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Waterwise Landscaping Ideas

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.

  • 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:

    • Plants grow in communities. Groups plants similar water and sun needs together.
    • Use Plants that are appropriate for your climate.
    • Limit for number of different types of plants in your landscape.
    • Have a detailed landscape design before digging or buying plants.
    • Allow space for plants to reach maturity.
    • Place rocks and boulders so they look like they belong.
    • Make sure brooks, streams, and mounds look natural and functional.
    • Use raised beds supported by blocks, stones, bricks, timbers or walls to plant vegetable plants.
    • Group plants of similar mature sizes together.
    • Plant shade loving plants under larger plants.
    • Make sure the plant can tolerate summer high and winter low temperatures.

    Here are some specific ideas for your landscape

    • Backyard Landscaping Ideas The back yard is the extension of your inside living and recreational space. Take a look at our back yard landsaping ideas here.
    • Front Yard Landscaping Ideas The front yard has different functions than the back yard. The two main functions are to enhance the appearance of the house and to allow or prevent children foor traffic.
    • Home Landscaping Ideas Planting trees and shrubs to save energy inside the home evaluating the weather influences on the property and using plants to enhance or block the external influences.
    • Desert Landscaping Ideas There has been a great migration of people from the wet climates of the east to the dry arid climates of the west. Large amounts of watershed diversion has been constructed to divert water to ever growing desert cities that have been planted with wet climate landscapes. City officials and water authorities have realized the drain on water supply water thursty landscapes can be. Many changes in local policy require or encourage homeowners to change to water smart landscapes (xeriscaping). This is a big issue, but it is a great opportunity for desert homeowners to change from a bland eastern landscape to a lush low water use desert landscape. Check out our ideas on desert landscaping.
    • Rock Landscaping Ideas Rocks add texture to any landscape. They add colour, form, natural look. They can also save water resources and assist plant growth. View our rock, boulder, block, and wall landscaping ideas and pictures.

      soda barrels for rain harvesting
      Landscape Boulders add Beauty to the Landscape.

      We've also created a slide presentation with pictures of landscaping highlighting the natural pricipals for boulder placement. View our Rock and Boulder Landscaping Ideas in a slideshow.
    • Plants Landscaping Ideas There are thousands of plants to choose for your landscape. However, they fall into two categories: high maintenance and low maintenance. We'll suggest categories of plants for low maintenance landscaping.
    • Patio Landscaping Ideas In the housing boom of the last 20-30 years, developers squeezed more and more houses into the same lot size. As a consequence, yards became much smaller. Many new houses have patio sized back yards. Take a look at our patio landscaping ideas.
    • Hillside Landscaping Ideas Hills and slopes on the property present many great opportunities for award winning functional beautiful landscapes. Hills not properly landscaped are subject to erosion. Properly landscaped, slopes can provide an exciting water retentive lush landscape for many hours of colourful viewing. View our ideas for landscaping hills and slopes.
    • Xeriscape Ideas The myth that xeriscaping simply involves placing a few rocks and cactus plants in the landscape will be broken here. xeriscaping, Rain Gardening, and waterwise landscaping all involve designing your landscaping so that it thrives in concert with it's native environment. View our ideas on xeriscaping.
  • Landscaping Lights

    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.

  • Growing Food at Home

    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.

  • Finding a Landscaping Contractor

    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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