains biodiversity in the dunes. The Country Gardener will help you choose plant material compatible with nature's landscape in Forest Beach either plant material native to the area or its cultivated cousins. These plantings look "at home" in the dunes and require little maintenance.

Wildlife is abundant here. From deer to raccoons, birds to butterflies, all are interesting and entertaining to see and all will flock to your garden for one reason or another. Professional designers and Master Gardeners can keep wildlife a joy to behold instead of a nuisance by incorporating non-edible plantings and deterring fertilizers to prevent nibbling, or delectable berries and enticing blooms to encourage winged friends for watching.

Wind and erosion are two major factors that must be considered when planting in this lake front community. The lake effects, such as heavy winds and rain, continuously shift and alter the sandy soil. Professional landscaping techniques such as terracing should be implemented to combat erosion, effectively keeping your gardens in place.

Our designers create landscapes based on your specific site and individual preferences. Our craftsmen specialize in natural stone pathways, walls, and patios. Master Gardeners plan and supervise the building of hardscapes, as well as the installation of perennial plants, shrubs and trees. We also offer extensive continuing maintenance programs for our clients.