In a world where environmental sustainability is increasingly important, creating a sustainable landscape design is a great way to positively impact your local climate.
A sustainable landscape design uses environmentally friendly techniques and materials to create aesthetically pleasing outdoor spaces, supports local ecosystems, and conserves natural resources.
This blog post will explore three critical components of sustainable landscape design: native plants, xeriscaping, and water conservation methods. By incorporating these practices into your landscaping plans, you can create beautiful, eco-friendly outdoor spaces that benefit your clients and the environment.
Using Native Plants in a Sustainable Landscape Design
Native plants add a natural dimension of color, contrasts, leaf shapes, and sizes to a sustainable landscape design. Plus, they provide an ROI, lasting many growing seasons in flowerbeds and other landscaped areas.
What are native plants?
Native plants naturally grow in your region. They’ve adapted to environmental change and can restore biodiversity to a customer’s backyard. Native plants also stand up well during hot, dry summers that plague residential properties throughout the U.S.
Your customers can also save money with native plants in their landscapes because these perennials will return annually—reducing the need to buy more plants each season.
Read more: Top 2023 Landscaping Trends You Need to Know
Benefits of using native plants in sustainable landscape design
As stated above, native plants reintroduce your client’s backyard to pollinators, beneficial insects, songbirds, and more. Natives have also acclimated to the changing climate and can withstand hot, dry summers better than non-natives.
Also, native plants won’t take over other natives in the region as non-native invasive plant species have done.
Examples of native plants that can be used in a sustainable landscape design
Each region of the U.S. has unique native plants that look gorgeous in a sustainable landscape design.
Gardenia.net has a library of different native flowers in various regions throughout the United States. Here are some examples to consider:
If you live in the southeastern U.S., popular native plant species include
- American beautyberry
- Mapleleaf viburnum
- Saw palmetto
- Southern live oak
- Willow oak
- White yarrow
- Yellow jessamine.
Northeastern native plants include
- Anise Hyssop
- Black cohosh
- Bottlebrush Buckeye
- Box Elder
- Northern Maidenhair fern
- Red baneberry
- White baneberry.
Midwest native plants include:
- Allegheny serviceberry
- Fragrant sand verbena
- Indigo bush
- Lady’s leek
- Ohio buckeye
- Prairie onion
- Sweet flag.
Prairie Northwest plants include:
- Grand fir
- Nettleleaf giant hyssop
- Oneleaf onion
- Pearly Everlasting
- Vine maple
- Utah serviceberry
- Yellow sand verbena.
Southwest native plants include:
- Big bluestem
- Bushy bluestem
- Fringed blue star
- Lead plant
- Narrowleaf bluestar
- Red buckeye
- Slender amaranth
- Smooth alder
- Texas hummingbird mint
- White snakeroot.
Sustainable Landscaping with a Xeriscape Design
Xeriscaping is becoming more popular as more areas experience hot, dry summers. It’s part of a sustainable landscape design for use in areas where drought or water conservation is encouraged.
Learn more: The Importance of Landscape Client Management
Benefits of xeriscaping in a sustainable landscape design
Xeriscaping isn’t only for landscapes in the southwestern part of the U.S. or for drought-riddled California.
Indeed, xeriscaping has evolved to include flowerbeds and landscaping in other parts of the U.S.
The benefits of xeriscaping in a sustainable landscape design include
- Reduced need for watering
- Using fewer herbicides and pesticides
- No brown lawns
- A low-maintenance landscape.
Examples of xeriscaping techniques and designs
Use native plants instead of succulents in your customer’s landscape design, such as coneflowers, brown-eyed Susans, daylilies, and ornamental grasses. Limit the lawn and convert it instead into a sustainable landscape design.
You’ll also use more stone than bark mulch for your xeriscaped landscape designs and group plants based on their water needs. For example, succulents need less water than cardinal flowers. So, you group your succulents, and native, pollinator-friendly plants go into another bed.
Finally, you may need to transform your customer’s soil to make it loamier. Remember also that drought-tolerant plants don’t like wet feet. You may also need to correct poor yard drainage before putting in a xeriscape flowerbed.
Water Conservation Methods
As the climate changes, all homeowners must be aware of water conservation. In many areas throughout the U.S., the summers are hotter with less rain, and your customers’ landscapes need to include plants and landscapes that can handle the lack of rain.
Importance of water conservation in a sustainable landscape design
According to Palmdale Water District, some areas may call a sustainable landscape design water-efficient landscaping, which reduces water waste and uses xeriscaping.
Examples of water conservation methods
Water-efficient landscaping also includes removing the excess water in yards whenever it does rain. Here are sustainable landscape design ideas for water conservation and improved yard drainage:
- Drip irrigation – Drip irrigation kits emit larger water drops directly at the plant’s root line. Some irrigation system companies also sell tree bubblers where water bubbles over and into a tree’s root system.
- Dry creek beds – Dry creek beds include rocks, stones, native plants, trees, and shrubs. Again, whenever it rains, the creek bed will move the water away from home and into the lawn.
- Rain barrels – Rain barrels collect water every time it rains. Your customers use the water in their landscapes and gardens.
- Rain gardens – Rain gardens include permeable landscape fabric, stones, and plants, such as ornamental grasses and native plants. Water goes into the rain garden every time it rains and slowly percolates into the soil below.
Use These Steps to Sell Your Sustainable Landscape Design Package
As a landscape company owner, you know all about sustainable landscape design, but that doesn’t mean your customers see the value of it. Some homeowners want a uniform and plain landscape, while others don’t realize all the possibilities of a sustainable landscape design.
Here are six steps to selling your sustainable landscape design packages to homeowners:
Explain the benefits of a sustainable landscape design. Sometimes, you must cover low-maintenance basics, reduce water usage (saving money on water bills), and improve curb appeal.
If you have experience with sustainable landscape design, ensure that photos of your projects are on your website’s gallery or portfolio page. When meeting with potential customers, pull up your website’s portfolio page and show them the designs you installed on other residential landscapes.
Tailor the package
No one wants the same design as their neighbors. Offer to design customized sustainable landscapes that meet the client’s needs and aesthetic desires.
Point them to reputable websites
You can back up the benefits of a sustainable landscape design by pointing customers to reputable websites that discuss sustainability, whether that’s your local water district, Environmental Protection Agency, or any other site that provides evidence of the benefits of a sustainable landscape design.
Highlight cost savings
Money talks, right? Then, explain to your customers how drought-tolerant landscaping will save them money on water bills. Also, they’ll spend less money using native plants than non-natives.
Offer landscape maintenance
If you provide landscape maintenance in addition to your design services, remind your customers that they can sign up for landscape maintenance packages to ensure that their drought-tolerant landscaping will last for many seasons.
How Spyker Helps You with Sustainable Landscape Construction
At Spyker, we have spreaders, lawn rollers, and sprayers to help you create healthy lawns and landscapes.
You can find our Spyker spreaders and other landscaping products at your local dealer, online, or at the Spyker store.
Spyker Customer Service: For warranty, service parts, or help at any time, reach out to our team by calling our toll-free number (800-972-6130) or by emailing email@example.com. Replacement parts can also be ordered online at Spyker’s website.
Gardenia.net, Native Plants.
TheLawrenceGroup.com, Four Benefits of Sustainable Landscaping: Using Native Plants.
PalmdaleWater.org, Water Efficient Landscaping.
TheSpruce.com, Guide to Xeriscape Landscaping.