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A Corner of Nature

Landsape Gardening

By NED HAGGARD
No time, no time, have to run, have to dash, that cost how much!? Whew! There's just no restful calm in this world anymore! But wait, not so...in fact, you can refresh the environment, help prevent crime, make a corner of nourishment and beauty spring, summer, fall and winter, and most of all find a center of calm in a harried, hurried world...yours and mine.
   
How? Landscape gardening. It can be vast or it can be small. It can walk walls or it can climb trellises, it can feed flat land, it can grace rises and hills, it can do wonders for little or much, it can find home in the country or the urban crunch. And you can be young or you can be old. It can fill your joy and your hands for hours or minutes a day.
    
And the season of landscape adventure is growing nearer with the passing of each cold to chilly day. Let's take a closer look then let your world-worn imagination run to a restful sigh planning a homemade place of renewable joy....
   
The options are approaching the endless: water element landscaping brings water’s soothing to your backyard. From designer waterfalls to urns, fountains and ornamental fixtures, water brings both practical advantages and healing sounds. Rain gardens are increasingly popular as a way of decreasing water pollution; rain gardens allow runoff from roofs, driveways and walkways to absorb into the ground rather than drains. An additional benefit is that rain gardens help eliminate standing water that can breed mosquitoes. Some people even “harvest” rainwater in barrels and connect hoses for garden or utility use cutting their water usage and bills. Utility can also embrace a mixture of edible and decorative plants yielding “patio vegetables” such as some varieties of tomatoes and eggplants without taking a great deal of space if your backyard or terrace is limited.   

Mentioning space, some people like combining the indoor/outdoor effect by using retractable doors to open a family or living room to the patio in seasonable weather. Home gardeners and professional landscapers sometimes use the beauty of the garden with merging décor so the impression of indoor and outdoor converge, creating a relaxing embrace within and without. The options are unlimited.
   
These days, for a multitude of reasons including longer days, shorter vacations, and later retirement landscape enhancements such as home gardens are gaining popularity all but exponentially. In short, people are staying home more than they once did and contributing more beneficial character to their living environments in compensation. The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) conducted a national survey in 2012 of landscape architects specializing in residential design and learned that 96.6% rated low maintenance landscapes as very popular. Grills, fire pits and fireplaces were rated at 95.8% as enhancing adjuncts to landscape designs.
   
This article only gives a hint of the energy and enthusiasm people are bringing to their joy in landscaping a home garden design. There are so many things people can be and are doing to beautify and secure their homes; colorful flowers and shrubs that maintain throughout the cycle of seasons ease the drabness of the colder, more barren months. Low-maintenance choices reduce the time demanded for keeping a garden beautiful while lengthening the pleasure in spending time in and near it. Gardens and careful landscaping choices can even discourage crime; thorny bushes near windows and doors can discourage would-be home invaders, prickly, perimeter bushes discourage temptation to intrude upon properties, ground cover plants around walkways make access more difficult, and landscaping stones alert one to unwelcome footsteps. It is worth noting that studies have shown that well-maintained neighborhoods are themselves deterrent to criminal trespass, implying a better integrated neighborhood thought to have greater security.

The possibilities abound but the joy, benefit and creativity inherent in home gardens and landscaping are rewarding and renewing. There are also numerous landscapers, name branded across the land and local that are available to advise and help the homesteader develop their planned and imagined gardens to realization.

Published: February 23, 2013
Issue: Winter 2013 Issue