Managing an environmentally sound site
FOR A GREEN YARD
Design landscaping that will deter invasive species and that will keep demand for water and synthetic chemicals to a minimum. Here are some simple tips::
Yes to organic fruit and vegetables! To complement local products or even to be self-sufficient for part of the year, a fruit and vegetable garden is ideal. Even on a tiny balcony, it is possible to grow many fruits, vegetables and herbs. No chemicals, no transportation necessary; it’s all about the enjoyment of growing your own food. It’s a win-win situation!
No to Kentucky bluegrass! Mowing, fertilizing, watering: our traditional lawns are in no way ecological, yet we have become slaves to them. This explains in part why we, in Quebec, are among the highest consumers of water in the world. It is preferable to focus on groundcovers, which require very little water and maintenance, such as:
- Bunchberry (Cornus Canadensis), also known as crackerberry: a small white-flowered herbaceous plant
- Buffalo grass (Buchloë dactyloides): a pink-flowered grass
- Fescue or dwarf clover: a herbaceous plant that makes a very green groundcover
PLANTS, TREES AND SHRUBS
No to invasive plants! Imported to Canada since the 17th century for medicinal, horticultural and agricultural purposes, with no natural competitors, they grow quickly and choke out other plants, destroying ecosystems. Instead, opt for native species that are well adapted to the territory in which they grow and which require little maintenance: alder, serviceberry, evergreen clematis or the apios americana. Learn more based on your geographical location.
The more that soils absorb rainwater filled with pollutants during runoff, the less they will clog natural waterways or sewage treatment plants. This water is thus reabsorbed naturally into groundwater. The responsibility rests upon you! In this regard, you must avoid asphalt, paving stone and rock dust. In particular, do not under-estimate the natural filtering capacity of micro-organisms present in the soil!
A garden hose uses nearly a thousand liters of clean drinking water per hour: that’s enough to hydrate the average person for more than a year. When required, water your gardens with rainwater collected in a barrel placed at the downspout of the eavestrough, an irrigation system or a rain garden.
TO GO EVEN FURTHER :
- Natural swimming pool: without chlorine, it comprises quality materials and a rich diversity of plants, creating a space that is in total harmony with the environment.
- Permaculture: much more than a way of developing outdoor spaces, permaculture is a real sustainable philosophy.