Updated: Apr 15, 2020
Eco-friendly landscape design, often times referred to as environmentally friendly design or sustainable gardening, simply means working with nature and not against it. The basic idea is to choose plants and design elements that foster a healthy ecosystem where birds, bugs, animals and plants can thrive.
So what does this specifically mean? First and foremost, eco-friendly design minimizes inputs such as watering, fertilizers and pesticides. Anytime a homeowner needs to water or spray their trees, shrubs, flowers or grass they are putting an additional strain upon the
environment (as well as their wallet) and potentially harming the ecosystem and earth's creatures, including ourselves.
How do you minimize the inputs? You choose the right plants. This is the most important requirement of eco-friendly design. First make sure to choose plants that will thrive in the location taking into consideration the soil moisture and composition and the amount of sunlight. Doing so will minimize the use of water and fertilizers to keep the plants healthy. Also, make sure the plant is the right size and won't outgrow the space. Every time you have to use machinery to keep a shrub or tree looking good within the design, you are using the unnecessary inputs of gasoline and energy. Finally, the chosen plants should welcome in a variety of bugs and birds to keep the ecosystem in check. The right plants attract birds and good bugs that will feast on the garden pests and minimize the amount of pesticide chemicals needed.
Eco-friendly landscape design is simply thoughtful design. Each plant is chosen carefully and with specific consideration to not only how it will contribute to an aesthetically pleasing design, but also how it will grow and serve to help and not harm the environment. This type of design may be more laborious at the outset, but it pays you back many times over with less maintenance and the peace of mind of knowing that your landscape is helping and not harming the environment, your family and all of earth's creatures.