Every yard has the potential to be a healthy, thriving, outdoor ecosystem. Here at Secret Garden Landscapes our goal is to create outdoor spaces that not only improve our client's property value but also improve the overall health of the landscape. Below is an overview of the positive environmental benefits that occur when a yard is thoughtfully designed.
Saving water in any new landscape should always be a top priority. With California's limited water resources, our landscapes need to use less water and the water they do use should be applied as efficiently as possible. Choosing more efficient irrigation materials and the manner in which we apply water to a landscape can lessen the amount of water required to keep a landscape healthy and thriving. Plant choice, thoughtful use/size of lawn and hydro zoning plantings (plants with similar water needs planted together) are some ways to help minimize the need for egregious water use in our gardens.
Uses No Pesticides
A well-designed yard should not need pesticides to keep the plants alive. By choosing climate appropriate plantings your landscape should not need toxic chemicals. Instead using methods of Integrated Pest Management if needed in the landscape is a safer option for all gardens.
Requires Less Manpower
Choosing plants that don't require as much outside attention (i.e., fertilizer, maintenance, etc.) leads to the need for less resources such as manpower as well. Our outdoor spaces should not require so much time pruning, fertilizing and leaf blowing therefore lessening the amount of overall maintenance these spaces require.
In every yard we design, we always make creating habitat for native mammals/insects/birds a priority. What do we mean by habitat? Habitat means that we are creating the outdoor space to include food, shelter, space and even sometimes water to meet the needs of native mammals/insects/birds. For example, when choosing plants, native plants are always a great choice because they are already acclimated to our environment and provide food/shelter for our native wildlife.
Improves Soil Health
Soil is an integral part of the success of plants in the landscape and a vital part of our ecosystem's health. Healthy soil "reduces erosion, maximizes water infiltration, improves nutrient cycling, saves money on inputs, and ultimately improves resiliency of our land."
Increases Carbon Sequestration On-Site
What is carbon sequestration? Carbon sequestration is a natural process of the storage of carbon in plants and soils. Trees naturally take up CO2 (carbon dioxide) from the air in the process called photosynthesis. The tree effectively breaks down the CO2 and stores the carbon in all parts of the tree's biomass. Then the tree releases oxygen back into the atmosphere. In addition, healthy soil can also add to the amount of carbon dioxide stored on-site. Carbon sequestration is an important process in reducing the amount of harmful greenhouse gases that are released into our Earth's atmosphere and one way we can help fight against climate change.
Decreases Home's Energy Requirements
When thinking about a yard, it is important to think about the home's sun exposure. In temperate climates, placing deciduous trees (trees that lose leaves in the winter) on sides of the house where it will provide shade in the hot summer months but allow solar heat to hit the house in the winter months will help reduce the need for additional air conditioning in the home.
In my job as a landscape designer, my main goal is to create natural beauty outside every window of my clients' homes. I feel that when my clients can see their gardens come alive (buzzing with lots of pollinators or visited by pretty birds) they will connect with nature more intimately. My hope is that once they really see nature in action, it will help solidify the importance of protecting nature all around them. As efforts to protect these natural spaces need funding and legislative support, people with a more intimate connection with nature are more likely to vote/donate to protect these unique and valuable spaces. This renewed/new appreciation of nature will lead to more protected land as well as more people truly connecting with the intricacies of nature's beauty.
If you need help transforming your yard to a more thoughtfully created space reach out.