Landscape alternatives

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Landscape alternatives capture rainfall in leafy green foliage. This allows for infiltrationThe slow movement of water into or through a soil or drainage system.Penetration of water through the ground surface., filtrationThe technique of removing pollutants from runoff as it infiltrates through the soil., and evapotranspirationThe quantity of water transpired (given off). Retained in plant tissues, and evaporated from plant tissues and surrounding soil surfaces. Quantitatively it is usually expressed in terms of depth of water per unit area during a specified period. e.g. mm/dayThe combined loss of water to the atmosphere from land and water surfaces by evaporation and from plants by transpiration. of rainfall and runoffThat potion of the water precipitated onto a catchment area, which flows as surface discharge from the catchment area past a specified point.Water from rain, snow melt, or irrigation that flows over the land surface.. Well-designed landscape alternatives require little maintenance and less irrigationHuman application of water to agricultural or recreational land for watering purposes. City of Toronto Wet Weather Flow Management November 2006 47 after establishment than sod lawns. They are a great water conservationReduction in applied water due to more efficient water use such as implementation of Urban Best Management Practices or Agricultural Efficient Water Management Practices. The extent to which these actions actually create a savings in water supply depends on how they affect net water use and depletion. tool.

Landscape alternatives allow homeowners to customize their property’s landscape to their liking. A guiding principle when designing landscape alternatives is “the right plant for the right place”. Using both native and non-native plantsDefined as those plants (including grasses, herbaceous species, shrubs, vines and trees) that have historically existed within a particular area. Native plants have co-evolved with the local ecosystems and natural processes. is acceptable as long as the non-native plantsDefined as those plants (including grasses, herbaceous species, shrubs, vines and trees) that have historically existed within a particular area. Native plants have co-evolved with the local ecosystems and natural processes. are not invasive and do not require frequent watering. Various landscape alternatives are available, including:

  • Fusion Landscaping®
  • Xeriscaping
  • Tree Clusters

Fusion Landscaping®

The Region of Peel’s Fusion Landscaping® program is a great example of a landscape alternative. Fusion Landscaping® combines the lush splendour of traditional gardens with modern, eco-friendly plants. This program uses local market research and social marketing to promote behavioural change, to address residents’ unique needs, and to reduce outdoor water use.

Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping refers to landscaping, plantings and gardening practices that reduce or eliminate the need for watering. Synonymous with water conservationReduction in applied water due to more efficient water use such as implementation of Urban Best Management Practices or Agricultural Efficient Water Management Practices. The extent to which these actions actually create a savings in water supply depends on how they affect net water use and depletion., xeriscaping was originally promoted in areas with perennial water shortages.

Xeriscaping involves selecting plants based on their ability to survive with little water. Water savings aside, additional benefits include reducing water bills, lowering maintenance requirements, and better plant survival rates and aesthetics during drought periods. Xeriscaping can be used on a lot-by-lot basis or in combination with larger residential LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. programs.

Tree Clusters

Tree clusters are another residential landscape alternative. They intercept rainfall, allowing for evapotranspiration and for infiltration of stormwater runoffThat potion of the water precipitated onto a catchment area, which flows as surface discharge from the catchment area past a specified point.Water from rain, snow melt, or irrigation that flows over the land surface.. Tree clusters improve water quality, generate organic soils, absorb greenhouse gases, and provide shade for homes. Tree clusters require larger lot sizes, preferably with no overhead wires. They can be planted as standalone features or as part of a larger residential LIDLow Impact Development. A stormwater management strategy that seeks to mitigate the impacts of increased urban runoff and stormwater pollution by managing it as close to its source as possible. It comprises a set of site design approaches and small scale stormwater management practices that promote the use of natural systems for infiltration and evapotranspiration, and rainwater harvesting. landscape.