Friday, July 18, 2014

Landscape Design Tips

Landscape Design Tips: 
Plan for Maturity, Not Instant Gratification

When planting a garden, a grove or a tree, plan for maturity. Give plants enough space to grow to their full potential. Placing plants too close together, which is tempting because it makes your garden look fuller, will stunt the plants hindering their ability to grow as lush and full as possible. Think about the roots of plants and trees, they are similar to glaciers, where the top portion which is above ground is only about 50% of the whole plant. When plants are placed too close there isn’t enough room for proper root growth, which will harm the plant or tree.

 Consider the placement of the plant or tree. For example, planting a deciduous tree outside your window with southern exposure will be a great way to keep your home cool and shady in the summer and allow sun to penetrate indoors in the winter, but keep in mind, the tree will grow. Limbs extend and proximity will be shortened. There are also power lines to consider in many neighborhoods. If you plant a tree in close to proximity to a power line they are likely to get butchered by the city tree maintenance in an effort to keep the limbs from stretching towards the lines. 

Think about the shade planting a tree will provide, this is often a good thing, as it helps in addressing urban heat island effect. Yet, if you have a vegetable garden or a garden that thrives in full sun, placing a young tree nearby will cover it in shade in ten years, or sooner! It is also important to consider the future of the space you are planting. Will you be constructing a deck in a few years? Expanding your living room? Plant for longevity, not temporary aesthetics. It is also important to note the form the tree or plant is going to take as it matures, will it need growing support? Structure? Does it spread? Is it invasive? Does it prefer full sun or shade? What are its water requirements? There is a lot to consider when planting a garden or a tree. Read about it and then plan for maturity, not instant gratification.

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