Sustainability is defined as an avoidance of the depletion of our natural resources in order to maintain a balanced environment. Two ways that this can be done were seen by my wife and I when we visited the Naples Botanical Garden in Naples, Florida. The first is the use of local materials for construction. For example, the many elevated boardwalk pathways that lead you throughout the garden, were made from resurrected bald cypress wood which had sunk over one hundred years ago during logging operations in a local river. The nature of the wood allows it to be preserved while submerged, so it made an ideal recycled material for the garden walkways.
The second was the use of design plantings in the parking lot, which captured rain water and pollutants from the parking lot into bioswailes. These engineered plantings are designed to filter the captured water and release it into a nearby lake to be used to irrigate the garden. Thus, completing the cycle of water entering the landscape, being cleansed and reused without tapping into any other water source… true sustainability!