There’s a sense of comfort and satisfaction in the familiar. But too much of the same thing can also be limiting. This is especially true in landscape design, where using the same flowering plants and shrubs allows for a neat and organized, but also sometimes dull, outdoor space. You should consider switching things up and adding something different to your backyard. This is where landscape biodiversity comes into play. But what exactly is it and why does it matter? The premier landscape and outdoor living company in the area, Backyard Reflections, shares what you need to know.
What Is Landscape Biodiversity?
This design concept is exactly what its name implies. Landscape biodiversity emphasizes the use of different types of plants to create a more active and thriving outdoor space. It basically furthers the concept of companion planting, where two different types of plants that have a mutually beneficial relationship are grown together. By integrating biodiversity into your landscape, you’ll be able to build onto those relationships and add even more to them.
But is monoculture — the concept of growing only a single type of plant in the landscape — truly so bad? Here’s the short answer: it can be. Monoculture offers an unnatural way of growing plants. By using up the same nutrients, it ends up depleting and degrading the soil. Good soil health is a key component of any landscape design, which is why it’s essential to put back more into it in terms of organic matter and nutrients. You can achieve this through biodiversity. By letting different plants grow and thrive, you’ll create balance and flow in your garden, ensuring the soil will remain packed with nutrients.
Why Does Landscape Biodiversity Matter?
Plants, trees, and shrubs have different depths and root structures. Plus, they use and excrete different nutrients that access different layers and levels within the soil. Thanks to biodiversity, there’s less potential for severe deficiencies because plants aren’t competing for the same kind of nutrients. Better soil health, however, is just one benefit of landscape biodiversity. Take this landscape biodiversity into account and you’ll soon find that it can offer so much more. This includes:
In order for crops or blooms to set and mature, many fruit, vegetable, and flowering plants will require pollination. Each plant has a preferred type of insect or animal to make this possible. The more diverse your garden, the higher the chances of attracting different types of pollinators, which in turn, allows for a more bountiful harvest. To maximize pollination, it would be an excellent idea to grow plants native to your region so you can attract local pollinators. You can consult a reliable landscape and outdoor living specialist like Backyard Reflections for this.
A landscape that’s humming, buzzing, and chirping with life is always a good thing. But you can’t do this by growing the same kind of plant or flower. Just like people, insects and other wildlife tend to choose places where they’re welcome and feel safe. By introducing various plants into your landscape, you can draw in local wildlife. From small leafy plants and large, tall trees, to low ground covering and bushy scrubs — all of these make for a healthier and safer habitat for useful critters and insects.
Frogs and lizards, for example, can effectively deal with slugs, aphids, and mosquitoes that can cause damage to your garden. Snakes, while scary at a glance, should take care of any significant rodent population in your landscape. There’s also birds, which are handy at eliminating harmful bugs and pests. And who can forget the staples of every healthy garden? Ladybugs, worms, butterflies, and bees remain welcome additions to the landscape because they promote pollination and supply nutrients. By keeping your space biodiverse, ensuring their continued presence becomes simpler.
Reduced Potential for Weeds
They’re unsightly and take nourishment away from your plants and vegetables. Not only that, getting rid of them is a pain as they practically pop up overnight. Weeds have zero contribution aside from being a nuisance, but you can effectively deal with them by making your landscape more biodiverse. Having various plants and living groundcovers helps fill in any bare spots in your garden, which in turn, keeps weeds to a minimum. The foliage provided by these different plants and shrubs also help protect the soil from sun and wind. And when it pours, their firm root structures keep rainwater from eroding the soil.
A barren backyard doesn’t offer much visual treat-but a space that’s thick with various plants and wildlife can take outdoor living to the next level. Your landscape is meant to be enjoyed, either alone or with family and friends. By integrating biodiversity, you can enrich the look and feel of your space, allowing you to enjoy a wide variety of colors, foliage, and textures. This may be a bit difficult to achieve with a monoculture landscape, where you’ll likely find yourself dealing with plant deficiencies, battling unwanted pests and critters, and spending whole afternoons just to meet care and maintenance requirements.
Integrating Biodiversity Into Your Landscape
Start a biodiverse garden with these simple but effective tips:
Plant trees and shrubs that can attract and provide good cover for birds. These may include crabapple, red cedar, columbine, and sunflower. You should also check and incorporate native plants into your space.
Create a garden for colorful and helpful butterflies by adding mixing and matching flowering plants, such as black-eyed susans, purple coneflowers, New Angland asters, lantanas, common milkweeds, and zinnias.
Plants and shrubs aren’t the only things that add biodiversity to your landscape. Adding water features can also make a huge and positive difference to the outdoor space, giving you a whole new selection of plants to grow, while also helping attract even more useful wildlife. Birdbaths, streams, and ponds are all good examples. To better incorporate these features into your landscape, make sure to consult a top landscaping expert like Backyard Reflections.
Worry-Free Landscape Design Services
Keep biodiversity in mind when planning your landscape design. And if you need a trusted professional who can help you achieve this, all you need to do is turn to Backyard Reflections. We take pride in serving homeowners in Annandale and Nisswa, MN. Get started on your landscape upgrade by calling us at (320) 274-6336 or (218) 454-1065. You may also fill out this contact form. We’d love to hear from you!