Fundamentals of Sustainable Landscapes

Sustainable in terms of Landscape Architecture means many things to different people. There are some basic fundamentals that need to be considered when designing sustainably.

Sustainable landscaping should include an attractive environment that is in balance with the local climate and requires minimal resource inputs, such as nonrenewable resources, fertilizer, pesticides and water. Sustainable landscaping begins with an appropriate design that includes functional, cost efficient, visually pleasing, environmentally friendly and maintainable areas. AFS Judges Citation

When designing keep in mind that if the long-term goal is to create a sustainable landscape, success may be accomplished through a series of short and long term goals. For example, a short-term goal may include saving water or implementing and using a compost bin. Composting locally grown crops and kitchen waste and returning it back to the garden increases the organic matter in the garden while recycling nutrients within the landscape. A long-term goal may be to create a more self-sustaining garden. This includes all aspects of total plant health care, proper plant selection, reduced inputs and maintainability.

A sustainable design will be unique to a specific site and be based on a careful review process by identifying what inputs are currently excessive. Is there too much concrete input? For every one ton of concrete we specify on our plans we are responsible for at least 4 tons of carbon dioxide produced that ends up in our atmosphere. But what I am saying is that with this in mind we need to make sure that when we do specify these types of products that we design them innovatively and with the future in mind so that in 5 or ten years time, it will not be ripped out and all wasted!

Sustainable landscaping begins with an appropriate design that includes functional, cost efficient, visually pleasing, environmentally friendly and maintainable areas.


To view our Award Winning 'Meat n 2 Veg" Kiwi Back Yard, go to our Awards page where you will find more information.