Everything outside constitutes a landscape
Inhabitants of big cities in the throes of urban development are faced with the urgent need to reconcile with nature by replacing greenery in open spaces between edifices, thereby recomposing their landscape. Here is where landscaping distinguishes itself as an indispensable and fundamental factor that affects the food we eat, the air we breathe, and our quality of life.
Landscape gardening is not merely about the variations of gardens and plants, the organized or disorganized placement of ornamental, medicinal or edible plants. Much more than this, it is the strongly artistic technique that brings visual pleasure and transforms a haphazard building construction site, or even a finished new building that fails to blend with the land view, into a reconstitution of natural scenery.
Landscaping requires knowledge of botany, ecology, climatic variations, architecture and agriculture, and the compatibility of forms and colours.
From this combination comes the basis for the ideal harmonious landscape for any area, utilizing variations of plant species compatible with the climate, the soil and local scenery.
One would hardly want to place a kitchen garden or mini farm near a school with a children’s play field. Ornamental plants and bright colours would more easily blend with that landscape.
Landscaping is Everything Outdoors, whether in a residential, institutional or industrial environment. It includes any material that defines or delineates space – earth, plants, wood, cement blocks, clay bricks, bitumen or concrete.
The benefits of green areas abound in any community or environment. The effects contribute to the equilibrium of the eco-system, and result in the improvement of the quality of air, of natural control of atmospheric temperatures, of maintenance of rainfall patterns, of pleasant visual repose, and the decrease of urban din.
Landscapers, amateur or professional, must take every facility, asset and condition into consideration before embarking on any landscaping project. Too often, gardens are created to become true landscaping aberrations, transgressing common sense which, as a consequence, are doomed to disappear in short time.
The principal cause of this is the ignorant use of plant species whose characteristics of development disagree with climate, soil conditions and light availability, among other things.
The result is a poorly developed landscape prone to the attack of pests, diseases, unaccustomed climate and other ills. In other instances, large-sized plants inadequately allocated, stifle and eliminate smaller ones. The practice of landscaping by persons not au fait with correct handling of greenery ends with defeat of the main purpose and wanton waste.
It is necessary to understand that landscaping is the means by which the human being could re-establish part of nature’s broken equilibrium.
The effect of nature’s imbalance is already being felt today in all parts of the civilized world through natural catastrophes, by pollution on land, sea and air.
The uncontrolled felling of trees in some parts of the world, clearing of shrubbery, and upset of low growing grass for urban construction, has done no good for the well-being of planet earth.
It therefore becomes imperative for professional landscapers, these crafters of nature, to understand the real magnitude of their noble work which could very well save tomorrow’s humanity.
Fitz H. Ogle
Botanical Gardens, Georgetown