What Is Naturescaping?




August 25, 2023

Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a beginner starting your first herb pot, today we're exploring the sensible, resource-efficient approach to landscaping known as naturescaping. Ideal for both expansive gardens and tiny balconies, naturescaping offers a holistic way to use native plants in landscaping, benefiting not just your outdoor space but also the local ecosystem.

What is Naturescaping?

Naturescaping is a landscaping method that emphasizes using native plants to create an outdoor space that's visually appealing and ecologically responsible. Like regenerative ranching, which focuses on agricultural restoration, naturescaping works harmoniously with the local environment. By using native plants and natural elements, you can create a garden that serves as a thriving habitat for local wildlife while also being resource-efficient and sustainable.

Design Principles of Naturescaping

  • Wildlife Support—At the heart of naturescaping is the creation of thriving habitats that attract and sustain various forms of local wildlife, such as birds, pollinators, and other beneficial organisms. Native plants are particularly effective in providing the natural food sources and shelter these creatures need to flourish.
  • Soil Health—Soil quality is crucial for the success of any garden. Naturescaping prioritizes soil health by using native plants that are naturally adapted to local soil conditions. This stabilizes the soil and contributes to its fertility, creating a more robust and resilient landscape.
  • Water Management—In an era where water scarcity is an increasing concern, naturescaping promotes responsible water use. By opting for native plants adapted to local rainfall patterns, you can significantly reduce the need for additional watering. Moreover, smart design techniques can channel rainwater into areas most needed, further optimizing water use.
  • Lawn Replacement—Traditional lawns, often comprised of non-native grasses, can be resource-intensive. Naturescaping encourages homeowners to replace or minimize lawn areas with native plants, which are generally more resilient and require less maintenance, thereby increasing your outdoor space's biodiversity and ecological value.

Benefits of Native Landscaping

  • Vegetation Layering—Organizing plants into overlapping vertical tiers maximizes space and creates diverse habitats, improving your garden's ecological richness and visual appeal.
  • Year-Round Features—A well-designed "naturescape" aims to offer aesthetic and ecological value throughout the year. This involves choosing plants with varying blooming seasons, incorporating winter-persistent berries, and using plants that provide both utility and beauty across seasons.
  • Wildlife Habitats—Naturescaping takes a holistic approach to creating essential habitats for local wildlife. This can be done by including various food sources, such as nectar-rich flowers for pollinators and fruit-bearing plants for birds, and providing adequate shelter and water access.
  • Soil Improvement and Protection—Innovative techniques like mulching and sheet mulching can significantly improve soil quality, contributing to a more robust and resilient landscape.
  • Water Conservation—Smart irrigation systems and rainwater harvesting are among the strategies that can be employed to optimize water use in a naturescape further.
  • Energy Conservation—Strategically positioned trees can serve as natural windbreaks and shading, helping you reduce heating and cooling costs for your home while contributing to carbon sequestration.

Designing Your Naturescape: Tips and Tricks

  • Plan According to Sunlight—Different plants have different sunlight requirements. Make sure to place your plants accordingly.
  • Understand Your Soil—The type of soil you have will affect which plants will thrive.
  • Be Mindful of Wildlife—Design your garden to attract beneficial organisms, not pests.


Naturescaping is more than a trend; it's a sensible, resource-efficient way to contribute to ecosystem conservation from your outdoor space. Whether you have a sprawling yard or a small balcony, implementing naturescaping principles can make a difference. Ready to take the next step? Explore naturescaping by region:

California (Zone 9 & 10)

Happy gardening!