Landscape Architecture

landscape architecture,what is landscape architecture,landscaping architecture
Landscape Architecture
By David Widelock

What is Landscape Architecture

Landscape architects, along with engineers and architects, design the environment that is created outside of buildings. That is a broad definition for a broad profession. The FDR memorial in Washington D.C. was designed by a landscape architect, Lawrence Halprin (who also laid out the Sea Ranch development in Northern California, among his other notable accomplishments). Your front yard may well have been designed by a landscape architect working with the original developer of your neighborhood. Parks and trails, street-scapes, remediated brown fields, commercial, public and residential gardens and landscapes are all part of landscape architecture.

For most site designs, meaning a set of drawings a specific address, a typical set of drawings and services might include all or some of the following:

Preliminary plans:

Also called “Master Plans”, this is the conceptual phase, where the elements of the landscape architecture are planned. The shape and location of such features as walls, fences, decks, trellises, steps, paving and circulation, and major planting elements such as trees, lawns, shrub massing, and screening are fit together into a whole.

Design development:

In this phase materials to be used in developing the landscape architecture design are selected such as types of paving, stone, finishes, and accessories.

Construction Drawings:

This can include planting, irrigation, layout, grading, drainage, and construction details for decks, trellises, fences, paving, retaining walls, etc. These are drawings that a contractor uses to bring the planned landscape architecture off the page and into real life.


Working with city planning and building departments and design review boards to ensure that the plans meet the requirements and that required calculations are submitted, such as for the California WELO (Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance). Obtaining proper permits is an important part of any landscape architecture project and should not be overlooked.

Cost Estimating:

Providing accurate and complete estimates of the costs that will be incurred bringing the landscape architecture project to completion.

Bid Assistance:

Help with choosing contractors, and preparing bid letters and contracts. Almost any landscape architecture project will require the services of several different tradecraft professionals.

Construction Administration:

Site visits to observe construction and work with the general contractor to achieve a successful landscape installation; managing contractor payments, and creating and clearing a final punch list. Designing residential retaining walls (a good example of how a licensed professional can help you): in California, a licensed landscape architect can design retaining walls up to 3 feet high. Walls over that height must have calculations by a structural engineer.

So, instead of viewing a professional landscape architect as an unnecessary expense, making him (or her) an integral part of your team will go a long way towards ensuring that your project is done on time, on budget, and will last for years.

If you are located in northern California, David Widelock is a licensed landscape architect in Oakland, Ca. Visit his web site at DWL Design

Backyard Gardening Ideas

backyard garden ideas

5 Good Backyard Garden Ideas

Dare to be different with some fresh backyard garden ideas. Backyard garden ideas are legion, and can be used to enhance a regular piece of land into something quite magnificent.

#1 – Spanish Style Vertical Garden

A vertical garden will truly make your backyard garden ideas stand out. Now you may look at a blank wall as if you are an artist intending to create a work of art. The empty wall is your clean canvas you will completely transform into a beautiful living display of containers and blooming plants that can transform into a riot of color all year round.

Spanish style flower pot holders are offered which are specifically created to carry plastic or clay pots or maybe wicker work conical containers. Spanish style flower pot holders will give a serious flavor of the Mediterranean.This design of pot holders were originally inspired by the narrow, twisting alleyways of Southern Spain.

These garden accessories are very strong, capable of carrying quite a bit of weight, come in a variety of sizes and designs, and are very easy to use. All in all, they are a great way to turn almost any blank wall into a focal point.

#2 – Feng Shui Style Garden

In Chinese gardens Feng Shui is an underlying factor. Feng Shui garden landscaping techniques blend two separate energies, “wind” (Feng) and “water” (Shui) energies as the landscaping practice originated in China more than 3,000 years ago

“Wind energy” symbolizes good health. It is associated with good fortune and luck. One can identify this vitality in mountains, higher terrain and hills. Virtual wind energy can be realized in boulders, elevated planting beds and garden walls.

“Water energy” is also associated with health, fortune and luck and is established by including any kind of water feature within your garden. This can be as simple as a single container fountain or as elaborate as a waterfall (which will also include “mountain energy” as well). To achieve the most “water energy”, the water feature must keep the water in motion.

