Problem areas. Almost every landscape has at least one, whether it is a rocky spot, a slope, or a place so heavily shaded that design options with plants are limited. What if the landscape solution you seek does not concern a challenge presented to your plants by the elements, your soil or your terrain? Now we’ll consider some landscape solutions that don’t necessarily fall into any of these categories.
“My Neighbors Can See Everything I Do in the Yard”: Landscaping Solutions for Privacy
It isn’t a question of needing to “hide” anything. But who wants to live under a microscope? Even good neighbors don’t enjoy feeling obligated to acknowledge each other every time they step outside, as if needing permission before continuing on their business. The landscaping solution to this problem is to install some type of privacy screening. But your “installation” options can include growing “living walls”, whereby it is trees or shrubs that afford the privacy, not a fence. Something of a compromise between fencing and plant screens is presented by the option of installing a lattice privacy screen: vines can be planted to cover the lattice and beautify your screen.
“Something Keeps Eating My Plants”: Pest Control Strategies
Perhaps your problem isn’t prying eyes, but voracious appetites. There’s a whole litany of garden pests that can make short work of your plants and of all the work you’ve put into growing them. Fortunately, you’re not helpless against your plant-devouring foes. Don’t like to use poisons? No problem: there are deer-resistant plants out there. Nothing is guaranteed since a hungry-enough animal will eat just about anything, but at least your garden will remain a last resort.
“Weeds are taking over my yard”: Mulch as a Landscaping Solution
Mulch is one of the unsung heroes of landscape design. It’s highly portable, malleable and, for certain types of mulch, you can even make your own! Areas shaded by large trees can be transformed overnight from eyesores to eye-openers by applying an attractive mulch. For all its value, there is much misunderstanding about the use of this landscaping solution. There are as many types of landscaping mulch as there are landscape challenges. Mulch is sometimes used in conjunction with landscape fabrics.
“I don’t have time for maintenance and prefer a long-lasting solution”: Hardscape
One way to beat problem areas is by employing hardscape elements. They’re long-lasting, which cuts down on maintenance time. The landscaping solutions offered by stonework, for instance, form an impressive list. Unlike plants, hardscape needs neither water nor sun, nor do you have to prune it or clean up after it. Unlike most mulches, hardscape projects stand the test of time — if built properly. Contemplating such projects raises a myriad of questions about hardscape since hardscape projects encompass a number of specialized fields. Hardscape projects are also initially labor-intensive, but once completed, they can provide visual interest on your landscape for the rest of your life, with little maintenance.
An example of hardscape providing a landscaping solution is the use of a stone wall to separate the road from your front lawn. Many plants do not tolerate road salt well. To form a border along the edge of your lawn, a stone wall can be a much more sensible alternative than shrubs or other plants. But hardscape isn’t limited to masonry. Wood is another popular hardscape material, used, for instance, to build decks and arbors.
But there are various ways to achieve low-maintenance landscaping besides using hardscape. Think of all the effort that goes into lawn maintenance. You must house and maintain the mower, buying gas and oil for it. You have to drag yourself outside on a hot day to mow when you’d rather be at the beach. Then there’s the cleanup afterward. And I haven’t even said anything yet about other lawn-maintenance tasks (fertilizing, weed control, etc.). When you add it all up, you pay dearly for a lawn — both in terms of money and maintenance.