Sustainable Landscaping : Principles and Practices book cover
1st Edition

Sustainable Landscaping
Principles and Practices

ISBN 9781466593206
Published September 26, 2013 by CRC Press
328 Pages 53 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

While landscaping has the potential to be part of the solution to certain environmental problems, the quest for beauty can also produce effects that are harmful to the environment. Sustainable Landscaping: Principles and Practices examines landscape practices that adversely affect the environment, which occur in the process of constructing, implementing, and managing residential and commercial landscapes. It explores ways to change these practices to have a more positive effect, describing the principles of sustainable landscaping and proposing solutions to challenges that can arise.

This book covers a wide range of landscape practices that fall under the broad subject of sustainability, providing detailed coverage of principles including the following:

  • Conducting sustainability audits
  • Using plants to maximize their benefits
  • Regulating solar heat gain and loss with seasonal climate changes
  • Directing wind using plants to minimize heat loss in winter and maintain cooling breezes in summer
  • Addressing water quantity and quality
  • Managing storm water
  • Understanding and improving soil health
  • Minimizing the impact of pesticides and herbicides
  • Conserving energy and reducing air pollution
  • Managing resources and reducing waste

Each topic is introduced by providing background information and terminology, followed with practical solutions that are being implemented by landscape professionals. Written for a general audience—from students of landscaping to homeowners and professionals in the landscaping industry—this book provides background information and practical solutions, offering sustainable approaches to the way landscapes are designed and managed.

Table of Contents

Sustainable Landscaping
What Is Sustainability?
History and Background
Sustainable Sites Initiative
Environmental Issues and Landscaping
Nonrenewable and Renewable Resources
The Role of the Landscaping Industry in Sustainability

Sustainability in the Plantscape
Environmental Aspects of Plants
Woody Plants
Invasive Plants
Ecology and Plants
Ecological Landscaping
Attracting Wildlife
Programs for Habitat Development

The Sun and the Sustainable Landscape
Studies Related to the Effects of the Sun on the Landscape
Solar Energy
Urban Heat Island
Other Considerations
Reducing Heat Gain in Summer
Increasing Heat Gain in Winter

The Wind and Energy Conservation
Trapping Cold Air on a Slope
Planting for Insulating Properties
The Cooling Effects of Wind
Windbreaks to Reduce Heat Loss
Wind in the Urban Landscape

Water Issues
The Water Cycle
Water Sources
Potable Water
Polluted Water
Preventing and Treating Contaminated Water
Reducing Use of Pesticides in the Landscape
Bioremediation and Phytoremediation
Wetlands and Constructed Wetlands

Water Conservation
Drought and Water Shortage
Plant Water Requirements
Rainwater Collection Systems
Calculating Rainfall Amounts
Irrigation and Water-Use Efficiency
Drought-Tolerant Plants
Water-Wise Gardening
Gray-Water Use
Timing of Gray-Water Usage

Managing Excess Water in the Landscape
Storm-Water Runoff
The Urban Water Cycle
Solutions to Excess Water in the Landscape
Green Walls

Soil Health
Soils and Construction Activities
Soil Testing
Addressing Problems with Soil Chemistry
Soil Organic Matter
Essential Plant Nutrients
Improving Soil Health for Landscaping
Sustainable Fertilization

Sustainable Fertilization
Plant Fertilizer Requirements
Forms of Fertilizers
Fertilizer Sources

Improving Landscape Soils with Organic Matter
Organic Matter in the Landscape
Fate of Organic Matter
Organic Matter and Soil Health
Types of Organic Matter for Landscaped Areas
Organic Soil Amendments
Grass Clippings

Pesticides in the Landscape
Pesticide Use in the Landscape
Types of Pesticides
Pesticide Regulation
Human Health Hazards
Cholinesterase Inhibitors
Other Health Effects
Environmental Hazards
Pesticide Handling

Integrated Pest Management
Cultural Practices
Genetically Improved Plants
Phenology and Degree-Days
Action Thresholds
Economic Thresholds
Aesthetic Injury Level
Alternative Pest Controls

Energy: Sources and Uses
Energy Sources
Scope of the Problem
Government Support for Renewable Energy
Energy for Electricity
Energy-Efficient Lighting

Tools and Equipment
Power Tools Used in the Landscape
Types of Engines
Sustainability Issues Concerning Landscape Tools and Equipment

Sustainable Landscape Materials and Products
Landscape Construction Materials
Recycled Materials for Landscape Products
Life-Cycle Assessment
Waste Management

Appendix A: Sustainability Audit
Appendix B: Important Websites Used as Resources in This Book

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Dr. Marietta Loehrlein is professor of horticulture and landscaping at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois. She teaches or has taught 12 horticulture and landscaping courses, including Sustainable Landscaping Practices. She maintains a sustainable landscaping website (http://, is a public speaker on sustainable landscaping, and has written numerous articles on the topic and other horticultural subjects. Dr. Loehrlein is president of The Sustainable Landscape, a sustainable landscape design and consultation company, and is a member of the Midwest Ecological Landscaping Association (MELA). She holds a patent on the regal pelargonium "Camelot."


"The volume points out the important challenges faced from the perspective of sustainability and provides viable solutions with sound, environmentally friendly approaches. The suggested solutions provide food for thought for designers, managers, builders, and researchers of sustainable landscaping…"
Plant Science Bulletin, Fall 2014 Volume 60

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