Sustainable landscape design is a growing trend nationwide. It’s especially popular in California, Oregon, and Florida. In fact, according to the American Association of Landscape Architects (ASLA) more than 70% of Americans want to incorporate sustainable and eco-friendly elements into their landscape design.
The ASLA surveyed landscape architects across the country about their expected outdoor living projects with the highest client demand. Nearly all of these projects involve elements of sustainable landscaping.
Here are the top answers:
- Using native plants – 83.3%
- Incorporating native/adapted drought-tolerant plants – 83.0%
- Installing low-maintenance landscaping – 80.0%
- Flexible use space – 74.2%
- Permeable paving for patios and driveways – 74.0%
- Drip/water-efficient irrigation – 72.4%
- Rain gardens – 71.2%
- Reducing lawn area – 70.8%
- Planting food/vegetable gardens – 70.5%
And smart homeowners and landscape designers know that you don’t have to give up luxury to be more sustainable. You just have to put some thought into it. Environmentally-friendly landscaping is good for the planet as well as your wallet. It’s the ultimate win-win.
Principles of Sustainable Landscape Design
There are four principles of sustainable landscape design to be aware of. Whether you’re planning an upgrade to your landscaping or starting from scratch at a new home, keep these ideas in mind.
1. Treat Water as a Valuable Resource
By using native plants, drought-tolerant native plants, efficient irrigation, and rain gardens, you are treating water as a valuable resource. And by using permeable pavers, you are allowing rainwater to percolate into the soil rather than run off into the sewer system – potentially taking pollutants with it.
2. Value the Soil
By controlling erosion with ground cover plants, hardscaping, and retaining walls, you are preventing soil loss. You can also keep your soil healthy by amending it with compost and natural fertilizers.
3. Use Native Plants
Back to native plants again. There are just so many benefits to using native plants in your landscape design. They help birds, pollinators, and other wildlife. They generally require less water and maintenance to stay healthy. And, of course, they’re beautiful. You can learn more about Maryland native plants from the University of Maryland Extension.
4. Conserve Resources
By making thoughtful choices, conserving resources can become a habit. You can start to reduce waste by:
- Purchasing landscape and hardscape materials from local nurseries and other businesses as much as possible
- Reusing or recycling materials as possible
- Reducing the amount of turf grass by replacing it with garden beds
- Using a mulching mower rather than collecting grass clippings
- Planting shade trees where they will shade your house and help reduce cooling costs
- Using natural fertilizers rather than chemicals
- Installing solar landscape lighting
Sustainable landscape design can help you lower your water usage, use fewer chemicals, use less gas by mowing a smaller lawn, and may even lower your electric bill. You can do all of this without sacrificing curb appeal – in fact, you may increase your curb appeal!
Dream It. Build It. Live It.
At LiveWell Outdoors, we help you turn your outdoor oasis dreams into reality. Our team provides distinctive designs and a personalized experience to homeowners throughout Maryland, DC, and northern Virginia. We believe in outdoor living at its finest and can design and install pools, patios, gardens, outdoor kitchens, and more.
Schedule a consultation today to get started.