Manual 49 Steps to Instant Landscaping

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Sort order. Beth rated it it was ok May 03, Eric Eggen rated it did not like it Oct 27, Ardis rated it really liked it Jan 19, Susan R. Webb rated it liked it Nov 16, Marlene Murdock rated it it was amazing Dec 26, Dale rated it it was ok Feb 26, John Going rated it really liked it Feb 21, Howard rated it it was ok Aug 14, Michelle Elliott rated it really liked it Jun 02, These honeysuckles are growing on a chain link fence providing privacy from the neighboring yard.

This fringe tree Chionanthus virginicus acts as a specimen plant with its showy white flowers drawing our eye to a piece of garden art that might have otherwise been overlooked. These shrubs were overplanted and their mature size is much to large for this tiny garden. The branches are now overhanging the wall and can be a hazard to pedestrians. This driveway uses permeable pavers that allow grass to grow in between and catch rainwater before it runs off.

A simple terrace like this one made out of wood with dirt piled against it will help slow rainwater down so it has a chance to soak into the soil. In low areas, where water pools, a rain garden can help keep water in the yard rather than it running off as storm water. Edibles do not need to be relegated to vegetable gardens, this dinosaur kale is right at home in this perennial bed. The final plan ensures that all landscape work done on a property blends over time into the desired final outcome, creating a harmonious composition and providing physical and psychological comfort.

Even with a completed plan, landscape development can be a long-term process. There is no need to develop an entire property at once. Completing the landscape over a period of several years might be economically more feasible and may ultimately improve the overall design. An extended installation time frame allows more opportunity to evaluate plants as they grow and mature and consider the impact and desirability of planned hardscape features.

The additional time can also help better identify those parts of the landscape that supply essential functions and those that have to be installed before other elements of the landscape can be incorporated. By establishing priorities, we can implement the landscape in stages for example, front yards versus backyards or hardscapes; then large plant material; then small.

When you prioritize elements for installation in a landscape, consider user needs and budgetary constraints. Budget should always be kept in mind as costs of installing various landscaping features can vary greatly.


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If shade is needed for a patio area, the least expensive is to plant a shade tree and wait several years. At an increased cost, an arbor can be installed for instant shade. A large standing umbrella can be purchased at a modest cost.

Landscape analysis: derivation and rediscovery of ideas

If the design calls for a grassy play area, a lawn can be started from seed in the fall or spring depending on the turfgrass selected , and you can wait a season for it to be ready for use. For quicker results, you can choose the more expensive option of laying sod, allowing the grass to be ready for use much sooner. A landscape installation can be very simple or extremely complicated. Homeowners should evaluate the skills and materials needed for installation and associated costs to determine whether these are DIY projects or whether money and time would be better spent by hiring a professional.

Permanent structures or large hardscape elements, including irrigation systems, outdoor lighting, stone walls, decks, pools, and patios, may require skills that go beyond those of the average homeowner. When the job seems too big, call in a professional, licensed landscape contractor. A landscape contractor must pass exams covering soils, grading, plants, and various other topics.

We often think of landscaping and planting as synonymous. But landscaping also includes the incorporation of several important hardscape features, such as walls, patios, outdoor lighting, walks, and decks that are integral to a design.

Although most people evaluate the success of landscape development in terms of the selection and condition of the plant materials, most well-designed landscapes contain a balance of construction and plant materials. Carefully designed and executed paved surfaces, fences, walls, overhead structures, and edging materials are attractive, and they can reduce routine maintenance. Factors that influence the choice of materials include existing architectural and landscape features, cost, and sustainability. When selecting hardscape material, consider the principles of unity, rhythm, accent, and repetition.

If possible, repeat materials and colors already used on the home. This achieves a major objective of good landscaping design: to establish a visual relationship between the house and the site. Use building materials that blend well in the local natural environment and relate to the home. Natural construction materials often combine well with resource efficient landscapes. Weathered wood, natural stains, concrete, and earth tones in brick usually blend with existing construction materials and relate to the natural environment. The landscape materials can contribute to sustainability when we select renewable, local, and low-energy input materials.

Explore options for using recycled materials and energy efficient materials in the landscape. Used bricks or broken concrete can be used for retaining walls. Recycled plastic material may be an appropriate choice for decking or fences.

Consider the safety of re-purposing items before including them in the landscape. For example, the chemicals in creosote-impregnated railroad ties or lumber treated with chromated copper arsenate CCA can leach into the soil.

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Better options exist, such as untreated cedar, for use in gardens and near food crops. Consider any potential environmental impact of selected materials, both the impact of using them and the impact of their production, packaging, and marketing. Limit the amount of impermeable surfaces, which collect heat and increase stormwater runoff. Consider using a permeable paving system—such as gravel or pavers that have open centers for planting grass—for patios, walkways, and driveways to promote infiltration, improve drainage, and limit runoff Figure 19— Select energy-conserving construction materials.

Remember that light pollution is a problem in urban and suburban areas and even affects migrating birds, moths and butterflies.

Garden & Landscaping

Eco-friendly lighting schemes use down-lighting and solar power, and turn off automatically when not needed. Irrigation systems may include precipitation gauges so they automatically shut off when nature provides water.

Landscape Steps Part 3

Wood construction offers a readily available and relatively simple way to create functional, pleasing outdoor garden features. Try to find lumber that is not warped or splintered and that has the fewest knots. Painting, staining, or sealing wood decks and fences prolongs their life. Selecting the proper kind of wood is important because the finished product must withstand adverse weather and insect attacks. Various outdoor grades of these woods are available, but all are quite expensive. Pressure-treated lumber is more economical and can be satisfactory for most wood projects. This lumber must meet certain standards for various uses and is marked accordingly.

Several yellow pine species native to the South are used for treated lumber. The primary concern with using pressure-treated wood in raised-bed gardens has been with the arsenic in wood treated with CCA, chromated copper arsenate. ACQ is an alternative wood-treatment chemical that contains no arsenic, chromium, or any other chemical considered toxic by the EPA. Review safety guidelines for the use of pressure-treated wood available where you purchased the lumber. Some key recommendations include the following:. Durable and low maintenance wood-alternative products made with recycled wood plastics and sawdust are commercially available.

These products do not need to be painted, stained, or sealed and are as easy to cut and install as real wood. The use of composite wood materials made from recycled plastic and for decks and screening walls is very popular in modern landscaping. It is often three times the cost of pressure-treated wood, but it requires little to no maintenance.

To save material when designing a structure to be built with lumber or a wood-alternative, try to use the entire board. Common lumber lengths are 8, 10, and 12 feet. Longer boards are progressively more expensive. A deck designed to be built with foot lumber would be much less expensive than a deck built 10 feet 8 inches long. Also, remember that the structure must work with the outdoor scale.