Going Green With Sustainable Landscape Design
Sustainable landscape design has become the latest fashion in garden trends, it allows eco-conscious homeowners to minimize their environmental impact without sacrificing luxurious outdoor living.
A sustainable garden style eliminates chemicals and toxins in the landscape, while reducing the need for nonrenewable resources.
From country gardens to modern landscapes, sustainability can be a part of any garden design style by incorporating a few common elements.
The plants and trees you choose should reflect the overall theme of your landscape design while also promoting sustainability. Select plants that are native to your location and require little maintenance to flourish.
Whenever possible, keep the vegetation that is already there and transplant it if necessary. Common plant life within a sustainable landscape includes:
- Natural meadows of grass and wildflowers.
- Bamboo gardens for privacy and shade.
- Evergreen hedges, positioned to increase your home’s efficiency.
- Trees, including fruit and nut-bearing trees.
- Organic vegetable or herb gardens.
Creating an organic vegetable garden is a wonderful way to add to a sustainable landscape design, providing fresh, delicious food for your culinary uses, and adding color and beauty to your outdoor area.
Organic vegetables are much healthier than store-purchased vegetables, as they are free of pesticides and herbicides, as well as potentially harmful growth stimulants. The flavor and nutrients are better as well, so you’re promoting a healthy family in addition to a healthy outdoor area.
Create your planting plan to minimize water needs by keeping vegetation with similar requirements close to one another. Remember to provide natural areas that invite birds and insects to thrive in your outdoor space as well. For more on this, view our page on sustainable Mediterranean landscape design that saves time, money, and the environment.
Eco-Friendly Outdoor Materials
A sustainable landscape design often integrates more vegetation and fewer hardscape features to reduce the need for materials. Walkways and drives are still necessities in most outdoor spaces, so opt for untreated materials that do not depend on natural resources for manufacturing.
Porous materials, like crushed brick, mulch, or gravel, encourage drainage while shrubbery and hedges often replace fencing or walls. Furnishings and accessories made of local, sustainable hardwood are also popular.
Sustainable Outdoor Features
An assortment of eco-friendly gardening techniques can be integrated into your sustainable landscape design.
Some of the most common include:
- Xeriscaping – A unique garden style utilizing native plants, particularly popular in drought-stricken locales.
- Green roofs - take advantage of unused space and wasted rainfall by supporting flowers, vegetables, and even trees on level rooftops. Green roofs are especially popular in small outdoor spaces.
- Bioswales – Specially designed drainage ditches that make the most of rainwater by nourishing wildflowers and ornamental grasses while filtering the fallen water.
- Rain gardens – A manmade depression created to promote proper drainage. Like bioswales, this technique also features an array of plant life and provides suitable habitats for wildlife.
- Green walls – a wall, either free-standing or part of a building, that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and, in some cases, soil or an inorganic growing medium. They are also referred to as living walls, biowalls, or vertical gardens.
A sustainable outdoor space creates a natural haven that can be enjoyed by you and your local wildlife. Recycled materials, locally grown vegetation, and eco-friendly gardening techniques can greatly lower the impact your home has on the planet without sacrificing the luxury you desire.
Creating an environmentally-friendly landscape design requires detailed planning and an effective layout. Pay close attention to drainage throughout your yard and make the most out of each rainfall to minimize the need for irrigation.
We hope you have gathered interesting advice on this page that will assist you in choosing the best plants and materials for your sustainable landscape design helping you reduce your carbon footprint.