What is Sustainable Landscape Design and Management?

Sustainable landscape design and management strives to preserve limited resources and reduce waste while creating visually pleasing, functional, low-maintenance garden spaces that are thriving habitats for wildlife. Sustainable landscapesSustainable Landscape Design improve soil quality with organic matter such as compost; eliminate or reduce the use of chemicals; follow the philosophy of planting the right plant in the right place; and apply integrated pest management practices.

Sustainable landscape management involves practices that are used at every phase of the landscaping process, including design, plant selection, implementation and ongoing landscape maintenance. Learn more with the following links to publications and articles from Cooperative Extension offices in the Mid-Atlantic region.


Designing a Sustainable Landscape to Serve Your Needs

Very useful and extensive outline of questions walking the reader through each step of the design process. Source: University of Delaware Cooperative Extension


Bay-Wise Maryland Yarkstick – Sustainability Self-Assessment

How does your yard compare? Complete this simple yet very thorough checklist and determine how your landscape sustainability measures against the Bay-Wise Yardstick and identify where you can make changes. Source: University of Maryland Cooperative Extension

Sustainable Landscape Design

Sustainable Landscaping from University of Delaware Cooperative Extension

A very useful collection of links to gardening best practices, native plants and other useful information about creating sustainable landscapes.


Pennsylvania Landscape for Life Program: Sustainable Landscaping for Homeowners

“Landscape for Life” teaches you how to reduce garden resources and create a natural habitat that is self-sufficient. Part of a national program from the United States Botanic Garden, “Landscape for Life” teaches sustainable landscaping practices for homeowners. Source: Penn State Extension


Earth Friendly Landscaping Primer

A concise guide on sustainable landscaping that walks readers through each of the major steps: landscape plan, plant selection and landscape management. Source: University of Maryland


Creating Healthy Landscapes

Very useful tutorial on maintaining a sustainable and healthy landscape, from choosing the right plants to using an integrated pest management approach and help maintain a natural habitat. Source: Penn State Extension


Earth Friendly Best Practices

From the University of Maryland Extension, visit the lists of science-based best practices that can help us avoid problems and create healthy and sustainable yards and gardens. Categories include best practices for landscaping, trees and shrubs, gardening, lawns and much more.


Landscape Design for Water Conservation

A very useful, brief article illustrating how to conduct a site analysis of your property and recommending several practical water-saving strategies. Source: University of Delaware Cooperative Extension


Rain Gardens

Excellent and very thorough articles that defines a rain garden and its purpose. Also explains how to select a site for a rain garden and how to prepare and plant the rain garden, with tips for ongoing maintenance. Source: University of Delaware Cooperative Extension


What are Rain Barrels and Why Should I Use One?

A helpful brochure that explains the benefits of rain barrels, how to create a rain barrels and useful tips for using and maintaining rain barrels.  Source: University of Delaware Cooperative Extension