#4 – Japanese Garden

Undoubtedly the most famous feature of a Japanese themed garden is the Koi pond. Koi are an ornamental variety of the carp species and are prized for their beauty. A Koi pond is a water feature that’s created to support the fish. The size of the pond is determined by how many fish you intend to host. This will require some homework by you to determine what size pond it is possible to install. Koi fish pond kits are sold in many different sizes so you shouldn’t have any problems finding one to suit your situation.

After the pond is installed added garden features such as smooth stones, bamboo, and growing water plants will complete a exquisite and peaceful space.

#5 – Foliage Garden

A foliage garden is a garden with no flowers. Flowers aren’t the only things that can bring color to your backyard? There’s often talk about the rose garden, the dahlia bed, the wildflower meadow, etc. anytime the subject of gardens comes up, but there never seems to be very much talk about the leaves. But, when carefully planned and properly tended to, a foliage garden presents a pristine landscape that, depending on the vegetation selected, can be very soft and inviting. Or, it can be spectacular and incredible.

After you have your backyard garden ideas you can begin making a plan on ways to accomplish your goal. If you’re planning to landscape your backyard, make time to investigate as many different backyard garden ideas that you can find. You’ll be looking for ideas that not only look good, but fit your personal requirements,too.

Whatever your backyard garden ideas are they are worth pursuing. Just because the rest of the neighborhood uses rose bushes and grass doesn’t mean you have to as well. If you choose carefully and build a garden that is in harmony with the rest of your property and home, almost any of the backyard garden ideas we discussed here will work.

Have Fun!

Caring for Your Backyard Garden Use The Right Tools

backyard garden

Caring For Your Backyard Garden

By Dan Annweiler

The tools and accessories used for fighting plant pests and weeds in your backyard garden are of two kinds. The first is the equipment needed to afford physical safeguards for your flowers and vegetable plants. The second are those designed to apply pesticides and herbicides.

Protecting Your Garden Plants From The Cold

Of the first one of the most helpful among gardening implements is the covered frame. This frame is made up of a timber box, some eighteen inches to two feet square and approximately eight inches high. It is covered with glass, protective cloth, mosquito netting or insect wire. The first two coverings have the greatest benefit of safeguarding your backyard garden plants from the cold.

Protecting your plants from freezing allows you to plant sooner rather than later. You can use either glass or protective cloth extensively in getting an extra early and safe start. Especially with plants like cucumbers, melons as well as zucchini and eggplant.

Protecting Your Backyard Garden From Weeds And Pests

For the purpose of applying poison powders you should consider purchasing a powder gun. Though if you have to be restricted to a single tool, it will probably be better to acquire a hand-powered, compressed-air sprayers.

Compressed-air sprayers are designed for applying wet sprays. The non-cloggable automatic model of compressed-air sprayer is the most effective for most. For further extensive work, a wheeled barrel pump is advisable, but any of the above is going to do plenty of work in a short time.

Extension rods used to treat bushes and vines can be used with either the barrel pump or compressed air-sprayer. For backyard gardening on a small scale, a sturdy hand-syringe can be used. As general rule it will probably be best to spend a few dollars and get a compact tank sprayer.

Tank sprayers throw a steady flow of spray and hold a larger amount of solution. Whether you choose to buy a hand-syringe or tank sprayer, consider buying a brass one. Brass syringes and sprayers out last those made up from less expensive materials. Such lower quality syringes and sprayers often succumb quickly to the corroding action of the powerful toxic compounds and chemical products used.

Other Backyard Gardening Tools To Consider

Of tools used for the purpose of harvesting such as the spade, prong-hoe and spading-fork, only a few are needed in the small backyard garden. Most backyard gardeners don’t need to plow long, straight rows.

For the purpose of fruit picking, with extra tall trees, a wire-fingered fruit-picker, attached to the end of an extension pole, is a good investment. But with the present day technique of using low-headed trees it shouldn’t be needed.

A different class of gardening tool are the types used for pruning. Pruning should be attended to as required with no delays. A very good, sharp jack-knife and a set of pruning shears will effortlessly tackle all of the trimming and pruning work necessary.

