Putting resources to good (and efficient) use not only reduces the impact of your landscaping project, but it also saves you money. After all, you're
buying cheaper materials and using less of them. Creating a conventional landscape requires lots of materials, and over time it requires more and more resources to keep it going. Why? Because most landscapes aren't designed along the lines of nature and its life cycles and systems.
Nature is really good at fostering ecosystems that are self-regulating and able to live on locally available resources. Think about it: Nobody waters, fertilizes, or sprays wild areas with pesticides, and yet they continue growing for millions of years. By making your landscape more in keeping with the rules of nature, you'll enjoy the same benefits found in a natural system.
MJEff So an important principle to apply when you're designing your landscape is simply to use fewer materials and resources. For instance, a landscape that's dominated by hardscape (constructed features, like a concrete patio or a wrought iron fence) creates enormous impacts off-site where the materials are obtained and processed.
The production of concrete, for instance, requires strip mining of rock, sand, and the other minerals that go into making cement. Manufacturing cement also generates a lot of carbon dioxide — over a billion metric tons per year worldwide. Concrete is just one example of how much damage is done by our addiction to high-tech landscaping materials. And you know what? Concrete is expensive, too!
After a conventional landscape made with lots of materials is completed, its appetite for water, fertilizer, and other resources — not to mention the labor and money that all this requires — will vary depending on how skillfully the landscape was initially designed. On the other hand, a landscape that's an internally stable, highly-functioning ecosystem won't need much help from you or require many materials to keep it going. The remaining sections in this chapter provide you with tons of specific ways to reduce your use of materials and resources.
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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.