Talk to your designer about materials, water use, maintenance and other elements that impact your yard’s footprint.
That leads us to our next question: As a savvy homeowner, what should you ask about for a more sustainable garden? We spoke with Houzz landscape professionals, who shared key topics you will want to bring up with your design pro.
Gardens filled with plants that need little to no supplemental irrigation to survive require less maintenance and use fewer resources. If drought is a concern where you live, there are plenty of ways to significantly lessen landscape water use.
Eliminating or reducing the size of a traditional lawn is one of the most effective ways you can reduce water use in the garden. “More importantly, it’s putting lawn where it is useful for recreation and entertaining,” says landscape architect Phil Steinhauer of Designscapes Colorado, and eliminating it on slopes or in small patches.
In this Colorado garden, Steinhauer used a native grass to create a low-water alternative to a traditional lawn.
A landscape designer may suggest you visit local gardens or ask you to browse photos of landscapes on Houzz to get a sense of the options available for low-water plantings in your region.
A landscape designer may recommend a rain garden or bioswale, two design elements that can reduce stormwater runoff. They can help slow down water movement, clean the water and keep it out of the often-overburdened sewer systems by draining it on-site, deep-watering trees and other landscape plants in the process. Amending garden soil so it is more able to absorb and retain water can also help prevent runoff and erosion.