Sustainable Landscaping: Principles and Practices, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Sustainable Landscaping

Principles and Practices, 1st Edition

By Marietta Loehrlein

CRC Press

325 pages | 53 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781466593206
pub: 2013-09-26
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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.


"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

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


About the Author

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."

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Ecology
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Botany
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Agriculture / General