3 Steps for Creating an Environmentally Conscious Landscaping Design

Backyard landscaping

With winter settling in over most states in the country, you might be thinking more about snow removal at the moment than landscaping. But winter is actually the perfect time to sit down and make a plan if you’re considering an overhaul of your existing landscaping design.

There are plenty of reasons to landscape or re-landscape your outdoor space. One is that curb appeal, including attractive front and backyard landscaping, can increase the value of your property. But another is to make your green space a little greener. Here are the three major steps to environmentally conscious landscaping:

  1. Start With Hardscaping

    You see hardscaping every day (and almost certainly have some of it in your yard), even if you don’t know it. This term simply refers to the aspect of outdoor design that uses non-living materials such as stone, concrete and wood. That means hardscaping involves pathways, walls, fences and benches, as well as more elaborate projects such as outdoor kitchens and fireplaces. By using hardscaping appropriately, you can increase the beauty and function of your outdoor areas while also preventing soil erosion and lowering maintenance needs.

  2. Think Global, Landscape Local

    Just like you can eat local, you can landscape local. Local landscaping involves choosing regionally appropriate plants (instead of, for example, trying to create a lush tropical garden in Utah or a cactus garden in Vermont). This can support the local plant ecosystem, as well as reducing excessive water or supplement usage. Local landscaping thought can expand into decisions about your hardscaping materials, too. For example, if your area has a lot of natural granite, use that instead of importing landscaping stones from somewhere else.

  3. Maintain Kindly

    If you’ve followed the two steps above, you should find that you have a relatively low-maintenance space that doesn’t require a bunch of extra fertilizers. But when you do need to give your plants a little TLC, make sure you’re using the right products. Try organic fertilizers and pesticides, rather than harsh chemicals; you’ll find that often, they work just as well, without risking groundwater pollution. There are plenty of natural lawn care tips around if you take a few minutes to look. And if you’d rather leave it to the professionals, you can always find garden maintenance companies who specialize in planet-friendly methods.

How else can people make sure their landscaping is just as green as it appears? Share your opinions and advice in the comments.

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