The late 20th and now in the 21st Century we are becoming more aware of the necessity to create sustainable lifestyles. That includes our outdoor living spaces. There are quite a few opportunities to still have the comfort of a home or office landscape but with greater attention to the impact it has on the environment. Here are some great ideas.
Lawns and Turf
Everyone wants to present a lovely lawn and garden especially in front of their homes or businesses. However, it is no longer necessary to fill the space with grass that will take mowing, watering, and chemical applications.
There are a number of alternatives that will give you the sustainability you want without leaving your landscape looking like a weed patch. Xeriscaping is the term used for gardening that reduces or eliminates the necessity for extraneous watering. It includes decorative grasses, native plants, mulch, and hardscaping.
It is important to encourage birds, beneficial insects, and small animals to thrive even as we lose agricultural and open land spaces to housing for humans.
- Water feature – This will not only enhance the beauty of your landscape but provide a necessary source for drinking.
- Food – Plants that produce seeds, fruit and nuts are important, including nectar rich flowers for hummingbirds, bees, and other pollinators. Look beyond the summer and discover which plants will provide a winter meal.
- Nesting – Most of the insects and animals will need a place to live. It can be as simple as leaving dead perennial vegetation through the winter as well as adding bird and bat houses.
Rainwater can be captured by the use of a rain barrel or a RainXchange Rain Water Harvesting system.
- Runoff – French drains will create a place for storm water to accumulate and penetrate the soil rather than allowing this resource to simply flow down driveways and into the sewer system. Establishing a rain garden means you can also slow the loss of water, helping replenish aquifers, and to aid in your landscape design as well.
- Pavers – There are now permeable materials to create drives, patios, and walkways to allow rain to move through to an area of gravel and then slowly move into the water table.
If you enjoy adjusting your gardens for the season, reuse the soil by amending it with organic matter and compost. Ask your landscaper for ideas about reusing any existing pavers or items of personal significance. Many people who are relocating or downsizing will be happy to share perennials. Use as much imagination as possible for a unique look to your landscape.
A long-term landscape plan can be invaluable. It should accommodate future growth and still remain attractive and adapt to changing family circumstances like children, retirement, etc. Researching the best available flowers and shrubbery that takes minimal maintenance can still give you the comfort and style you want.
If you have questions about any of these suggestions or would like more information about creating your own sustainable landscape, just contact us. We are happy to discuss sustainable landscape options and help you plan for the future.