Landscaping refers to the ways people use plants (softscaping) and objects (hardscaping) to enhance or change the natural environment around the exterior of their home.
Well-planned landscaping enhances the exterior appearance of the home and outdoor living spaces. It serves to provide privacy, safety, comfort, and beauty.
Landscaping can provide privacy… with certain types of fencing, hedges, or plantings to block the view from neighbors or traffic
Landscaping can provide safety… Perhaps by lighting walkways and steps; using hot water or electricity to heat sidewalks and keep them clear of snow and ice; enclosing or lighting pool areas; fencing property lines
Landscaping can provide comfort… in the form of shade, a windbreak, a firepit for cooking and warmth, a bench or patio grouping or gazebo for seating
Landscaping can provide beauty… by using line, form, texture, and color of natural and man-made materials to add appeal to the property
Soil… The key to supplying nutrients, air, and water to plants. Soil is made up of inorganic material, such as rock particles, as well as organic matter, such as decaying animals and plants. Air, water and microorganisms are also present in healthy soil. Soil texture is determined by the amount of clay, silt or sand particles present. Clay holds water and nutrients very well, but is tough for roots to penetrate. Clay is heavy and can become saturated easily. The other extreme is sand, which drains very well, but loses nutrients and dries quickly. Silty soils are more similar to clay than sand. The best type of soil for gardening is called loam. Loam has proportional amounts of silt, clay and sand that makes it hold its shape when lightly squeezed. When squeezed harder, it crumbles.
Grasses… Native and ornamental grasses can be used in landscaping, as well as grass for lawns. Both the stems and leaves in grass grow from the bottom up, so it can be cut repeatedly. Bluegrass, rye, and fescue are common grasses in midwest climates. Soil/lawns should slope away from the house foundation for correct drainage.
Ground covers… thick, low-growing foliage varying in texture and color; low maintenance; used in spots difficult to mow; they prevent erosion and control weeds
Flowers… for adding color and beauty Perennialsnever need replanting; more costly and quite hardy: lilies, roses, cone flowers, iris, peonies, pansies Annualsare more colorful; less costly but must be replanted yearly: petunias, impatiens, vinca, marigolds, zinnia
Deciduous trees and shrubs… many have spectacular fall color and then lose their leaves in winter; elm, maple, oak, sycamore, cottonwood, hickory, locust, ash, and walnut trees are common; lilac, azalea, hydrangea, forsythia, burning bush are shrubs tree height: 40-150’ spread: 25-100’
Ornamental trees… Are usually 15-30’ in height and 15-30’ in spread; they often have an attractive shape, leaf color, or blossom; may not all be suitable for all soil types or climates; redbud and Japanese maples are examples
Coniferous (Evergreen) trees and shrubs… narrow-leaved evergreens have needles rather than leaves; furnish color and mass all year long; cedar, spruce, pine, fir, and Pfitzer junipers, and yews; Mature height varies, but trees may be 60’
Vines… decorative and functional; leaves may have interesting shapes; some have clusters of flowers; may reduce the monotony of a wall or be trained to climb a trellis Ivy, clematis, trumpet vine, morning glory, sweet pea, passionflower, honeysuckle, wisteria
Paths, Walks, & Steps… they connect one area with another; paths may be temporary; safety is a key factor in designing steps Permanent walks should be 4 ½’ wide
Banks, Walls, & Fences… banks form a separation between two elevations; walls are formal and provide permanent boundaries, enclosures, and privacy Fences are less formal and less expensive; they define boundaries, provide privacy , block sun and wind, contain children and pets and enclose pools
Patios, Decks, and Game Areas… used for relaxation or recreation; patios are level with the ground while decks are above ground; decks and patios should be large enough to accommodate outdoor furniture Volleyball, badminton, croquet, horseshoes, tennis, basketball, & tetherball - outdoor activities needing space
Pools & Water Features… from a simple bird bath or fountain, to waterfalls and pools, water has a universal appeal; it’s cooling and has a soothing sound Water features are always a focal point
Wildlife refuge… some landscaping features appeal to or attract wildlife such as fish, birds, butterflies, or small animals.
Adding landscaping to your house plans… use care in foundation plantings that do not break up basement walls and in planting large trees a safe distance from rooftops Coniferous trees are usually represented by jagged edges, while deciduous trees are rounded
LANDSCAPING The End
Landscaping assignment... Using labels, a legend, or identifiable symbols, plan and add landscaping features to your whole house plan. Include both hard- and soft-scaping features. You may use limited pastel shading in your landscaping.