No matter where you live these days good clean fresh water is in short supply. Secondly, most of the purified water that we pay for, simply goes directly back outside to our landscapes. That's why waterwise landscaping ideas are in high demand. We aim to provide many landscaping ideas here to get you on track to having a lush water smart landscape. We may offend some by recommending eliminating or reducing to a minimum your lawn (turf) area and replacing the free space with rocks, gravel, or plants that can survive without irrigation. Turf landscapes are the most water thirsty of all. Lawns should take up no more than 25% of your total landscaped area. They should be used for play areas for kids or social areas during gatherings. So if the turf can't survive on the local rain fall, keep it to a minimum. Now on to the free landscaping ideas.
They are many great landscaping ideas that will have you wanting to spend more time in your yard relaxing, tending the plants, and watching your yard produce food. You can minimize labor, while maximizing plant growth by observing how plants survive naturally. In the natural world, a single plant species is part of a complex web of living and non-living things. The plant interacts with other plants of different species, but requiring the same environment. The plant turns over organic matter that becomes nutrients for later use. Small living organisms depend on fallen leaves and branches from the plant, which they in turn break down and convert the organic material into nutrients that the plant can use later. Bird and small ground animals eat and bury the fruits and seeds and help the reproductive process of the plant. Some plants need to be located near streams and water features to keep their feet (roots) wet most of the time. Other plants can survive on rocky hill sides where any rain water runs off very quickly and little moisture penetrates the soil. By observing how plants survive and thrive normally, we can be more successful in planting our own landscapes.
Here are a few basic rules of thumb to keep in mind when designing your landscape:
Landscaping lights can be used in the landscape for many purposes. In December, trees and structures can be wrapped with Christmas tree lights. Take a look at our landscape lighting ideas here.
Most of are aware that are food comes from far away. Many fruits and vegetables travel from Mexico and South America during the winter months. During the summer months many vegetables come from the southern, southwestern, and coastal states. Agriculture expert, Michael Pallen, illustrates in this video that it takes 26 ounces of oil to produce and deliver one double cheese burger. Take a look...
Consider going to your local farmers markets and shopping locally grown food. You can also check to see if any of the local farms will allow you to come to their fields to pick your own fruits and vegetables. Buy enough fresh vegetables during the summer months to store away, buying drying or freezing, so that you have a good supply in the winter.
Many manicipalities are encouraging their citizens to begin growing their own vegetables at home. There are many benefits to this: no pesticides, pick food when it is at its freshest, and reduced carbon emissions from driving to the store to buy vegetables. We found an excellent food production training program that use many natural methods of small scale farming to get you started.
You may not have the time or back to build your own landscape. If this is your first time, you'll find that you'll work three times as hard bacause you'll need to do things over again, sometimes, several times, to get the landscape just the way you want it. Hiring a landscape designer and/or landscape contractor may be a big labour saver. In addition to checking for insurance and licencing, be sure you are in agreement with the style of landscaping of the contractor. Be sure to check out some of the jobs they have completed before.
The landscaping contract that you sign should allow for modification of work in case you would like something changed after the initial completion.
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