Garden Designs that Give Back

“Good landscapes aren’t just sustainable; they also sustain us.”, said Mary Palmer Dargan. Mary Palmer Dargan is a landscape architect who is concerned with landscape designs that effect the environment; for example, the pattern of an animal’s sleep effected by lights in someone’s backyard landscape. She says the benefits of good garden design are in the hundreds but the essential components are the following:

· The connection with the web of life.  We must respect the surrounding community and the biological ecosystem that supports the area. 

· “Leave natural elements alone when possible.” Compaction from cars and construction equipment can damage soils and/or roots of trees.

· “Restore balance to the site.” Soil erosion is the first consequence of site disturbance, so you need to grade and plant the area well for stability.

·Use sustainable building material like recycled or easily recyclable manufactured materials  

· ‘Try to capture and store rainwater to support this area.

· Let nature rest.” Lighting fixtures should be low and small so that birds and other animals can rest at night.

· Maintain the area with compost leaves, clippings and other organic material to enrich the soil.

Her focus is on the atmosphere of the area being designed, she is also hoping to educate consumers before they begin their small or large landscaping projects.

Sarah Medina

Soil and Geology- Human’s effect on the environment

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