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5 Ways to Prepare Your Home for a New Dog

Bringing home a new dog is an exciting time for your family. But even the best dogs can cause damage to your home, or even hurt themselves if your...

on Jun 5, 2020

Bored In Lockdown? Refresh Your Kitchen

People around the world are taking advantage of their time in lockdown to tackle home improvement projects. A common area of focus is the kitchen,...

on Jun 3, 2020

A Short Guide to Transforming Your Lawn to Lush Green

Can you use an upgrade of your lawn? If there are more weeds than grass on your lawn and you still have bare patches, no matter what you do, it may...

on Jun 1, 2020

8 Reasons You Need Spray Foam Insulation

One question many homeowners are asking themselves is how to make their homes cooler in the summer or warmer in the winter. Whether during summer...

on Jun 1, 2020

A Brief Guide to Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is, by far, the most popular siding choice in the world nowadays. It is built using PVC resin in a panel structure that is installed...

on May 30, 2020

The Natural Landscape

by Dan Eskelson on May 1, 2012

Common buzzwords these days are "natural", "organic", "environmentally responsible", "ecology" and other terms relating to how we tend to our environments. In the garden and landscape field, much has been written in recent years concerning our role as stewards of the land; what are the best strategies and techniques to ensure that the integrity and health of our surroundings are preserved for future generations? What is the natural landscape?

A natural landscape first considers each site as specific; that is, our landscape design decisions must be predicated on the conditions of our local surroundings and should enhance these surroundings. A good understanding of local climate, soil and topography is the foundation for further landscape decisions. The natural landscape is inherently low maintenance, because plant material is chosen for it's adaptability to the site; native plants, or plants that have proven themselves locally, do not need extensive site modifications to thrive.

Plant material is also chosen for a natural, free-flowing form; severely pruned and manicured forms have no place in the natural landscape. The natural landscape often limits the size of lawn areas; turf grass requires a large investment in irrigation, food, chemicals, fuel and mowing time. Often, turf is used only for pathways connecting different outdoor "rooms". Instead of large turf areas, the natural landscape uses native plants, ornamental grasses, hardy perennials, bulbs, wildflowers and other well-adapted plant material.

Plantings are usually in large, asymmetrical groupings, with bold color statements. Year round interest is a prime concern for the natural landscape. Not everyone can utilize all the tenets of the natural landscape, but even the very small city garden can benefit from the basic principle of site specific plant selection and free flowing design.

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