home improvementImprovement

Three Facets of an Upscale and Eco-Friendly Backyard

You have outfitted all the light fixtures in your house with LED bulbs, installed green flooring and mounted low-flow faucets. It seems there are endless ways to make our homes sustainable and earth friendly, but there may be more you can do in your own backyard.

Fence

You might put up the fence last but you should plan it first. It provides the boundary and the backdrop for everything else you do, so where the fence will go and how it will look can influence every other decision you make. For a natural look that’s ecological too, look for quality composite privacy fence options.

Plants

Trees are the cornerstone of an eco-friendly yard. Even one tree can mitigate almost 10 pounds of pollution each year, while absorbing carbon dioxide and increasing the oxygen in the air by 260 pounds. Planted strategically, trees can assist in erosion abatement and flood prevention. By providing shade, trees can lower cooling needs in summer and deliver wind protection in winter. In addition to trees, planting hearty bushes and flowers native to the area can add dimension and color while requiring relatively little water, fertilizer and pest management.

Water

Water management is a major consideration for most yards. Lots must be designed for proper drainage or water may collect around the home’s foundation, causing rot and eventual failure. Poor drainage patterns may result in water collecting in other undesirable places as well, leading to root rot in plants and trees or cracking in driveways and patios. Excess water isn’t the only issue homeowners face; in some areas lack of water is the issue. Irrigation is the answer. A well-irrigated yard looks better and lasts longer—an important point, considering the investment required to create a pleasing landscape in the first place. Some homeowners find it handy to harvest rainwater in an environmentally friendly rainwater catchment system. Water run-off is redirected from unwanted locations so it can be used in desirable locations, addressing both drainage and irrigation needs while reducing reliance on municipal water sources.