Design Tips for an Urban Landscape wallacegardencenter

Design Tips for an Urban Landscape

This year has seen some exciting new trends and design ideas emerge centered around transforming our urban landscapes into thriving and sustainable spaces.

 We understand the importance of creating a sustainable and vibrant outdoor space, regardless of size, that works with your lifestyle. Whether you're after low-maintenance, kid-friendly, or eco-conscious design ideas, we've got some of 2023's latest urban landscape design trends and principles. We hope to inspire you to embark on your own journey toward an eco-friendly and beautiful garden right in the heart of Bettendorf, so let's dig in!


vertical gardening

What is Urban Landscape Design? 

Urban landscape design is the art of harmoniously blending nature with our urban environment to create green spaces that are both aesthetically pleasing and contribute positively to our local ecosystems and community. By incorporating sustainable elements like native plants, energy-efficient features, and wildlife-friendly designs into our urban landscapes, they become havens for both humans and our native flora and fauna.


The Basic Principles Behind Urban Landscape Design

When we understand the basic ideas that guide interior design and urban landscape design, it's easy to see why it's so important. Here are a couple of its fundamental principles to help you get started:

Native Plant Selection: Using native plants is the backbone of sustainable urban landscape design. Native species are naturally adapted to the local climate, require less water, fertilizer, and pesticides, and are vital for supporting local pollinators. Choose varieties like Purple Coneflower, Black-Eyed Susan, Wild Bergamot, Butterfly Milkweed, Little Bluestem, False Indigo, and Wild Geranium in your Bettendorf landscape to foster biodiversity and promote the health of our local ecosystem.

tree shading a homeEnergy-Efficient Landscaping: Another major tenant of urban landscape design is the strategic use of natural features in your landscape to reduce your environmental footprint. For instance, intentionally-placed trees provide essential shade that minimizes the heat island effect and lowers your cooling costs during Iowa's scorching summers. Furthermore, strategically planting windbreaks along your property line can shield your home from harsh winter winds, decreasing your heating bill.


2023's Top Urban Design Trends

This year has seen some exciting new trends and design ideas emerge centered around transforming our urban landscapes into thriving and sustainable spaces. Here are some innovative concepts that are sure to take your landscape design to the next level:

1. Rain Gardens: Rain gardens act as natural water catchment areas by channeling rainwater from roofs and pavements into the garden. They also help recharge groundwater and prevent stormwater runoff, reducing the burden on municipal drainage systems.

green roof on home2. Green Walls and Roofs: Growing plants on unused walls and roofs is a great idea that efficiently uses available space and enhances air quality. These "living surfaces" add much-needed greenery to limited urban spaces and act as natural air filters, purifying the surrounding atmosphere.

3. Edible Forest Gardens: Edible forest gardens are yet another one of 2023's notable emerging trends. This permaculture-inspired design combines fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, and edible plants into a self-sustaining ecosystem that thrives right in your backyard!  See our experts for dwarf fruit trees, bush cherries and easy raspberries and blueberries to grow your own food. 


Urban Landscape Design List and Guide 

If you've heard enough and are ready to get started, this step-by-step guide will have you creating your dream urban landscape in no time!

1. Site Analysis: Evaluate your outdoor space, noting factors such as sunlight exposure, soil type, and existing vegetation. Understanding your site will help you make informed decisions about plant selection and landscape layout.


vegetable garden and seating area2. Plan Your Zones: Divide your landscape into functional zones, such as relaxation areas, play spaces, and vegetable gardens. This ensures your outdoor space caters to all of your family's diverse needs.

3. Select Native Plants: When you're ready to start planting, come pay us a visit to find a wide range of native plants that thrive in the Bettendorf climate. As we mentioned earlier, native plants require less water and care, creating a sustainable and low-maintenance landscape.


timed drip garden irrigation4. Water-Wise Irrigation: To help reduce your water consumption, invest in a smart irrigation system that automatically adjusts your watering schedules based on weather conditions and plant needs. If you don’t want to go that far a simple water timer can help reduce excess water usage.  Efficient irrigation is an easy way to save water in your landscape, reducing your ecological footprint and lowering your water bill.

5. Engage Your Kids: Get the whole family involved in gardening by creating a dedicated space for your kids to explore and play in nature. Involving your children instills a lifelong love for the environment within them and encourages them to become more eco-conscious.  Butterfly houses, magnifying glasses, and bug jars are great ways to get them learning.  Create a quick scavenger hunt for your backyard and get them exploring. Don’t forget to hang bird houses and feeders to encourage feathered wildlife around your home. Hummingbirds are especially fascinating and fun for kids.

Now that you have all the tools and inspiration needed to embark on your own urban landscape design journey, it's time to dig into action. For more eco-design tips or to pick up some high-quality plants and gardening supplies before getting started, be sure to come visit us at Wallace's Garden Center, your one-stop shop for all things green! 


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