Your Business’ Ultimate Guide to Sustainable Landscaping
Green Walls for Sustainable Landscaping
Updated on 1st Aug 2019 by Planters
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Green Walls for Sustainable LandscapingThe landscaping sector in the GCC is experiencing immense growth. This is due to the increased awareness and recognition that it is receiving from key stakeholders. That includes government and corporate organisations. The GCC governments have realised the importance of maintaining their natural facilities. As a consequence, the GCC has experienced a major shift on how its businesses operate. For example, leaving the luxurious and extravagant landscapes for more sustainable landscaping. Landscape architects in the GCC are as a result of this shift tasked with seeking more green landscape designs. Hence, the introduction of projects such as the Blue and Green Infrastructure in the UAE.

In the past, a significant number of corporate heads were not aware of the impact of their indoor and outdoor décor choices. They didn't know how it affected their environment, the general public, and their businesses. Nonetheless, awareness is no longer an issue. Now, more and more corporate heads and property owners are gaining knowledge. They can now tell the importance of applying sustainable landscaping. That includes areas like their office space, work environment or home area. Some of the merits attributed to the sustainable landscape design approach include the green visual appeal. This then attracts the environmentally conscious population. A sustainable landscape design approach also provides green benefits. These include cleaning the air and restoring the ecosystem. Also, a sustainable landscape set-up saves your business or home on utility expenses. This enables you to save money in the long run and still lets you maintain the green beauty of your landscape design. 

This article addresses the what, the why and the how of sustainable landscaping, especially in the commercial sector. Read on to find out how you can adopt the sustainable landscaping approach for your business. 

What is Sustainable Landscaping?

Sustainability is the ability to use resources without negative effects on the environment.  Sustainable landscaping thus adopts this basic concept. This enables a strategic approach for residential and business landscape designs, enabling a counterbalance against negative environmental effects. 

Sustainable landscaping takes into account the differences in environmental topography. This includes soil quality and climate patterns. This helps to create a viable sustainable approach for the ultimate sustainable landscape. Landscapers, therefore, assess a given area’s ecological and environmental challenges such as water scarcity or soil erosion then form lasting sustainable landscaping solutions aside from solving environmental issues. 

How Does Sustainable Landscaping Affect Your Environment 

Sustainable landscaping seeks to save on the exploitation of resources. This entails resources such as water, time and energy. It ensures that their consumption on the landscaping project is as minimal as possible. In return, it somewhat creates a positive impact to its immediate environment. 

Improved air quality is one of the most significant green benefits that sustainable landscaping provides. It is achieved by reducing the amount of nitrogen dioxide in the air. Indoor sustainable landscaping through designs such as green walls enable sound insulation which reduces noise pollution. It also reduces the effect of heat within the environment it is installed in. The heat from the sun experiences cooling through the biological process of evapo-transpiration which disperses the heat through evaporating water from the plants. 

Why You Should Take Up Sustainable Landscaping 

The above mentioned positive environmental outcomes of sustainable landscaping. But how relevant is it to your business? Here are the reasons why you should consider going green at your workplace. 
  • Sustainable landscaping saves you money especially on the cost of energy used on equipment such as air conditioners. 
  • It has green benefits such as air purifier and noise pollution reduction, creating a healthier working environment and workforce. A healthy workforce then results in a more productive business. 
  • A well-established sustainable landscape also attracts clientele and investors. The implied notion of environmental consciousness by your company creates a positive impression.  
  • The increased appeal and enhanced productivity enhances your business' value in the long run. 

Sustainable Landscape Design Approaches You Should Consider 

Your business can benefit from sustainable landscaping in many ways you can imagine. And if you are now considering to implement this in your premises, here are some sustainable landscaping designs that you can choose from. 
1. Xeriscaping 
This landscaping design is based on the preservation of water as a sustainable resource. Xeriscaping is a special sustainable landscape that suits arid regions best. It allows individuals in these areas to enjoy the beauty and the green benefits that come with it despite the scarcity of water in these areas. Sustainable landscaping companies in areas like Dubai recommend this landscape approach. 

There are various ways this sustainable landscaping idea can be achieved. One viable option entails the use of plants that are adapted to environments that are characterised by water scarcity. For instance, cacti, palm trees, euphorbia, aloe plants, and other succulent plants. 

Another approach towards this substantial landscaping design is adopting the use of artificial plants alongside your natural plants. This way you lessen the amount of time and resources spent on maintaining the plants. This is because artificial plants do not need continuous maintenance. 

Sustainable Landscape Design
According to xeriscaping experts, it is advisable to use a sprinkler system. Manual watering is ill-advised when adopting the xeriscaping method. Also, you should ensure that the soil in which these plants grow is well-covered in mulch or even gravel. This ensures that the moisture which would otherwise get lost through evaporation is trapped within the soil. 

