Outdoor landscaping requires using both organic and inorganic elements that meet both aesthetic and functional criteria.
Landscape features can help define different areas in a garden and act as visual barriers, for instance a fence with shrubs planted along either side is an effective visual block that prevents viewing as well as access.
Hardscapes add texture and contrast to a yard while making outdoor enjoyment simpler by providing places for sitting and walking. Plus, hardscapes draw people in.
Hardscapes designed with sustainability in mind reduce the need for lawn and garden equipment that pollutes the environment, by choosing pavers that absorb rainwater so it soaks directly into the ground rather than running off into streams and rivers. This is especially beneficial in regions experiencing snowy conditions.
Plant selection refers to selecting plants appropriate for a given landscape by taking into account factors like function, aesthetic preferences and adaptability to its location.
Landscapes can be enhanced by various characteristics like flower color, foliage texture, fruit bearing branches/stems/bark. Their effect and duration depend on season.
Landscape architects must also select plants able to withstand challenging environmental conditions when selecting landscape plants. If, for instance, your planting area receives heavy rainfall or doesn’t have access to an external water source, choose perennials like hosta that thrive in wet soil conditions with partial shade conditions.
Trees in the landscape serve to define spaces, add color and texture, provide shade, act as barriers and block wind.
Trees play an integral part in combatting air pollution by absorbing harmful gases and pollutant, and releasing oxygen. Trees also help keep lawns cool by slowing water evaporation – saving money on bills! Numerous studies have proven the importance of being around trees in terms of reduced stress levels as well as their sheltering birds and wildlife populations.
Shrubs form the “backbone” of any landscape, providing structure and interest throughout the year. Deciduous or evergreen varieties can be selected depending on your garden needs; many make suitable hedges like holly, rhododendrons or boxwood.
When selecting shrubs, be sure they will thrive in your climate without outgrowing their space. A shrub too large for its environment can become an ongoing headache later. When planting, dig two holes twice as wide and deep as its container to ensure successful outcomes.
Flowers bring vibrant color and low maintenance needs to gardens of all sizes, adding vibrant blooms in most parts of the country that require little care or watering to bloom beautifully. Plus, many varieties can tolerate drought conditions with little ongoing upkeep required!
Plant a combination of summer, fall and winter flowers for an all-year show. Aim for variety in height, shape and color palette while grouping blooming time-related plants (e.g. lilac sage and tulips) together so the garden remains tidy.
Easy-care flowers like Helianthus can make an enormous statement in a garden, providing ample blooms that last from spring through summer.
Edging provides a visual barrier between your lawn and garden beds, helping keep mulch in place, prevent grass from spreading outward, and making your yard appear professionally groomed. Edging options may include stone, brick, concrete, metal and wood edging solutions.
Natural or manufactured stones make an eye-catching decorative lawn edging option, particularly in rustic or cottage-style gardens. Brick edging is also durable but more costly. Steel landscape edging is inexpensive and easy to install with its built-in spikes that simply need hammered in.
Mulching can be an excellent way to control unwanted weeds and improve flower beds. Natural organic mulches such as wood chips, bark mulches, compost material and grass clippings decompose slowly and enrich soil over time.
Inorganic mulches such as rock, gravel and stone don’t add any nutritional benefits, while plastic sheets or landscape fabric may restrict raindrops from reaching soil and plant roots – possibly leaching toxic chemicals into it as well. Rubber mulch is long-term but nonbiodegradable – perhaps containing materials from old tires which contain harmful materials that could pose potential threats.
Light walkways, architectural features, gathering spaces and more with low-voltage landscape lighting. When selecting lights for this task, look for those which are durable yet energy efficient, easy to install and easy maintenance.
Highlight a landscape element by pointing multiple fixtures towards it. Crossed beams reduce harsh shadows caused by using just one light source to illuminate an object.
LED lighting consumes significantly less energy than its traditional counterparts and produces warmer hues, making them an eco-friendly solution that protects the night sky by limiting glare. Dark Sky compliant bulbs can further preserve it while helping reduce any possible glare issues.