So, you want a new look for your yard and you are curious about just how to get going in a green and responsible way. You’ve heard about green and sustainability, but when it comes to landscaping, just what does that mean?
Sustainable landscaping means that the ecological, social and economic aspects of a project are considered when deciding on a course of action and then putting a plan into place. You have made the first step by seeking information.
The ideal situation is to consult a green oriented landscape architect, or landscape designer who is an expert in sustainable environmental design. However, if you have decided on the DIY route, you can still move toward sustainability in your yard and garden with some careful planning.
Doing your homework first goes a long way to helping you do a great job on your landscape. Then, by intent, you are making choices that are cost effective, great for the planet and might just make your life easier now, and in the future.
Many homeowners don’t really want to spend the time to plan and there is often reluctance to start the process. Maybe thinking about planning a landscape is overwhelming, or perhaps there is concern that too much planning will cramp creativity. Then again, there are those in a hurry; the urge to see resu lts often leads to ‘just get something in the ground,’ regardless of the consequences.
If this sounds like you, and whatever your objection might be, let us offer some things to consider.
Landscape planning is one of the most beneficial things you can do when you want to have a beautiful landscape, and especially if you want a sustainable, green landscape.
Planning allows you to more efficiently use the necessary materials and plants in your landscape and garden installation. You eliminate waste in time and money, and you will cut down on maintenance time and expenses later.
The planning process familiarizes you with the unique conditions on your property. Knowing the soils, microclimate, prevailing winds, house orientation, and the surroundings are a few of the factors that will influence whether all your hard work will yield the results you want. Planning ahead will give you a much greater chance of success.
Well planned landscapes tend to use less water and cause less non-point source pollution. If you are going organic, you will be eliminating harmful pesticides and herbicides in the process. In the end you create a healthier, more enjoyable space because you have considered all aspects of your landscape.
Lastly, planning allows you to think about the environmental impact of your landscape and its longer term sustainability. When you have a green environment in mind and are focused on making sustainable choices, you put more thought into every decision, from the shrubs you choose to the pavement you use.
With all this in mind, where do you begin the landscape planning process? The following pages will helpfully guide you on your way to a beautiful, lush, responsible and green sustainable landscape.
More great information on sustainable landscape planning!