The Benefits of Maintaining Sustainable Landscapes
by Stuart Spaulding —
CLIA Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor Training & Communications Manager at DIG Corp.
Having access to organically grown vegetables has its benefits, but have you ever thought about how digging the soil, watering the plants and keeping the pests away can benefit your mind and body? As beneficial as gardening is to individuals, it also has a significant imprint on the environment.
Valuable resources such as drinking water are becoming scarce. With a little landscaping in your backyard or front garden, not only are you benefitting your health but also the environment around you.
An over-abundance of greenhouse gases can make it difficult for our planet to cool down naturally. The balance between carbon dioxide, other greenhouse gases, and breathable air can be maintained by planting more trees and plants. Living, growing plant material, through photosynthesis, can convert carbon dioxide to organic material and offset some atmospheric carbon dioxide generated by current and future human activity.
The breath of fresh air that you feel each time you visit a place where there is a lot of greenery and flowers is due to the capability of the plants to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. Put in simpler words; gardens are one solution to many of earth’s climatic and environmental problems.
Seasonal Landscape maintenance
Landscape maintenance is an art that involves keeping the garden, backyard, park or institutional setting in a clean and healthy state. You can hire professionals, or you can maintain your garden yourself. This can be taken up as a hobby, and with the right knowledge and tools, you can create an entirely clean, healthy and attractive landscape. Seasonal landscaping involves preparing your garden for different seasons and planting the right plants for each season.
However, we do live in a fast paced world, and with professional and personal obligation, fully committing to landscaping can sometimes be impractical. But there are ways in which you can maintain a beautiful landscape without spending a lot of time on it.
· Durable materials
For a home gardener, gardening is about how beautiful the plants look. But this can only be achieved if you are using the right tools for maintenance. Good landscaping contributes to easy garden maintenance. The materials you use to maintain the landscape should be durable and withstand all the weather changes in your area. Thorough research into the best materials for pathway edging, decking and so on is needed to invest in materials that are durable.
· Maintain an Inventory
In case of landscaping, time and money are a valuable stock. Before committing to the maintenance of the landscape, drafting a budget and determining how much time you have for this activity is necessary. If you are planning to hire professionals, how much are you willing to pay for their services? Are you ready to permanently hire them for seasonal maintenance or you will do it yourself? You also need to keep records of the material that you have in stock which can be re-used, such as sprays, pesticides or soil. The hardware required for the landscaping should be in good condition, if not, get your gardening tools repaired for seasonal maintenance.
· Choose simpler plants
Flowers are beautiful, and a garden is incomplete without them. But before adding a flowering plant to your landscape, you need to make sure you can care for it. Not all plants require the same level of care, and in some cases, a little more watering than usual can be harmful to the plants. Unless you are a full-time gardener, choosing a simple theme with minimum plant variations is the best way to go about it. Adding various categories of plants to your landscape can be time-consuming and may even cost more than you have allocated for your garden. Choose a category of plants that require the same level of maintenance. If you are into planting vegetables, assign a separate space for seasonal vegetables in the landscape, this way you will be able to maintain the rest of the garden in perfect condition without many changes and hard work.
· Prioritize the maintenance requirements
This is the key to a healthy looking landscape. If you are investing time in pruning a tree every few weeks and clearing the plants of dead leaves but you are leaving the weed-removal until the end, it can get problematic. Prioritize your tasks according to the nature of the plants, and this makes maintaining the garden more accessible.
Beautifying your yard
Maintaining a beautiful garden requires a combination of commitment, hard work, and following best- design principles. A well-kept garden, set according to a theme is a treat for the senses. The chirping birds, the variety of colors and texture adds visual weight to any house. Hiring a garden designer is always an option, but you can quickly get inspiration for it all around you. With the use of technology, the best tips and tricks are at your fingertips. Do a little homework and find a visually pleasing situation that suits your lifestyle and how gardening fits into it.
We have a few of our tips to help you out with beautifying your garden:
Flowers provide a striking contrast to the green background. If you are more of a vegetable gardener, there are a variety of vegetables that bear beautiful flowers. These vegetables include basils with white or purple flowers, chives with purple flowers, spring onions with white flowers, zucchini with orange-yellow flowers, rosemary with purple flowers, pineapple sage with red flowers and rocket with white flowers adds to the scenario. If you are working towards a theme, flowers are your best bet.
2. Always control the weeds
This should be a priority even before you are done with completely setting-up your garden. Remove unwanted plants; this takes away from the beautiful landscape that you have prepared. Instead, use these extra weeds in compost for your garden plants and vegetables.
3. Follow a theme
If you are fond of different colors and textures in plants, you can still maintain a theme by using similar foliage or same colored flowers to border the garden. This will frame the other colorful plants for you and give your garden a balanced look. You can also plant these “framing” plants in pots with the same color theme.
4. Edible herbs
If your kitchen window opens into your garden, frame it with visually appealing herbs. You can choose to plant curly-leafed parsley, Greek basil with marigold, lemon thyme or clumps of chives. Mint can also be used as the last plant in the row on both ends to keep the setting uniform.
Spending time in the fresh air will do you good. The best way to enjoy the work of your hands is by adding furniture pieces such as tables, chairs or garden sofas to the setting. Choose colors and textures that are easy to maintain and go with the theme of your landscape.
Preparing for spring
Spring is the most awaited season for any gardener. The promise of blooming colors and life can make anyonehappy. As a gardener, you can choose to prepare for a beautiful season of plants and vegetable in your garden.
Instead of arranging your plants in straight lines go for the zig-zag technique. You are likely to plant more in the spring; with this arrangement, each plant will get adequate sunlight and water without blocking each other.
· Spring flowers
This means you can add life to your garden with a variety of flowers that blossom in spring. Choose native plants because they require less maintenance and you don’t have to use a different variety of soil for them. Annuals are a good seasonal choice for spring; they can be planted at the beginning of the season and then removed at the end of it. But they require extra water and care. Perennials are comparatively the better choice as they do not need additional care and maintenance and are also multi-seasonal. The best options are red-hot pokers, hostas and bear’s breeches. If you have pets or children who like to play in the garden, white-clover can be used to cover the play area.
· Spring vegetables
Spring is the optimum time to plant vegetables, the weather is ideal and choosing seasonal vegetables to enjoy at your summer BBQ is a fun idea. You can choose vegetables such as peas, radishes, carrots, lettuce, Swiss chard, and beans to grow in your garden. These can be planted directly into the soil or pots for the season. Roses,cranberries, raspberries, grapes, and blackberries are also suitable choices for spring. But if you cannot invest extra time and money into the maintenance, stay away from these plants.
Regularly maintaining and landscaping your garden is necessary to keep up the appearance. A little neglect can result in weeds taking over your precious garden to maintain the health of your plants you need to control the weeds, water the plants regularly and keep them safe from pests. A visit to the local nursery for supplies and advice can certainly help.