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Limit the amount of impermeable surfaces that collect heat and increase stormwater runoff. Consider using a permeable paving system - such as gravel or pavers that have open centers to plant grass - for patios, alleys and alleys to promote infiltration, improve drainage and limit runoff (Figure 19-46). Choose energy-efficient building materials. Remember that light pollution is a problem in urban and suburban areas and even affects migratory birds, moths and butterflies.

I usually tell them to let me know when they have something in the $ 800 - $ 1000 range. The reason ~ plants, mulch, rental equipment, hardscape material, etc. These things are not cheap and they add up quickly. For example, a bed of 15 x 15 will require about 15-20 bags of mulch. In the Austin area, it will cost you about $ 3- $ 4 per bag. When you do the math, it's easy to see that your $ 200 is not going to buy you a lot of plants. Now that you have a budget, start by making a list of the things you want and need in your landscape. Think for a long time about how you will use the area? Do you have kids who want a playscape or a trampoline?

Use compost and mulch to build healthy soil and improve plant resistance to pests and diseases. Limit the widespread use of gravel, rocks and other inert mulches. Although they work well for keeping weeds, these mulches do not return organic matter to the environment. Look for a certified mulch free of wood contaminants treated at the ACC. More information can be found on the website of the professional mulch association - the Mulch and Soil Council (http://www.mulchandsoilcouncil.org). â € ¢ Design paved areas so that paving modules (such as bricks or pavers) do not require excessive cutting and loss of material. Use bridges, patios, ponds, retaining walls, garden walls and rock gardens to add interest and create spaces, but find a good balance between these hardscape elements and the planted areas.

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