The urban environment is dominated by buildings, pavement, lawns, and other non-natural elements. We constantly struggle against nature to maintain our built environment, especially our lawns and gardens.
This can include the use of fertilizers and pesticides that, if used improperly, can cause environmental harm. Our built landscapes can also be very water intensive, which can lead to high demand on our public water utilities.
However, there are ways to work with nature to create an attractive, low maintenance landscape that will help protect the environment, conserve water and provide places for urban wildlife.
Gardening with nature starts with careful planning. Take an inventory of what you already have.
What are your soils like? Are they dry and sandy, or wet and clayey? How much sunlight does your yard get? Are there problem areas where plants struggle to grow? These are a few questions to get you started.
Next think about what your goals and objectives are for the property. A goal is what you want to achieve, such as, “I want to create a water efficient landscape.”
Objectives are what you will do and when to meet your goals, such as, “Reduce my lawn and plant a butterfly garden next spring.”
It helps to write down your goals and objectives, because from there, you can outline the steps necessary to bring your goals to reality.
There are some specific things you should think about when gardening with nature. They include selecting the right plants for your soil and sunlight conditions, minimizing pesticide and fertilizer use,