You can’t see the (food)forest for the trees? Fortunately, we can!

The most caring design process you will find for your property

Why do we get up every morning? 95% of our earth will be degraded by 2050 if we stay in bed.

Dear landowner,

If you want to create a true paradise on the piece of earth that you own

and also make a positive impact on nature, the climate and especially your quality of life.

Then you have landed in the right ecosystem.

This is why:

My name is Louis De Jaeger and five years ago I changed my life drastically.

I had just returned from a trip around the world where I travelled through half of all the American states.

Visited all countries between Canada and Panama.

Made study trips from Morocco to Siberia.

And lived in various places in France.

One thing became clear: if we don’t treat our soil in a different way in this generation, it’s bye bye humanity.

95% of soils will be degraded by 2050 if we don’t act fast.

I have decided to dedicate my life to ‘curing’ as many hectares of soil as possible. 

And to inspire as many people as possible to do the same.

Over the last decade, I have developed Commensalist® from a one-man-show into a successful international landscape architecture firm.

With an incredibly driven multidisciplinary team: landscape architects, agricultural engineers, food forest, market garden and CSA experts.

We design projects from a few thousand square metres to large-scale developments of 1000 acres (app. 400 hectares) or more in Belgium and abroad.

We design edible landscapes for people & nature: food forests, regenerative agriculture projects, permaculture projects, nature restoration, afforestation, nature gardens and much more.

I quickly decided to make no compromise on quality and depth.

If you are looking for the most well thought-out and comprehensive plan to realise your dream on your piece of land and to make a difference yourself, you have come to the right place.

Below you can see in detail what is included in our package. 

See you soon,

 

Louis De Jaeger

CEO of Commensalist

"We don't care about the size, as long as it makes impact, whether it is 400 hectares, 4 hectares or 4000 m2. We travel all across the world"

Customers love Commensalist
(and we love them 😊)

A sustainable landscape design is only successful if there is a lasting relationship

We enjoyed the cooperation very much and would definitely recommend you to others. We really liked the enthusiasm and the "fresh" ideas. Also the willingness to adjust where desired. The cooperation went very smoothly for us.
Annelien V.
2021
Out of the box with attention to specific needs. Starting from what is, you made a proposal that immediately gave a "waw" feeling!
Ilke A.
2021
What a personal, informative, professional and warm approach the team at the Commensalist has! We chose their expertise to transform our property into a food forest. Louis and his team more than met our expectations!
Tim & Nathalie
2021
We had long been looking for someone with a forward-looking vision of garden - nature - biodiversity to help us tackle our garden... After reading an article in the national newspaper, I knew Louis was the person we were waiting for. It clicked immediately at the first conversation. Louis made a fantastic design for our garden entirely according to his and also our vision. In the coming years we will see our garden transformed step by step into a garden that suits our lifestyle and our vision of gardens/nature/biodiversity. Thank you Louis and congratulations! Warm greetings Sabine
Sabine V.
2019
The idea of having more flowers and a paradise for insects and birds is why we chose you. Definitely recommended because of the (nature) approach and approach.
Kirsten & Peter
2020

Please note: in order to guarantee the best quality, we only accept 1 international client per month. (International = non Benelux)

Update: we’re completely booked for 2022, and 2023 is getting full as well, please note in the request if you want us to come in spring.

The Commensalist Design Package

A process in which we relieve you of all your worries

#1 Extensive preliminary research


(Study alone is worth more than €3.500)

  1. Abiotic factors
  2. Site history
  3. Biological value
  4. Topographic factors
  5. Elevation
  6. Soil factors
  7. Hydrological factors
  8. Climatic factors
  9. Heritage
  10. Flood risk

#2 A master plan to frame

We create a large coherent structure. In doing so, both the whole and all the pieces of the puzzle of the whole feel harmonious and complete. 
 