Still another style of backyard garden equipment are those required for supporting your plants; stakes, trellises and wires for example. Not enough attention normally is given this type of garden equipment, but with proper care in storing over the winter months they will last. Plus, when in good condition will add to the convenience of cultivation and to the clean look of your garden.

A Final Word On Backyard Gardening Equipment

As a final word to the intending purchaser of backyard garden tools, I would personally recommend doing a bit of homework. Buying what you need and taking care of it will save money over time. And when investing in gardening tools, keep in mind that a superb, well-made high quality product will give you good use for a long, long time after the price is forgotten. While a poor, low quality product can be a constant source of irritation.

Find superior equipment, and take good care of it. A few bucks a year, sensibly spent, for gardening tools that are properly cared for afterward, will provide you with a complete set of high quality gardening tools. And in all likelihood, doing so will increase your backyard garden enjoyment.

Caring for Your Backyard Garden

Organic Gardening Tips For Budding Organic Gardeners

You have finally understood how an organic garden could save you money on groceries. The time to do it is now. To follow is plenty of useful advice to get your organic garden underway.

Use annuals and biennials to enliven your flower beds. You can use biennial and annual flowers to brighten the bed, and let you change how it looks. Use these beautiful flowers to line your driveway, surround trees and shrubs, and for decorative hanging baskets. Some of these that you might consider are petunias, marigolds and sunflowers. If those are not flowers you like, you can also try cosmos, holyhocks or rudbeckias.

Cover any wall or fence with climbers. Climbing foliage is a great way to disguise unsightly features on your property, sometimes in the span of just one season. You can direct them over certain branches or boards, or you can send them through plants you already have. Some must be tied onto a support, but a number of climbers attach to surfaces with twining stems or tendrils. Some of the most reliable varieties are wisteria, clematis, jasmine, honeysuckle and climbing roses.

Be sure to weed your garden. If you have weeds in your garden, it will not be as nice as it could be. Try using white vinegar to get rid of weeds. White vinegar is a fantastic weed killer! So, use a spray solution of white vinegar if you are tired of pulling those weeds by hand.

Seeds should be soaked in a dark area overnight. Place your seeds in a container filled with water. This way, your seeds are well-hydrated and can start growing with a head start. The seeds will have a better chance of surviving and maturing.

It’s easy to just jump in and start horticulture without thought, but it’s important to plan your garden first. Having a planting plan will help you correctly identify the young plants once they start to sprout. In addition, some plants are so small you might forget you planted them once all your plants sprout. Planning stops these plants from getting lost in the crowd.

Always fertilize your garden. Manure is great in enabling plants to grow, although it’s vital to use commercially composted products in order to lessen the risk of a variety of pathogens. The options for fertilizing are vast and include environmentally sound choices, so no matter which you choose, just be sure to use one.

You should think about adding evergreen plants that yield berries into your yard space. These year-round berries will give the rest of your yard a much-needed pop of color, especially in the winter. Some examples include Holly, Snowberry trees, Winterberry and similar plants.

Buy a wheelbarrow and kneeling stool to work with in the garden. Horticulture can take a toll on the knees, but a small ergonomic stool will be a comfortable solution. Using a wheelbarrow or wagon to transport heavy loads of dirt will help protect you from back injuries so make sure that you have one.

There is always a best time to pick your garden’s vegetables, and you should know them. Individual vegetables have distinct windows of time to pick for getting the greatest flavors. For example, baby peas and zucchini taste best when they are picked young. Yet, in reverse, tomatoes must wait for prime-ripeness before they are subject to being picked. Thus, you ought to familiarize yourself with the best times to pick the produce from your garden.

You must consider how much light is available when starting your plants indoors. If the garden will receive little sunlight, find plants that can grow in medium or low-light environments. You could also consider using grow-lights for this exact purpose.

Do not plant your seeds in a rush. First, you should loosen the soil, and ensure that it is sufficiently moist. Then distribute the seeds so that they are evenly spaced and have sufficient room to grow. Bury them three times as deep as the size of the seeds. There are some varieties of seed that are not planted underground since they require light to grow.

Take your seedlings and saplings to a cooler spot once they are established. As they begin growing you can move them farther away from heat sources. You can now take off any protective coverings on your plants that were there to shield them from the elements. Monitor the seeds carefully so you know the best time to do it.

