Creating the Ultimate Climate-Friendly Backyard Space
A well-thought-out outdoor space can mean so many things to a person. Maybe you’ve always dreamt of having the perfect patio, surrounded by tall, luscious plants, where you can flex your host skills and grill up some burgers for guests. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to look out from your kitchen window and see nothing but flowers and green foliage. A yard can bring peace to a person, and it can be the setting for memories that last a lifetime.
Now, more than ever, families have been using every inch of their homes to keep themselves entertained. And while we all have a bit more time on our hands these days, spending that time enjoying every bit of life we can is far more superior than spending it trying to keep a delicate yard maintained year-round.
Creating a climate-friendly backyard not only gives you the maximum return on your investment, but it makes a beautiful, low-maintenance space for you and your family or friends to take full advantage of—without too much fuss. In the long run, an eco-friendly and climate-friendly approach to designing your outdoor space saves both time and money, something we all can agree is better to have more of, and wasting either is quite a drag.
Whether you already have your ideal backyard but want to make it a bit easier to maintain, or you’re just embarking on a full backyard makeover, consider these tips to creating a climate-friendly backyard space.
Aside from being an easy alternative to alien plants (as in, plants that originate in other types of climates—not from another planet), native plants are vital for your city’s eco-system. Planting trees and flowers, etc. that are from other states or even countries can sever the food web and become invasive species, degrading the habitat in natural areas. But if the conversationism aspect of using native plants doesn’t entice you, perhaps the low-maintenance, cost-efficient factor will.
Native plants generally require very little maintenance, and many native plants offer beautiful flowers and an array of colors that complement your space. And because those plants are already adapted to local environmental conditions, they require less water, saving you time and money. As a bonus, your native plant garden will support the local fauna. It’s a win/win for everyone.
Succulents, Succulents, Succulents
There are so many benefits to planting succulents in your climate-friendly backyard. They are hardy and have the ability to thrive in a wide variety of climates, from seaside cliffs to deserts and even frigid mountains.
Succulents will add green to your backyard and will bloom in season, giving your space a splash of color. And unlike other plants, succulents don’t release carbon dioxide at night. Instead, they produce continuous bursts of oxygen. They’re as useful to have around as they are easy to care for, and there are countless species from which to choose.
Go For The “Easy” Plants
A rose bush is beautiful to look at but requires a lot of attention. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy your favorite plants just because they’re overly needy, but you can limit the number of plants that demand your time. Find plants and trees that won’t require a lot of work as they grow. And no, you don’t have to fill you entire yard with succulents. There are plenty of beautiful flowers and such that easily grow in various climates and aren’t nearly as delicate as they look.
Hardscape With Permeable Materials
While this may not be an option for all outdoor spaces, if you can choose materials for your hardscaping that allow rainwater to permeate the soil, you’ll have a much more efficient yard. This type of hardscaping allows irrigation, prevents runoff, and minimizes erosion. Organic mulches, gravel, stone, and permeable patio pavers are great options for any backyard space, as all can add a bit of beauty and magic in their own way.
Swap Out The Grass For Rockscaping
Sure, lawns are beautiful. Most of us grew up thinking a fresh-cut, bright green lawn was the mark of a good homeowner. But grass lawns are extraordinarily high-maintenance and can cost a ton of money to keep watered and healthy. During droughts, when water usage is limited, that lawn will turn brown and crunchy pretty quickly.
Replacing part of your lawn (or all, if you want) with smooth rocks, stones, or large boulder accents will vastly cut down upkeep and costs. It adds an interesting and rugged look to the yard and can act as a weed suppressor. Rocks are also a perfect habitat for succulents, giving a lovely contrast to your yard while remaining climate-friendly.
Consider Decomposed Granite
If keeping a bit of grass in your yard is a must, you can still greatly reduce the amount of water and care that the grass needs by creating pathways or entertainment spaces using decomposed granite.
Natural weathering and erosion of solid granite, a tough, hard, igneous rock create decomposed granite. Unlike standard gravel, decomposed granite has much finer particles and is generally more stable. The colors vary from buff to brown, and it’s commonly used for paths, yards, and driveways. For the yard, decomposed granite is a climate-friendly option that requires very little maintenance. You can line the area with various plants and foliage to bring some green into the equation.
Natural DG, a type of decomposed granite, is often used as a mulch material and can be spread around trees and garden beds much like wood mulch. As it weathers and breaks down, it provides nutrients to surrounding soil and plants. It lasts longer than other mulches and won’t attract pests.
Opt For Eco-Grass
Eco-Grass, also referred to as No Mow, is an excellent choice if you truly love the look of grass in your backyard but don’t want the headache typically associated. This versatile grass establishes quickly and can go unmowed or be mowed to a recommended 3” height occasionally or frequently, depending on rainfall and intended use. It grows in most soil types and can handle most sun conditions, but it doesn’t fair well with wet soil or too much shade.
They have thin blades and deep root systems that help reduce water loss, making it a big money-saver in the long run. Eco-Grass also reduces the need for pesticides and fertilizer, and don’t require frequent mowing.
Climate-friendly options are the way to go when it comes to designing and creating the backyard space of your dreams. You should get to spend more time enjoying that space than ripping out the dead and pacing back and forth, worried you’re over or under watering something. Your wallet will thank you, and so will the environment. But mostly, all that time you’ll save can be allocated to making memories.