Landscaping refers to any activity that modifies the visible features of an area of land, including:
1. Living elements, such as flora or fauna; or what is commonly referred to as gardening, the art and craft of growing plants with a goal of creating a beautiful environment within the landscape.
2. Natural elements such as landforms, terrain shape and elevation, or bodies of water;
3. Human elements such as structures, buildings, fences or other material objects created and/or installed by humans; and
4. Abstract elements such as the weather and lighting conditions.
Landscaping is both science and art, and requires good observation and design skills. A good landscaper understands the elements of nature and construction and blends them accordingly.
Thales, an early Greek philosopher known for his view that "all is water," spent considerable time thinking about the nature and scope of landscaping. Some of his students believed that in order for human activity to be considered landscaping, it must be directed toward modifying the physical features of the land itself, including the cultivation and/or manipulation of plants or other flora. Thales rejected this notion, arguing that any aspect of the material world affecting our visual perception of the land was a proper subject for landscaping. Both Plato and Aristotle praised Thales' analysis as a model for philosophy. In the early 20th century, British philosopher G.E. Moore cited Thales' reasoning as one of the few historical examples of how philosophical inquiry has led to genuine human understanding and progress.
SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT
Sustainable forest management (SFM) is the management of forests according to the principles of sustainable development. Sustainable forest management uses very broad social, economic and environmental goals. A range of forestry institutions now practice various forms of sustainable forest management and a broad range of methods and tools are available that have been tested over time.
The "Forest Principles" adopted at The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 captured the general international understanding of sustainable forest management at that time. A number of sets of criteria and indicators have since been developed to evaluate the achievement of SFM at both the country and management unit level. These were all attempts to codify and provide for independent assessment of the degree to which the broader objectives of sustainable forest management are being achieved in practice.
In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Non-Legally Binding Instrument on All Types of Forests. The instrument was the first of its kind, and reflected the strong international commitment to promote implementation of sustainable forest management through a new approach that brings all stakeholders together.
CONCEPTS OF LANDSCAPING
Landscaping involves modifying the visible features of one's locale in order to make it more beautiful or pleasing to the viewer's eyes. This may involve adding abstract elements to the scenery, changing the flora and fauna or by manipulating the surrounding landforms that in a functional & pleasing manner. Similar to other arts, landscaping is a practical form of "yard art" that requires a lot of time & energy as well as prior preparation & maintenance in accordance to the theme being incorporated.
In the 17th century philosophers believed that visual beauty was the main objective of landscaping, however as time progressed the western philosophers rejected the concept pointed towards visual standard for any art form. However the recent times have yet again witnessed a rise in this artistic tradition.
The art of landscaping has evolved differently in various regions of the world from these fictitious beginnings. This simply reflects the reality that each part of our planet has its own native plants and hard materials, and its own unique set of circumstances of climate or environment that people desire to modify. Some of this has been functional, such as the value of vegetable gardens nearby, the need for windbreaks on northern properties, or shade in hot southern climates. Some is related to culture, such as family gathering places, others to a common standard of beauty, such as the distinctive English Victorian formal garden. Basically it is human nature to control or modify their living space for utmost benefit; consequently the yards & gardens are personalized to generate harmony & ornamentation in life.
OBJECTIVES AND IMPORTANCE OF LANDSCAPING
The overall goal of landscaping on Fort Carson is to improve the physical and psychological well being of soldiers, family members, civilians, contractors, and those that visit Fort Carson while preserving resources. The following are Fort Carson landscaping objectives:
· Reduce the amount of water used for landscaping throughout the post and look for opportunities to use non-potable water whenever possible in line with Fort Carson's 25-year sustainability goal of reducing the total water purchased from outside sources by 75%.
· Use LID principles and creative runoff/downspout positioning to provide supplemental watering to landscaped areas.
· Improve the aesthetics of Fort Carson in a sustainable way by focusing on Xeriscaping.
· Provide consistent landscaping standards for all to follow.
· Provide inspiring landscaping that will create pride and ownership of their assigned areas by units and activities on Fort Carson.
· Create a unified approach to landscaping throughout the Installation.
· Protect/Conserve mature, desirable tree/shrub species to the maximum extent possible.
· Incorporate native grasses and other native plants into the landscape design.
IMPORTANCE OF LANDSCAPING
Landscape is important, not just as scenery but because it links culture with nature, and the past with the present. It has many values, not all of them tangible (such as sense of place); and it matters to people – it is people who create and value landscape.
