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Green Yard, Green World: How to Create an Eco-Friendly Landscape

Pollinators Eco-Friendly Backyard

Creating a backyard that’s enjoyable for you and friendly to the Earth is easier than you think. From pollinator gardens to organic mulching to smart watering, taking an environmentally sound approach to landscaping helps to promote a green yard – and a greener world. Following, some simple tips to try:

Choose Native Plants

Populate your yard with plants native to Western North Carolina and you’ll be providing habitat for many beneficial local animals and insects. In addition, native plants are already acclimated to the region’s climate, and are naturally resistant to local pests and disease. All of this means they don’t require fertilizers or extra watering, which makes them eco-friendly. Native trees and plants to try in your Asheville yard include southern magnolia, flowering dogwood, redbud, cardinal flower, oakleaf hydrangea and foamflower –the list goes on and on. Visit local farmers’ markets, local plant vendors, or the Botanical Gardens at Asheville to get an idea of which native plants will work for your yard.

MilkweedPlant Pollinator Gardens

Pollinator gardens – with specific nectar- and pollen-producing plants – are designed to attract beneficial insects and animals to pollinate, thus performing an important step in the food and flower cycle. Because pollinator habitat has been lost to urban development, pollution, climate change and other adverse action, the population of many pollinator species is at risk. Flowers with large “landing pads,” plants with many small flowers, and plants that bloom very early or very late (when attractive pollination options are scarce) are all good options for your pollinator garden.

Use Plenty of Mulch

Using mulch helps to keep soil temperature consistent, retain moisture, and inhibit weed growth. As organic mulch like wood chips, bark leaves and pine needles breaks down, it adds nutrients to the soil. Bonus: Using more mulch means you can get away with growing less grass, which requires a lot of water to maintain.

Eschew Fertilizers

Dumping large amounts of chemicals onto your lawn via popular “weed and feed” products could put the environment, your health, and eventually the condition of your lawn at risk. A better option is to use organic fertilizer or, better yet, eliminate fertilizer and instead use compost and organic matter in your soil, aerate, cut grass on a higher setting, and incorporate low-maintenance moss and groundcover into your landscape.

Rain Barrel Eco-Friendly BackyardWater

There are many ways to water smart and still keep your yard happy. Harvesting rainwater via a rain barrel, cistern or rain chain means you’ll be using much less household water. When you water, make sure to do it in the morning before the temperatures start to climb and threaten the moisture. If you water in the late afternoon, make sure foliage has time to dry to avoid fungal diseases that thrive in damp nights. Water plants near the base rather than overhead, to better target the roots.

To learn about Real Estate in Asheville, NC, contact Mosaic Realty owner Mike Figura at, or call him anytime at 828-337-8190.

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Plan to Make Your New Asheville Home Green with an Energy Audit


Home Energy Audit

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Many individuals moving to or within Asheville have a strong sense of environmental stewardship.  New, green homes have their advantages, but we recognize that many people prefer the unique charm or affordability of an older or historic home.  You can have both the charm and the energy efficiency with our help!

As a service to our clients who work with us on purchasing a home, we offer a free energy audit through our Energy Retrofit program.

Our Energy Retrofit Program

Here is how it works:

  1. We help you identify a home that you love and want to buy.

  2. We negotiate on your behalf to help you get the best contract that you can with the least amount of stress.

  3. During the examination period, we pay for an energy audit and energy efficiency inspection.  We will provide you with a Suggested Improvements report that will explain the recommendations, itemize the costs, and have an estimate for the time it will take to recoup the investment.

  4. You choose whether you want to make some, all or none of the suggested improvements.

  5. We can be a resource for you for finding tax credit, financing and service providers should you decide to make any suggested improvements.

Our Partners in the Energy Retrofit Program: Conservation Pros, Inc.

Conservation Pros, Inc. is a local company consisting of a team of BPI certified building performance professionals.  They take a localized and modern approach to efficiency, safety, health and comfort.  

We have partnered with them to offer our homebuyers their Home Performance Checkup.  This includes:

  • A visual inspection of the attic, interior, crawlspace, basement and exterior

  • A Blower Door Analysis that measures air leakage

  • Infrared Imaging that reveals sources of energy loss

  • A list of recommendations and a quote




The Benefits to Making Energy Efficiency Improvements in an Older Home

Older and historic homes were built with different technologies and materials than today’s green homes.  However, they do have features that can make them inherently energy efficient such as thick walls, awnings and porches that provide shade, operable windows, and locally-sourced materials.

There are many environmental benefits to maximizing an older home’s original energy-saving features.  Your current systems will run more efficiently, thus saving them wear and tear.  Improved energy efficiency will enhance your comfort level in your home since temperatures will be more stabilized due to sealed air leaks.  Energy efficiency improvements are usually a wise investment as you recoup money from energy savings over time.  Finally, your conscience will benefit from knowing that you are consuming fewer fossil fuels.

Find Your Asheville Home with Mosaic Realty

For more information on real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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