Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Five Tips for Building an Eco Friendly Garden

1. Garden with native plants. This doesn't mean your yard has to look "wild". You can achieve very conventional looks with native plants - using buffalograss, for instance, to make a native lawn. Native plants are adapted to the climate and soil you plant them in, meaning less watering and less work.

2. Stop spraying. Ninety-nine percent of insects are either benign or beneficial, and pesticides kill other animals, too, like birds and butterflies.

3. Before you build, take a plant survey. Contact your local native plant society and have an expert walk you through your property. Find out what you should keep, and what you should remove.

4. Find an architect and a builder willing to work with you. It's not essential that they have experience "building within nature," but it is essential they understand what you want and they're enthusiastic about helping you.

5. Physically protect your plants while building. Fence off areas you want to protect, and clearly mark the plants you want to keep, transplant, or remove. An easy way to do this is to color-code them: use three colors of ribbon, and tie them around the plants.

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