About Us

We strive to provide innovative, sustainable landscape solutions to restore nature, revive the senses, and better our world.

Our Philosophy

logo.pngRenewing Value: We are constantly reviewing and innovating our processes, re-inventing ourselves to deliver unparalleled service and value.

Restoring Nature: Your garden is your connection to the planet and as such is a sanctuary; we will nurture that relationship through our organic, low impact approach to landscape design, installation & care.

Reviving the Senses: The well designed garden will revive senses hammered by the world. Let’s co-create gardens that cleanse the senses and enhance your experience of nature and our connection to the planet.

Living Sustainably: “Green” is a buzzword throughout the media today. Many people buy certain hybrids, carbon offsets, use compact fluorescent bulbs to go along with the idea of green. The truth of the matter is that our society is so dependent on inefficient, polluting technologies, that these steps on their own will not turn the tide. In order for us to leave the planet cleaner and more diverse than we found it, each of us must hold to our vision and keep adding and evolving our behaviors so that they come into alignment with our vision over time.

Sustainability starts on the personal level, moves outward to our homes, blocks, communities, states, regions, countries, and eventually the world. Our home is the area in our lives where our choices have the most direct impact on the planet. Unlike the practices of large conglomerates in our petrochemically addicted society, our choices for how we power our homes, our water use, and our landscapes are directly within our control. Make a statement about how you want to leave the world for your children in the home and in your landscape.

We are Eco-friendly!

Check out all the eco-friendly aspects of our company:

  • We recommend against and do not design using invasive plant species
  • We use native plants in our designs whenever possible, and recommend them to our customers
  • We practice Integrated Pest Management
  • We brew our own compost tea and apply it to enhance organically fertilized lawns and planting beds with beneficial microbe development in soil. A NY Times article about Harvard’s compost tea program showed improved drainage and plant health over several years of use
  • We use soy based, organic fertilizers for safer healthier landscapes
  • We use oils instead of pesticides to control many insects
  • We cut grass to longer lengths in summer for lower water use and deeper roots
  • We apply nitrogen when we install mulch to prevent mulch from pulling fertilizer out of the soil when applied
  • We use low emission mowers and blowers
  • In the fall, we mulch fallen leaves into the lawn to replenish nutrients naturally, reducing costs and carbon impact of leaf removal
  • We install rain gardens and the right kind of plantings for topography; plantings are informed by topography, water, and other natural features
  • Our crews use public transportation to our city jobs and to the main office whenever possible
  • We pioneered green roof installations in New York City, since 1996
  • We install low water drip irrigation systems
  • We install low voltage lighting and LED lighting
  • We route our trucks for maximum fuel efficiency, and use larger vehicles to supply smaller vehicles for less frequent large vehicle deliveries
  • Office uses 30% to 100% recycled paper, we recycle glass, cans, plastic, paper, ink and toner cartridges
  • We use natural light when possible, supplemented by fluorescent lighting
  • We do 2 –sided copying when possible, especially in marketing materials
  • Our filing is fully in the cloud reducing paper use
  • We organize, participate in and lead Earth Day community service projects
  • We educate in numerous venues about green roofs, soil culture, organic lawn care, eco-friendly business practices

Our History

Greener by Design, Inc. became our company name in late 2005 following 26 years as Mornhurst Gardens, Co. Inc. Mornhurst Gardens was founded in 1979 by Ann Roberts Levine, the mother of the present owner, Richard Heller. Ms. Levine had an interest in interior plants, and Mr. Heller expanded the business to include his area of interest, exterior urban landscapes, selling the interior plantscape part of the business at the beginning of 2009.

We are a family business in a broader sense in the way we develop relationships as the basis for delivering our services. We believe firmly that family comes first. As a company we are invested in creating a better world in the long term for our families, rather than making a quick buck. We build relationships with our clients based on meeting their needs. We take care of our employees, striving to obtain affordable health insurance, and by training and providing employment even during the slow months.

We are fully insured and, with weekly safety meetings and monthly safety trainings, consider safety of the utmost importance, winning safety awards during the past five years. We believe in doing the right job–and the job right, or not doing it. We believe in a no pesticide approach to land care that is based on Integrated Pest Management, natural controls, and selecting the appropriate plant for each location.

Maintaining a larger perspective than our daily maintenance and installations is very important at Greener by Design. The green roofing part of the business will have a direct impact on the health and future of New Yorkers for generations to come. We have also worked with charities like the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club, The American Hospital of Paris, The American Red Cross, and Phoenix House; and we support several non-profit organizations by providing pro bono services.

Through communication, planning, and continually learning, Greener by Design stands for the highest standard of quality, professionalism, and respect for environment, our clients and each other. We embrace new experiences and challenges so that we remain on the forefront of our industry and enrich our community, while receiving fair and equitable compensation for the value we deliver.


"The crew really did a wonderful job on my property. You also did a great job working with me on the design of my garden to incorporate everything that was important to me."

"First of all, we really love the garden and the way it looks, and the guys who came to do the installation were great and very helpful."

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