Landscaping – Concept, History and Principles

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Last Updated on September 12, 2018 by Naeem Javid Muhammad Hassani

LANDSCAPING

It is the art of arranging land and the objects upon it for human use and enjoyment.

INTRODUCTION TO LANDSCAPING:

The beauty of plants has been an inspiration to artists, designers, and architects down through the centuries. For the healthy and balanced development of the nation, wealth in the form of material goods is, no doubt, necessary but a beautiful environment is just as essential.

Colorful trees and flowers play a great part in making the environment beautiful and refining the minds of the inhabitants. Therefore, the landscape development has been an integral part of modern advancing civilization.

As a result of social and technological development, the task of forestry in sense of urban forestry is becoming more and more comprehensive in today’s world.

The structures, however, mighty and magnificent they may be, do not attain a pleasant look without proper landscaping. It is the serious and specialized skill, which combines the knowledge of Geographer, the Botanist, and the Horticulturist with dreams and visions of the artist.

By landscape, we mean the total complex of physical elements within a given area of movement zone. The physical landscape evolves as a result of interaction between men, as an individual and as a part of human society.

Landscaping is an important step in the planning, construction, and maintenance of homes, colleges, roads, factories, and parks. Landscaping gives an aesthetic touch to the property and makes it more attractive and good looking. The development of landscaping provides creation of beauty around you by all natural and artificial means.

The development of landscaping of the recreational areas is the first step towards the provision of recreation to citizens.



HISTORY OF LANDSCAPING

Throughout the recorded history, man has always tried to establish unique gardens. Kings and princes have developed the surrounding of their palaces with elaborate gardens and pleasure grounds.

For more than a century, civilization has been moving towards a state of ever-increasing complexity but it is the historical fact that inspiration of landscape design has rooted from “Mesopotamia” (the Persian gardens), China and Greece.

The Persian garden is based on mathematical uniformity

The Chinese garden is inspired by natural form.

The Classical Greece is based on the idea of individuals.

In the sub-continent, the landscape gardening goes as far back as Aryan times. They planted trees along the roadsides. Mughals were first to layout proper framework for planting in Pakistan.

The keen missionary spirit with which Mughals planned and designed the avenues is also discernable in some old avenues of Platanus orientalis, Populus nigra and Cupresses sempervirons etc., which at some places still stand as living movements.

The Mughals had laid extensive and beautiful gardens, the remnant of which are still found in good condition as Shalimar gardens. The gardens of Taj Mahal at Agra, Nishat Bagh in Kashmir and many other masterpieces were left as examples of the symbolic combination of water, shade, flower, and fruits.

Foresters in Pakistan are entrusted for avenue planting and most of the new towns coming up in different parts of Pakistan. It is the favor of landscaping that no development plan is complete unless the aesthetic touch is not given by landscape architecture.

CONCEPT OF LANDSCAPING

Landscaping means different things to different people. The simplest of all these forms are growing of vegetables, fruits and ornamental plants around the home, parks etc.

  • In simple, landscape design of a property is defined as “ planning and development of setting for aesthetic, recreational and functional uses of a large city park, it may also mean landscape engineering or landscape architecture to fulfill functional and aesthetic objectives”
  • Landscape means “ a prospect of in land scenery, such as can be taken at a glance from one point of view or a bird’s eye view” (Oxford dictionary)
  • As given in Encyclopedia Britannica, “ landscape architecture is primarily a fine art, and as such it’s most important function is to create and preserve beauty in the surrounding of human habitation and in broader national scenery of the country, but it is also concerned with promoting the comfort, convenience, and health of urban population”
  • L. Zion defines landscaping as: “it is the forming and interrelating of countless composition in space intended to be walked through, driven through, played in and freshly used in general”
  • Professor Charles Eliot of Harvard University says: “ landscaping is the beautiful and efficient adoption of land for human use”
  • Root and Kelly have defined landscape design as: “satisfactory and consequently beautiful composition of natural areas, the shape of the earth, trees, and sky in three dimensions”

The successful practice of landscape gardening depends, first on artistic temperament and an inherent love of nature; second on an intimate knowledge of plants, and third on familiarity with various arts and handicrafts.



BASIC PRINCIPLES OF LANDSCAPING

The basic principles of landscaping are:

  • Unity:

              Deals with the oneness of thought and organization of space, placing and fitting together of various elements to create a harmonious whole with no extremes, irrelevant or dangling part.

  • Balance:

Deals with equilibrium or stability. A very important principle that leads to design, a sense of equilibrium or stability. It has high emotional value, for the human mind seems quickly attracted to and able to appreciate a sense of balance.

  • Accent:

A completely balanced and unified landscape scheme maybe extremely dull and uninteresting unless the third principle of design, accent, is applied. Monotony, wherever it occurs, maybe broken by pointing up the design as a whole. Another way to provide accent is to change abruptly the direction of a line. Depending on the pattern of the design, a line may change direction at any angle or may change from straight to curve.

  • Proportion and Scale:

Proportion is best to use when the work is referring to the proper relationship between parts of a design and their relative extent term scale is used when referring to the relative size of objects and plants. We say that the landscape is in scale when it’s size appears to have a pleasing relationship to other things or to the design as a whole.

