When most people think about sustainable landscaping, they either picture a desert landscape in Arizona or a front yard just covered in rocks and nothing else. If the goal is to save water and energy, how much can you really do? The truth is that there are lots of amazing front yard landscaping ideas that can be used to achieve all of your sustainable landscaping goals that won’t just save water and energy. In fact, they will provide you with functional spaces that can be used for gardening, recreation or entertainment, while achieving additional sustainable goals, such as controlling erosion, creating shade or even warmth for the house, all without chemicals, pollutants or waste.
The Old Way vs. The Sustainable Way
The traditional way that most Americans landscape their front yards is with a very large, thick turf made up of a mixture of annual bluegrass or perennial rye grass seed and a lot of fertilizers and weed killers. The truth is that all of those polluting elements will eventually get into our local water supply and even the landscaping work that we do, such as trimming plants and weeds, creates wastes that can harm the local environment. All of those chemicals and fertilizers have to go somewhere and bad over-watering habits can waste a lot of water through runoff and evaporation from soils and plants.
The main idea of sustainable landscaping is to get homeowners in Middleboro and all throughout the New England area, to start changing their approach to front yard landscaping ideas and embrace new ways of creating a beautiful-looking front yard that will benefit the environment instead of potentially harming it. Take a look at what you put into your landscaping and what comes out of it through waste and pollution. If you can minimize both of these factors and apply the principles outlined in this article, you will not only create a more responsible environmental landscape for your home, but you will also reduce the amount of time you spend working on your landscaping and save money as well.
It All Starts With a Plan
The best way to achieve your sustainable landscaping goals is to start with a solid plan. This is the most important phase of the entire project. Take a look at your location and consider the unique traits of the weather, environment and natural landscape of the area of New England where you live. Other conditions should also be considered about your specific property setup, such as sloping, shade, sun, air movement and the type of soil. When you consider all of these factors and keep them in mind, your front yard landscaping ideas will be easier to maintain.
The next thing that you need to think about is how you want to use the space. Do you want it to be a beautiful garden, a place of beauty; a recreational area, a place for kids to play; an entertainment area, a place to hang out with friends; a vegetable garden, a place to grow food; or a preserved miniature ecosystem, a place where erosion is controlled, local plants are encouraged to grow and wildlife is allowed to run free.
If you will be building patios or raised garden beds out of permeable pavers to reduce erosion and runoff, try to situation them according to the sun or shade, as well as to the local climate. For example, trees or vines are great to place near the house to lower temperatures from the summer sun. Before you decide where things should go, take stock of the natural soil that is present in each area, check out any drainage issues or other potential layout complications. Draw it out on paper before you dig a single thing.
Strategic Planning and Sustainable Landscaping
If you do decide that you want to have a grassy area for the kids to play or to have a picnic, it helps to know as much as you can about the common grass seeds used in the local area and what it takes to maintain a nice, green lawn. The three most common grass seed used in the South Coast area include Kentucky bluegrass, fescue and perennial rye grass seed.
The perennial rye will germinate and begin to grow faster than the other types of seed, but it is a perennial seed and will die off after a year or two. Fescue is very drought tolerant, allowing you to water it less, and is great with high traffic areas, such as kids playing. Kentucky bluegrass is well suited for New England weather and will come back year after year despite the cold weather and frost.
Creating raised garden beds for flowers and vegetables will help you to better control the quality of the soil and mix in compost as-needed to provide the required nutrients. Sustainable landscaping is all about using what you have, what is plentiful and what is natural within the local region to avoid having to increase water, maintenance, care or add fertilizer and other chemicals to force the plants to adapt to the foreign surroundings.
Where to Get Materials for Sustainable Landscaping
J&J Materials has a wide variety of sustainable landscaping materials that can help local homeowners in Middleboro and the surrounding area to expand their front yard landscaping ideas and plans to include more earth-friendly options. From permeable pavers that can be used to create patios, walkways, driveways and raised garden beds to locally mixed sandy loam soil, double shredded 100 percent natural mulching materials to all of the tools, accessories and materials you will need to create a beautiful front or backyard project, J&J Materials has it all. Visit one of our Southeastern Massachusetts locations and ask about our delivery service to customers throughout the South Coast region, including Rhode Island.