What is the meaning of the term ‘sustainable landscaping’? There are many definitions but sustainable landscaping should generally include an attractive environment in balance with the local climate that requires minimal resource inputs, such as water, fertilizer, pesticides, gasoline and time etc. As with any landscape, sustainable landscaping begins with an appropriate design that includes visually pleasing, environmentally friendly, functional, maintainable and cost efficient areas.
Sustainable Landscape Hardscape Material Selection
Sustainable hardscape materials are those materials that are produced in a way that is least damaging to the environment and allow water to penetrate into the ground. The choice of hardscape building materials for a sustainable landscape is extensive. Wood can be used to build decks, raised beds and fences. It can be painted or stained using non toxic products. Flagstone, pavers, and brick are widely available in many shapes, sizes and colors. They can be artfully arranged in either formal or informal patterns to create a water permeable area. You may even choose to utilize reused materials in your landscape such as used bricks for retaining walls or raised beds. It should be noted that any wood, stone, gravel, concrete and other garden materials you select for your landscape design leave an ecological footprint in terms of how they were obtained and how far they had to be transported to reach your property. It is always best to select local materials where possible.
Sustainable Plant, Tree & Turf Selection
It is important to select the right plant and turf for the right location it is to be placed in terms of lighting, moisture and temperature etc. Native plants and turn species adapted to our local environment require much less resources, are less likely to become stressed and are less prone to pest problems. A diverse plant population is more sustainable and increases beneficial organism populations such as birds, beneficial insects and microorganisms while discouraging pests. You should also consider the mature size of the plant prior to placement in the landscape. Choosing deciduous plants that create shade in the summer can help cool the home while also allowing light penetration during winter as a form of solar heating. Be sure to choose slow growing species that are strong wooded that will not break easily in high winds or snow. Plant trees far enough from the house to avoid foundation issues.
Environmentally Friendly Landscape Lighting
Municipalities and other local government agencies are making the move toward decreasing light pollution therefore energy efficient, low voltage and low energy use down-lighting and solar garden lighting fixtures with light color and brightness that won’t interfere with nighttime wildlife is recommended. Often a “less is more” mindset to lighting should be adopted where subdued light is used where needed and harsh, bright white lights being avoided at all costs. To limit overall landscape lighting, you should consider setting the lights on a motion sensor to only brightly illuminate an area as needed.
Landscaping Design, Construction & More in Colorado Springs, Woodland Park, Manitou Springs, Cascade-Chipita Park, Monument, Black Forest, Fountain, Broadmoor, Stratmoor, Gleneagle, Cimarron Hills & Security-Widefield, CO
With decades of local experience, Sundown Landscaping know our Greater Colorado Springs, CO area inside and out. We can recommend the most sustainable materials and placement for a successful and environmentally friendly landscape design that will require minimal resources and maintenance. Call us to schedule a consultation today!