People have started to look for alternative methods of landscaping that work for the environment they’re in that have some degree of sustainability. Known as eco-landscaping or green landscaping some companies have added this niche to their businesses. It takes a body of knowledge of the local area conditions plus an understanding of the micro-climates that happen in gullies, on sides of hills or near bodies of water. If designed well, it creates a landscape that benefits the wildlife in the area and the property owner at the same time. Working with nature rather than against nature often has the added benefit of energy efficiency.
Benefits of Green Landscaping
Using plants that like the land and climate near a home often results in less water usage, less maintenance time, and less energy usage inside the house. Landscaping plants have more functions than looking pretty in beds. A well- designed yard can result in the following benefits.
• Plants that offer to shade in strategic areas
• Plants that make a windbreak
• Plants that do not need chemicals to flourish
• Plants that create habitats suitable for animals for that climate
The U. S. Department of Energy offers tips on natural landscaping. It begins by giving information on climate zones. The landscaping techniques used depend on the regional climate plus the microclimate around the home.
They recommend determining how much shading needed around the home first. Shading by using trees and shrubs makes the area 6 degrees cooler in most cases and can save 15 to 50 percent on air conditioning. As trees mature and shade the roof of a home, it makes roofs last longer, keeps the sun from deteriorating materials that built the home and protects the house from weather extremes. Strategically planting trees south of the home screens out the most intense summer sun letting a person enjoy their yard more. Planting ground cover cools the air before it touches the home or becomes drawn up by an air conditioning unit. In the winter planting trees along a boundary 20 or more feet out from a dwelling acts as a windbreak keeping spring and summer storm winds away from the building or shielding a home from winter blasts. How much a person saves on energy bills depends on the design and the weather, but a well-designed green landscape often has a return in 8 years making it an excellent long-term investment.
Many property owners pay for water. In some areas, water conservation alerts regulate when to water and when not to water. Creating a landscape catering to that climate saves money. Check with the city and county regulations about water use in the area the house resides in. In general, landscaping that groups plants with similar water need together makes the process efficient. Do not make grass the number one plant in the yard but reduce that as much as possible with mulch, high use areas with gravel or decking, or using ground covers in areas not walked on often. Water in the morning or late in the evening, so it soaks plants roots deeply and not evaporate with the sun’s rays.
Once a well-designed landscape becomes installed a property owner must maintain it. Set a lawnmower to its highest setting in the heat of summer, so the grass blades offer cover to its own roots. As the landscape matures, understand other tasks come into the picture such as trimming, shaping and at times removal of a plant. When hiring a firm to do natural landscaping ask what the landscape will become in 10 or 20 years as it matures. Watch for disease or die back since even natural plants get different vulnerabilities at different stages in their life cycle. Use mulch extensively to highlight an area, cool an area and to reduce weeds which take time and money to deal with.
Naturalizing a landscape puts a property owner back in touch with the environment. It creates sustainability for the owner and for the creatures in the area who also call that land home. It reduces toxic chemicals that over a lifetime can cause chronic disease. Explore the options and call a landscaper today.
This post was brought to you by Bur Han Lawncare experts at Vancouver Landscaping Services – BUR-HAN Garden & Lawn Care – Grass Mowing and Maintenance. Located in North Van:
Bur-Han Garden and Lawn Care
2110 Front St, North Vancouver, BC V7H 1A3