The trend toward sustainability in backyard vegetable gardens is also becoming a major force in ornamental landscaping. Water restrictions, tight schedules that leave no time for spraying for pests and diseases, and environmental concerns have all contributed to a more sustainable and eco-friendly approach to the old-fashioned lawn and flower garden.
The new sustainable yard relies heavily on tough-yet-beautiful plants that need less care and are naturally able to resist disease. These drought-resistant and low-maintenance plants not only make gardening easier and less time consuming, but they also result in a more natural-looking landscape.
These new eco-friendly gardens are not limited to water-thrifty cacti or other desert plants. In most North American climates and growing conditions, there are many newer varieties of traditional landscape plants that are perfect for modern ecoscapes. Tesselaar’s easy-care, drought-tolerant Flower Carpet groundcover roses can be a great choice for low-maintenance, season-long color in flower beds or containers. Flower Carpet Amber and Flower Carpet Pink Supreme are among the six Flower Carpet rose varieties that have won the All Deutschland Rose Award (ADR), which honors outstanding roses that do not require spraying or any chemical support to thrive.
Moving beyond the traditional sedums and echeveria, other easy-care plants that can add color and interest to any ecoscaping project include many varieties of daylilies, lantana, many juniper varieties, New Zealand flax, Beargrass, caryopteris, Festival cordyline, Scotch Broom and Baptista (False Indigo).
Landscape professionals say the key to growing successful ecoscapes is placing the right plant in the right location. It’s important to match the water and sun needs of the plant with the growing conditions in the micro-climate of the garden. Properly prepared soil that contains natural nutrients and provides water drainage is also important. “The best sustainable and eco-friendly gardens are the ones that use low-maintenance plants that feel right at home where they are growing,” said Anthony Tesselaar, president of Tesselaar Plants.