What is landscaping? (with photos)

Plants, paths and lawns make up the landscaping around buildings and homes.

Landscaping is a profession that involves manipulating the natural environment of an area to make it look a certain way. This profession often relies heavily on gardening, but landscaping also involves installing walls and other features, constructing buildings, and considering an area as a whole. There are a variety of reasons to practice landscaping, ranging from a desire to make an area attractive to an effort to make it functional for recreation.

A landscaping project typically includes plants and flowers.

People have practiced landscaping for thousands of years, as evidence of elaborate gardens from ancient cultures on every inhabited continent testifies. Landscaping was often used to beautify the area around temples, palaces and public areas, but it was also used in and around private homes. The Romans, for example, had houses with enclosed landscaped courtyards, enjoyed only by family members, while the Mayans lined their temple passages with elaborate plantings. Landscaping can also have a practical function, as evidenced by the garden terraces built by some Native American tribes for cultivation purposes.

Landscaping can combine natural and artificial elements.

Typically, landscaping is confined to a defined area, such as the property around a house, office building, museum, or similar structure. Typically, a landscape designer starts the project by sketching the building and its context, noting what the natural environment looks like, and studying limitations such as neighboring buildings, poor quality soil, and so on. Once the landscaper has a map of the places to be landscaped, he can start thinking about design.

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Landscaping includes the use of non-native plants as decoration.

Landscaping often starts with laying out paths and building from them to create a lush environment that can include fountains, pools, benches, gazebos, stone retaining walls, and other features. Once the foundations have been laid, the landscaper can begin adding shrubs, trees, plants, and so on to create the desired look. Landscaping can also be themed, as in the case of a traditional English garden, a native plant garden, or a low-water garden.

Landscaping is important for community parks and green spaces.

This profession is also an art form, and it takes a good eye to appreciate the existing features of the natural environment and think about how best to manipulate them. Good landscaping flows seamlessly with the natural environment rather than fighting it. Landscaping also requires extensive maintenance to ensure it continues to look good over years of use. Once an area has been landscaped, it can be turned over to a gardener or maintenance team who can keep the individual aspects of the landscaping in good shape while the landscaper moves on to another project.

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