What is Green Landscaping?
There is an art in landscaping any garden. Selecting the right plants, walkways and trees can take some time, but to make your garden environmentally friendly takes much more time and thought than regular gardening. It’s easy to think that landscaping a garden is automatically a green, earth friendly endeavor, but many aspects of garden design can harm the environment and add to pollution.
Green landscaping is the art of working with nature to create a beautiful outdoor space that is practical and eco friendly at the same time.
Here are a few things to consider that help make your garden a natural, organic environment that all can enjoy.
Consider Your Soil
Testing your soil is a great place to start your organic garden. Healthy soil grows healthy plants, and you may find your soil does not need any fertilizing to make it good for growing. If it does need help, consider adding compost or other organic material rather than artificial fertilizers, even on your lawn. Over fertilization with chemical nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers results in ground water pollution as the rain runs off the garden, dissolves the chemicals and carries them into the water supply. Lawn clippings are another threat to the watershed as they are washed away with the rain water and decompose in the ground water resulting in pollution.
Know the way the ground water travels in your garden so you can plan the drainage of you plants. Work with nature to provide the right amount of water without adding any extra. If you select the right plants in right place, nature will do the rest. This will cut down on the amount of irrigation you will need, saving power and water.
Be a Collector
Make or repurpose a rain barrel. 70% of water pollution comes from rain water washing chemicals put on our plants into the watershed. By installing a rain barrel or other water recycling system you stop the water at its source, and as a bonus, have water on hand to irrigate your garden.
Play a Substitute
One of the most common myths in being green is that all synthetics are bad for the environment. This is not always true. One case of a synthetic product being better than a natural one is … artificial grass. Grass needs a lot of water and constant attention to be healthy. Many chemicals are added to it to keep it looking green all year round which are then irrigated by copious amounts of water, polluting the ground source. Artificial grasses need no watering and remain practical all year round with little or no care. They also have one very big bonus – they don’t need mowing!
If you must keep growing grass, leave it to go dormant in the dry summer months. Grass is programmed to shut down in times of drought, and awaken when all the necessary elements are there for its revival. If you do have to water it, give it a good, infrequent, thorough soaking as this will encourage deeper roots that make the grass healthier.
When you plan your garden, choose locally grown plants as they are suited to the area. Your garden is a mini eco system and will rely on the plants within it to work as a whole. Consider the trees and the plants, making sure to look at deciduous trees (those that shed their leaves in winter) to offer shade in the summer and warmth in the winter.
To cut down on other materials, plant a living hedge or border instead of fence or wall. It will provide a great habitat for wildlife and can add to the earth friendliness of your garden.
If you have to build a wall or install a path, look for recycled alternatives rather than new. You can buy recycled products such as concrete, brick, glass and paving slabs which will reduce your carbon foot print on the earth.
Growing a green garden is a great way to help create a healthy environment and give you another ‘room’ to live in when the weather is good. Look at what nature has provided for you and work with it to make a beautiful, green, eco friendly living space.