Landscaping can make dull and solid areas pleasing to the eyes. It is responsible for making ordinary homes into spectacular ones and office buildings into warm, livable spaces. Beautiful landscaping in a yard can increase the property value of your home.
Well-looked after and highly valued landscapes are essential to social well-being and an economically healthy society. We value our landscapes because of their inherent interest, their contribution to both our national identity and our local distinctiveness, their artistic inspiration - and for the goods and services they can provide.
Landscapes provide a setting for our lives
Our landscapes provide for our needs as well as nature's, for example wildlife. Our activities influence and shape its appearance and function, these activities include:
- recreation and health
- wildlife and biodiversity
- education and experience
- farming, forestry and food
- natural resources
- transport and infrastructure
- local distinctiveness
However, urban landscape designs are integrated into a city's walkways, streets and neighborhoods. By providing residents with walkable streets and green areas, landscape designers create positive lifestyle changes. Foliage found in green areas provide natural filters for urban pollutants. Urban wildlife--squirrels, sparrows, crows--have a space to inhabit. The spaces also prevent crowded streets and neighborhoods from overheating.
FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED IN LANDSCAPE PLANNING
Choosing to landscape your property involves preparing for an expensive undertaking. Landscape planning should be your very first step before redoing your property. Buying plants and materials without a plan creates the potential for an expensive, chaotic experience. Landscape planning helps to organize this major undertaking and provide design options to assist with decision making.
Landscaping design actually has a lot of factors that need to be considered before it is done. These factors play a big role in the success of the design. they include:
1. Professional Landscape Planners
Consider hiring a landscape planner to evaluate your property or provide ideas to help you get started. You certainly don't have to use the services of the professional for creating gardens, installing borders and walls or general planting. Use a landscape professional to help you make choices about landscape features that would best suit your property. They help with garden location and suggest the best plants for the location based on soil type and available sunlight. While this might seem like an expensive outlay, most professionals will provide you with a detailed drawing and a plant and material list during this consultation.
Budget affects everything with landscape planning. Plants and materials aren't cheap, so expense must be your primary consideration. If you choose to use a design professional, give her your budget before planning begins. She'll suggest plants that fit within your cost parameters. Remember that you don't have to do every bit of landscaping at one time. Spacing the creation of gardens over a few years helps cut costs. Consider how plants will grow over time and whether individual plantings will require dividing with yearly growth. In addition, you can fill in with more plants each year to cut immediate expenses.
If you like the do-it-yourself concept, grab a sheet of graph paper and sketch out the hardscape elements of your property to scale. Hardscape elements include the house, driveway, walkway, deck, patio, porch or anything that functions as a permanent nonliving design feature of your home. You must landscape around these features, as well as consider some of them as focal points in your landscape. Typical home landscaping design leads directly to the entryway, focusing on the front door as the centerpiece. Backyard landscaping tends to flow outward from the main gathering space, whether it is a pool or gathering space on a patio or deck.
Address any issues, such as noise reduction or privacy issues. If you choose to add a fence, include this in the drawing. Hedges work well to hide ugly air conditioner and heating units, as well as to block portions of the yard for privacy with a natural fence. Consider how you'd like to frame the best features of your yard. Irregular garden shapes soften the sharp edges of wood decks, patios and fences. Also, decide just how much grass you'd like to mow.
Incorporate basic landscape concepts such as continuity, color and texture into your design. Continuity and color refer to the repetition of certain elements, such as plants, rocks or borders, to tie the design together. Texture refers to the use of various plants to create interest in the gardens. Mix evergreens with perennials or choose annuals to add interesting leaf and flower colors. Color and texture should be used in moderation so the design doesn't become too busy and confused.
4. The Size Of The Area
The size of the area which is to be designed is one consideration that figures hugely into the ideas for landscaping design. There are a lot of things that can be done for a big area, but smaller areas may have some limits with regards to what things can be added to it. Innovative design ideas for smaller areas may be just as difficult as larger areas and the problems are just the opposite for each other. You must decide what to put into a large area and what to leave out of the smaller area.
5. Lay Of The Land
The lay of the land is primary thing that one needs to be considered before the rest of your design plans begin to be implemented. Some of the garden design ideas may be great for a sloping area or an area with a pool of water or a grove of trees. The landscape artist should always view the area from all angles before making any landscaping design plans. Certain design plans for difficult land areas may need a few days to complete.
