¿cjABEft Sustainable landscape design differs from ordinary landscape design in that you have to carefully plan for functionality, and you have to have a deep sensitivity to the site to make that functionality happen. In other words, you have to be more aware and think differently to achieve sustainability. You don't have to be a genius, though; you just have to consider a lot of things that you may never have thought of. I get to that in Part II. For now, think in terms of doing what I like to call deep design — applying your best thinking to planning your new landscape on many levels.
You won't just be decorating your yard; you'll be developing a complex ecosystem that's finely tuned to operate smoothly with minimal effort or resources, an ecosystem that's productive as well as beautiful and is also good for the larger environment. Deep design is trickier than simply figuring out which plants look pretty together and whether to buy the blue or the mauve cushions for the patio furniture. This concept may seem overwhelming at first, but you can get the hang of it quickly.
In the following list, I introduce some of the talents and resources you may bring to the design phase of your landscaping project. You need these design chops if you're going to figure out the whole project on your own, but they're handy even if you plan to hire a professional landscape architect or designer. It never hurts to be well informed. You can read all about these skills in Part II of the book.
To achieve sustainability in your landscape, you need to know what you're working with. Moving around your land, observing with a high level of awareness, and researching the environmental conditions present on your property all inform your design work and help you create a landscape that's tuned to your actual circumstances.
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