Everyone is attempting to live more sustainably at this time, and with good reason. Climate change and other environmental issues are major problems facing not only our generation but future generations as well. Therefore, it makes sense that a number of Americans are interested in increasing their ability to live sustainably in whatever ways they can.
This is where sustainable landscaping enters the picture. There are so many advantages to landscaping your home. Landscaping simply makes your home more enjoyable and pleasing for you as a homeowner. It’s more fun to spend time outdoors if you have a nice garden to look at, or perhaps a well-groomed set of hedges. If you like a nice landscape, imagine how much other people in your neighborhood, or even potential buyers, will feel the same. Even if you don’t anticipate selling your home in the near future, you should still make an effort to ensure that your home is as appealing as possible. But unfortunately, many traditional landscaping tactics are less sustainable than they ideally would be. That’s why we’re looking into some of the best ways to landscape your home on a sustainable level.
1. Permeable Surfaces
Even though a lot of mainstream landscaping techniques are not sustainable, it’s still surprisingly easy to increase your sustainability as a homeowner with certain landscaping options. After all, a landscape is organic, and with the right amount of expertise can be manipulated. One of the best ways to ensure that your landscape is sustainable is to utilize as many permeable surfaces as possible. Permeability can help decrease rainwater runoff. Essentially, permeably surfaces cut down the issues of runoff by allowing rainwater to sink naturally into the ground. This will aid in filtration and slow the water flow into waterways and drains. Often, permeable surfaces will be covered with gravel, which is not only sustainable but very aesthetically pleasing. The point in many cases is to allow for a more sustainable patio space. Patios would traditionally be built using concrete or even tile, which is not permeable and creates runoff. Moss, peat, and mulch can also be added to the ground to essentially take the place of a concrete patio while at the same time increasing permeability.
2. Ribbon Driveways
A ribbon driveway increases the sustainability of your landscape; at the same time, it’s also much more appealing visually than the driveway space you may currently have. A lot of people feel like the only way to avoid concrete driveways is to essentially let their cars create muddy, unattractive pathways. This is actually bad for your landscape, as it will kill grass and create uneven grooves. The way ribbon driveways work is that they allow for two strips of concrete with grass in between, in some ways a natural progression from the ruts created in the ground. Essentially, the parts of the ground where the tires hit will be paved, while the grass sits between them. This allows for more permeability, while also being more visually pleasing to both homeowners and onlookers. This kind of appealing driveway can actually add value to the home. Remember that roughly 95% of all buyers of houses listed with a real estate agent move through the typical bank financing process. In order for financing to be approved, a home needs to be approved by the lender in terms of value. These types of small changes can actually make it easier for you to sell your home on several levels if you do decide to move in the future.
3. Artificial Grass
The reality is that real grass, however much you may love the look of it, sucks up a lot of water. This can be particularly concerning if you live in an area prone to droughts. For that matter, real grass can sometimes be less attractive than we would like, simply because it can dry out and become sparse and yellowed. Therefore, some people choose to invest in artificial turf. Artificial grass today is rather beautiful, and in many cases looks even better than real grass at its best. It’s also easier to care for. Artificial grass doesn’t require any watering, weeding, mowing, or fertilizing. Additionally, it doesn’t require any pesticides. In the long term, it can be an environmentally friendly choice. Your neighbor may also appreciate you installing visually pleasing artificial grass rather than struggling with real grass. Although boundary disputes take up about 17% of all real estate issues between neighbors, lots of neighbors also have disputes centered around the quality of their landscapes and how they affect the value of homes in the neighborhood.
4. Wild Gardens
There are certainly benefits to adding some wild flowers, and even some wild varieties of certain fruits and vegetables, to your landscape. Obviously, all of them will be beautiful and can add a great deal of a natural appeal to your property. Of course, you’ll also be able to benefit by being able to eat your own fruits and vegetables, forgoing some of the harmful pesticides that can affect the produce you buy in mainstream grocery stores. Another thing you should keep in mind is the fact that this type of flora is good for butterflies and bumblebees, which can pollinate them. This is especially important to consider as bees are currently experiencing a population decrease. Of course, when planting wild plants, be careful that you don’t accidentally allow the growth of harmful varieties. It’s far from impossible for something like poison ivy to crop up in a garden. Roughly 85% of Americans are allergic to poison ivy, and therefore you should be careful about these types of plants cropping up.
There are a lot of issues that you should consider in terms of making your life more sustainable in general. But if you’re careful, you can make your landscape more sustainable fairly easily. Get in touch with a professional landscaper and see the options that they might be able to offer you!