What They Provide Us In Our Landscaping
Landscaping-Plants are what we commonly referred to as the softscapes of the landscaping. Softscapes are the living parts of the landscaping. The softscape is the trees, shrubs, flowers and other ornamental plants growing around the foundation, in gardens and around the yard.
Landscaping-Plants offer form, texture and color to the landscaping. Moreover, of course the plants are ecologically the best part of the landscape. Living plants act as filters to the air, ground and water in our environment.
When doing a landscape plan or design, there are many factors to consider when planning the plantings. Some people prefer to keep it very simple while others want to take advantage of landscaping-plants to beautify and add all types of structure and texture to their surroundings.
Let us look at what plants offer us in our landscape.
Texture – Plants offer all types of texture. Plant leaves can be fine, medium, course, rough, smooth, shiny, or dull. The other parts of the plants also provide their own textures.
Color – Plants offer a variety of colors. The obvious is the colors of flowering plants. However, beyond the flowers are the colors offered by the foliage or leaves, and the color of the bark. Color is also seasonal. Plants often change color as the seasons change. A light green leaf in the spring may turn to dark green in the summer and bright red in the fall. When planning the color palette of a landscape, all 4 seasons need to be considered to take advantage of the changes of the season.
Structure – Structure comes from massive trees to the small ground covering plantings such as the grass. Tall and broad, tall and narrow, short and wide, wide and flat, upright and branching, round, pyramidal, oval and sculptured and the combination of all of those shapes and sizes make up the structure palette of the plantings.
Movement – Movement is an interaction of the plants with the movement of the air. Branches, leaves, flowers and stems of the plants all move with the wind providing visual interest to the eye.
Fragrance – Fragrance is provided by the leaves and of course the flowers of plants. Fragrance also is one of the primary factors in the attraction of insect and other wildlife.
Shade – The structure of plants provide shade. Shade is our natural air conditioning cooling the air and ground.
Ground Cover – Without plants, we have bare dirt. Plants provide a growing, living cover for the ground.
Erosion Control – The roots of plants hold the ground in place. Some plantings are specifically placed to help control erosion on slopes and hillsides.
So now we know some of the reasons why we use plants in the landscape, next let’s look at some things that will help guide us in selecting our plants. Click here to go to the plant-planning page.
Click here if you need help with plant terminology
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