CORVALLIS - If you want a landscape that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also environmentally sound, consider creating a sustainable landscape.
Now, what is a sustainable landscape?
Ann Marie VanDerZanden, an associate professor of horticulture at Oregon State University, says it is a landscape "that uses minimal water, fertilizers, pesticides, labor and building materials."
The OSU Extension Service has three publications that can help gardeners create a more sustainable landscape of their own.
"Basic Design Concepts for Sustainable Landscapes," a 12-page illustrated booklet, gives step-by-step instructions for creating a beautiful and resourceful landscape. The booklet includes a checklist for evaluating landscape sustainability, suggestions on drawing scale maps of your property, sample landscape plans and a landscape design-planning questionnaire to help you organize your thoughts when designing or renovating your landscape.
"Plant Selection for Sustainable Landscapes" shows gardeners how to carefully select plants to greatly reduce the need for water, fertilizer, pesticides, and labor. By doing so, home vegetation can become easier to care for as it matures. This eight-page guide also includes a checklist for evaluating landscape sustainability as well as information on sustainable pest management, choosing well-adapted plants, and groundcover options. In addition, the publication gives detailed landscape maps, showing both sustainable and non-sustainable landscapes.
A third publication, "Hardscapes for Sustainable Landscapes," shows gardeners how to incorporate patios, decks, walkways and driveways into their sustainable ornamental landscape. Using the phrase, "reduce, reuse, recycle," this four-page publication gives information on environmental impacts of hardscape materials as well as maintenance tips and costs for sustainable hardscape materials such as bricks, porous paving, concrete and wood.
For more information on "Basic Design Concepts for Sustainable Landscapes," EC 1533, "Plant Selection for Sustainable Landscapes," EC 1534, and "Hardscapes for Sustainable Landscapes," EC 1535, visit our on-line catalog. Our publications and video catalog at: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/ shows which publications are available on the Web and which can be ordered as printed publications.