There are certain areas of the United States that are moving forward with green solutions. New Homes are being constructed, concentrating on green construction, necessities and amenities. Energy efficient appliances green roofs, solar heating, and using materials from renewable forests are all elements the direction our country is going in.
But there is another area which can greatly impact our planet. That is the outdoor environment, or the landscape.
There are numerous ways that outdoor elements can be addressed. Check out some Green Landscaping Ideas below.
One way is to use native plants. Native plants require less maintenance than other types of plants. They need less water. They are more resistant to pests and disease, and therefore don’t require pesticides. Little or no fertilizing is necessary. They keep out undesirable invasive species, which can take over a landscape.
Many natives are quite beautiful. The Flowering Dogwood tree has beautiful pink or white flowers. It also has wonderful berries in the Fall, which birds love Viburnums will take the shade, flowers and also produce berries. Winterberry Holly becomes absolutely covered with berries in the winter too. Red Twig Dogwood has bright red stems which are showy against evergreens during the winter months. White Pine is a native evergreen which is majestic in later years. There are many, many others. These mentioned are just a few that come to mind.
Another landscaping idea that is helpful to the environment is to create rain gardens. Although native plants are often used in these types of areas, non-native plants that are wet site tolerant can be included. Rain gardens are areas that are especially created so that water is directed to them. They are located in a low lying area. Wet site tolerant plants are used and do well here. Rain gardens help with storm water management. Water draining to this area goes back into the ground and helps supply the water sources. Rain gardens eliminate runoff and also the need for expensive piping of excess water elsewhere.
Xeriscaping is another green method of landscaping Here, plants that are drought tolerant are used in the landscape. As with native plants, less water is needed for survival. Many native plants are drought tolerant although some non-native ones can be also. Many herbs and perennials are part of this group that can easily survive in dry conditions. Less water is used from our homes to keep drought tolerant plants alive. Lavender, Catmint, Thyme, Japanese Holly, and junipers are all examples of these types of plants.
Lighting designs and fixtures that use less energy is also a positive way to help out environment. Low voltage lighting is one choice. An even better one is solar lighting. Solar lights depend on the energy of the sun during the day to provide lighting at night. Eight hours of sunlight is required to get the full benefits. No electricity is used and installations are simple.
I have touched on just a few ways to help the environment with some good landscaping ideas. Hopefully you might use some or all of them in your landscaping projects. Every little bit helps.