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University of Minnesota Extension

Extension > Garden > SULIS > Design > Sustainability and Landscape Design > Environmentally Sound Landscapes

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Environmentally Sound Landscape

An environmentally sound landscape design must first be functional and maintainable. In addition, the proper design of plants and related hardscaping greatly affects the quality of that landscape over its entire life. For example, a philosophy of "right plant right place" as well as "right plant right purpose" can dictate the amount of environmental, disease, and insect stress that a plant can tolerate. A plant continually in stress will require more maintenance. That means more labor, fertilizer, pesticides, and ultimately cost.

Examples of landscape designs that are not environmentally sound:

    Street Sign

  • Signs, trees, etc. too close to streets or walks make application of fertilizers and pesticides more difficult. This increases the potential for these materials to spill onto streets, eventually reaching lakes and streams.

    Lawn Clipping

  • Lawn clippings discharged onto hard surface areas ultimately increase phosphorus levels in storm sewers.
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