Hosing Blowing and Sweeping Keeping Things Clean

The prevailing wisdom out my way is that hosing off surfaces is a very bad, antisocial, wasteful, totally uncool thing to do. Mostly, that wisdom is true: Hosing wastes water, and sweeping or raking gets the job done without consuming anything. But exceptions exist.

Studies show that people who hand-water their landscapes, using a hose, use less water than those who have an automatic irrigation system. Suppose that you're one of those people, and your flower beds need watering. Using the water to wash off the adjacent walkways, allowing the water to run usefully into the beds, is actually better than sweeping or blowing the walkways, because it uses the water twice: once to clean and once to irrigate. Don't tell my sustainable friends, but I do this at home. They'd be horrified and might not understand the logic, but it works. The other good thing about washing the place down is that keeping foliage dust free helps it photosynthesize better, because more light is reaching the leaves. It also knocks down pests.

On the other hand, if your wash water is going down a drain or the beds really didn't need watering, yes, you're bad, very bad, and totally uncool in the very worst way. Like most decisions, the wash/no wash choice is complex; each situation needs to be evaluated in its own light.

Sweeping, of course, is classic cleanup m.o. and good exercise, too. What's more ancient and time-tested than a broom? Or hey, forget the broom — an old gardener in my town used palm fronds to sweep sidewalks and other paving. That trick is kind of hard to pull off in Minnesota, on account of the relatively few palm trees growing there, but where you can find a natural tool that works, you're way ahead of the curve.

The real bad boy of garden care is the power blower. Most landscaping professionals continue to insist that mechanical blowers are essential to their survival. Nonsense. The blower sucks in dinosaur juice (also known as fossil fuels) and spits out noise and exhaust fumes while stirring up potentially toxic dust and blowing it into the neighbor's yard. This situation is completely crazy. Don't own one of these fiendish contraptions, and if you catch your gardener using one, fire him. (Blowers are illegal in many progressive communities, but in my little town, there's virtually no enforcement. One local curmudgeon snatched the blower off an offending gardener's back and smashed it on the ground. He got arrested, but many of the residents secretly considered him to be a hero.)

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Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.

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