Around the Yard
Environmentally Friendly Landscaping for Your Home
By: Danny Lipford
Eco-friendly aspects of the landscaping for this green home include:
- Native Plants: Since they occur naturally in the area, native plants are better suited to the local environment and more resistant to disease. This allows them to require less water, pesticides, and fertilizer.
- Permeable Patio: The flagstone patio has a permeable base of reclaimed, crushed concrete to allow it to serve as a natural drainage area for the backyard. Clumps of mondo grass were planted between the stones to further increase absorbency.
- Irrigation: The SmartLine irrigation system from Weathermatic employs water saving sprinkler heads and a built-in weather station to monitor the moisture in the air and reduce unnecessary watering.
Well, a lot of people assume that landscaping because it’s with plants means that it’s naturally green and environmentally friendly, but that’s not true. There is a lot of plants that people use in the landscape that are very hard to grow here and they require a lot of work, pesticides, they require a lot of fertilizers and lot of care and water. So what I did here is look for plants that were native to this area, so that they had a natural resistance to disease, to the pest and water requirements.
The patio in the back is a flagstone patio, but it’s set in a permeable base and what we did there, it’s a natural drainage area for the backyard and we have to figure out what to do with the water but still have a nice usable patio. So what we do, we use some reclaimed concrete, it’s called R base which is also environmentally friendly because it’s not going into landfill. They crush it, we use that as the base below it and then we set the stone in and planted mondo grass and what that area does, it allows the water from the backyard to run into it and percolate through that down into the soil. It takes any pollutants, any pesticides, fertilizers out and allows the water to go back into the ground water clean.
The irrigation system is called the SmartLine by company called Weathermatic and it is designed to save water and to use water smarter. It’s what it does, from the head that were used to the controller and it has a weather station. Now, the weather station allows it to based on your zip code and where you live and weather conditions. Everyday it measures evaporation, what they call, evapotranspiration which is the amount of moisture in the air and so it knows what’s going on around your yard.