Environmentally responsible landscaping at Courtenay eatery

Landscaping at the Prime Chop House doesn't resemble normal landscaping because the design is completely sustainable.

If you are wondering why the landscaping at the Prime Chop House doesn’t resemble normal commercial landscaping, it is because the design is completely sustainable…unlike most commercial landscape developments in the Valley. We are used to seeing highly manicured lawns and mounding shrub beds that are crowded with water consuming plants and trees.

The fertilizers for these manicured lawns leach nitrogen into our storm water drains and the consumption of water to keep lawns, trees and shrubs alive in the summer months greatly depletes our water supply at that time of year. At the Prime Chop House, the owners have acted responsibly and installed an environmentally friendly native landscape that will eventually survive on its own, without all the fertilizers and water taxing irrigation systems.

Along Ryan Road, the “unmanicured” lawn is actually Garry Oak meadow grass with two young trees incorporated that will some day be beautiful and majestic Garry Oaks.

Garry Oak ecosystems are a unique national treasure to the Island but they are rare and endangered because of development and the spread of invasive species.

At the Prime Chop House, the owners have taken a small step to reverse this trend by planting a new Garry Oak meadow that will some day be enjoyed by all who visit the restaurant or pass along Ryan Road.

Other sustainable practices were used in the landscaping, where all the water and oils from vehicles in the parking lot are drained through vegetated swales and into an oil separator before passing into the city’s storm water system. The plants that have been used in these swales are native species that tolerate these conditions and when they are fully established will survive the summer months without any irrigation.

It will take a few years before the beauty of this sustainable landscape is fully realized. So we hope you will be patient, as nature forces us to do, and see this landscape through a different set of eyes.

In the long run, it will benefit all.


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