Sustainable landscaping is a big buzz word in our industry right now. Not just around Phoenix and Scottsdale, or in Arizona, but across the country.
The assumption that sustainable Arizona landscaping is just about xeriscaping and drought tolerant plants isn’t quite right. Yes, concentrating on native plants and those that will deal well with our arid climate is wise and part of what this broad term encompasses. But, there is more to creating landscapes that are ‘sustainable’ than that.
First of all, landscape architecture is meant to create a connection between man and nature. Something many don’t consider when the start looking for Phoenix or Scottsdale landscape design. Is there a difference between landscape architecture and landscape design? In terms of education, yes. When it comes to translating the natural world into your yard, no. So long as the designer truly understands and utilizes the right plants for the right reasons.
Truly sustainable landscaping not only contains plants that are perfect for dealing with the area climate and conditions, the plant selection will also be a benefit and asset to the property and society… with the least amount of influence from man.
What plants in your Scottsdale or Phoenix landscaping meet these guidelines and criteria?
1) They will fit the space without mechanical control. This means that no plants in your landscape will outgrow their space naturally. Hedging and shearing of shrubs is not ‘sustainable landscaping’. This requires the use of energy, whether it be electricity or fossil fuels. A little judicial hand-pruning to keep the form full and thick or do away with ‘unsightly’ growth is far removed from mechanical control.
2) They are an asset to both your home environment and the greater landscape of the wilds of Arizona. Beyond the boundaries of your property lies a world that Mother Nature controls and decides what fits and what doesn’t. Sustainable landscaping flows in harmony with the unmaintained areas beyond your property lines. Yes, you want a far more manicured look in your yard, but with the proper landscape design, it can fit with the flow and still be quite beautiful.
3) Plant selection, while presenting you with the optimum in water conservation options, should not be considered to require no moisture assistance at all. Not if you want to maintain the value of your property. Most plants used in all forms of landscaping will perform better, grow faster and thicker, as well as flower more abundantly with a well controlled irrigation system. In Arizona landscape design for residential properties, sustainable landscaping reduces greatly the amount of maintenance labor, energy used and water requirements.
4) Plant placement should be done to lessen the effects of the environment on your interior rooms. Smart planning can lower household energy bills. Placing trees to shelter a home from climate extremes is proven to reduce energy consumption for both heating and cooling by up to 25%. Naturally, these savings and reductions depend on mature trees. Still, there is no time like the present to get going on creating the savings they will provide.
The best way to have sustainable landscaping around your home is to consult with a long time contractor with vast experience in plants that do well in our area. Not only should your yard and curb appeal be attractive to you and those who drive by, it should be an asset to the community. Promoting cleaner air naturally while it reduces your carbon footprint and demand for fresh water resources. Not just outdoors, but inside the home too.