April 1, 2012
Landscaping can be a pleasurable and rewarding experience. However, without proper planning it can quickly turn into a daunting task. The first step in designing any landscaping project is to consider the primary objective. Landscaping can serve many different purposes, from providing shelter from the weather, to attracting butterflies for added enjoyment, to providing beautiful surroundings without over-burdening the environment through too much water consumption. “Your first task, before putting shovel to earth, is to envision your dream landscape. You must decide what kind of space you want to develop.” (Erler, New Home Landscaping 2005). This pre-planning step will save time and money as well as insure the final product provides the right solution for its habitants. Landscaping as a Weather Barrier
When designing landscaping as a weather deterrent, there are a few questions to consider. Is the primary purpose to block unwanted wind? Is to shield a deck or patio from rain, or to provide a shady escape in warm-weather climates. The answer will help determine the most suitable solution. Fences, gates, trees, and shrubs all offer excellent insulation from a variety of weather conditions and also provide added privacy. However, if the objective is to shield a deck or patio from wind and rain, trees or shrubs may be more appropriate than fencing, which can wear over time with water damage. Landscape garden hedges can be formal or informal but “they should complement landscape designs for which they are planned” (Bramlage 2008). For example, it would not be aesthetically pleasing to use blue spruce pines in a design that is incorporating the natural beauty of a desert landscape. Time is also a factor when selecting weather-resistant options. Trees or shrubs that take ten to fifteen years to grow may not be suitable options if the desire for a weather-barrier is now. Some excellent, fast growing trees include: Willow...