03 Feb Why is Landscaping Important?
In this article we’re going grass roots, looking at different types of landscaping and asking “why is landscaping important?”
Landscaping is all about function. Most of the land in the UK has been landscaped to some degree or other, either to maximise productivity or provide leisure facilities.
We don’t think of farmland as being designed or landscaped, but those ditches, hedges, copses and tracks have all been carefully positioned to improve drainage, provide shelter belts, support wildlife and maximise crop yields.
Landscaping is deployed to make outside spaces easier to manage. Town centres are landscaped. So are parks and public open spaces. It’s not just about beauty or neatness, landscaping can have a deep psychological effect on people
Colchester war memorial – a fine example of how landscaping can decide how a space is used and how it makes us feel. Imagine if this were left to nature…..
The landscaping in any space can encourage or discourage different types of behaviour. For example, a landscaped and well planted high street tends to discourage antisocial behaviour and encourage more consumer spending. Well positioned paths mean that gardeners can maintain public spaces, showcase different features and avoid having grassed areas churned up by feet.
Landscaping affects every aspect of human life. From a hospital courtyard where you can retreat to when the stress kicks in to places where you can walk the dog, enjoy a coffee or just get from the car park to the office without being plastered in mud.
My speciality is in landscaping private spaces. Gardens, driveways, courtyards and terraces. And in those spaces, landscaping might just be the answer to life, the universe and everything.
- Privacy, Safety and Security
- Local environment – wildlife, microclimate
- The wider environment – air quality, drainage, climate change
- Property values
Why is landscaping important for wellbeing?
Wellbeing seems to be the big buzz word of the 21st century. It’s that intangible something that makes you feel contented, stress free and healthy. Where is it found? That’s different for everyone of course. However scientists are pretty sure that outdoors, surrounded by plants is a good place to nurture wellbeing*.
For me, I get a feeling of wellbeing when I look outside and see my two children playing in the garden. I know that they are getting fresh air, they’re exercising and they’re learning all at the same time. Most importantly, I also know that they’re safe.
For other people, wellbeing comes about when they are in a clutter-free well-ordered space with the sun on their face. Or how about that feeling when you wander outside and discover the first flower of spring?
Landscaping in a garden creates a space that makes you feel good. You can be soothed by a garden, or you can be uplifted. The best gardens achieve both of those things and more.
Even a small space can invoke a feeling of wellbeing if it’s carefully designed and landscaped.
This garden is clutter-free but sheltered and the sound of moving water makes it easy to relax and unwind
Leisure Space on your doorstep – literally
What do you like to do to “switch off” from work and chores? Did you know that landscaping can tailor your garden so that it nurtures your interests? Cooking outdoors, entertaining friends, practising your golf, dog training, bird watching, reading, writing, painting – the list is endless. With a bit of foresight, your garden could become your very own leisure facility. All it takes is some clever garden design and some landscaping.
Leisure means different things to different people – but 9 times out of 10 some form of landscaping makes it possible
Why is landscaping important for privacy and security?
As homes are built closer and closer together, privacy becomes more of a luxury. Landscaping and garden design are two tools that you can use to create your own safe sanctuary. Keep prying eyes and unwanted visitors out without feeling as though you are imprisoned.
Why is landscaping important for the local environment?
The local environment means your garden and your immediate environment. Landscaping can create cool shade in summer, shelter you from cold winds in winter and help to manage rainwater.
It’s easy to think of landscaping as “the pretty bits”. But it’s so much more than that. A professionally landscaped garden has measures in place to manage excess rainwater. It also has a more managed microclimate.
Little things but being able to walk indoors without trailing mud onto the carpet, or being able to light the barbecue on a breezy day are just some of the little benefits that landscaping has on your local environment.
This driveway in Sudbury has a myriad of benefits for the environment as well as the householders, their guests and any passers-by
Landscaping and the wider environment
Landscaping your garden is undoubtedly about improving life for yourself but it also has an impact on the wider environment. There’s a big drive at the moment to combat the effects of climate change by planting more trees. You can help with that. A line of pleached trees for example offers privacy and shelter for you, looks great AND pulls dust and CO2 from the air. It’s also help to local wildlife.
Biodiversity loss is another global concern. Tiny landscaping tweaks in your own garden can make a huge difference to survival of the species. Things like hedgehog holes in the fence, pollinator friendly planting or a water feature that doubles as a bird drinker.
Think too about the materials you use in your garden. Artificial lawns have their place, but could a more sustainable option provide you with the same benefits with less environmental impact.
How does landscaping affect property values?
No-one wants to buy an ugly house – at least they might, but at a reduced price. Landscaping the outside of a property makes it more desirable, more valuable. Landscaping all of the gardens in a street makes the whole area more desirable and raises property values again.
A good example of how landscaping one garden can improve a whole area. Before and after – how the look and feel of a street can be changed.