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 energy and 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 investing in creating a sustainable landscape on my property?
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.
The most important aspect of a 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.
Why is design critical?
Design provides a basis for all of our ideas to be on paper so they can thought through, evolve and possibly be modified at a later date. Planning can help to strategically utilize existing resources like rainwater, trees, native shrubs and terrain. It can also help increase co-habitation of native plants, beneficial insects and animals, and save money by anticipating future needs and possible problems. It may take some time upfront to get it finished, but in the end, changes that are made to the landscape are minimal.
How much land do I need to have to create a synergistic/sustainable landscape?
A sustainable landscape can start with just a single tree and some perennial plants under it, on any size property, and grow from there. Or it can be a more elaborate and complex design, planned out in advance and installed all at once. It all depends on your budget, timeline and the size of your dreams!
Can consulting with The RainCatcher on sustainable landscaping be more cost-effective in the long run?
A good design can save thousands of dollars in mistakes, especially with a long-term master plan. With intelligent planning, the entire idea is thought out on paper, and major changes that can be costly are less likely to occur later.