Landscaping: Beauty Today and a Better Tomorrow

Landscaping: Beauty Today and a Better Tomorrow

Landscaping: Beauty Today and a Better Tomorrow

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Spring is in the air, and that means it’s time to get outside and get your hands in the dirt. Your home’s landscape will add value to your property and, if done correctly, will conserve water while providing an important point of refuge for local insects and wildlife.

Whether your gardening for food, flowers, or fun, here are a few ways to be mindful of Mother Nature.

Don’t be naïve to native plants

There is a reason that different regions have unique flora and fauna. Certain areas are just naturally better at sustaining certain types of plants. If you live in a region with lots of sun, you’ll need to look for plants that thrive in the light. Most big-box lawn and garden centers carry a variety of both native and exotic plants; check with local gardening groups for which varieties work best in your hometown. Not only will native species thrive, but likely won’t divert resources from other plants.

Count on companions

Companion planting has been used for generations to get the most out of home and commercial gardens. Plants, such as tomatoes, have deep roots and need a continuous supply of water to thrive. Chives—small onion-like grass—has shallow roots and can help ward off aphid attacks. It grows well in the dense shade of tomato leaves. According to Earth911, other common beneficial pairings include cucumber and radish, rose and garlic, and carrot and spring onions. Think of your landscape or garden as a community with each plant providing a benefit to another.

Make way for wildlife

Mother Nature’s most innocent children are often at-risk of losing their habitats to residential, commercial, and industrial growth. But your landscape can provide valuable food and shelter for the insects and animals that surround your property. The University of Vermont Extension Department of Plant and Soil Science notes that certain trees and shrubbery act as a habitat for birds and small mammals. At the end of the summer, you can also wait to clean up undergrowth and unwanted vegetation so that local wildlife can use it as shelter during the cool season. If you’re concerned about the aesthetics of your property, you can dress things up by adding attractive statues or decorative fencing.

Be a hero with xeriscaping

Xeriscaping is a type of landscape design that’s especially useful in areas prone to drought or extended dry seasons. A xeriscaping design might include succulents, blue oat grass, mosses, and rocks and pebbles. In addition to collecting rainwater, mulching, and recycling your home’s graywater, xeriscaping is one of the best ways to conserve water and still enjoy a beautiful outdoor entertainment area. A complementary hardscape along with groundcovers and established evergreens will help you get the most out of your outdoors space.

No-pain rainwater collection

If you want to be a true eco-hero, consider adding a rainwater collection barrel at your gutter downspouts. According to MorningChores, a single inch of rain collected from a 1000 ft.² rooftop could render more than 600 gallons of water that you could use to irrigate your lawn and garden.

Before you get started designing your new landscape, it’s a good idea to have a few basic tools on hand. A shovel, rake, hoe, spade, and pruning shears along with a small hand saw will help you tackle most basic garden projects. To avoid calluses and injury from thorns, you’ll also need to invest in a good set of garden gloves.

A good landscape design that’s properly maintained will add value to your home, reduce pest intrusion, and benefit your area’s wildlife. With a little planning and a lot of hard work, you can completely transform your outdoor space into an environmentally friendly haven for birds, bees, deer, and more. Flowers, trees, and shrubs provide instant gratification for today while thoughtful touches, such as a water cistern and native flowers, will help preserve the integrity of the land for the next generation.

Image via Pixabay