"LATEST GARDEN RIVALRY is eco-friendly design," according to a headline appearing today in the San Diego Source, reprinting an article that appeared originally in the Wall Street Journal.
Author Troy McMullen writes, "This spring, landscapers who specialize in green gardening are reporting a sharp increase in business and growing interest in complex systems that capture and recycle rainwater and snowmelt. Another area seeing stepped-up activity is eco-friendly 'hardscaping.' Some homeowners are ripping up the blacktop and concrete on their driveways and patios and putting in permeable paving materials that allow water to pass through to the ground beneath, reducing runoff that can create soil erosion and flood municipal sewer systems."
The article includes some interesting information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Americans spend more than 3 billion hours per year maintaining lawns; most of this activity involves the use of equipment that burns about 720 million gallons of gas per year. A regular lawnmower emits as much pollution in an hour as would 11 cars, and a riding mower emits as much as 34 cars. Americans also spill some 4 million gallons of fuel each year while refueling their lawn equipment. The typical landscaped yard also requires more than 10,000 gallons of water a year.
"The use of native plants has become increasingly popular among some gardeners in the past 10 years," McMullen writes.