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The North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service defines landscaping as “the art of organizing and enriching outdoor space through the placement of plants and structures in agreeable and useful relationship with the natural setting.”
It really is fun to plan a landscape that reflects oneself. Landscaping means shaping the plan to best use the advantages of the natural site. Fences, walls, walks, and structures such as gazebos or pergolas should all be a part of the overall landscape plan. Though many of us are happiest when working in our gardens, most gardeners want to keep the maintenance as simple as possible.
Plants mature and have different space requirements, and it is important to allow for the maturing of the family and plants. Gone is the day of foundation plantings of uniform green bushes all in a row across the front of the house. Today’s landscape is continuous and flowing. Sharp corners bordering perennial beds are to be avoided. Mowing is easier with a curve.
Today’s landscape should meet the following needs. The first concept to consider is who will use this area? Then, how much can be spent and what is the desire for this space? What space will be public and what will be private? Of course, one needs to grow things suitable for the climate and the natural conditions. And lastly, what materials are available and how will those materials be used?
Most of us wish the public parts of our landscape to enhance the look of the whole property, to put on the best face possible. You can choose a symmetrical or asymmetrical plan. A simple change in the placement of plants and structures can make a major difference in the look of the property. Use of height and color can make a major difference. Is the property to be formal or informal?
We once bought a red brick house with a garage on the front of the house that was painted white. Changing the color of the garage to a similar color of the brick gave us a chance to de-emphasize the garage, which jumped out at you. We were then able to arrange plantings that led the eye to the front door. Why would we want to have the eye go to the garage rather than the front door?
The conclusion of the discussion will be published next week.
Send your gardening questions or comments to: Brunswick County Master Gardener Column, P.O. Box 109, Bolivia, NC 28422, or call 253-2610. Enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope if requesting information or a reply. Answers may be printed in this column.
Employment and program opportunities are offered to all people regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability; North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.