When it comes to sustainable landscape design, there are three main things that you should think about – reducing energy use, reducing water consumption, and preventing the introduction of harmful chemicals into the environment. While many people choose to use experienced landscape designers to help them develop a sustainable garden and outdoor living space, there is no reason why you can’t do it yourself.
Keep in mind that you will need to dedicate a significant amount of time and effort to your garden design if you decide to do it yourself, but you will definitely find it rewarding and worth it if you enjoy spending time outside. The following guidelines should help you develop the perfect sustainable yard:
Reduce your water consumption:
Although it may seem difficult at first, it is actually extremely simple to reduce your garden’s water consumption. Just because you don’t want to water it anymore doesn’t mean that your garden has to be dead and dry looking – in fact, with a few informed choices, just the opposite is true.
The first thing that you should do is choose plants which are suited to your environment. As most of Australia is hot and dry, most of these will be native plants of some description. Things like eucalypts and bottlebrushes are very popular in home gardens, and should definitely be at the top of your list.
At the same time, you want to eliminate any practices which waste water. This includes things like sprinklers which aren’t well positioned, water features which encourage evaporation, and the watering of large lawns. If you find yourself wasting a lot of water on your lawn, then you have two options – you can either replace it with a synthetic lawn, or you can water it using greywater from your washing machine or shower.
Reduce your energy consumption:
When it comes to landscaping, reducing your energy consumption is actually very simple. There are a lot of different things that you can do, including not installing anything which requires electricity or power of any sort. However, there is nothing wrong with installing a few outdoor lights or something like that. If you are serious about reducing your energy consumption and developing a sustainable yard, then simply install solar powered lights.
Don’t use toxic or polluting materials:
Unfortunately, plastic is used throughout the world for a wide range of things. It is versatile, and one of the easiest materials to work with when it comes to landscaping. However, it also has the potential to leach toxic chemicals into the environment, affecting everything form the smallest organisms to the largest. If you are serious about creating a sustainable garden, then avoid anything made of plastic, or anything which might release toxic chemicals.
Sustainable development isn’t hard. Following a few simple principles will allow you to craft the perfect backyard, while being friendly to the environment at the same time. Do your research, speak to people in the know, and most importantly, have fun!