Where to Find Landscaping Plants and Why They Are Important

Landscaping plants form the basis of any landscaping project and are very important. Selecting the proper plants can make a yard truly stunning or be a complete headache if not properly chosen. Plants can also have a specific purpose instead of simply being decorative and can be used as focal points, for erosion control, shade and screening. You need to get proper plants to avoid having to replant your garden fresh every single spring. You should think how much time you can take care of your yard every week, and depending on this, choose plants with little or higher maintenance.

It is very common for individuals to choose the wrong plants for their landscaping projects. You should try to have some basic landscaping information before purchasing plants. You should always have a plan before purchasing plants and be prepared in advance. You should completely design and decide what plants you want to incorporate into your design before visiting a nursery. This will also allow you to make sure you stay within your budget.

Beside mistakes with choosing the wrong plants, individuals also frequently do not pay attention to zoning, in that certain plants grow better in recommended zones and climates. You should pay attention to what zones are listed on for each plant. The tags on plants will provide enough information for you to make an informed choice. You should have this information before you go plant shopping in order to make sure you can use the plants you desire.

Finding Landscaping Plants

There are many different places in which you can purchase landscaping plants. The first place you should visit is your local landscaping center or gardening store. If they do not have the plants you want in stock then they may be able to tell you where you can obtain them. You will most likely need to stop at a few different stores but no matter how long it takes you will be happy you purchased the plants you want.

You can also purchase plants on the Internet. The Internet offers speedy searching and the ability to browse from your own home. Internet stores will also provide a lot of information on landscaping plants besides the ability to purchase them. In fact online plant stores can be a great place to obtain plant information. You can also see about getting any questions answered as their support staff will be very knowledgeable, as they will respond to your question in about a day.

Landscaping Using Ornamental and Decorative Grasses

If you want your landscaping to be different from everyone on the block try planting different styles of grasses. The landscaping in the front yard can be the type that forms clumps instead of the grass that must be cut, while the back yard and garden landscaping you may want to incorporate some taller versions of decorative grass.

Planting tall ornamental grasses in a group or in a row can create a privacy screen from neighbors, air conditioning units, trash cans or something else you want to hide. Some of the tall grasses include the big blue-stem with beautiful flowers and blue-grey leaves and can range in height from four feet to seven feet tall; pampas grass has tall pink flowers and will range from six to fifteen feet tall and the giant reed grass can range between fourteen and twenty feet tall and has leaves that are three inches across. Ornamental grasses need to be cut back in the spring which means you will lose that privacy screen while it grows back.

These beautiful landscaping plants bring texture to most flower beds. By using two or three varieties of miscanthus or some fountain grass will give this effect to hydrangea and lavender. Mounded grasses will complement the plants that have creative textures and the vertical grasses supplement the plants that are more rounded. A lot of your hardscapes can become inviting and warm when you use ornamental grasses around them. Some decorative grasses do not bloom so they will not attract bees and would be good to plant around a swimming pool.

You can also grow these grasses in decorative containers and place them on patios, balconies, decks, or even on a high-rise rooftop garden. With so many different shapes, sizes and colors of containers you can have an entire container garden of just ornamental and decorative grasses in all different species. You can mix and match the grass colors and sizes to coordinate with the sizes and colors of your containers. Do not limit the ornamental grasses just in your landscaping; you can also highlight a regular landscaping by placing some of these containers filled with these grasses to enhance an existing landscaped area.

If you plant the same decorative grass inter-mingled among some of your flowering plants it can help tie your entire garden together. If your flowers are the tall version you may think about using a blue fescue which is a clump forming grass; a tall feather reed grass works better with the lower blooming flowers and will also look nice in a vegetable garden. You do not want a grass that will run because they spread too much and will eventually look very weedy.

These clumping or low grasses make good borders around flower beds because they are small but you will need to plant close together so it will resemble a border. Ornamental grasses will stand out at the end of the season when most of the perennials and annuals look tired and worn out. Some grasses such as big blue-stem and switch-grass have a fall leaf color that is very beautiful; some grasses will have colorful seed heads.

You can attract the birds to the garden with decorative and ornamental grasses in the landscaping. The birds find shelter in some of the larger grasses, the blades of some the leaves are good for constructing nests, and the seeds that these grasses produce are enjoyable to the birds. Just remember to plant the native grasses for your area. The low growing and clumping or mounded grasses make excellent ground covers; they smother out weeds while creating the textures for the landscape. Try adding some decorative grasses to your flower garden or front lawn as part of your next landscaping project.

The Elements of Landscape Design – What is Hardscape Design and Hardscaping?

Many homeowners are familiar with landscaping and associate the term with a well groomed lawn and a pickup truck full of men with great tans and dirt under their fingernails…they work for a living!

Landscaping is synonymous with cut grass, weedless flower beds, and pickup trucks parked out front once a week. Interestingly, landscaping and landscape design has taken on a whole new face. With the integration of hardscape design and hardscaping, as well as water feature design and creation, a full-service landscaping firm is about so much more than cut grass and weedless flower beds!

Interestingly, and particularly for the uninitiated, the term “hardscaping” or the phrase “hardscape design” may be as familiar as Swahili or Afrikans to the average property owner, commercial or residential, in the United States.

Hardscape design and hardscaping is a subcategory of landscaping that refers to the usage of inanimate objects in landscape design. As the subcategory implies, hardscape design and hardscaping refers to “the hard stuff,” components such as metal (i.e., iron), brick, stone, concrete, and timber.

Hardscape design is just that, the design process, creating a plan to integrate inanimate objects into a hardscape. Hardscaping includes patio and deck construction, the creation of a stone or brick walkways, stone wall construction, creating a wooden fence or gate, and so much more. The application of hardscape design and hardscaping is limited only by the design team’s imagination.

Significantly, hardscape design and its implementation, hardscaping, is not limited to large-scale undertakings. In fact, any metal, stone, brick, or concrete decoration integrated into your existing landscape is hardscaping.

When planning a big project from concept through design and on to construction, it is crucial to consider both hardscaping and softscaping elements. Creating the proper plan, considering all aspects of an intelligent, well thought-out landscape and hardscape design is crucial to its success.

A question that must be addressed early on is what comes first?

Do we begin with the hardscaping or the softscaping (the landscaping)?

In most cases, it is advisable to begin with the hardscaping elements because they are the easiest to work with. By beginning with the hardscaping, you lessen the risk of injury to the softscaping (the plants), which may be damaged or destroyed by the physical exertion required by most hardscaping projects.

When integrating hardscape design elements into an overall landscape design, many favor curved objects instead of straight lines. By recognizing how hardscape and softscape elements compliment each other, an aesthetically pleasing design is the end result.

Creating curved walls and walkways may soften the landscape, counteracting the harsh, straight lines offered in most housing construction, sidewalks, and driveways. Consider a curvilinear walkway or path of stone to break up an area and create visual interest. Consider a water feature, flower bed, shrub or tree line, balanced with just the right hardscape elements.

Creating a curving path or walkway will also allow you and your visitors to wander through your landscape, taking in and enjoying the experience and the view.

Balancing landscape design and hardscaping, along with water features, into a unifying theme and a complete presentation is the real value of a full-service landscaping firm. Understanding these elements and how to apply them is crucial to your landscape design firm’s success.