Ecological landscaping, also known as sustainable landscaping or green landscaping, is a practice that aims to create and maintain beautiful outdoor spaces while minimizing negative impacts on the environment. It involves using native plants, conserving water, reducing chemical use, and promoting biodiversity. In this glossary, we will explore the key concepts and techniques associated with ecological landscaping.

Native Plants

Native plants are species that naturally occur in a particular region and have adapted to the local climate, soil, and wildlife. They are well-suited to the local conditions and require less water, fertilizer, and pesticides compared to non-native plants. By using native plants in ecological landscaping, we can create habitats that support local wildlife, conserve water, and reduce the need for chemical inputs.


Xeriscaping is a landscaping technique that focuses on water conservation. It involves choosing drought-tolerant plants, improving soil quality, and using efficient irrigation methods. By implementing xeriscaping principles, such as grouping plants with similar water needs and using mulch to retain moisture, we can significantly reduce water usage in outdoor spaces.

Permeable Paving

Permeable paving is a type of pavement that allows water to infiltrate the ground instead of running off into storm drains. It is made of porous materials, such as gravel or permeable concrete, which allow rainwater to pass through. By using permeable paving in ecological landscaping, we can reduce stormwater runoff, prevent erosion, and recharge groundwater.

Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater harvesting is the practice of collecting and storing rainwater for later use. It involves capturing rainwater from rooftops, driveways, or other surfaces and storing it in tanks or underground cisterns. This harvested water can then be used for irrigation, reducing the reliance on municipal water supplies and conserving water resources.


Composting is the process of decomposing organic materials, such as food scraps and yard waste, into nutrient-rich compost. It is a natural way to recycle organic waste and improve soil health. By incorporating compost into ecological landscaping, we can enrich the soil, reduce the need for synthetic fertilizers, and promote healthy plant growth.

Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an environmentally friendly approach to pest control. It involves using a combination of techniques, such as biological control, cultural practices, and targeted pesticide use, to manage pests effectively while minimizing harm to the environment. In ecological landscaping, IPM strategies are employed to maintain a balance between pests and beneficial insects, reducing the need for chemical pesticides.

Rain Gardens

Rain gardens are shallow depressions in the landscape designed to capture and absorb rainwater. They are planted with native plants and have a well-drained soil mix that allows water to infiltrate slowly. Rain gardens help reduce stormwater runoff, filter pollutants, and provide habitat for birds and butterflies. They are an essential component of ecological landscaping in urban areas.

Green Roofs

Green roofs, also known as living roofs, are vegetated roof systems that provide numerous environmental benefits. They are covered with plants and a growing medium, which helps absorb rainwater, reduce heat island effect, and improve air quality. Green roofs also provide insulation, reducing energy consumption in buildings. Incorporating green roofs in ecological landscaping can enhance biodiversity and create green spaces in urban environments.

Wildlife Habitat

Creating wildlife habitats is a key objective of ecological landscaping. By incorporating native plants, providing food and water sources, and creating shelter, we can attract and support a variety of wildlife species, including birds, butterflies, and beneficial insects. Wildlife habitats contribute to biodiversity conservation and help restore ecological balance in urban and suburban areas.

Organic Lawn Care

Organic lawn care involves maintaining lawns without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. It focuses on building healthy soil, promoting strong root systems, and using natural alternatives for weed and pest control. Organic lawn care practices in ecological landscaping help protect human health, reduce water pollution, and support a more sustainable approach to lawn maintenance.

Green Infrastructure

Green infrastructure refers to the network of natural and semi-natural features, such as parks, green roofs, and rain gardens, that provide multiple environmental benefits. It helps manage stormwater, improve air and water quality, reduce urban heat island effect, and enhance biodiversity. Incorporating green infrastructure in ecological landscaping is essential for creating resilient and sustainable communities.


Ecological landscaping is a holistic approach to creating and maintaining outdoor spaces that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also environmentally friendly. By incorporating practices such as using native plants, conserving water, and promoting biodiversity, we can create landscapes that support the health of ecosystems and contribute to a more sustainable future.