6. Preferences Of The Owner
This may be the most important factor in developing your landscaping design. The owner will always have the last say regarding the design that he or she likes for the area. The designer usually will have several consultations with the owner to consider what he or she has in mind for the area. The likes and dislikes of the owner will definitely be handy in building the right design for the area.
ORNAMENTAL PLANTS USED IN LANDSCAPING IN CALABAR MUNICPALITY
Ornamental plants are plants that are grown for decorative purposes in gardens and landscape design projects, as houseplants, for cut flowers and specimen display. The cultivation of these forms a major branch of horticulture. However, the ornamental plants used in landscaping in Calabar Municipality includes:
· Garden plants
Most commonly ornamental garden plants are grown for the display of aesthetic features including: flowers, leaves, scent, overall foliage texture, fruit, stem and bark, and aesthetic form. In some cases, unusual features may be considered to be of interest, such as the prominent and rather vicious thorns of Rosa sericea and cacti. In all cases, their purpose is for the enjoyment of gardeners, visitors, and/or the public.
Large trees shade dwellings and stop gusty winds. Small blooming trees may draw attention to an area of the landscape. Numerous varieties and cultivars offer spring bloom, summer fruit or autumn color. Plant trees that are suited to your climate, for worry-free maintenance.
Shrubs offer the same benefits as trees, usually in smaller amounts. Shrubs may be used as a privacy screen, a focal point and a means of attracting butterflies and pollinators for flower and vegetable plants. Shrubs, such as the blueberry, often require another for cross-pollination to set fruit.
Perennial flowers provide returning beauty in borders, beds and masses. Annual flowers supply color and fragrance while waiting on perennial blooms. Incorporate showy trees, shrubs, flowers and vines into the landscape for ornamental value and financial gain.
SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES USED IN THE MAINTENANCE OF ORNAMENTAL LANDSCAPING IN CALABAR MUNICIPALITY
In past surveys, lawn care and landscape maintenance professionals have reported their willingness to adopt Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies and use nonchemical pest management alternatives (Braman et al., 1998a; Garber and Bondari, 1996; Hubbell et al., 1997). Garden and landscape enthusiasts are also willing to seek pest- and disease-resistant ornamental plants for residential landscape use despite initial public skepticism about IPM (Ball, 1986; Garber and Bondari, 1992, 1996; Holmes and Davidson, 1984; Klingeman et al., 2004, 2006; Koehler, 1989; Stewart et al., 2002).
Numerous ornamental plant species and cultivars have been exposed to pests and plant diseases in university trials and then evaluated for subsequent injury. Results of some of these studies have been compiled into published plant lists highlighting plants that demonstrate tolerance and resistance to specific pests and diseases (Smith-Fiola, 1995). Ornamental host plant resistance (HPR) to pests and diseases is an integral component of successful landscape IPM. Increased use of pest- and disease-resistant ornamental plants would offer advantages to grounds maintenance professionals by reducing the time needed to monitor key plants in client landscapes (Stewart et al., 2002) and would address stated needs for a “total system approach” to IPM by affecting a shift in management behavior with benefits that persist for longer durations within the environment (Lewis et al., 1997).
Although end-users of ornamental plants are interested in pest resistance (Braman et al., 1998a, 1998b; Garber and Bondari, 1992, 1996), opinions of landscape management professionals have not been assessed, particularly with regard to how ornamental HPR may be perceived to affect company profitability. If insect- and disease-resistant plants are widely adopted by the gardening public, it is possible that landscape maintenance firms would have real or perceived loss of income resulting from reduced need for pesticide applications or fewer on-site visits to client landscapes. We consider landscape management professionals to include grounds managers, landscape designers, landscape architects, pesticide spray technicians, and others.
The extent to which this peer group is unwilling to adopt or advocate use of resistant ornamental host plants (e.g., because of concerns about profit decline or client unwillingness to accept plant substitutes) will place constraints on the market success of these plants as new cultivars are introduced to commercial trade. Therefore, objectives of this study were to question landscape management professionals and categorize their perceptions about the potential for insect- or disease-resistant ornamental plants to affect company or personal profitability as well as client satisfaction and to qualify these beliefs as related both to personal and firm demographics.
PROBLEMS OF MANAGEMENT OF ORNAMENTAL LANDSCAPES IN CALABAR MUNICIPALITY
The appearance of landscaped areas around facilities goes a long way in shaping the image of an organization. Well-designed and properly maintained grounds can greet both visitors and occupants with a pleasing appearance, minimize the time and resources needed to keep landscapes looking their best, and contribute to the organization’s sustainability efforts.
