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What we created is similar, but we had to have a place to start. One of the biggest mistakes landscape makers make is not paying attention to things like sun, wind and rain. As we live in a neighborhood with new homes, I see a lot of landscaping that does not respect the elements. Placing a patio on the sunny side of your home can be a real misery in August. You also do not want to place your barbecue or fireplace near a windy corner. This pretty umbrella can become a missile if placed in the wrong place. Before we started our backyard scenery, we stood outside while it was raining and watched where the water ran ~ a few times in the middle of the night with flashlights. Do not be in a hurry either. Make some plans, create sketches, then go back and study your garden with these things in mind. You can discover that one or two of your original ideas could be disastrous with the changing seasons.

The main environmental impact related to the stone is the energy minière and transport. Repurposing bricks or broken concrete from your old patio can reduce the mining activity. Choose wood that is labeled from sustainable wood production and (with the exception of wood that touches the ground) wood that is not chemically treated. For more information on certification, visit the Forest Stewardship Council website at The best wood is naturally sustainable hardwoods from a source as close to the site as possible. If pre-treated wood is needed, use treated wood with low VOC paints, dyes and preservatives.

The common lengths of wood are 8, 10 and 12 feet. The longer boards are becoming more expensive. A bridge designed to be built with 10 feet of wood would be much cheaper than a bridge 10 feet and 8 inches long. Also, remember that the structure must work with the outside scale. Instead of an 8-foot ceiling and walls 12 to 15 feet apart, the outdoor spaces could be defined by a 25-foot high tree canopy or back fencing. 75 feet. Try to buy only the amount of wood treated under pressure because it can not be recycled. Brick is one of the easiest building materials to use and is readily available.

You can place them on the side of a sidewalk to break a line. Lavender adds a relaxing aroma, a splash of color, and it only needs to be watered once or twice a week if you do not live in a climate with a regular rain. It also serves as a repellent against insects, so plant it near your deck. Installing a deck or bench near the edge of your lawn, away from home, provides an outdoor escape. Concrete will do the trick, or you can use stones or pavers. Building it close to trees or large flowers gives the area some privacy, while chairs or benches allow you to sit or lie down to read or nap. Keep it between 6 and 8 feet from your property.

These strategies and many others can be integrated into your garden to make it more sustainable. The list below offers a wide variety of ideas to choose from with links to other EDIS publications and various websites for more information. Choose a few strategies that work best for your yard and your abilities. Start small. Even if you can only use a few ideas, you will contribute to the ecological health of your neighborhood.

The paving blocks purchased from Home Depot: Tumbled Plaza Paver Rectangle – Earth Blend SKU: 129-788 Dimension: 8 1/4″ L X 5 1/2″ W X 1 13/16″ H As of May 2013, $1.26 each.

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