Have you ever thought about creating a sustainable landscape?
What is a sustainable landscape anyway? By definition according to American Society of Landscape Architects, “The design, construction and maintenance practices that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
How we design, construct and maintain our gardens can impart a wide range of ecological, economic and health benefits to homeowners and the surrounding communities. The plants we select, how we manage and care for our soil and water, maintenance practices can have numerous and wide-ranging benefits including clean air and water, controlling erosion, maintaining soil health and fertility, mitigating the urban heat island effect, provide habitat for wildlife, minimizing the use of potable water and support health and well-being.
Sustainability can inform decisions or opportunities as we think of the landscape holistically. A simple sustainable practice to employ into your garden is by selecting native or desert-adapted plants. Native plants are a key component of a sustainable garden. The benefits plants offer include adapted to environmental conditions, economic benefits – reduced energy use and social benefits – using plants to create restful settings.
Although water is a renewable resource, it is a limited one as well. Approximately 45 to 70% of drinking water is used in the landscape. One way to create a more sustainable landscape is to minimize the use of potable water. There are many sustainable practices to employ like using native plants, adding drip irrigation or harvest rainwater by creating simple earthworks. Water when only necessary, change your irrigation controller during the seasons, and turn off when your area receives rainfall.
These are simple steps to help create a more sustainable garden. Sustainability is a process and it is up to us to create ways or practices that meet our needs today without using all the resources for future generations.