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Ottawa, ON
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Eco Trends in Gardening

The world of gardening is undergoing a definite shift towards a greener way of thinking.  Whether it’s through a voluntary desire or through government legislation, these eco trends in gardening are being embraced by the gardening masses and are being incorporated through initial design.  The need for a beautiful garden and a green lawn at the expense of the environment is no longer the mainstream ideal.  Instead many gardeners and landscape companies, such as Rockcliffe Landscaping, are opting to embrace these eco trends, in order to reduce our eco footprint, by adopting these green horticultural practices and design ideas.

Reduce/Eliminate Pesticide Use. Eliminating the use of pesticides is a great way to reduce our eco footprint as pesticides can leave behind a chemical residue that can leach into our food and water supply.  Eco trends have shifted towards greener methods of addressing pest issues. One of these methods include the use of natural materials, such as horticultural vinegar solutions and diatomecious  earth, to reduce or eliminate harmful insects and pesky weeds. Another option is to introduce populations of beneficial organisms that act as a natural predator for unwanted guests.  Providing a favourable environment within your garden to attract wildlife, such as toads and birds that feed on insect populations is another natural way to implement green pest management.  This can be as simple as including a water feature and hanging a bird house around your garden.

Prevention is another way to reduce the need for pesticides in the garden.  Removing weeds before they have a chance to spread, and performing a thorough clean-up of our gardens in the fall to remove debris that can provide insects a place to overwinter, are great ways to prevent problems before they occur.

Use of Organic Fertilizers.  Rockcliffe Landscaping uses organic fertilizers in the maintenance packages offered to our customers.  Many gardeners are choosing to use this option instead of using chemical fertilizers which can accumulate in the soil and end up in our water systems.  Fertilizers that have been made using natural materials are just as effective for providing needed nutrients and are safer for the environment.  Remember, chemical fertilizers are relatively new in comparison to the natural materials that have been used for thousands of years! Using composted material is another way to provide welcome nutrients to our gardens, while reducing the amount of waste in landfills at the same time.



Water Conservation
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  Conserving water by reducing water usage can be achieved either by minimizing the need for water in our gardens or by utilizing water naturally supplied to us. Xeriscaping is a gardening trend that incorporates the use of plants that require very little moisture to survive.  These plants naturally tolerate dry conditions so they continue to look great without having to be watered regularly.  This type of garden is a popular design trend that is on the rise. Keeping our gardens weed free is another way to reduce water requirements.  Weeds compete with the plants in our garden for needed moisture.  Adding 2-3 inches of mulch to your garden beds will also reduce water use by retaining moisture in the soil and by helping to keep weeds to a minimum. 

The use of rain barrels is another eco trend that allows gardeners to re-use water naturally provided to us.  These rain barrels collect water run-off from our eavestroughs and usually have a cover to reduce evaporation, thereby giving us a natural resource that would otherwise be wasted, to quench the thirst of our beautiful plants!  These rain barrels can be included in our garden designs in a way that retains the attractiveness of our landscapes while simultaneously providing wonderful benefits. As well, water reservoirs are available for the homeowner who would like another option for water collection.  These reservoirs are buried underground and the water collected provides another great alternative source for irrigation.

Incorporate Proper Plants!  There is an increased trend that incorporates the use of native plants within garden design.  Instead of using plants that will have a difficult time adapting to our environment, thereby becoming susceptible to pests and diseases, there has been an increased use of native plants which are already accustomed to our environment, and are therefore stronger and more resistant to pests and disease.  Native plants are also beneficial for wildlife as most native plants provide a food source for birds and butterflies in our ecosystem.

There is also a trend towards incorporating fruits and vegetables within our garden beds.  Growing your own food amongst shrubs and perennials can not only provide you with an organic source of produce, but it will also reduce the eco footprint left behind with the need for transportation to bring produce to our grocery stores.  A vegetable garden does not have to be an eyesore, but can instead be incorporated in an interesting and attractive way.

Whether you choose to adopt all or even just a few of these eco trends in gardening this season, these green horticultural design and maintenance practices will help to reduce the eco footprint stamped on our environment.  These trends are not difficult to implement and will ensure both environmental protection and peace of mind, so make sure to jump on the green bandwagon this season!

For more help with implementing these eco trends please feel free to contact us at Rockcliffe Landscaping

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