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5 principles of sustainable landscape design

We encourage clients to adopt sustainable solutions for their landscape projects. There are 5 main ways that we can create more sustainable and practical landscapes through design.

Sustainable Design Principles

1. Xeriscaping is the number one way that we can save precious water in the desert. Xeric gardens can dramatically lower our water consumption. We can achieve almost any aesthetic with our large pallet of xeric plants. Xeriscape is not a sacrifice, and new residents are often surprised how "green" a xeric landscape can be. Xeric gardens are beautiful and low maintenance. There are hundreds of low water use plants that thrive in our climate. Both native and imported plants can be used to create lush gardens appropriate for the Sonoran deserts climate.

2. By using native plants we can do our part to provide urban habitat for native animals that are losing ground to urbanization. Wildlife will bring your garden alive, and help to restore our connection to nature. Using native plants and local materials will also aesthetically ground your property to its location, creating a sense of place, which is an important quality of all good design projects.

3. Hardscape materials pack high carbon footprints that are a result of the energy expelled in their mining, processing, and transportation. With smart space planning we can minimize the amount of hard scape required to comfortably serve your needs. This also reduces material costs and results in spaces that look and feel proportionate.

4. Micro climates can be designed to help create comfortable outdoor spaces that make our summer heat bearable. Plants can also be used strategically to help shade direct sunlight from your home, and to allow light in when desirable reducing the strain on mechanical heating and cooling. Heavy planting also reduces the urban heat island effect by shading the ground/hard scape. The urban heat island effect is responsible for an overall higher urban temperature due to the increased thermal mass of the built environment.

5. Edibles can give your garden a productive purpose and help to reduce demand on centralized agriculture. Although some edibles are non-xeric, the consumption of water is offset by saving the embodied energy and water consumption associated with store bought fruits and vegetables. Growing food at home is also healthy, and encourages people to get into the garden and cook with fresh ingredients. Many varieties of fruits and vegetables thrive in our climate.

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