Today, Lakeway’s visual landscape mainly consists of an interspersion of wide open grass and shrubs or trees. However, culture and social media have engrained the landscape in our minds; it remains ecologically exhausted to the extent that it requires a substantial amount of chemicals and capital funding for maintenance especially in dry areas.Though the natural landscape qualities vary depending on the region, some key ethics apply and can be used anywhere in both rural and urban areas. They can be applied at the university grounds, residential buildings rooftops, and even backyards.
Turfy landscapes are associated with shortage of funds and ecological problems. However, natural landscaping has many advantages, and some of the main ones are:
a. Reduction of air pollution - natural landscaping does not require regular trimming and cutting thereby reducing air pollution. It is also an effective way of fire management.
b. Reduction of soil pollution through extra nutrients – There is no need for fertilizers in natural landscaping implying there is no penetration or overflow of nutrients into the lower soil. It allows creating buffers meant for confining overflows that prevent pollutants from reaching the surface waters. This also saves surface water in the form of springs, streams, and rivers from getting harmed.
c. Enhanced biodiversity - Natural landscaping supports a much larger biodiversity in comparison to turf landscapes. The locally growing plants are a source of food and home environment for insects, birds, reptiles, amphibians and small mammals. In large urban environments with a natural landscape, even the small plots play an important role in the survival of some plants and animals.
Reduction in pesticide usage levels – A natural landscape setting is a well-balanced ecosystem that does not require the use of pesticides, insecticides or herbicides. Moreover, usual farm machinery such as lawnmowers are not used often, which reduces air pollution in the surrounding. The pollutants-free environment ultimately leads to a better health state.
Replacing turf environments with natural landscaping techniques generates more income and savings in the long-run.
Cost reduction: Landscape management practices such as transforming lawns into normal landscapes results in saving costs. Though the initial cost of building natural landscapes is high, the yearly maintenance costs for natural landscapes is much lower than annual expenses for maintaining the lawn area.
Native plants offer numerous benefits such as the need for minimal care and maintenance, their ability to survive on irrigation or little rainfall and a stronger resistance to pests and diseases and pests. However, below are some of their limitations:
1. Natural landscaping is easier in rural areas, but for an urban setting, designers are restricted to a lesser choice of plants that can do well in the environment. For instance, trees along pathways and streets should be narrow, which is impossible with wild naturally growing plants.
2. Most plants used in natural landscaping have sharp edges or thorny leaves naturally, which proves hazardous to people.
3. Natural landscaping requires additional resources, information, and skills for proper development and maintenance. In an urban setting, the maintenance costs are much higher
4. Finding local plants that will maintain a balanced environment without high maintenance costs is challenging modern landscape designers.
Every homeowner should know that the front yard is what makes the first impression to the visitors, therefore work to create an attractive landscape design that will be appealing everyone.