Green Garden Design

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�Green� is an interesting word these days. It, of course, still means the primary color green. However, recently it has taken on the new meaning of being ecologically helpful, prudent and sustainable. Within the context of a home landscape, it means talking about a �green� green garden.

�With a design for a green garden, the goals are basically the same as for any other landscape project, except we focus on using materials, plant and non-plant, that reduce the Big Four of ongoing maintenance: watering, trimming, weeding and mulching,� says Jeff Halper, �green� expert with Exterior Worlds.

Following are some ideas for your home landscape design that use less energy and money�to help you get a green garden and still get to keep some green in your pocketbook:

1. Plant drought-tolerant and disease-resistant varieties of bushes, trees, ornamentals and grass. Good choices include pampas grass, spring bulbs, and black-eyed Susans. You might even choose older rose varieties, which are hardier than modern large-flowered hybrids. A green garden such as this reduces the water requirement and the number of chemical treatment needed to fight diseases. Houston landscape designers will be able to point you in the right direction for other plants that grow well in our climate.

2. Install drought-tolerant lawns or lawns that don�t require mowing on a frequent basis. In some areas, you might even consider artificial turf.

3. For ground cover, consider the varieties that need little regular trimming, such as Ardisia, Mondo or Liriope. These types of ground covers reduce the need to mow, weed and mulch and yet still create beauty�perfect for your green garden.

4. Use gravels as a ground cover to reduce regular mulching, mowing and weeding. Gravels cut down your cost, but at the same time add interest and texture to your garden landscape.

5. The use of urns and vessels to plant annual flowers�rather than using large bed areas that need replanting and regular maintenance�has a two-fold benefit. It reduces the cost of replanting and allows you to keep the flowers fresh looking while keeping maintenance contracts within your budget.

6. With your hardscapes, choose dark or earth tone materials that require minimal upkeep to look great. In your patio design and other areas with hard surfaces, use long-lasting materials like concrete, stone, artificial wood or pressure-treated pine, as opposed to cedar which has a relatively short life span.

7. Boost irrigation systems by adding a water retention pond as part of your green garden. French drains work well, too. Professional drainage contractors can design drainage systems that allow storm water to be retained on the property. This attribute reduces run-off to the city�s system and allows the water to recharge into the earth. If you have a large enough property, you may be able to use the water in the sprinkler system.

Exterior Worlds has been providing high-end landscape design and services for fine neighborhoods such as Bellaire, Tanglewood, West University, and the greater Houston area since 1987.

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Jeff Halper is passionate for Landscape and wants to share information about that passion.

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