When we think of biodiversity, we usually think of the world’s oceans and rainforests, which are home to millions of plant and animal species. The incredible biodiversity that exists in vast ecosystems like the Great Barrier Reef or the Amazon Rainforest is precious to the Earth’s health and natural beauty. But the great outdoors doesn’t end where our neighborhoods begin. Our backyards right here in Portland can also become beating hearts of biodiversity!
With the right approach, you can transform your property into an oasis of diverse plant and animal life. Our award-winning landscape designers and plant experts at Blessing Landscapes can help you create beautiful outdoor spaces that will thrive in Portland’s natural climate, attract an abundance of diverse wildlife, and help create environmental balance to help combat the tragic impact of climate change on our world.
The Importance of Biodiversity
The term “biodiversity” is used to describe the variety and variability of life on Earth in all its forms, from microscopic organisms to vast forest landscapes. Doing our part to help preserve biodiversity is essential to so many aspects of our lives, from the food we eat, to the water supply, to the health of our soil and air, and the weather we experience.
Attracting diverse plant and animal life into your backyard may seem like a small thing. But by landscaping for biodiversity, you’re doing your part to support a healthy ecosystem on your property and beyond!
Connection to Nature’s Beauty
If you’ve ever watched a nature documentary or visited the Oregon Zoo, you probably already know that biodiversity isn’t just about environmental health. It’s also stunningly beautiful! Incorporating diverse plant life into your landscape creates incredible artworks of colors, textures, and aromas. It also invites native birds, pollinators, and other local wildlife to add to the natural beauty.
With a combination of eco-friendly landscaping and manmade elements like outdoor living spaces and landscape lighting, you can not only maximize the aesthetic appeal of your property, but also its financial value!
Eco-Friendly Tips for Portland Landscapes
Native Plant Selection
One of the best ways to optimize your garden’s natural beauty and environmental sustainability is to work with native plants. Portland has its own unique ecosystem filled with plantlife, animals, and other organisms that keep our environment working and thriving. When designing your perfect outdoor space, choosing an abundance of native flowers, trees, and shrubs offers a number of incredible benefits:
- They attract wildlife
- They’re low-maintenance
- They reduce air pollution
- They look beautiful and vibrant
Some beautiful native plants to consider for your Portland landscape design include:
- Cascara (Rhamnus purshiana)
- Blue-Headed Gilia (Gilia capitata)
- Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii)
- Pacific Madrone (Arbutus menziesii)
- Red Alder (Alnus rubra)
- Salal (Gaultheria shallon)
- Vine Maple (Acer circinatum)
- Pacific Bleeding-Heart (Dicentra formosa)
Fortunately, there are a wide variety of native plants to choose from, giving you flexibility in terms of your individual style and maintenance preferences. As experienced Portland-based landscapers and experts in native plant species, our team at Blessing Landscapes can help you choose the perfect native trees, flowers, and shrubs to add beauty and biodiversity to your outdoor space.
Creating Wildlife Habitats
Our local wildlife is essential to the health and prosperity of our ecosystem. From microscopic fungi, to bugs and insects, to mammals and birds, there’s nothing quite like knowing that natural species are thriving in our own backyards. If you’re looking to make your landscape more hospitable to wildlife, there are a variety of features to help you achieve just that!
Here are a few practical tips to make your landscape the perfect habitat for wildlife:
- Provide a water source such as a fountain, pond, or other water feature
- Add shelters like bird houses and insect hotels
- Choose plants and trees that provide pollen, fruit, and seeds to act as a natural food source
- Incorporate a bird feeder
- Install trail cams to keep track of wildlife activity in your yard
Sustainable Gardening Practices
Natural, organic gardening helps to promote and attract beneficial organisms, preserve the health of your soil, and maintain the environment. From avoiding harsh pesticides and opting for physical pest control methods to utilizing compost and natural, non-toxic fertilizers, there are ways to make your gardening practices more organic and environmentally friendly.
You can even use your landscape to provide essential resources for your family and community. An edible garden will not only save you money at the grocery store, but it’ll also give you the chance to add an abundance of nutrition to your daily meals.
Water conservation is an important part of creating a more sustainable environment, even in a rainy climate like the Pacific Northwest. While many traditional landscaping methods require extensive watering to thrive, water-smart landscape designs like xeriscapes can offer a more eco-conscious and low-maintenance approach.
Blessing Landscapes can provide you with water-smart solutions to ensure your garden is beautiful and good for the environment. We can provide you with efficient irrigation systems to limit physical labor requirements, preserve the health of your plants and lawns, and reduce waste. We can also recommend drought-tolerant plants to get you through the dry season without excessive watering.
We also offer ongoing maintenance services to ensure your landscape stays healthy all year round. From winterizing your irrigation system, to basic plant upkeep, to weed management, we do it all!
Create a Sanctuary of Natural Beauty and Biodiversity in Your Backyard with Blessing Landscapes!
Landscaping for biodiversity is incredibly rewarding on both a small and large scale. It allows you to enjoy the incredible beauty of Portland’s plant and animal species, while also doing your part to help protect the local environment and combat the effects of climate change around the world. At Blessing Landscapes, we can help you transform your outdoor spaces into beautiful, functional environments that invite an abundance of biodiversity into your life!
Contact us to discuss your ideas and learn more about how we work to transform Portland’s landscape, one yard at a time!