In the master plan, you will find the following layers:
  • High-stem
  • Half-standard
  • Low-stem
  • Shrubs & Smallfruits
  • Perennials & Bulbs
  • Mowing zones & the right mix
  • Water zone & planting 
  • Agricultural production
  • Animals in the design
  • Paths & Infrastructure
  • Pond
(Perhaps not everything will apply to you)

#3 Plan of action: do this and you will survive the next heatwave

  • Approach to different zones
  • Listing of work activities
  • Do’s and don’ts

#4 "If 10 years later you wonder which plant is there" (booklet)

  • English & Scientific name of plant
  • Flowering period
  • Maintenance period
  • Photographs
  • Characteristics (flowering colour, shape, height, inflorescence,…)
  • Soil type
  • Description
  • Pruning/maintenance info

#5 "You don't just only see us through a screen" -service

  • We ALWAYS travel to your property 
  • It’s mandatory for us designers to really get to know you and feel your vision.
  • We take our time to do a thorough observation

 

#6 (BONUS) Because-we-want-to-make-your-life-easy

Soil testing

  • Heavy metal analysis
  • Acidity (pH)
  • Carbon content measurement
  • Analysis of present nutrients 

The Commensalist trajectory

A very concise representation of the design process – in order to keep the overview

Introduction
Most importantly: feel if it clicks between you and the Commensalist philosophy!
Start
Exploration
Visit. An intense brainstorming session and observation on site.
Start
Structure plan
First draft proposals. After the feedback session, we finalize the structure plan.
Masterplan
When we have the structure all laid out and cast it into a master plan.
Planting plan
Preparation of planting list and planting plan
Total package delivery
Our hard work all comes together in a very clear and comprehensive package.
Party time!
You may now celebrate that we have reached a very important milestone: the design is finished! Now on to implementation.
Coordination works (optional)
If required, we can coordinate the works.
Party time 2!
Now that your terrain is planted, you can finally enjoy the growth and flourishing of your own paradise.

A good design saves you time, money and energy

A standard design (which we no longer do) is an investment, the comprehensive design package that we offer is an even bigger investment. If you look above at what is in the package, you will understand why. 

What we deliver is craftsmanship. Commensalist team members are much more than just landscape architects, green managers or agricultural engineers.

Through years of additional study and experience, each member of our team has grown (and we are still growing) into a true expert, of which there are few. 

Thanks to the individual expertise, but also to the fireworks when our team members work together, you get a super brain.

The development of your plot is delicate: after all, we have to work with nature. Because we know nature inside out, we know how to do this. But still: nature always surprises, bare this in mind.

By understanding natural processes well, we can ensure (sometimes with small details) that expensive mistakes are avoided.

A good design literally saves you money: you save a lot of learning money because we immediately give the right advice, create a well-considered design based on fundamentally sound research.

What after the design package?

#1 You get your hands dirty

The advantage of our design package: you are 100% free to do with the design what you want. Planting yourself is a lot of work, but also very rewarding: you get to know your place and the plants on a much deeper level.

#2 You coordinate the works yourself

You might know a Mr. or Mss. Fix-it, your brother-in-law is a gardener or you know a good contractor? Then thanks to the design package, they have everything they need to get the project off to a good start.

#3 We coordinate the works

Our core business is research and design. We are a design agency and not a construction or planting company. When projects become too complex, it can be useful to unburden yourself and let us coordinate the construction.

Because every project has different needs, the hours are very variable, which is why we do not include this in the package. Also, not everyone needs this.

As coordinator, we bring together the right contractors (who each remain independent of us, are responsible for their own work and invoice directly to you) and ensure that you can be at ease. 

 

Who are our customers? Their No. 1 motivation: They want to be part of the solution

  • Celebrities with a posh villa who want a sustainable garden
  • Do-gooders who want a food forest
  • People with large gardens who want more experience
  • Crypto millionaires who want to save nature
  • Yoga retreats
  • Event locations
  • Nature campsites
  • Bed and breakfasts
  • Permaculture projects
  • Regenerative farms
  • Companies who want a u-pick garden.

Why do we only take on 1 international client per month? Impact!

We can only be the best design agency in our niche if we maintain our focus. 

We are in the middle of the impact economy: every hour we invest as a team must have maximum impact. This is the only way to think if we want to save nature.

This is why we are very selective in choosing our new projects. 

Impact is very broad: biodiversity, climate, water management, erosion, but also the strengthening of communities, social fabric, creation of sustainable jobs and magical experiences.