Sustainable landsites are landscapes that can grow and thrive without the constant intervention of human resources. Most take a good amount of time to fully establish, and require a large amount of resources to get started. In the high desert where soil is extremely fragile and water is limited, design is the most critical factor. Sustainable landscapes eventually provide a constant working relationship and ecological merging of the plants and organisms living within the landscape.
Why should I consider a sustainable landscape?
A sustainable landscape requires more thought in regard to design than other landscapes. In order to create a healthy, vibrant, self-sustained landscape we need time and an implementation plan, even if it is over several years.
One of the most important aspects of a sustainable landscape is trees. Trees provide shade, cool the ground, provide organic matter/mulch, pollination, color, wildlife habitat and food – for us and for the surrounding wildlife. Nutrients from deep in the ground are transported by trees to the top of the soil by leaves. As time goes on, it is easier to establish plants under the canopy of a tree because they are protected and don’t need to compete with the tree for resources. Extremely xeric plants do not want to be planted under trees necessarily, but most all plants can benefit from trees.
A landscape that focuses on water harvesting and soil building will need less water over time from unsustainable means (wells, city, municipal). This is the first step towards creating self-sufficiency in a landscape. We can help with the design process and plant options to make your site as sustainable as possible.
For more information on creating sustainable landscapes, visit our pages on Landscaping & Xeriscaping, Permaculture Design and Edible Landscaping. Or contact us to discuss your project and for a free consultation.