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Many ecologically responsible home owners would like to have some alternatives to the manicured turf found throughout the city.  They would like to have a lovely landscape around their house but would prefer to avoid wasting water resources to keep it alive, especially when droughts hit.

The good news is that there are a number of alternatives to consider.  Think about some of these.

Native Plants – This is one of the most logical choices.  These are plants that developed naturally in the area.  They survived without tending and are tolerant of all the weather conditions.  These are not weeds!!  Many are lovely flowering plants that can be arranged dramatically across the yard.  Add some striking native grasses for movement as the wind passes.  Taller grasses should be planted toward the back or near the house and then gradually you reduce the height so that smaller plants are in front.  Interesting groupings of grasses interspersed with flowering plants will give your home the curb appeal most home owners want.

Permeable Paving – This is a good choice for a sustainable hardscape.  It acts like a filter.  The rain or snow moves through the paving, which has different sizes of aggregate and/or filter paper.  Then the water is absorbed into the ground rather than down the gutter into a storm drain.

These pavers are good choices for driveways and paths.  They will prevent ground erosion and can be placed to direct water away from the house’s foundation or to fill in low lying areas.  Because they act as a filter, the excess water that returns to the streams and rivers have less contaminants.

Decorative Stones – Pea gravel or river rock are staples as a lawn substitute.  It is economical and simple to use.  Because it comes in a variety of colors and shapes, you can use your creativity to design the best look for your home.  You will need to lay it to at least a depth of two inches.  Some of the stones can be sharp and some are smooth.  Be sure to specify when you place your order.  This is important if you plan to use the space as a dog run or where children will play.

If these sound like good ideas, check in with Quiet Nature.  They have even more suggestions.  They are available to help with the landscape design, materials, and to implement the landscaping.  They have skilled representatives who will come to your home and assess your needs.  Then they can do all the calculations to execute your plan.

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