Complete Guide to Eco-Friendly Landscaping

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Eco-Friendly Landscaping

Sustainability is a topic of ever-increasing importance in the world we live in today. The three pillars of sustainability consist of the economy, society, and the environment. At Radiant Landscape Design and Build, we strive to do our part in encouraging sustainable practices that positively affect the environment and have thus developed an award-winning approach to creating sustainable, functional, and beautiful landscapes. All of our landscape designs emphasize creating eco-friendly landscaping while also meeting the wants and needs of each individual customer.

What Is Eco-Friendly Landscaping?

Eco-friendly landscaping literally refers to anything that is not harmful to the environment. At Radiant Landscape Design and Build, we take it a step further by emphasizing the importance of sustainable landscapes that, in addition to not harming our environment, also do not overuse or exacerbate the valuable and limited resources that the Earth provides.

Traditional landscapes consist primarily of grass in both the front and backyards, decorated with different plants, trees, and flowers that are often not native to our area. This is standard in neighborhoods across America, and because many of us have become desensitized by how common traditional landscapes are, many do not realize how much economic and environmental strain such landscapes can impose. Consider the total amount of time and money spent on maintaining such traditional landscapes, in addition to the amount of water used every year to maintain a single landscape.

In Colorado, the average yard space is just over 8,000 square feet. A study on efficient outdoor water use also concluded that 12 gallons of water per square foot of landscape per year is considered efficient. If you do the math, that means that the average home in Colorado uses approximately 96,000 gallons of water per year on its landscaping alone, and this is considered efficient. Can you imagine what non-efficient water use could look like?

With all that being said, we specialize in environmentally friendly landscapes that reduce water usage, reduce the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and require less maintenance, all while still maintaining a beautiful and unique appearance.

Benefits Of Environmentally-Friendly Landscaping

The benefits of environmentally friendly landscaping are numerous. In general, eco-friendly landscaping helps reduce water waste and lessens soil and air pollution. Eco-friendly landscapes also encourage native plants and animals in the area, which, in turn, helps reduce the likelihood of pests and diseases running rampant in your landscape. If this is not enough to convince you, here are some more benefits of eco-friendly landscaping in detail:

Efficient Use of Water

As we have already mentioned, designing and installing an eco-friendly landscape, as opposed to a traditional landscape, will help dramatically reduce the amount of water used to keep lawns and other non-native plants lush and green. While the actual amount of water conserved will vary depending on the layout and design of each individual landscape, it is estimated that a xeriscaped landscape can help homeowners cut back on their water usage by 60 percent or more! That’s a lot of money and a lot of water!

Reduces Chemical Pollutants in Air, Soil, and Water

Employing environmentally-friendly landscaping can lessen the number of pollutants introduced into our environment in two different ways. First, these types of sustainable landscapes often involve the use of native plants. Plants that are native to any area are naturally more equipped to handle the specific elements of that environment (or else they wouldn’t be native to the area!). This means that they will grow better and stay healthier on their own and will not need excessive fertilizing every season. Similarly, when it comes to pest and disease control/prevention, many native plants are resistant to and even repel certain pests and diseases. Even if a certain plant isn’t completely resistant to pests and disease, many pests are much less interested in attacking native plants, and any plants that are targeted by pests will be able to handle them better and recover quicker. The second way that sustainable landscapes help reduce pollutants relates to the products you choose to use on your landscaping. If you truly desire to have a sustainable yard, this will mean choosing natural and organic products that will not have negative effects on the environment. Many chemical fertilizers or pesticides soak into the ground or are carried off in the wind, spreading contaminants through the air, soil, and water supply.

Encourages Healthier Plants

As mentioned above, native plants are, by their nature, already accustomed to the environment we live in. They are considered native plants because they are what naturally grows in such an environment as ours, and they thrive here. This means you will have healthier plants with less effort. Many plants that are incorporated into landscapes are not native. Therefore, they are being forced to grow in conditions that are less than ideal and require special care and attention to keep them looking beautiful and healthy. Even if your standard of health and beauty is achieved, this may not last long, as plants that are not native will die off quicker and easier than native plants.

Requires Less Work and Maintenance

Similar to what was mentioned above, sustainable landscapes will require much less time and money in terms of maintenance. This is in part because native plants are not as high-maintenance as non-native species. Many sustainable landscapes also incorporate hardscape features, which include any non-living aspect of a landscape. Things such as boulders, gravel, rock, mulch, and the like. Have you ever seen a boulder need a lot of maintenance? I didn’t think so. With such hardscape features, the most maintenance you will have to do is possibly removing leaves in the fall, trimming back plants in the spring, or topping off your mulch with a fresh layer if it starts to look a bit worn. But even this is nothing compared to the extensive weekly maintenance of a lawn!

Lasts Longer than Traditional Landscapes

For similar reasons, sustainable, eco-friendly landscapes last longer before needing to be refreshed. This is because the native plants incorporated into environmentally-friendly landscaping are hardier and are already used to growing in this environment, making them more likely to live longer and maintain their beauty better. Likewise, hardscape features that are often incorporated into such landscapes often require little to no maintenance and will last for years on end.

Reduces Waste

Another beneficial aspect of sustainable landscape practices that we have not mentioned yet is composting. Composting is most often practiced in relation to growing a vegetable garden, however, composting is highly beneficial for any sort of gardening, whether in your flowerbeds, rose gardens, landscape beds, or any other place where plants exist. Regularly tilling compost into your soil will help maintain the health of your soil, resulting in healthier plants. And the even better part is that composting, in turn, helps lessen the amount of waste that ends up in the landfill. With all the nutrients that exist in your kitchen scraps, it’s a shame that they are so often just discarded into the trashcan.

Eco-Friendly Landscaping Ideas

Given all of the benefits listed above, you might already have a decent idea of some changes you may want to make to your yard to make it more eco-friendly. But just in case, here are some ideas to help get you started on making your landscaping more friendly to our environment:

Switch To Organic Fertilizers

Using organic fertilizers is another huge way to help cut back on pollutants that are introduced into the air, soil, and water. They may not be as fast-acting as many chemical options, but they still get the job done, and the environment will thank you in the long run!

Use Natural Pest Control Products

Similarly, there are so many different natural and organic pest and disease control products that are not only much safer for you, your family, and your pets, but will also do just as good a job of driving away any unwanted vermin.

Expert Tips on Eco-Friendly Landscaping

We hope you are now inspired to start making your landscape more environmentally friendly! If you want to see some examples of our work, check out our photo galleries. If you would like to talk to an expert about different options you could employ to help increase the overall sustainability of your yard, get in touch and contact us today!