Sustainable Gardening

Sustainable Gardening

A Sustainable Xeriscape Design: My client lives in an inner ring Cleveland suburb with many rental or two family homes with minimal landscaping. She is a woman in her 60’s who is somewhat physically handicapped as a result of a car accident. In a space that was stark, unusable, and a bit of an eyesore, she wanted me to create a welcoming, colorful, ever-changing, usable landscape with minimal maintenance while utilizing as many existing site materials as possible. These parameters included the removal of all turf, no irrigation system, a reconfigured front walk, replacement of the back steps, and a patio for relaxation plus a grill area. I was able to incorporate all of her desires except the new back steps which would have put us over budget. Read more

Sustainable Roses: Mention roses to most people in the green industry or to the general public, and the first images that come to mind are bad: disease, bare canes, chemicals, and high maintenance. Many of today’s roses are quite different than the ones we knew as children or as young adults. Those roses were frequently afflicted with black spot and had been so overbred for color and form that they had lost their fragrance, one of the characteristics for which roses used to be known. Read more

Sustainability: How Much Lawn Do We Need?: In the United States, suburban homes are invariably surrounded by lawn. The amount depends on the size of the property but few people question whether the lawn is really needed; it just goes with the territory. Lawns did not really come into vogue until the nineteenth century when they became a status symbol. Until then, space around a dwelling was used to grow food for the inhabitants and feed for the animals. Read more

Sustainable Landscapes: Winter is the perfect time to reflect on both the past and the future and the subject of my reflections is sustainability, the relatively new buzzword. There are several definitions of sustainability but the one I like the best means that we do no harm to the earth and, in fact, leave it better than we found it. Read more