University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System: Water Quality and the Home Landscape

Sustainable Landscaping: Bio-diverse Gardens

by Carl Salsedo, Ph.D.

Extension Educator, Horticulture

Look to your own yard for biodiversity

Gardening and agriculture, by its very nature is brutally reductive, simplifying nature's incomprehensible complexity to something manageable. Gardening begins with the simple act of banishing all but a tiny handful of chosen species. Planting these in rows or patterns flatters our sense of order because it makes good sense too. Weeding and harvesting become that much simpler. Nature never plants in rows or patterns but utilizes incomprehensible complex combination of organisms, which we deem biodiversity.

First of all what is biodiversity and why is it important? Biodiversity is a term, especially used by ecologists to describe the diversity of species and the rich interactions that occur between them. It is important because a wide diversity of species including plants, animals, insects, micro flora and micro fauna contribute to a resilient ecosystem where diversity contributes to the health of the environment and the natural world. Chances are, if you have natural areas in your yard such as woodlands and untended places biodiversity will be the greatest in those areas. Lets look at what are the reasons for this and why this is important.

  • Looking to Nature.
  • Why is biodiversity important to the landscape?
  • Have a plan to create biodiverse gardens.
  • Biodiversity supports both below ground and above ground species.
  • Use a variety of plants including native and non-invasive exotics.
  • Biodiversity, the glue that holds it altogether.
Gardening with Nature

CPTV Gardening with Nature: Bio-diverse Gardens
(Click image to watch video 2.4MB)

Sustainable Landscaping: