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An Introduction To Landscaping
By: Christopher Byrnes

Landscaping is traditionally considered a Herculean task, consuming an enormous amount of time and energy. But before you hire a professional to come in and do it for you, why not consider some of the following ideas? They may save you precious time and money.

1. Spend some time considering just how you want the finished design to look. You need to take account of the style and function of your landscape. Do you want to include an area for entertaining? How about a barbeque? Is there to be an area for children to play, a fishpond or a swimming pool? A good idea of the flowers, plants and shrubs you want to feature will also be of benefit. Focus on the area where you spend most of your time. This is a good starting point.

2. Think twice before hiring a professional. An independent designer will likley cost you hundreds of dollars when you may be able to access free plans on the Internet or purchase them at a nursery, or online for minimal costs. On the other hand, if you have an awkward feature such as very steep ground, a professional might give you the expertise to save costly mistakes.

3. You should also consider the style of your home, and take that into account when planning. For example, if you have a rural cottage, formal gardens surrounding it will look out of place. Think also about your lifestyle. Do you want to spend hours  caring for many beds of annuals or pruning beds of roses? If so,  go ahead and plant them, but if you'd rather spend your free time at the beach, then go for an easy-care garden and  landscape. You may also find the simplicity of container garden a great help if you are looking for a low-maintenance gardening style.

4.Landscape styles fall into the following categories:

  1. Formal. The watchword of this style is 'order'. This style employes primarily straight lines and perfect geometrical shapes. Orderly arrangement of plants instead of random positioning is favored. Close arrangement and pruning remains a feature of many landscaped gardens in this style
  2.  Informal. This type of landscaping works well with cosy country cottages. Beds with curved edges instead of straight lines and random placement of plants suit this landscaping style.
  3. The English Garden. This style emphasizes the harmony between the architecture of the house and the garden that surrounds it.
  4.  Formal/Informal Garden. This style is often showcased by a brick walkway that exudes formality. This walkway leads to the rear which features a circle of plants. The arrangement of plants resembles the English Garden style and has no formal borders.
  5.  Oriental. This is the style that is often suited to small backyards. It employs rocks, evergreens and water. A wide variety of plants serve to create several interesting angles with this style.
  6. Woodland. This landscaping style suits a house that features a                  wooded backyard and sloping ground.

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