Landscaping Ideas that are Sustainable

It may be difficult to create a sustainable landscape unless you are starting from scratch.  However, some minor changes to your landscape can make a significant impact.  A sustainable landscape should include plants that benefit the local ecology and environmentally-friendly materials, all of which coincide with a design that will maintain itself for years.

Choosing plants for a sustainable landscape is relatively easy.  Make a list of plants that are native to your region and start there.  Native plants consume much less water than non-native plants, especially in hot or dry climates.  They also will tend to need a lot less maintenance.  Also, consider seasonal interest, where plants will bloom at various times throughout the season.  This way, you will be able to enjoy your garden or landscape throughout the year.

Sustainable Landscape Ideas - Echinacea purpurea, Purple Cone Flower

Echinacea purpurea, Purple Cone Flower, native wildflower in Minnesota garden

Materials should be considered that are environmentally friendly.  Timbers should be removed and replaced with other material, such as block or boulders.  Timbers will rot over time and become a nuisance with them falling apart and becoming suitable places for things like bee’s nests.  Old railroad ties have the chemical creosote in them and should be removed as soon as possible.  Also, patios can be made permeable, which allows water to pass through them and reduce runoff.  Choosing the right materials is crucial for any sustainable landscape.

Water control is another way to help with a sustainable landscape.  Irrigation systems are a terrific way to keep your plants and yard healthy by providing enough water no matter the season.  However, your system should be monitored to make sure plants are getting the right amount of water and that sprinklers are not watering places where it is not needed, such as driveways.  Rain barrels, along with other methods, can help reuse rainwater that they capture, thereby saving money on watering costs.

These are not all the ways to keep your landscape sustainable, but if you follow these few points, you will certainly be on the right path.  Remember, a sustainable landscape will mean less maintenance, which will allow your friends and family to enjoy it that much more!