Certification is important in order to be considered a legitimate organic gardener. This also does several things to boost your business. First, it is likely to increase your sales as it builds trust in more customers. Second, it shows customers who have been loyal that the quality produce you provide is top notch.

At this point, you should feel more confident about your gardening skills. You may have thought you were prepared before, but now you will be a veritable expert! The above tips should help you begin growing an organic garden that is beautiful and healthy.

Advice For Growing A Better Organic Garden

Many consider horticulture to be a relaxing and stress relieving hobby. Knowing which soil to purchase, which horticulture equipment to buy and when to plant your seeds are some of the key questions gardeners are asking. Continue reading to get some handy guidance that can help you in your gardening efforts.

So you don’t shock the plants, you should gradually get them use to a change in the temperature and conditions. You need to give them about an hour of sunlight during the first day. As the week progresses, gradually increase their exposure to the outdoors. After a few more days, your plants will be more resistant and ready to stay outside all the time.

Clay is difficult to dig through with a shovel, as it is sticky and compact. Rub a thin layer of floor or car wax over the surface of the shovel, and then buff the surface using a clean cloth. This will make shoveling in clay soil easier. By waxing the shovel head, the clay will not be able to adhere to the surface.

Do not plant perennials that are prone to snail infestation. Snails and slugs can destroy plants in just one night. These garden pests prefer perennials with thin, flat, delicate leaves, particularly if the plant is not yet mature. Perennials with hairy, tough leaves as well as those with unpleasant taste are not appetizing to snails and slugs. Achillea, euphorbia, helleborus, heuchera and campanula are good choices that slugs don’t like.

Carbon Dioxide

Carbon dioxide, or CO2, is essential to the growth of plants because of its role in photosynthesis. A higher level of CO2 will help plants grow better. A greenhouse will provide plants with an environment rich in carbon dioxide. In this environment, the CO2 levels are kept high so the plants can experience optimal growing conditions.

While working in your garden during the fall season, watch out for those stink bugs! These destructive pests enjoy many kinds of fruit, as well as beans, peppers and tomatoes. They can do a lot of damage if they are not controlled.

Before you start planting your garden, plan it! Doing this makes it easier to keep track of where you planted what when you first start to see sprouts. This can also help prevent you from losing smaller plants or smaller groups of plants within a larger garden area.

Peas have a better chance of survival when their seeds are started indoors as opposed to outside, exposed to the elements. Seeds are more likely to sprout when started indoors. The seedling may also be hardier, which means that they can better resist disease and attacks from pests. You can transplant the seedlings outside after they are sturdy enough.

Pest control is very difficult if you are dealing with your veggie garden. It is wise to limit the use of harsh chemicals, because the vegetables will be eaten. One way to control gardening pests is to be vigilant. When you are vigilant, you can simply remove the pests from your plants manually as soon as you notice them. Early detection is the best solution to ridding your garden of pests.

Don’t use broad-spectrum pesticides in the garden. These strong pesticides are non-selective, killing beneficial insects as well as pests. These helpful bugs are usually more sensitive to the chemicals than the pests, so if you find yourself in a situation where the good bugs are dying out, you can expect the pest problem to grow. Your problem will only get worse and you will find yourself using more pesticides.

When landscaping and horticulture in autumn, choose plants and trees with vibrant colors. But, that does not have to be the case! The autumn season can be one of the best growing seasons and is certainly the most colorful. There are a number of trees that provide exuberant displays of color, such as Dogwood, Beech and Maple. When selecting shrubs that will be colorful during the fall, consider hydrangea, barberry, or cotoneaster.

You need to be smart when it comes to watering your garden. A soaker hose is a great way to water all of the plants at once, and will save you a lot of time. Keep the soaker’s water pressure at a low level, so that your tender plants will not be harmed. Let the soaker hose do its thing for a couple hours, and your plants are watered.

Vegetables are softer when they are warmer, increasing the risk that you will damage them. Twisting off vegetables causes damage to the plant; always snip them at the base of the vine.

As you have learned from this article, gardening can seem like quite the task, yet is manageable if you know what you’re doing. If you have the proper advice and you plan out your garden correctly, your garden can grow quickly. By taking the tips given and preparing what you need in advance, you will find yourself with a beautiful garden in no time.