Too often we allow ourselves to be guided by models that are unrealistic, because they are based on unlimited available resources. Picking out pictures of pretty landscapes on the internet or in magazines does not take into account the real costs of such extravagant displays.
It’s better to choose a landscape that fits your site and budget, even if at first it seems a little more modest. You can always add on later if or when you feel you can manage more. The results will far superior to stretching yourself too thin.
Allowing others to take the drivers seat when it comes to making decisions about what we want in our own landscape can cost us far more, both short term and in the long run, than taking the time to first make an informed decision.
When it comes to advice, be cautious. Relying on sources unconcerned with sustainability will put you in situations that often strap the budget and the environment later. Sustainable practices are catching on, but not everyone is on board with green yet.
Make sure the direction in which someone is pointing you matches your ecological values. Whether the opinions come from the clerk at the garden center, the landscape contractor or your cousin Vinny, if they aren’t “going green,” too, they will probably be well meaning but uninformed. Listening to them can send sustainability right out the window if the giver isn’t focused on your green goals.
Spending the time to educate yourself, taking time for planning and sticking to your sustainable goals will pay off in the long run. Keeping it real, sticking with your plan and starting small will keep your sustainable landscape manageable. With these tips in mind you won’t find yourself spending more time installing and taking care your new garden or landscape than you expected.
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