Doing so tells you a lot about the potential of your property. If you notice leaves that are stunted or discolored, or if you see plants that are smaller than normal or that display unusual growth habits, your soil may be poorly drained, its chemistry may be unbalanced, or the living organisms in the soil may be compromised. If the existing plants look happy, however, new plants will probably be happy, too. See Chapter 16 for details.
Adding plants and water to an unstable site can cause a catastrophic landslide, which won't be covered by your insurance policy. Causing a landslide isn't very sustainable, is it?
✓ Pay attention to surface erosion. If runoff water is concentrated so that it runs across your land, there's a good chance that the soil will begin to wash away. This process, called surface erosion, can be difficult to stop after it starts. You can use various strategies to prevent surface erosion. I explain these in Chapter 14. For now, just know that you need to look for signs of erosion — soil washing away and gullies of any size — and make repairing them a high priority.
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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.