CAA-Quebec - Easy eco-landscaping

What could be literally greener that planting trees, shrubs or flowers? Remember, though, that the secret of truly eco-responsible landscaping lies above all in choosing the right plants for the right place.

Eco-landscaping produces green spaces that:

  • consume less water;
  • require little or no fertilizers or pesticides;
  • lead to lower heating and air conditioning costs;
  • help reduce urban heat islands.

What’s the best thing about all this? In addition to giving the planet a green thumbs-up, you’ll get a low-maintenance “ecosystem.”

Less grass, less work
Having a beautiful lawn requires plenty of maintenance: watering, mowing, fertilizing, etc. A simple and ecological solution consists of reducing the space it takes up.

Grass can be removed first from hard-to-mow or slow-growth spots such as:

  • steep areas;
  • narrow sections;
  • shady spots.

Ideally, limit grass to play areas or places where you often walk. It’s useful there, because it stands up well to being stepped on.

What should you replace your grass with? Groundcover plants or flowerbeds around trees or shrubs. They must, of course, be suitable for your region and your lot. You don’t want to trade maintaining a lawn for looking after fragile shrubs!

The secret is in the soil
Is the soil on your lot poor, acidic, light, sandy, stony, dry or well drained? Plant something that will grow well on this type of land. Also select, as the case may be, plants that can handle heat, dryness or shade.

A shrub that looks great in the garden store may not seem so good in an environment that doesn’t suit it well. To keep it healthy, you’ll need fertilizers, pesticides or plenty of water.
Trees: your true allies
You want to plant a tree? Think carefully about where you want to put it. To fight global warming and save energy, remember that a tree can be a valued ally!

On the south side of the house, opt for deciduous trees that will screen the warm rays of the sun. In the summer, they will provide much appreciated shade for the house, a form of passive cooling. In the winter, the naked branches will let the sun’s rays penetrate into the house, providing passive heating.

On the north side of the house, select coniferous trees: they will block cold winter gusts.

Good reasons – by the shovelful!
With carefully designed landscaping, plants also provide for:

  • improving air quality by removing certain polluting particles;
  • limiting noise pollution by smothering annoying sounds.

Feel free to make your garden “greener.” Ecological landscaping lets you create a small corner of paradise that will beautify your house – and the days you spend there. So get out your shovels and trowels!