The role of grounds managers in achieving these goals starts well before maintenance begins. Getting managers involved early in the design process can ensure the efficient and cost-effective maintenance of landscaped areas.
Managers should get involved in the landscape design and planning process to avoid landscapes that are costly and difficult to maintain. Any landscape undergoing extensive rework typically involves designers with a good idea of what looks good, but they might not consider long-term maintenance needs. Involving maintenance early in the process to guide decisions helps ensure problems are minimal.
Two common problems are budgets are too small and time frames are too short. It seems landscape construction also is the lowest priority of all the subcontractors when it comes to conflicts and value engineering.
Another common problem is weeds interfere with the establishment of new plants. The critical solution to minimizing weed problems is getting the water right. New landscapes often feature a mixture of large plants, trees, and small specimen plants that all are trying to get established.
Managers often feel as soon as they turn on the irrigation system, everything will be watered perfectly, but problems can occur. Trees with large root balls might not get enough water if the irrigation system is set to deliver water for plants with shallower root systems. The reverse also is true, where systems can overwater smaller plants, an unintended result of ensuring trees are well irrigated.
Great landscaping does not stem exclusively from those days of planning and planting. Your property is a growing, living thing. You can set something beautiful into motion, but in order to get the most out of your landscaping plans, you will need to conduct regular maintenance. You will need to address the yard’s needs and to be proactive in order to prevent the development of problems that could completely derail your plans.
Our lawn is a critical part of our overall landscape, in most cases. Grass frequently forms the basis from which the rest of our landscaping efforts emerge. A good looking, healthy lawn is a necessity for those seeking landscaping success. The lawn in the canvas upon which landscapers paint.
Understanding the importance of great grass and the need for regular landscaping maintenance let us look at three things you can do to keep your property attractive and in line with your landscaping vision. These three lawn care tips are all “out of season” activities you can do to improve your landscape’s health and beauty.
Fertilization is a perfect example of maintenance for landscapes. It is one of those regular things that you simply cannot afford to neglect. Every year, as the end of autumn approaches, you should apply a final dose of fertilizer to your grass. The lawn will absorb those nutrients and they will help to keep it strong, healthy throughout the winter, and ready to explode into growth when things warm up again.
If your lawn is smothered in any location, it can do a great deal of harm. Before the really cold weather sits in, walk your property and carefully remove any debris from the lawn. Things like tree branches, logs, your children’s toys or that shovel you have been meaning to put back into the garage can do serious damage if left in place through the winter. Smothered grass is less disease resilient and may even die completely. You certainly do not want to usher in spring with a brown ring in the middle of the yard!
Aerate the grassy area before the year’s first freeze. As winter comes, thatch will accumulate and your lawn can be “choked off.” A serious aeration and that aforementioned fall fertilization will prepare your lawn to last out the cold and will position in for maximum spring performance. You can rent an aerator at any hardware store, if you do not own your own. Some people claim to get more than satisfactory results from manual aeration strategies, including special slip-on shoe cleats. Give your lawn a chance to breathe through the winter and it will thank you in the spring.
These are only three of literally thousands of potential landscaping maintenance tasks you can perform. These three means of improving your lawn’s health, however, do reveal why maintenance activity is necessary. If you simply “let things go,” you run the risk of undoing all of your hard work and encountering disappointing results. Last year’s landscaping accomplishment can become next year’s embarrassment if maintenance is not taken seriously.
Remember, you landscape is not a pretty picture that, once painted, remains in place forever. It is a constantly growing and changing collection of living things. It is, in many ways, an organism unto itself. In order to nurture it effectively, you will need to revisit it frequently. That is what maintenance is really all about.
Natural landscaping is adapted to the climate, geography and hydrology and should require no pesticides, fertilizers and watering to maintain, given that native plants have adapted and evolved to local conditions over thousands of years. However, these applications may be necessary for some preventative care of trees and other vegetation in areas of degraded or weedy landscapes.
Native plants suit today's interest in "low-maintenance" gardening and landscaping, with many species vigorous and hardy and able to survive winter cold and summer heat. Once established, they can flourish without irrigation or fertilization, and are resistant to most pests and diseases.
Many municipalities have quickly recognized the benefits of natural landscaping due to municipal budget constraints and reductions and the general public is now benefiting from the implementation of natural landscaping techniques to save water and create more personal time.
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