“Ecoscaping”, also known as “naturescaping”, is a growing trend among homeowners who want to take care of their lawns and landscapes but want to do so in a way that’s environmentally friendly. Integrating both landscape architecture and spatial planning with environmental science, ecoscaping is meant to help homeowners create a sustainable and eco-friendly landscape design.
While it’s natural to assume that ecoscaping involves looking for ways to reduce reliance on chemical pesticides, there are many additional ways homeowners can embrace the ecoscaping concept:
- Remove or abstain from planting invasive plants that are difficult to control because they are from different ecosystems and can threaten local wildlife and existing plants. Instead of choosing exotic plants that aren’t native to the area, choose native plants that are accustomed to the local climate.
- Another way to embrace ecoscaping is to develop a planting strategy wherein plants are planted in beneficial growing conditions that can eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers and excessive watering.
- Employ rainwater harvesting techniques:
- Use a rain barrel. These store water brought down by storm drains that you can later use to water your plants or grass.
- Plant a rain garden. These are planted areas of your yard depressed below their surroundings that allow runoff. Instead of forcing rainwater down storm drains, the rainwater can soak directly into the lawn, improving the water quality and potentially cutting down on pollution.
- “De-lawn” parts of your yard by removing areas of your grass and replacing it with rock gardens, mulch, trees, rock walls, et cetera. This cuts down on your yard’s need for unnatural amounts of water or fertilizer.
Because swimming pools—whether it is an above ground pool or an in ground pool—can cover a lot of otherwise permeable space in your yard, homeowners with pools have yards that are more likely to suffer from runoff than average. Additionally, because swimming pools require a significant amount of water to fill and keep filled, these water saving techniques can be especially useful for swimming pool owners. The end result is a savings in time, money, and water. Plus, it’s not only functional, but attractive!