Thursday, July 15, 2010

Landscaping for changing weather patterns

Designing a landscape or garden that will look and function great for years to come will consider every possible factor before any plans are drawn. A very important and often overlooked factor is climate and weather patterns. Regardless of design style, your landscaping should work with the weather and climate that you live in. In parts of the world that experience the changes of all four seasons, gardens and landscapes will also feel the effects of these seasonal changes. Here are a few ideas that may be helpful in any climate for designing landscapes or gardens.

Plant choices in any design in any area will be determined by what works and what's available in your area. Used quite common in Desert and Southwest landscape design ideas, planting adaptive and native plants is a good way to ensure that the plants thrive in any climate. Designing natives into your landscaping will help make it more colorful and maintenance free all year long. Native plants are already adapted to local soils so there's no problem from different soil. Also, because they grow and propagate locally, natives will already be climatized and adapted to your climate. Regardless of where you are, it's a good possibility that there are lots of native plants in your area that you can use.

Another way to brighten up your landscape, no matter what kind of climate you have, is by the use of tropical or Mediterranean landscape design plants. A lot of tropical plant varieties will actually do well in colder climates. Do a little research on tropical plants and you may find a few that will thrive in your area. Some of the tropical plants that often work well in non tropical climates are Bougainvillea, Agapanthus, and Hibiscus. Lantana, which blooms all the time and comes in several different colors, from light lavender to vibrant shades of yellow, is also a prime choice. Mandevillas, which have beautiful trumpet shaped flowers on long vines are also a great choice. If you choose, there are probably enough tropical plant varieties that will work in your area and possibly give your landscaping some interest all year long.

Seasonal diversity is also an important element for landscaping or gardens with different climates. For example, you can use plants in the landscaping with different bloom times and patterns. In this way, when one type of plant finishes its season, you'll still have something blooming in your landscaping or garden. The key here is a little research and planning for the different bloom schedules of your different plant choices. Know which ones are at bloom for each season and choose one or two for each season that you would like to include in your design.

And of course, along with the plants, you can also use other decor and ornaments in your landscape design to add even more visual interest. Ornaments and garden decor generally make good placements since they aren't really effected by changes in the climate or weather. You can also use elements like statues, stone pathways, and other hardscapes to make your design more interesting.

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