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What Is Landscaping? | Design guidelines for interior and exterior landscaping - homeslibro



What is landscaping?

Landscaping is the activity of modifying the various visible features of an area of land to give a pleasant appearance.

(a) It includes gardening to create a beautiful environment and systematic arrangement of plants to enhance the beauty of the place.


(b) It includes beautification of landforms such as lily ponds, fountains, trees, lawns, etc.


(c) It covers weather and lighting arrangements, colouring, etc.


A landscape expert has to understand the elements of nature and required constructions and blend them according to the need.



What are the basic elements of the landscape?

Colour is used to convey emotion and influences the mood and character of the overall landscape design or parts of the design.


Lines create order by directing eye movement or flow. Lines in a landscape design give the eye directions about where to look.


A form defines the shape and structure of an object in landscape design.


The texture is the surface quality of an object. The texture is how something feels when it is touched or looks like it would feel if touched.


Scale refers to the size of an object in relation to its surroundings. Scale in landscape design is inferred by the size relationship between adjacent objects.



1. Landscape engineers and designers like garden planners and executives design all varieties of green spaces and plantations. They work both with the government and private architects.


2. Landscape scientists have skills in hydrology, soil sciences and botany and they deal with practical solutions for landscape work.


3. Landscape managers have knowledge of plants and the natural environment and give advice on the long-term development of the landscape. They work in estate management, floristry, conservation of nature and agriculture and horticulture.


4. Landscape planners do the planning for the location and recreational aspects of all types of land use.


5. Garden designers deal with the design of gardens in outdoor spaces and interiors.


6. Green roof designers design roof gardens, storm-water management aesthetics and creation of habitats.



What is a landscape product?

It includes walls, fences, gardening tools, lighting, water features, foundations, garden furniture, garden ornaments, pond liners, garden building, fountains, etc.


The skills of combining all these products to develop plans are known as landscape design and detailing.



(a) Hard Landscape Materials This term is used to describe the construction materials which are used to improve a landscape by design. A wide range of hard landscape materials is brick, gravel, stone, concrete, timber, bitumen, glass, metals and outdoor furniture, etc.


The designer should choose hard landscape materials which go together with the interior design and architecture.


(b) Soft Landscape Materials It is used to describe the plant and vegetative materials which can be used to improve the landscape by design. The range of soft landscape materials includes aquatic plants, semi-aquatic materials, field layer plants, shrubs and trees.



Landscaping normally means growing large grass with few plants to fulfil aesthetic requirements. It means that the front portion of the office or industry or residence should have lawn arrangements with grass and plants. A lot of water is poured to keep the grass green. During summer, the water requirement increases drastically. Choosing the right plants, especially those of native species, results in more water-efficient landscaping. The use of sprinklers, micro sprinklers, and drip irrigation systems leads to water conservation and efficiency.


Xeriscaping is another method where plants like xerophytes are used in dry climatic conditions and it requires a low amount of water.


Edible landscaping is another method of landscaping which can be adopted during scarcity of water, fertilisers and food conditions. A landscape with Bermuda or Mexican Grass in an acre is an example. If this has to be converted into a ragi field then the same area can yield 8000 to 10000 kg of ragi or millet every year.


An edible landscape also yields fresh food, vegetables and grains with the same water requirement as a normal landscape or sometimes even less. Non-functional water-guzzling landscapes can be transformed into functional beautiful ones by edible landscaping.



The aesthetic design considerations involve choosing the proper variety of plant textures, heights and spacing to give the desired effect. The growing considerations involve the proper matching of light intensity, soil and water, as well as proper container size, to the plant environment requirements.


1. Plant Texture  The term is used to describe the general structure, shape and appearance of the plant, regardless of height. It includes the size, shape, edging and thickness of the plant leaves as well as the overall shape, arrangement and number of leaves on the plant.


2. Plant Height not only determines the scale of the design but adds variety to the plant groupings. There are six general rules regarding plant-height selection to keep in mind:

• In the plant grouping, build up with the low plants in front. If the grouping can be seen from all sides, the grouping must be well balanced throughout and built up to the centre height.


• If a plant has cones with no lower foliage, try to place the lower plants in front to conceal the absence of foliage of the taller plant in the rear.


• Uneven sizes throughout a grouping add more interest than a consistent level of foliage.


• If a single plant is desired to hide a column or some other object then be sure that the plant height including its container is above three-fourths the height of the object to be concealed.


• Keep the scale of the surroundings in mind when choosing a plant height. A 3-ft plant is fine next to a desk, but a plant of at least 6 ft should be selected if it is to be viewed when entering a room.


3. Plant Spacing Under certain conditions, the plants of an interior landscaping design will grow. Therefore, any possible change in the plant size must be considered by the designer. If the lighting intensity is at or below the recommended level, there will be little or no plant growth and the plant size and relationships will change little over time. If the lighting intensity is well above the required level, there will be plant growth with different plant species growing at different rates.


If a full plant design is desired, the required number of plants should be placed close together at the time of installation since future growth will seldom fill in the bare slots. Space should be designed in such a way that the plant will get the required light and grow.


4. Light Intensity Of all the growing conditions, the most important is light intensity. The plant needing the lowest light requires 50 to 75 foot-candles to remain healthy. Even if the light intensity is below 100 foot-candles, these low-light plants need to be slowly acclimatised prior to installation.


5. Soil Separator If the plants are removed from their growing cans and replanted in growing soil, it is usually best to use a soil separator between the drainage layer and the planting soil. The separator is a semi-porous sheet, often composed of fibreglass wool, which serves to keep the soil from falling into the drainage material. If the separator is not used, the soil will clog the drainage material. Fibreglass wool of building-material grade should not be used, as it contains chemicals that will damage the plant.


6. Planting Medium Because the root systems of tropical plants are much finer than those of outdoor plants, pure topsoil is too heavy and too easily compacted to be used as a planting medium; it will construct the plant roots and will retain too much water.


7. Plant Containers A plant container should be more decorative. Its proper selection is the first element of proper maintenance since the container must provide the plant roots with sufficient growing room and with adequate drainage.


The decorative container should be chosen so that its inside dimensions are large enough that the plant-growing container can be dropped directly into it.


8. Feeding A liquid fertiliser should be applied every 4 to 6 weeks and every two months in the winter seasons.

Plants require nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium; and commercial plant foods give the ratio of these constituents in the same order. A 15:30:15 ratio indicates 15 parts of nitrogen, 30 parts of phosphorus and 15 parts of potassium. The other common feeds give a ratio of 13:36:14.


9. Pest Control Inspect all plants every few days or at the time of watering. Inspect all newly potted plants. Inspect plants moved indoors from the outdoors. Before buying plants, rinse all pots and plants with a sprinkling can or hose. All pests and caterpillars can be picked off by hand or with a pointed tool. Fungi and other growth should be washed or brushed off.


Here, we give a brief description of some common pests and how to get rid of them. This will help a lot in your day-to-day care of plants. Mealy bug is a common insect which can be controlled by dipping cotton swabs in methylated spirit and then swabbing down the plant. Red spiders and aphids can be eradicated with a good dousing of any general-purpose insecticide. White flies can be got rid of by spraying malathion. Ants can be removed using ant powders.

1 comment:

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