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A Sustainable Landscape Is A Beautiful Landscape

The word “sustainable” has gotten a bit of a bad rap lately, often conjuring opposing opinions and dredging up antagonistic politics.

But when it comes to designing your outdoor living space, sustainability promises only beauty and enjoyment. Defined simply, a sustainable outdoor space means incorporating environmentally friendly practices that meet your needs for a beautiful, livable space without compromising the future of your children and generations to come.

Sustainability is about balance, a way to ensure both your current enjoyment and the long-term well-being and health of the incredible world we live in.

Today we’re sharing the benefits of creating a sustainable landscape, with beautiful ideas for making it a reality.

Not Your Grandmother’s Landscape: Why Naturalistic Design Is TrendingWhy Go Sustainable?

Beyond the obvious benefits to the health of the planet, did you know that a sustainable landscape can have health benefits for you, too?

Being surrounded by nature, fresh air, wildlife, blooms, and greenery can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, improve mood, and enhance your overall well-being. It provides an opportunity for relaxation, rejuvenation, and connecting with the natural world.

A sustainable space is also an inviting space. Whether you enjoy gardening, playing with the kids, hosting an afternoon barbecue or evening campfire, or simply relaxing in a peaceful environment, a sustainable landscape offers a versatile and functional space for you to do it.

In addition to the emotional and psychological benefits, sustainability can positively impact your bottom line, too. Sustainable practices are designed to reduce your resource usage, whether that’s water for irrigation, or power for lighting, all of which will save you money in the long run.

It’ll cost you less in time, too. Sustainable landscapes require less watering, weeding, tending, mowing and fretting. With a low-maintenance space you can spend less time working on it, and more time enjoying it.

It can also be great for property value. Even if you’re not planning on selling your home anytime soon, you’ll be investing in creating something that will one day be attractive to potential buyers.

Plus, done right, we bet you can make your current neighbors just a little bit jealous!

Wondering how you can achieve all this? It may be easier than you think!

How To Prepare For Your Landscape Master Plan Design ConsultationUse What You Have

If your instinct is to level your existing landscape and start over, it’s time to rethink that. See how you can embrace existing elements and work with the natural topography, trees, plants, and stones rather than removing them. This will result in less use of resources, and less disrupting the natural ecosystems that already exist.

Cherish those old growth trees instead of removing them to make way for a flowerbed. There are plenty of places to put your flowers! In fact, choose the right ones and you can enjoy a thriving shade garden right beneath the tree.

If you have a large or troublesome boulder in your yard, turn it into a focal point. Adding blooms or creating a hardscape are less intrusive options and can result in a far more visually interesting landscape.

Even old tree stumps can be turned into everything from seating areas to natural art.

If you’re concerned about a sloping yard, consider creating tiers rather than completely altering the topography. A raised patio or flower bed leading down some natural stone steps toward your koi pond can create a magical effect that you wouldn’t be able to achieve with level ground.

Before you “start over” with your landscape project, look around and see the potential in what already exists, and you’ll be rewarded with a more sustainable space and a more beautiful one, too.

water feature urn with stoneConserve Water

Summers can get dry and hot in New Jersey, and the last thing you want is your gorgeous landscape wilting under the sun.

If you’re on a well, you know how unpredictable they can be. You’re probably already cautious about how much water you use. If you have town water, then that’s money out of your pocket every month. And the more you need for your landscape, the more you’re using resources rather than conserving.

Choose native and drought-tolerant plants that will naturally require less water. And no, we’re not talking about filling your yard with cactus! There are tons of gorgeous plants that won’t demand deep soaking.

From the cheerful daisy, to the charming periwinkle, the regal blooms of baptista and the fiery fronds of sumac, you’re sure to find options that you’ll fall in love with.

Consider replacing some (or all!) of your lawn with wildflower gardens, hardscapes, or even a koi pond. Grass is notoriously water-hungry, and will either require a lot of resources or will end up looking brown and scraggly for much of the season.

For a unique and beautiful option, use rainwater harvesting to collect and use rain for irrigating your gardens. There are various ways to do this, from diverting water off roofs into decorative holding tanks, to using streams and natural stone to direct water.

Don’t let the word “conserve” scare you into thinking you have to limit the beauty and enjoyment of your space. Good planning and design will build conservation in, without compromising on aesthetics.

fencing with flowersCreate Pollinator Gardens

When you hear the word pollinator you may think of bees, but birds and butterflies are pollinators, too. And if there’s one way to beautifully combine sustainability with enjoyment, it’s by including wildlife in your plan.

Pollinators are essential for a thriving landscape. Without them, we wouldn’t see our gardens continue blooming, nor would we be able to enjoy anything from a crunchy apple to a rich cup of coffee.

Different pollinators are attracted to different sizes, shapes, and colors of plants, which is great news for you. It means you can enjoy a wide diversity of continuous blooms.

Bright red Cardinal flowers are an excellent choice for attracting hummingbirds, as are Hibiscus or Daylily. Add Butterfly Bush, Queen Anne’s Lace and Delphinium for butterflies.

Include shrubbery with fall and winter berries, like the stunning Beautyberry, holly, or juniper. They’ll bring you four seasons of visual interest, and offer a treat for birds, too.

The best news is that you don’t have to work too hard to choose the right plants for your wildlife gardens. If you’re selecting a wide variety of native plants, you’ll have beauty and sustainability built right in.

You’ll also enjoy the added benefit of natural pest control. Beneficial insects like ladybugs and ground beetles will take care of common garden pests for you, and you won’t have to use a single chemical.

lighting rustic gazeboGo Energy-Efficient

A great outdoor living space needs lighting so you can enjoy it long after the sun has set. You can create magical and beautiful effects with lights high up in trees, wound through trellises and gazebos, hung above patios, dotting walkways, spotlighting a focal point, and nestled into gardens.

And you can do it in a way that saves in energy consumption and costs. LED lighting is so energy efficient that it uses as much as 80% less energy than traditional halogen lighting. Good LED bulbs will last for a substantial length of time, will require less maintenance, and won’t be as susceptible to winter breakage and “popping” that is common with traditional lights.

Plus, with added features like motion sensing lights and automatic timers, you can further reduce consumption – and long term costs – and still enjoy the beauty of a well-lit outdoor space.

With thoughtful planning, creative design, and smart execution, you can have a welcoming outdoor living space that is visually stunning, perfectly suited to your lifestyle, and sustainable all at the same time.

If you’re interested in exploring how your landscape can minimize environmental impact while maximizing your enjoyment, contact us for a consultation. We’ll work with you to design and build an outdoor space that you’ll both love and be proud of.