Sustainable landscaping, often called ecological landscaping, looks at landscapes differently. It incorporates not just plant and tree life, but other equally important factors like soil health, water conservation, energy conservation, wildlife habitat, food production and overall ecosystem function. As mentioned above, all landscapes are ecosystems, from the smallest backyard garden to complex natural systems.
Sustainable landscapes are planned, designed and installed to be resource efficient, increase ecosystem functionality and decrease negative impacts.
Sustainable landscaping is biomimicry; planned and designed by nature.
Ecology of Landscapes
Ecology is defined as the interdisciplinary study of the biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living) environment and the interactions of and between those elements. Ecology seeks to understand the vital connections between plants and animals and the world around them. Ecology is rooted in the understanding and valuation of biodiversity (short for biological diversity) which is the range of variation found among microorganisms, plants, fungi, and animals. Some of this variation is found within species, such as differences in shapes and colors of the flowers of a single species of plants.
Ecology also provides information about the benefits of ecosystems and how we can use Earth’s resources in ways that leave the environment healthy for future generations. Learning about ecology provides us with information to better understand the world around us which can help us improve our environment and manage our natural resources.