U.S. Green Home ®

            "Greening America, One Home at a Time!"

ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE YARD  

Ecological Landscape Design

   

An environmentally sustainable yard is natural.  It's as simple as planting what will grow normally in your area.  Ecological design fights the "fast food" thinking that a tree is a tree is a tree.  Plants have natural limits.  Different plants grow in different soils, in different sunlight and temperatures, at different elevations, and need different amounts of water.  We have to understand and respect the natural character of each landscape.  Well, I guess you don't have to respect it at all, but there are consequences. The world is a very complex natural energy system and everything works together.  History shows that people often destroy their natural landscape by using conventional farming and development practices.  It's happened in the Middle East, North Africa, Easter Island and it's happening right now in the Amazon Jungle and across the U.S.


Some people say, "Who needs trees?"  The answer is: EVERYONE!  Trees buffer noise, block ugly views, prevent soil erosion, produce life-giving oxygen, clean air pollution, add value to your property and shade your home.  A mature tree shading your house can save you 50% on your summer cooling bill.


 

What is a "green" yard?

 A truely "green" yard is native to your region.  It requires no input of maintenance, water, fertilizers, herbacides or pesticides to be healthy.  These yards exist but are the exception.  So what is the threshold for a yard to be considered "green"?   Here is a starting point:

1) At least 50% of your yard should be "natural".  That doesn't necessarily mean native.  It just means that 100% of the plants on half of your yard need no "inputs" to keep them healthy.  One exception will probably be some maintenance to selectively remove things like invasive vines or dangerous tree limbs.

2) The remaining 50% of your yard should be designed to require only hand-powered or electric powered maintenance, watering with only captured or recycled water and applications of only natural fertilizers, herbacides and pesticides.



(Hap with his rechargable electric weed wacker and lawn mower)















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