Many people can craft a beautiful landscape given the right resources, but it takes a special assortment of skills to recreate natural processes in a home’s backyard. Minimally invasive landscape designs should incorporate elements that reflect the beauty of the surrounding environment. It’s also important to position landscaping in a way that contributes to the overall ecosystem’s behaviour. If you’re eager to make sustainable landscaping part of your home, use these tips to get started.
Study Existing Patterns and Rhythms
Each region of the planet has its own unique micro-climate and behavioural patterns. By studying how the ecosystem around your home works currently, you will be better equipped to make savvy landscaping decisions. If you’re really interested in contributing to the environment in a positive way, it’s always best to collaborate with a southern Ontario horticulturalist who understands the unique needs of landscaping in Waterloo and the surrounding area.
Curate an Assortment of Species
Many home gardens feature a limited assortment of ornamental plants and flowers, but most natural areas have an abundance of different species in place. If you want to emulate the natural environment, you will need to diversify your landscape with a wide assortment of native species. Don’t stick with just one plant that you really like—look for lots of complementary options that together will create a more interesting whole.
Remember, a forest ecosystem is also built of multiple layers: understory, midstory, and canopy. You’ll very rarely see areas of natural landscape that feature large patches of bare soil, so avoid this faux pas in your own backyard. Layer your plant life and fill in empty areas with additional plants or untreated mulch to better replicate the look and function of an untouched space.
Create Onsite Recycling
Nature does a fantastic job of recycling nutrients and waste. Take a page from the book of the great outdoors by recycling waste materials from your landscape directly onsite. For example, after raking up leaves in the autumn, let them decompose in the plant beds—this fertilizes the soil and serves as a natural mulch, preventing unsightly weeds from popping up. You might also want to incorporate compost areas in your backyard landscaping, giving nutrients an opportunity to soak back into the earth.
Consider Water Options
Nobody tends to wild pastures and forested areas with a water can, so you shouldn’t be expected to do the so with a sustainable landscape. Nature takes advantage of ground and storm water to keep itself healthy. Whenever possible, it’s always useful to use at-source infiltration to nourish your landscape. You might also want to build a pond or stream that will further eliminate the need for outside water.
Are you ready to build a sustainable landscape in Ayr, Kitchener, or Cambridge? At Quiet Nature, our team works with property owners across the Waterloo region, providing environmentally conscious landscapes that serve a valuable purpose. If you’re ready to get started, simply give us a call to learn more about our approach (519) 632-5218