Sustainable Landscape Design Tips for Southwest Montana

Written By: Andrew Blanchford

Dec 8, 2021 10:32:50 AM

As someone who cares about the environment, you are likely interested in sustainable landscape design in Southwest Montana. You want a beautiful property, but you don’t want to produce a negative environmental impact in the process of achieving those results.
Instead, you’re interested in sustainable landscape design ideas that will be beneficial to the natural world while also being aesthetically pleasing to you. It sounds like a tall order but you don’t want to have to make sacrifices to achieve the landscape you desire.

Fortunately, this is all possible with just some forethought and planning. There are certainly ways that you can achieve a beautiful landscape design that is still beneficial to the world around you.

What is Sustainable Landscape Design?

Sustainable landscape design means taking into account all aspects of the landscape to reduce negative environmental impact. The goals would be things like conserving water, decreasing runoff, and reducing waste. Although not all landscaping companies think about it, the fact is, when you start adding elements to the landscape, you can begin to have a negative impact on the local environment.walkway with native plantings and patio with firepitIn this article, we’ll talk about some of the sustainable landscape design tips that have worked on the various landscapes that we have designed and built in Southwest Montana. These will help you to achieve your goal of having a beautiful landscape that does not have a negative impact on the environment.

Sustainable Landscape Design Ideas

Here are some of the ways that we help to produce sustainable landscaping for your Bozeman or Big Sky, MT home.

Being Water Conscious

When you think of sustainability, water waste is one of the first things that likely come to mind. The reason why landscaping sometimes gets a bad rap in terms of its eco-consciousness is that landscapes need water. But excessive water use is a major downfall to being environmentally conscious.

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Fortunately, there are many ways to produce landscape designs that don’t require lots of extra water.sprinkler heads water gardenAt Blanchford, one way that we are cautious about wasteful water use is that we utilize drip irrigation systems whenever we can in plant beds. These provide water exactly where it’s needed (at the root zone) but don’t waste a lot of excess water by spraying it where it is not needed.

Another way that we are water conscious is by using smart irrigation technology. We use smart controllers on our irrigation systems which allow for adjustments to be made as a result of the weather. Today’s weather-sensor technology prevents wasteful watering habits such as irrigation kicking on during a rainstorm. smart irrigation controllerFinally, we have also installed rainwater harvesting systems in some of our sustainable landscape designs. As the name implies, these systems collect and hold the rainwater for future usage on the property.

These types of systems are particularly popular amongst our Big Sky, MT clients who like to use the snowmelt to capture water during periods of winter drought.

Utilizing Native Plants

Native plants are also a big part of our sustainable landscape design plans.

Landscaping with native plants can be both beautiful and sustainable. We know that sometimes when we talk about “native plants,” that people picture something that isn’t terribly attractive. But that’s not the case at all. Many native plants (as shown in the article linked above) are quite beautiful.Gaillardia blanket flowerBut they’re also highly sustainable, which is very important. That’s because native plants are those which are already adapted to the local region. They have been here for hundreds or possibly even thousands of years and they have already sustained themselves without a ton of extra care.

That means they tend to be highly drought-tolerant and hardy. They also have deep root systems which help to prevent erosion.walkway down hill with native plantings and meadowIt also helps that native plants go a really long way in blending the natural environment with the new landscape. In general, we take our cues from nature when designing landscapes. We don’t want our new additions to “clash” with nature in any way. But adding native plants helps to make your landscape look like it’s just another part of the natural landscape.

Reducing Grass Areas

Turf areas are quite often the biggest water users on a property so we also try to minimize lawns which in turn, reduces maintenance. Any time that we can reduce maintenance, we are making the landscape more sustainable.

Of course, a lot of this comes to taking homeowners’ wants and needs into account.wildflower meadow in MontanaWe understand that a lot of homeowners really do like having some grass areas, but these can be sized appropriately for what you intend to use them for and don’t necessarily have to be so large. Instead, we can plant native-type grass and wildflower meadows that, once established, require very little maintenance or irrigation.walkway with large boulders and plantingsIn addition to wildflower meadows or native grasses, we also do a lot of work with large rocks and boulders. These elements not only make lovely aesthetic additions but they obviously require no care or upkeep, making them sustainable choices.

Committing to Sustainability as a Company

While we do what we can to create sustainable landscape design plans for our clients, it’s also important to mention that we are practicing sustainability in the way that we work, too.

That means being eco-conscious about the choices that we make, including the materials and the equipment that we use.

Whenever possible, we are using eco-friendly materials when we perform landscape maintenance work on our clients’ properties. We are also using electric power equipment including electric blowers, mowers, and weed trimmers. And we even have some hybrid vehicles in our fleet.

We have also been moving toward robotics, which will help our mowing services to be more sustainable.

All of this is important because we aren’t just a company interested in creating sustainable landscape design plans for our clients but then using poor practices ourselves. This is something that we truly believe in.patio with natural plantings and walkwayMany of us here at Blanchford Landscape Group got into the Green Industry because we have a love of nature. And we truly practice what we preach.

We know that the Earth is our only home, and we want to do what we can to protect it. At the end of the day, we care about being good stewards of the land and protecting the environment however we can.

Choosing a Company that Uses Sustainable Landscape Design

“Sustainability” is a word that is getting thrown around a lot these days. But at Blanchford Landscape Group, we take sustainable landscaping very seriously. It’s not just something that we’re talking about for the buzzword or to sound trendy. It’s the way that we’ve always done landscape design.

In fact, we throw all of our efforts into sustainability. It’s not uncommon for our brainstorming sessions to include multiple experts from the team, all devising the best solutions for each of our client’s individual properties.

This is something that we think separates us from others.

While not all landscaping companies in Southwest Montana are going to go through that effort, we think that it’s something that cannot be overlooked. We not only want to do our part to protect the local ecosystem and to preserve nature, but we also want to help ensure that our clients are getting the landscape of their dreams and enjoying the outdoors to the fullest as a result.

Are you ready to begin the process of creating a sustainable landscape design at your Bozeman or Big Sky, MT home? Let’s connect and talk about your project. Then, we can meet and begin talking about your ideas. We can’t wait for you to enjoy your beautiful outdoor space!

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Image Source: Gaillardia

Topics: Landscape Design

Posted by Andrew Blanchford

Andy grew up in southeast Pennsylvania. He holds a Bachelors of Science Degree from Pennsylvania State University in Landscape Contracting. He is a Certified Plant Professional and is the only Certified Landscape Industry Manager in Montana. When not at work he has fun with his family. He also enjoys travel, trail running, skiing, and the great Montana outdoors.