Environmentally Friendly Landscape Introduction

This e-book is meant as a guide to alternative landscapes in Florida to replace the water-loving lawns and plants that have existed in the suburban landscape for so long, directing homeowners to an Environmentally Friendly Landscape. By using native plants and other practices, a homeowner can have a yard that will thrive while requiring considerably less maintenance and water than the typical ornamentals in most suburban yards. 


Environmentally Friendly Landscape is synonymous with xeriscaping. Taking the word landscape and the Greek term “Xeros”, which means dry, the term xeriscape was created by the Denver Water Authority in 1981 to conserve water in the dry Denver area.  The concept of xeriscaping suggests using several principles for water saving practices which include proper planning, limiting turf areas, selecting and zoning plants appropriately, improving the soil, using mulch, irrigating efficiently and maintaining the landscape. After nearly thirty years, the practice of landscaping for low-water use is an easily recognized concept. Unfortunately, the term xeriscaping often conjures desert-like images of unattractive gravel mulch, barren barrel cacti and succulents with no green grass. This dry vision is more appropriate to Arizona than Florida.  


An Environmentally Friendly Landscape can offer a lush green vibrant scene one would expect to see in a beautiful botanical garden with the use of Florida native plants.    Not only does an Environmentally Friendly Landscape offer a beautiful benefit, there is also little work involved to maintain the plants and yards. Native plants do not require the intensive trimming, fertilization, and maintenance that many ornamental plants require. There are a number of other benefits to using an Environmentally Friendly Landscape plants. 


An Environmentally Friendly Landscape will also attract wildlife, such as butterflies and other pollinators; increase property values; reduce turf cost; lessen the impact to the environment; and it uses less water.