Ubiquitous and soft due to the large quantities of water they hold, native palmetto trees were used to line the walls of Ft. Moultrie during the Battle of Sullivan’s Island in order to minimize the impact of cannon balls fired from British ships. The iconic native species did an admirable job of protecting the fort: Despite hours of relentless bombardment from Charleston Harbor, the palmettos absorbed the impacts of thousands of cannon balls, handing the Patriots their first decisive victory over the Royal British Navy during the American Revolutionary War.
Fortunately for the Patriots, palmetto trees thrive throughout the Charleston area; Mother Nature “made” them especially for the South Carolina Lowcountry. They’re a sustainable species; following the victory at the Battle of Sullivan’s Island, the Patriots began to cultivate them and use them to line the walls of other forts throughout the Lowcountry.
Sustainability is even more important now than it was in the late 1700s…given the increasing importance of utilizing sustainable landscape design concepts, I wanted to take a moment to note that the native, low-maintenance Lowcountry landscape design concepts I specialize in are sustainable by nature.
Indigenous plants of the Charleston area, including the palmetto tree, are “custom-designed” by Mother Nature to thrive in the unique Lowcountry maritime ecosystem we call home. They require the least amount of maintenance because they won the War of Natural Selection; millions of years of evolution have determined that no plants are better-suited for the natural Lowcountry environment than native ones.
To maximize aesthetics and sustainability, I use native plants almost exclusively. The species I employ include the aforementioned palmetto tree, shrub palms like the sabal minor & saw palm, coastal grasses such as muhly & spartina, and flowering evergreens such as jassamine & various types of hollies. These native species require little-to-no maintenance at all: They rarely require irrigation, chemical treatments, or human intervention of any kind.
Landscape maintenance is a very environmentally-unfriendly industry. Nearly every hour of every business day, maintenance landscaping personnel throughout the Lowcountry pilot large, gas-powered trucks on our roads and wield heavy, gas-powered equipment on our lands. What’s more, they spray living organisms with toxic chemicals and consume countless quantities of our finite resources while greatly expanding their carbon footprints.
In short, maintenance landscaping sullies the unique natural Lowcountry beauty the Patriots fought to give us hundreds of years ago. My native Lowcountry landscape designs significantly limit–and in some cases eliminate altogether–the need for such environmental harm.
A great many Charleston natives and newcomers alike call the South Carolina Lowcountry home due to its unique natural beauty. My native, low-maintenance landscape design concepts not only enhance the natural beauty of the Lowcountry; they protect the very land the SC flag represents.
Contact me today to learn how I can enhance the natural beauty of your Lowcountry property with native, sustainable landscape design!