When most homeowners, businesses and cities make choices regarding landscape design, the prime concern most often relates to appearance. After all, professional landscape design can accomplish a great deal in terms of improving the natural beauty of any location, but most people do not realize how landscaping can be used for other purposes as well. With a shrewd landscaper who understands the specific goals desired by their client, flowers, shrubs and trees can be used to achieve many surprising outcomes. Sebastian Hirsch recognized this potential many years ago, and he recently detailed some of the more interesting ways landscaping has been used.
Every gardener has very likely dealt with the scourge of pests, and many try a variety of methods to control these pests with varying degrees of success. When oils and insecticidal soaps do not work, many are tempted to turn to chemicals despite a clear desire to avoid such products. Those who are against these chemicals may abandon their garden altogether, instead opting to destroy their flowers, fruits and vegetables when they feel they have no other option.
What many gardeners do not realize is that landscape design can conquer pests without any need for pest control products. Landscapers can arrange plantings in such a way that the most destructive pests are repelled naturally, with one example being the use of marigolds as a border surrounding a vegetable garden. Since the pests are repelled by the plantings arranged by landscapers, there is no need to use any chemicals for pest control purposes.
There are several ways in which landscape design can contribute to road safety, and the most obvious method relates to simple maintenance. It is all too often the case that a city or local government will plant trees and shrubs to beautify the roadside but will also fail to properly maintain their plantings so they do not obstruct the view of drivers. It should be obvious that safety should be the paramount concern of a local government, but it is still common for drivers to be frustrated by an inability to clearly see oncoming traffic due to improperly maintained plantings.
Instead of using plantings to beautify the roadways, cities should consider using these plantings to delineate areas designated for a specific use. Bike lanes, for example, are often only identifiable by road markings that are not exactly easily recognized by drivers, creating unsafe conditions for cyclists. By using a hedge or some other planting as a barrier, cities can ensure that drivers recognize the bike lane while also beautifying the city’s roadways.