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Sustainable Landscaping Tips for Creating a Custom Look

Jan 13, 2015 | Patios

Landscape design is in, and so is permaculture. While permaculture — the art of creating sustainable, environmentally-friendly landscapes using both edible and native plants that encourage biodiversity while remaining aesthetically pleasing — has been around since the 1970s when the term was first coined, it has only recently begun to gain traction as Americans become more environmentally conscious and aware. However, landscaping services and the principles of permaculture go hand in hand.

While landscaping a patio or a beautiful yard may be the last thing on your mind during winter’s bitterly cold and dark months, winter is actually a perfect time to begin planning the landscape design process.

When landscaping a patio, it’s important to understand its function or role in your life while beginning the design process. How much time do you spend outdoors on the patio? Do you enjoy entertaining and grilling outside? Do you have pets, and if so, what plants are harmful to them? Do you have a need for privacy? By clearly identifying your goals, you’ll be able to begin “plugging” in certain sustainable practices.

For example, perhaps you’d like to capitalize on the amount of rain that falls and use this rainwater for watering plants or an edible forest garden center (which are becoming increasingly popular as more Americans are swapping genetically modified produce for organic). In this case, your landscaping professional can create a design that channels rainwater and run off into collecting containers. Or, if you live in an area which experiences heavy rain, a dry creek may be installed.

After determining the function or purpose of your patio, it’s time to begin planning the aesthetics of it. Perhaps you have a favorite kind of tree or native plant that you’d like to incorporate in your design. Trees are excellent in that they can reduce noise, provide privacy by acting as a natural barrier, and in some cases may produce fruit. Choosing native plants encourages wildlife and the process of pollination, which is essential to creating a self-sustaining landscaped environment.

The most important aspect of landscaping a patio is to enjoy the process! Remember to have fun getting inspired and exploring new ideas.

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