YARDS & LANDSCAPING
Landscaping not only provides aesthetic benefit to your home, it can be designed to help with water management and seasonal heating & cooling needs, to require very little maintenance & irrigation, or to attract birds and butterflies. A practical cold-climate gardening resource is Northern Gardening. If you have landscape or pervious paver questions as you develop and implement your project, go to the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association at www.gardenminnesota.com to ask a certified landscape professional available to answer your questions.
Locate Plants for Seasonal Gain
Utilize deciduous trees & shrubs to block hot summer sun on the south & southwest side of your home to reduce cooling costs. Evergreens on the west and north side of your home will help block the cold prevailing winter winds, reducing heating needs. Be careful to not plant large trees too close to your home, utilities, sidewalks, or other trees. Always contact Minnesota's Digger's Hotline before you do any yard excavation.
Light your Landscape Efficiently
LED lighting is a great tool in the landscape. LEDs are very efficient and tolerate wide temperature differences, unlike CFLs. LEDs are also directional, so they send light where you want it, rather than letting light bleed to unwanted places, like windows or towards the sky where it worsens light pollution.
Landscape with Native Plant Species
Native (indigenous) plants grow naturally in our region and typically require little water and care. Adaptive plants are those that grow successfully in our region and which do not invade native ecosystems. Using native & adaptive plant species in your landscaping is beautiful, cost-effective, and requires less maintenance while promoting biodiversity and attracting birds and butterflies. Purchase native plants from local growers to preserve biodiversity and prevent spread of diseases. Learn about what native plants are available in your region. Learn more
Create Backyard Habitats
Whether you have a single family home or a lakefront property, you can create a garden that attracts beautiful wildlife and helps restore habitat in commercial and residential areas. By providing food, water, cover and a place for wildlife to raise their young--and by incorporating sustainable gardening practices. Native plants attract birds, butterflies, and honeybees.
Plant Edible Landscaping
Have you ever wanted to get more out of your garden? You can, by landscaping with edible plants. Edible landscaping, especially when paired with organic gardening practices, enhances any yard, garden or landscape. Plant edible landscaping includes fruit trees, herbs and shrubs with edible berries. Vegetable gardens can be integrated into your landscape to provide a food source for your family. Use permaculture strategies to create productive, diverse ecosystems. Learn more
Landscape can also be design to help manage stormwater and runoff from and around your home. With any landscaping project, it's important that the ground slopes away from your home and to design landscaping at a proper distance from the foundation. This can help prevent basement leaks and flooding. The strategies below list opportunities for directing, slowing, and collecting stormwater through your site. Learn more
If you're repaving your driveway, adding sidewalks, or installing an outdoor living space, carefully consider your paving selection. The impervious surfaces we typically use, asphalt & concrete, contribute significantly to the quality and quantity of stormwater runoff leaving our site. When we replace planted areas of our yards with hard surfaces, we reduce the amount of space absorbing rainwater. Pervious paving solutions allow water to percolate through them, reducing runoff quantity, while still serving the functions you need. Learn more