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Traditional landscape practice emphasizes the use of large expanses of lush, green lawns together with planting areas of non-native ornamental plants, shrubs and trees. While these techniques result in landscapes that are pleasing to the eye and perhaps evoke memories of tropical vacations, they also require large amounts of water, fertilizers and labor to maintain.
Water use restrictions in our state, coupled with concerns over chemical fertilizer and pesticide runoff into local watersheds, have given rise to debate on the wisdom of these practices.
Derived from the Greek word “xeros” meaning dry, Xeriscaping centers around selecting native plant species for their drought tolerance and ability to thrive without extensive maintenance with its resultant waste.
Other sustainable landscape practices include:
Though it involves more upfront planning, a sustainable landscape is less expensive and easier to maintain and more interesting. It encourages the establishment of a robust ecosystem and can provide a habitat for local species.
There are many resources available for further information on sustainable landscape techniques and help finding landscape contractors in your area:
Sacramento Valley Chapter of California Native Plant Society. Advice; native plant species lists by area.
Sacramento Master Gardeners. Local gardening information; workshops; advice line: 916-875-6913
Soil Born Farms. Urban Farming Resource
Call Sacramento Building Performance at 916 416 0676, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, for referrals or assistance in locating sustainable landscape professionals.