While the color “green” probably comes to mind when you think of landscaping, you may be surprised to learn that “green” landscaping can also refer to an eco-friendly, efficient design that reduces your energy use and helps to support the environment while adding beauty to your property. In fact, the Department of Energy lists efficient landscaping as one of them most cost-effective methods of reducing your home’s energy consumption.
Placing as few as three trees in the right area of your lawn can reduce energy use by as much as twenty-five percent. Deciduous trees provide shade to keep the area around them cooler during the summer, and allow natural light to shine into your home during the winter when their leaves are shed. Lighting and heating costs are reduced during the colder months while chilly winds are partially blocked, creating a more efficient lawn by simply adding trees to your existing plan.
Selecting plants that are indigenous to your area means that they’ll be able to naturally thrive, reducing their dependence on additional watering, fertilizing or use of chemicals that can be damaging to the environment. While exotic flora might create a visual oasis in the middle of your lawn, maintaining plants that require special care and extra energy is often counterproductive in terms of supporting green lifestyle changes.
The art of xeriscaping relates to landscape design and the placement of plants in a manner that reduces or even altogether eliminates the need for irrigation or additional watering. When executed properly, xeriscaping also reduces the amount of energy you’ll expend by running a lawn mower and maintaining your grounds.