Sustainable Landscaping: What are Some of the Most Important Factors that You Can Apply?

07 April 2020

Sustainable landscaping requires only inputs  that are naturally available, with little or no additional support. It is self-sustaining over long periods of time. It exists in harmony with its local ecosystem––if bad weather hits, or wildfires or rockslides devastate your neighborhood, your garden recovers quickly. The landscape is diverse enough to remain resilient and productive indefinitely. Taking on a sustainable landscaping task can be the first step for a more sustainable household. Below are some of the most important factors you can apply.

Native Planting

Using native plants of the area on green roofs and the surrounding landscapes will not only help the building perform well, but will also help with maintenance costs of the building they sit on top of.  Native, hearty, perennial plants grow back every spring season and will be able to survive the colder months and season changes and help the green roof garden perform efficiently year after year.  Using these sustainable landscape practices can have huge advantages for our environment now, and in the years to come, and with our nation going towards green practices every day, designers and contractors really need to start seeing past the dollar figure of these landscapes, and start thinking about the future of our environment and nation as a whole.

Material Reduction

You should reduce the use of synthetic fertilizers. Test the soil to determine if fertilizer is needed, and if the test determines the soil is low in certain nutrients, time the application appropriately to reduce runoff into surface waters. While many people are concerned about pesticides in food, homeowners use 10 times as many pesticides per acre as farmers.  Some may assume they are safe, due to their ubiquity. Others may assume that synthetic pesticides – but not natural pesticides – are harmful. The truth is much more complicated and depends on many factors. The bottom line is that, while pesticides kill pests, they can have other unwanted effects. For example, pesticides can harm beneficial insects, such as pollinators and predators, and can result in bird and amphibian deaths. In addition, children and pets are particularly susceptible, as they come in close contact with the lawn, and often put things into their mouths. And since children are still developing, pesticides may affect them differently.  Some commonly used lawn pesticides have been shown to be correlated with various cancers and hormonal disruption and should be used with caution, or avoided if possible.

Water Conservation

There are many ways to conserve water in the landscape beyond the lawn. Examples include planting native or drought-tolerant plants, using a rain barrel, planting a rain garden to reduce urban runoff, using mulch, and installing drip irrigation.

Consult us at Mark Browning Landscape Design for your sustainable garden landscape designs. We pride ourselves with sustainable and sensible design principles and we encourage our clients to strike a balance between both hard and soft landscape treatments.




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