2. Ribbon Driveway 

Ribbon Driveway Sample
Have you ever seen a wheel path created usually on a semi-permanent road? Due to continuous use, it displays grass or shrub growth in the middle. The Ribbon Driveway approach adopts this scene by setting up a permanent wheel path. The design accommodates plant growth in the middle and in some cases the sides as well. The size of the permanent path may vary. In most cases, depending on the type of vehicles that gain access to that particular path. 

This sustainable landscaping design not only brings about green beauty to your outdoor area but also conveniently utilises minimal space. Not to mention that they save you the cost of building material that would otherwise cover the green area with no ecological benefits. 

                              Photo Credit: Pinterest

3. Permeable Pathways 

Exterior Landscape by Planters
A permeable pathway is an easy to install and maintain landscaping design that also aims to ensure the sustainability of water. It entails paving your walkways with permeable material to enable water to access the soil on which your plants grow. This ultimately traps rainwater by preventing water runoffs. This simple design ranks high among the most efficient sustainable landscaping solutions, mostly because it prevents soil erosion alongside its other aesthetic benefits. 

4. Artificial Grass 

Artificial grass is among the most effectual sustainable landscaping solutions. Sustainable landscaping companies today recommend the use of artificial grass alongside natural grass. For property owners, you get to enjoy the eco-friendly benefits that come with sustainable landscaping without the strain or hustle. 

Indoor artificial landscape
Having a lawn that combines natural and artificial grass saves you the time, energy and resources, which would normally be spent weeding, mowing and watering your grass. For this sustainable landscape approach, it is advisable to have a professional install it for you. 

5. Decomposed Granite 

Decomposed granite is an economical, aesthetically versatile and permeable product of nature that works quite well as a sustainable landscaping solution. Decomposed granite is like gravel, only finer in texture with a sturdier grip to the ground. Its material is so fine it could be mistaken for sand but its colours will, however, give it away. These colours include brown, black red and green, depending on the solid granite and igneous rock where the granite eroded from. 

Its texture and stability make it quite futile in a sustainable landscape set-up since it lasts longer compared to ordinary mulch. It also does not attract pests, thus, it protects the legitimacy of your landscape in sustainability. It also helps the soil to retain water, preserving this fundamental resource that your plants need to survive. So it is like mulch but with all the advantages and none of its shortcomings. 

6. Composting 

Just as the soil needs water, it also requires nutrients to facilitate the adequate growth of the plants that grow on your yard or that pot in your office. These nutrients are provided through fertilisation which should be conducted regularly. For fertilisation, however, you should refrain from using manufactured fertilisers. It entails chemicals that could be detrimental to the environment. As a viable alternative, therefore, you should implement composting for this specific need. This is more green and economical. The beauty of composting is that you can create your organic fertiliser from the comfort of your home.
Just set up a large bin with a significant amount of dirt and some worms. You could add up some organic waste to add more nutrients to the soil. After a while, the worms break down the nutrients which will be distributed to the soil in your landscape or potted plants to facilitate the growth of a nourished plant. 

Principles of Sustainable Landscaping 

All in all, it is advisable to seek the guidance or advice of a landscaping expert before you decide which sustainable landscaping design you want for your business. With numerous sustainable landscaping ideas out there, an expert would be best positioned to tell you which approach best suits your needs. 

And once you have chosen a suitable landscaping design, it is important that you maintain its integrity. This is by ensuring that your landscape preserves water, energy and reduces waste. The following are the fundamental factors you need to remember to achieve this. 
  • Conserve water by preventing runoffs and evaporation. Also by harvesting rainwater and taking up suitable irrigation alternatives. 
  • Take care of your soil by using organic fertilizer. 

Go Green or Go Home 

You still may be wondering, “Why now? Why take up sustainable landscaping when you have been operating efficiently without it?” What if you could be operating better than you have been? Truth is that the sustainable landscaping approach was long overdue. However, a lot of corporate heads were in the past focused on gaining a competitive advantage with no regard or knowledge of the consequences of not having a sustainable work environment. They had no understanding of how it would impact their work setting, their clients and ultimately their business. 

By reading this article, it should be clear that you gain a lot more with a sustainable landscape within your company setting and these are not just for a short period of time. 
The corporate world is experiencing a shift towards environmental consciousness, and the landscaping industry in the UAE is not exempted. This shift brings with it numerous positive changes. This doesn’t only include a more sustainable environment but also a healthier and more productive business; and you have the power to take up this mantle of environmental sustainability. Reap the benefits tomorrow by planning on your landscape today. Contact Planters and let us help you get a head start. 
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