Landscaping for Energy Efficiency
Planting trees, shrubs, and vines around your home can help reduce your heating and cooling costs if you choose the right plants and locate them properly. In addition to shading, plants also cool the air around your home by evapotranspiration.
- Evergreens can serve as an effective windbreak by directing cold winds away from your home. Plant them on the north and west sides.
- Foundation plantings can reduce wind infiltration; they also help create dead air space for insulation.
- Deciduous shade trees on the south, southwest and west provide shade in the summer and drop their leaves to let the sun warm the house in winter.
- Vines can serve the same function on masonry homes. They are useful where space is limited and they grow quickly.
- Shade on air conditioner units can make them run more efficiently.
Creve Coeur Street Tree Planting Program
Street trees improve the appearance of the city and your home by cooling the air through evapotranspiration, provide shade for streets and sidewalks, and in some cases can even shade your home. Choosing the appropriate trees can protect the biodiversity of Creve Coeur's tree population. The City of Creve Couer, in a public/private partnership, will cover half the costs of planting trees in the public rights of way - find out how you can order trees!
Landscaping For Water Conservation and Xeriscaping
Conserving water use not only reduces your water bill, it decreases the energy used by the water company to produce clean water and pump water to our homes.
A wide selection of rain barrels are available at hardware stores and online. Barrels are available in numerous attractive styles and can be painted as an art project. Use rain water to water your plants, wash garden tools and muddy boots, or wash your car. Get creative!
Consider native plants first when landscaping. Natives have evolved and adapted to the soils and climate of an area for thousands of years. They use less water, fertilizer, insecticides and herbicides, and tend to be less invasive. If native plants can meet your needs, they offer additional benefit of protecting Missouri's biodiversity..
Stormwater runoff can overwhelm storm sewers, cause flooding, carry pollution from motor oils, chemicals and animal waste. It can also carry away your good garden soil and erode slopes. Government studies have shown that up to 70% of the pollution in our streams, rivers and lakes is carried there by storm water.
Rain gardens are designed to contain and soak up stormwater runoff, so they are planted in places that are wet for a day or two after a storm and then return to normal conditions. The best plants are deep rooted to soak up water, but do not need constantly wet conditions. A well designed rain garden can soak up 30% more water than a typical lawn and can be placed next to rain spouts or in a location that overflows onto streets, sidewalks or neighbors yards.