The Essential Guide to Green Landscaping

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With so much talk about environmental protection and conservation of natural resources, it can be sometimes pretty overwhelming to know and decide upon the steps that an ordinary person can take to make a real difference. A lot of the solutions that are commonly touted such as acquiring a hybrid car or installing a wind-powered turbine at home can be prohibitively expensive making it impractical for most people. Green principles when applied to a landscaping design can be very effective in ecological conservation. These ideas can also be extremely pocket-friendly making it easily implementable.


With a little effort and some assistance from a professional landscaping firm, you can create landscapes that help to reduce costs of heating and cooling, provide minimal watershed, and help indigenous vegetation to thrive in natural settings.

Landscaping That Reduces Fuel Consumption

With fossil fuels steadily depleting, it is paramount that all of us pay a lot of attention to decreasing our fuel consumption. Home heating and cooling is the second biggest head of fuel consumption after motoring. With a little attention to landscaping, we can make a significant savings in the heating bill in the winter months. As everyone knows the cold winds strip homes of the warmth and we need to compensate this loss with heating. Even if the structure is protected with insulation, it can really help if a wind break or wind block is created by strategically planting a stand of trees so that the wind flow is obstructed and dispersed to a great degree away from the house reducing heat loss through convection. Similarly, in summer when the sun is really beating down, strategically planting some trees that will shade the house can substantially reduce your cooling requirement.

Landscaping that can effectively reduce the fuel required to heat or cool the home also attempts to incorporate as much as possible of indigenous materials as substitutes for manufactured products such as wall blocks that consume a lot of energy during the manufacturing process. Visit to explore other options of fuel conservation such as reusing and recycling materials available at or in proximity of the site so that you can minimize the transportation costs. A good example of this is to use stone form local quarries for the landscaping or to manufacture mulch from vegetation that otherwise needs to be removed by trucks to a dumping site. The impact of adopting these simple procedures has multiple dimensions; the need to remove materials is reduced as is the need to bring in materials from outside. Most importantly, apart from the ecological impact, it can reduce the overall project cost too.

Water Conservation

In the typical urban planning scenario, household water is transported through sewers to water treatment plants but the water runoff from the streets gets dumped into the nearest river that results in the river or seawater getting completely polluted and unsuitable for aquatic life. With a properly-designed landscaping project, it is possible to minimize the amount of water flowing into the storm-sewer system. You can substitute most of the impermeable surfaces with materials that will allow the rainwater to pass through and get absorbed by the soil so that the runoff is minimal. You can not only opt for specially-manufactured aggregates, pavers, flagstones that are permeable but also strategically locate “rain gardens” in your property that will catch the storm water that would otherwise literally go down the drain. Simple rainwater harvesting techniques like rain barrels can also reduce the runoffs besides saving substantially on your irrigation bill.

Indigenous Vegetation

One of the characteristics of eco-friendly landscaping projects is that they typically make substantial use of plants that are native to the region. Not only are these plants survive and grow better but also they are easier and more economical to sustain. Using native plants also prevents the invasion of foreign plants species that may eventually overtake the native plants. Another good way of sustaining the local environment is not to use lumber from local trees but instead take recourse to recycled or reclaimed materials from unwanted structures.

Author bio: Kevin Masters is landscaping consultant with considerable experience of converting public spaces into community assets. Some of the projects that he has successfully worked on are detailed in