Landscaping, a combination of scientific observation and creative challenge, adds beauty to almost any setting. Done well, it also increases property value and decreases energy consumption. The addition of plants as well as walkways and garden props are good investments into any outdoor setting. Landscaping by definition means visibly modifying the land for aesthetic purposes but with creativity landscaping can be used to make the land a more enjoyable space for relaxation and recreation.
Go Native with Natives
Native plants are accustomed to the local environment and add to the original ecosystem. Using only native plants in landscaping is called naturescaping and it is a creative way to start a low maintenance landscape design. According to Plantnative.org, a native plant resource, you might need to to "relearn" gardening in order to implement a native landscape design because a number of native plants are considered weeds and are removed by conventional gardeners. The web site offers a native plant finder to help you select the right plants for your area in addition to a three-step guide to making a naturescaping plan. The three steps include selecting and placing trees first, then shrubs and then getting creative with some herbaceous plants.
Landscape for Curb Appeal and Green Interest
Curb appeal is extremely important in creating an inviting and well maintained home. However, with a little green smarts your landscaping can be effective for aesthetic purposes as well as environmentally savvy and inexpensive. The Green Building Advisor recommends defining garden spaces, reusing stone, soil and plants you already have access to, and taking your time and creating a design that reflects the needs of your property. This means using succulent plants in dry climates or putting in retaining walls to prevent run-off. In addition, use paving and walkways to help establish drainage and maintain the landscape's overall durability.
Bring the Indoors Outdoors
One trend in landscaping includes creating living spaces outdoors. This could include elaborate sitting areas outside or an outdoor cooking and entertaining space. If you have an outdoor nook that feels cozy, use wooden or outdoor lawn furniture and structure the area as a sitting room. Use plants and shrubs to create the walls or boundaries of the space. Patio areas make exceptional outdoor kitchens complete with outdoor cooking equipment such as grills, brick ovens and even cooktops.