Sustainable landscapes promote a healthy environment and biosphere:
- frogs don't die
- plants thrive
- rainwater seeps back into the earth
- lawns are kept to a minimum
- No pesticides - integrated pest management (IPM) is favored
- Bees and butterflies have the native host plants around to keep them well fed and breeding
So how to create beautiful outdoor settings that meet these criteria?
Here are my suggestions for a sustainable backyard approach you can use:
1- LOOK TO THE PAST. Consider the historic ways people did things in your region, this is the best guide for anyone.
2- LOOK TO THE PRESENT. Keep in mind the energy and water systems that exist where live, the habitats that surround you and know the materials and construction methods that do not adversely impact the environment.
3 - LOOK AT EXAMPLES. Review examples of sustainability in gardens and landscape design that are being used around the world - on a large scale and a small scale.
4 - USE SPECIFIC TECHNIQUES. Learn the specific things you can do to strengthen the ecosystem in your garden and your neighborhood..
We need to be aware of our power to affect the interlocking processes of the natural world and consider everything we do from that perspective. The choices you make in your property, even on a small scale, influence the larger natural world around your space : the air and water quality, the water retention, the plants that attract birds and pollinators, the volume of leaves and grass and more.
I give a 2 hour class that offers ideas for creating sustainable outdoor spaces. I show how native plants can be used to enhance damp, shady sites, how combinations of flowering plants can create an exuberant display and I explain how to deal with steep slopes that create excessive runoff problems.