For those planning to learn how to landscape, a residential landscaping project is a good start. There are many parts of a building which can be landscaped like the front or back garden, facade, gate, corridors, garage walls, fence, screen porch, patio, rooftop and garden.
The gate is usually the first place one notices when one enters a house. Put some ornamental plants around or beside it.
Landscaping is not only for beautification; it also conveys a message or a meaning. An entrance that is concealed by plants may indicate privacy the owner wants to have. Gates covered with vines and thorny plants suggests a reluctance of the owners to allow visitors inside.
Landscaping is also used for protection. Since plants may be used as fences or hedges, using thorny plants as a fence will deter intruders. The patio, lanai and porch are often landscaped with plants. Plants in pots or hanging baskets, especially those with flowers, are best for decorating these places.
For desert design, various kinds of cactus are commonly placed around large stones. The cactus plant may also be used as accent in stone gardens.
Conceal some unsightly structures such as electric posts that are near the house with the use of plants. This way, attention will be shifted away from the ugly posts to the plants.
Make narrow alleyway or entrance appear more spacious by putting plants that have wide or fan-shaped leaves along or beside it.
Decorate windows with plants. Climbers look nice on windows. Place plant boxes or plants in flower pots. To be sure that these boxes will not cause any harm, tie and set them firmly in place. Otherwise, they should be arranged in certain parts of windows where they will not fall easily or get pushed aside.
Creepers like ivy can be planted in front of the house. Some plants may be pruned and shaped like topiaries and hedges that will add beauty to the landscaping design.
The Way to Plant a Tree
Determine what kind of tree will be best for the design. If the tree will be allowed to fully grow, provide a wide area around it. Make sure that there is enough distance between trees so that the branches can fully grow out and other nearby plants and walls will not be destroyed by its roots.
- Dig a hole where the tree will be planted. Allow a 12 to 18 inch wide hole as allowance for the roots.
- Remove the plant or seedling from its plastic bag. Do not remove the soil that cling to its roots.
- Put the plant in the hole. Gradually cover the roots with soil.
- Fill the dug hole with soil, preferably a planting medium or garden soil with fertilizer.
- Prop the plant so it will not sag or bend.
If you are planting during summer, dig a canal around the newly planted sapling. This will trap water and maintain the moisture of the soil so the plant will survive the heat and grow well. Provide a shade or cover for the replanted seedlings or plants for the first few days until the transplanted plants have adjusted to the environment and the heat.
Remove the weeds around the plant so they will not compete for the soil nutrients.
The method of planting shrubs is just about the same as planting trees. The only difference is that shrubs do not need to be propped up. They can also be planted close together without too much space between the transplanted saplings.
Wall shrubs and climbers, like honeysuckle, are used to conceal a garden or beautify walls or buildings. Plant shrubs and climbers 25 cm from the wall for support and to protect them from wilting. Climbing plants may also be provided with a trellis.
Some plants can be placed in containers and arranged at the borders. A variety of plants can be placed together, while some may be arranged separately to highlight their beauty.
A landscape design must look nice from all angles., There are several ways to achieve a certain look, such as:
- If the landscaped area is to be fully appreciated from the front view, place the big plants at the back and the small ones in front.
- If the landscaped area is to be appreciated from the sides, put the big plants in the middle. The rest of the plants should be arranged according to size and height, placing the smallest plants at the edges. Do the same if the landscaped area is in the middle of a place where viewers will be milling around.
- If trees are planted in pots, use pots or containers that are 30-40 cm wide. Shrubs should be planted in 18-20 cm pots.
Plants best suited for lagoons and ponds are called floating aquatics like the lotus and the water lily. To maintain the beauty of the garden, weeds and dry leaves must always be regularly removed. Pruning the plants, specially the shrubs will maintain their form and shape. Never forget to water plants.
The secret to a lush and beautiful garden is in the use of plants that are acclimatized to the weather conditions of the place where they will be planted.