What Is an Eco-Friendly Garden?

       Garden spaces are in and of themselves green and beneficial in the sense that a lawn is better than a parking lot  in terms of dealing with stormwater issues, sequestering carbon, creating a habitat for animals and insects, as well as a place for kids and their families to play. Green spaces and gardens lower the temperature versus impermeable surfaces like parking lot black top as well as just being prettier. However, critics of lawns and landscape maintenance will generally site the use of chemicals and the noise and air pollution created by mowers and leaf blowers. They will rightly point out that lawns and gardens often replace native plants that the members of the local ecosystem depend on to feed and reproduce. Logically then, a  more ecologically friendly (greener) landscape must address these issues at least in part.

  To look at someone with a chemically treated lawn and tell them they are environmental criminals is basically the pot calling the kettle black. If you live in 21st century technological society, you participate in the daily desecration of the planet no matter how environmentally sound your at home practices may be. True, the chemical user can do better, but so can we all .   

    An eco-friendly garden not only has minimal negative impact on the local ecology and the environment, but even sustains and nurtures it. It is a garden that diminishes the impact of your homes architecture whether that  be a hobbit house or an apartment complex. It is a space the nurtures local flora and fauna as well as your soul. It is designed so that it has native plants in it, so that it uses water minimally, or even re-uses water that has runoff of impermeable surfaces like rooftops  and driveways. Maybe it re-uses grey water from your sinks, baths, dishwasher, etc. It might reduce or even eliminate lawn space depending on your needs and preferences. The maintenance and care of a greener garden will use electric, bio-diesel,  or some other form of low or no polluting equipment-maybe even hand tools. It will recycle organic waste as much as possible. It may have a kitchen garden, or a greenroof. It will be planted with the plants that can thrive in the conditions available so that the need to treat disease and insects will be reduced if not eliminated. It will use organically produced fertilizers over chemicals where ever possible. It will serve the needs of both people and the planet for they are in truth, one and the same.

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