Take it Out­side

Fo­cus­ing on your log home land­scape’s water con­ser­va­tion strate­gies saves time, money and the en­vi­ron­ment.

Log Home Living - - CONTENTS -

Fo­cus­ing on your log home land­scape’s water con­ser­va­tion strate­gies saves time, money and the en­vi­ron­ment.

De­sign­ing a log home that fo­cuses on sav­ing nat­u­ral re­sources can lower your long-term costs and make you a con­ser­va­tion rock star. But why stop at the house?

You can eas­ily bring the idea of low­main­te­nance/high- ef­fi­ciency de­sign into play when it comes to your land­scap­ing, too. Not only will you boost curb ap­peal, you’ll also cre­ate a lower-main­te­nance prop­erty, al­low­ing you to spend more time en­joy­ing the great out­doors and less time tak­ing care of it. Con­sider th­ese water-con­ser­va­tion strate­gies: Get curvy. Na­ture doesn't have many straight lines. Putting in paths and gar­den-bed edg­ing that’s curved or un­du­lat­ing can give your prop­erty a better look, and it also pre­vents soil com­paction. That, in turn, lets water soak into the ground more eas­ily and pro­vides better soil sta­bil­ity, re­duc­ing po­ten­tial ero­sion.

• Put trees along water sources. If your log cabin is on a lake, it’s likely that part of that sweep­ing lawn down to the water has been cleared of trees for better ac­cess. While some shore­line space is help­ful, too much can in­crease the im­pact of runoff water, mak­ing for a less-healthy lake and po­ten­tial al­gae bloom. Trees make fan­tas­tic fil­ters and sta­bi­lize shore­line soil at the same time.

• Cap­ture rain­wa­ter. Rain days can be a bum­mer if you want to be out­side, but you can make the most of them by im­ple­ment­ing some water-col­lec­tion tac­tics. That might mean col­lect­ing water in rain bar­rels that sit un­der gut­ters, or putting a larger open tank near your gar­den

ar­eas. Then you can use the water for fill­ing bird baths and hy­drat­ing your plants when the sky turns dry.

Check your sep­tic. This is likely al­ready on your to-do list, but if not, make sure you sched­ule a yearly checkup. Sep­tic sys­tems that aren’t func­tion­ing prop­erly can cause con­tam­i­nants to leach into the ground­wa­ter or nearby lakes and streams.

Get na­tive. When­ever you can, choose na­tive plants, such as grasses, bushes, trees, and wild­flow­ers. Plants that are na­tive to your re­gion are well-suited for a wide range of con­di­tions, in­clud­ing drought. Also, na­tive wild­flow­ers will at­tract pol­li­na­tors like but­ter­flies and hon­ey­bees.

For­tu­nately, in­creas­ing the amount of con­ser­va­tion ef­forts on your land doesn’t re­quire ex­pen­sive over­hauls. Sim­ple and in­ex­pen­sive strate­gies that work with your nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment will go a long way to­ward smart land­scap­ing and ex­cep­tional scenery.

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