  • Repetition, Rhythm, and Sequence:

             Slightly lesser principles of landscaping. Repetition, rhythm, and sequence are closely related to balance and can be used to relieve any tendency toward monotony and they will add life and movement to the design pattern.

The principle of Landscape Design

The basic principle of design deal with the arrangement or organization of the elements (building, construction material, minor structure, plants, shrubs, water, rocks etc)

  1. Unity and verity
  2. Rhythm and balance
  3. Accent and contrast (Accent is a thing which is different from the rest)
  4. Scale and proportion
  5. composite tree dimensional spatial form
  6. Generous and specious designing



Aesthetic Component of Landscape Design

  1. Space
  2. Line
  3. Color
  4. Light shade
  5. Texture
  6. Scent

Hard Landscape

The hard landscape is that landscape which involves masonry work the construction of physical structure like paths, water pool, foundation, walls, Waterfalls, lights, benches, restaurants etc.

Soft Landscape

Soft landscape means the placement of vegetation (Trees, Grass etc.) within the whole landscape. In the sequences of landscape works, we first select and survey the area then develop it, then build hard landscape on it and finally do soft landscaping. Regular maintenance follows all these works.

FORESTRY AESTHETICS

There’s no question that sloppy cutting operations look awful.  You’ll find high tops, ruts in skid roads, damage to residual trees, and debris at log landings.  Even if they’re carefully done, heavy cutting operations don’t leave much in the way of big trees to look at.  On the other hand, carefully planned and executed cutting operations can minimize impacts and even enhance the visual attractiveness of forest stands.

There are many steps to be taken in setting up a timber sale contract and supervising its implementation to assure that high aesthetic standard are maintained.  These steps are explained in the aesthetic improvements paper.  Carefully planned cutting operations can enhance visual appeal.  These operations are explained in the woods aping paper.

Some people like the natural regrowth that occurs on forest land that has been thinned out.  Some people don’t like regeneration coming up on the ground at all.  But since this is a natural result of thinning the overstory, it’s hard to avoid.  Regeneration can be minimized by light thinnings, but such thinnings are usually in conflict with silvicultural objectives, ie, thinning out so residual trees can grow rapidly, or regenerating stands to a higher percentage of high-grade species.

It needs to be remembered that slash consists of organic material that goes back into the soil and enriches it.  Nutrients are concentrated in the small branches.  Some landowners ask about having it all removed, including the unmerchantable small branches.  That is possible at a cost, but there’s also a cost to the long-term productivity of the soil.

  • Clubs and Sports Groups:

Recreation Club,    Woodsmen’s Team, Striders – for runners and snowshoe enthusiasts,   Canoe Team    Hockey Team,      Numerous other sports and just-for-fun leagues (i.e Ultimate Frisbee)

  • Recreation Equipment:

Backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, cook stoves-    Outdoor cooking and bakeware-   winter expedition clothing and gear. Snowshoes-   Canoes-   Chainsaws-   Brush saws-   Carpentry tools-   Trail building tools (grub hoes, mattocks, rock bars, etc.) Skidder/Log Loader-   Surveying equipment-   Global Positioning Systems (GPS)

  • Recreation Facilities:

Cross-country ski trails-   Mountain bike trails-   Ponds, lakes, and rivers-   Visitor Interpretive Center-   Indoor climbing wall Hiking trails-   Mountains-   Forestry Cabin- Ropes course-   Swimming pool, weight room, gymnasium Logging horses- the Outdoor Classroom.




SHORT NOTES:

Heritage

  1. The status, conditions, or character acquired by being born into a particular family or social class

Respect for education was part of their heritage.

    1. A country’s or area’s history and historical buildings and sites that are considered to be of interest and value to present generations (often used before a noun)

The town’s heritage trail

    1. Something that passes from one generation to the next in a social group, e.g. a way of life or traditional culture

The celebration of Eid is part of the Islamic heritage

Arboretum

An area planted with many types of trees for study, display, and preservation

Green House

A glass or transparent plastic structure, often on a metal or wooden frame, in which plants that need heat, light, and protection from the weather are grown, is called Greenhouse.

Environment

All the external factors influencing the life and activities of people, plants, and animals, are the environment.

Desertification

A process by which land becomes increasingly dry until almost no vegetation grows on it, making it a desert

Rock Garden

A garden or area of a garden in which plants, especially low-growing colorful hardy ones, grow between carefully arranged large stones

Pavilion

A summerhouse or other often ornamental building in a park, fair, or garden, used for shelter and entertainment

Winter sports

Sports performed on snow and ice, e.g. skiing and ice skating

Picnic

An informal meal prepared for eating in the open air or the food that makes up such a meal

Buffer zone

A neutral area that lies between hostile forces and reduces the risk of conflict between them.

Image: Karachi, Pakistan


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Naeem Javid Muhammad Hassani

NJMH is working as Deputy Conservator of Forests in Balochistan Forest & Wildlife Department (BFWD). He is the CEO of Tech Urdu (techurdu.net) Forestrypedia (forestrypedia.com), Majestic Pakistan (majesticpakistan.pk), All Pak Notifications (allpaknotifications.com), Essayspedia, etc & their YouTube Channels). He is an Environmentalist, Blogger, YouTuber, Developer & Vlogger.

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