Seven Tips for Eco-Landscaping
By: Sabrina Essery, Freelance Writer
Keeping your garden green is easier than you think!
So what exactly is eco-landscaping? Eco-landscaping (also referred to as green or sustainable landscaping) is simply a term used to refer to landscaping done in an environmentally-conscious way. Eco-landscaping is a way of creating and maintaining a landscape that works with the topography and climate around it. By switching over to a more sustainable design or maintenance process, you could save time, money, and effort!
* Plant a Living Wall:
Forego the fence and plant a hedge or a living wall. Not only are they absolutely beautiful, but they create more of a habitat for the creatures living in the area. Not to mention, jumping over a high enough hedge is much more difficult than jumping a fence!
* Ditch the Gas:
In addition to polluting the environment, some gas machines can cause dust to fly everywhere – dust that may contain bacteria, spores, or allergens. If you’re physically able, consider getting out the rake or the broom to take care of your yard work. Don’t have the time or ability to do it manually? Try switching to a machine with an electrical engine – they’re much more eco-friendly.
* Leave your Lawn Alone:
Mow your lawn less frequently! According to Better Homes and Gardens, you should “…keep your grass at least 3 inches long in summer to cool the soil, preserve moisture, and help the grass maintain a healthy root structure. Research shows that mowing higher means fewer weeds because taller grass shades and out-competes the weed seedlings.”  Unless the clippings will smother your grass, leave them where they fall. When they decompose, they will give extra nutrients to your lawn.
* Cut Out the Harsh Pesticides:
Or at least cut back as much as humanly possible. Pesticides stay in the environment after you use them- they can travel, accumulate, and be absorbed through the skin, consumed, or inhaled. Pets and children (with their less-than-fully-developed immune systems and their penchant for touching things and putting things into their mouths) are especially vulnerable to pesticides. Try to use natural solutions and prevention for pests as much as possible.
* Harvest Rain Water:
Rain water is free and naturally sof t- who wouldn’t want to take advantage of it? There are a hundred and one different ways to harvest rainwater… but the most effective methods catch the water as it flows down your roof and into your eavestroughs, then channel it into a container. One smart way to take advantage of the rainy season is to create a rain garden to absorb the runoff.
* Plant Some Trees:
All trees absorb sunlight, pollutants, and carbon gases- even ornamental ones! With their natural ability to clean the air around your home, trees are both aesthetically pleasing and functional. However, you have to be careful when planning on where to plant them- trees that will grow to be very high shouldn’t be planted under electrical wires or where they might be a problem for your neighbours. Likewise, trees that will have deep-reaching roots should be placed well away from underground pipes or wires.
* Mind Your Materials:
Choose durable, eco-friendly materials for your deck and your “hardscaping”. Recycled wood or Cedar is great for decks, platforms, or gazebos. Recycled bricks, stones, glass, and concrete are excellent choices for pathways or patios. Try to choose more permeable materials to use- this way, rainwater can be absorbed into the ground instead of running off into sewers or bodies of water.