Back early in our build blog, we talked a bit about LEED certification and why we’re doing it. As part of the LEED Certification process, the applicants are required to submit a landscape plan that shows intent to create a responsible yard. This means planting predominantly drought-resistant plants and avoiding anything invasive.
Here’s the blurb from the Green Building Council on water efficiency:
City code prevents us from doing much with gray water and reclamation, but we can definitely reduce our water footprint by having less water-dependent plants covering the landscape. Lucky for us, drought tolerant also goes with no-fuss gardening, so I’m all in for plants that don’t need a lot of my attention during the hot summer.
Here’s our final landscape plan:
The light green areas represent grass- much more than we have now, but it’s a special blend to require less watering. There’s also a number of really great trees already on the property that create lovely shade pools, so we’re taking advantage of those. We also have many, many perennials from our current house that we’re moving over: three different varieties of Hosta, super hearty Helleborus, several clumps of Black-eyed Susans we actually got from a neighbor and have gotten huge even in the single year they’ve been planted.
Also with Wishful Thinking, we finally get a larger amount of sun garden, so the plans quickly filled up with Echinacea and Salvia plants: sturdy perennials with gorgeous flowers. Combined with a lot of rock mulch and some big stones, the landscape should complement the stone and tile of the house itself.
There is, of course, space for a vegetable garden: how else will we get tomatoes and basil all summer? We’re still looking for the ideal placement to get the most sun, but hopefully near the driveway will work. And having the large garden shed and new, bigger compost bins will help everything be healthy and happy.
So, net: we get a nice-looking, easy to maintain yard and we get to have a responsible environmental footprint. Win, win.