Chapter 9 Landscape Design Three major influences that have shaped American attitudes toward landscaping: – Formal tradition of 16th and 17th century Europe. – Naturalism of the 18th century England. – Nature symbolism of the orient. Naturalism gardens tore out the formal, symmetrical gardens with zeal and replaced them with lakes and islands, rolling hills, pastoral lawns, grazing animals, and added such picturesque touches as manufactured “ruins,” dead trees, hermits’ cottages, and vistas toward distant templates. Landscape Design is the arrangement of outdoor space in a way that serves the needs and desires of people without damage to natural ecological relationships. To serve the needs and desires of clients, the landscape designer must take an inventory of their characteristics and their attitudes toward the landscape sight. Site Analysis and what it may include: Dimension of the lot Historic importance Topography Directional orientation Geology Established circulation Hydrography patterns Existing vegetation Proximity to roads, public Existing buildings transportation, or waterways Location of utility lines and pipes above and Views from site below ground Views toward site Soil analysis Problem areas Prevailing wind direction and velocity Topography- the term used to describe the elevation variations. Geology- the term used to describe rock formations, including the bedrock base. Hydrography- the term used to describe the surface and underground water. A complicated terrain to be landscaped may require the services of an engineering firm to produce a detailed survey. Many designers use a checklist to summarize the characteristics of each site. The average home is divided into four areas, each having a different function. The public area is where guests are received. It includes the front door and the entrance hall. The general living area is where most of the daily family interaction occurs and where friends are entertained. The service area is where the utilization functions of the family are carried out. The private living area is used for personal aspects of family life. As with the home, the residential landscape has three or four different areas to accommodate different uses. They include: – The public area- between the house and street. It is the area everyone crosses to approach the house. The public area serves two functions: to direct traffic to the entrance of the home and to place the house in an attractive setting when viewed from the street. – The family living area- usually located at the rear of the house and often to the sides as well. It is the area where games are played, where the patio and pool may be found, where friends are entertained and barbecues held, and where the family members relax. – The private living area- is not found in all landscapes. Where it does occur, it is the site for activities such as a quiet conversation, sun bathing, and hot tubs. It is usually limited to the use of the family members. – The service area- contains the trash and garbage cans, utility sheds for storage of garden tools, compost piles, vegetable gardens, clothes lines, and similar items. It is always screened from the view. Improper design decisions can often be avoided by application of the outdoor room concept. Simplicity in the design usually dictates that separate elements be given less emphasis than massed elements, fussy bedlines be replaced with gentle curves or straight lines, and maintenance-free materials be used By massing plant species into groups, attention is not derived to each individual plant. Rhythm and line bring a feeling of continuity to the landscape. Balance is a visual quality of the landscapers design. In theory, it puts the landscape on a seesaw and requires that each side have the same visual weight. The three types of balance are: symmetrical, asymmetrical, and proximal/distal. Symmetrical is when one side of the landscape is an exact duplicate of the other Asymmetrical is when one side of the landscape has the same visual mass as the other but doesn’t duplicate it. Proximal/distal is when the on-site landscape is developed to counterbalance the off-site landscape. Each major use area of landscape should have one focal point. Focalization is the term used to describe when plants are arranged in an asymmetrical manner to move the viewers eye toward the entrance, the focal point. With proportion each element of the landscape must be the proper size relationship with all other elements. In proportion, the designer must envision a mature landscape with comfortable, non- threatening size relationships between – Plants and buildings – Plants and other plants – Plants and people The master principle that gives cohesiveness to the landscape design is unity. When plants are used to shape the outdoor room, frame a view , shade a patio, or soften a brick wall, their function is architectural. When plants solve a problem such as directing traffic, reducing wind velocity, or absorbing dust and noise, they are engineering elements. If plants are valued essentially for their appeal to the senses, through fragrance, sound, color, or other visual attributes, they are aesthetic contributors. Hardiness is the term used to describe a plants ability to survive in the winter. Blossom color and fragrance are terms used to describe flowering qualities. Color, edibility, or toxicity are terms used to describe fruiting qualities. Nutrient requirements, soil composition, and pH are terms used to describe soil preferences. A list of plants which are suggested for the area in which the landscaper is working can be obtained from the local Cooperative Extension Services. Make visual notes of typical tree shrub silhouettes. Defining the corners of the outdoor room are the corner plantings. The corner planting has two parts: – Incurve- most desirable location for an attractive specimen plant because of its natural focal point. – Outcurve- plants are selected and placed to direct attention even more strongly to the incurve. The incurve plant is usually the tallest plant in the bed. Line planting is the basic method of forming outdoor walls with plants. Foundation plantings were used in the last century in an attempt to hide the unsightly base. Outdoor enrichment items may be classified as natural or man-made in origin, and as tangible or intangible in character. They are elements of the landscape that do not function as wall, ceiling, or floor. Hard pavings are either poured or set into place as modular units, and become solid when installation is complete. Soft pavings are loose aggregate materials, sometimes finely particulate like sand, sometimes coarsely particulate like crushed stone or brick chips. Make a visual comparison of enclosure styles and materials. Make a visual comparison of surfacing materials. The landscape designer communicates in the language of graphics. The landscape designer uses many of the same tools used by a drafter. The plan view assumes a vantage point directly above the proposed landscape looking down perpendicular to the ground. The plan view is a collection of symbols that represent the plants and construction materials to be used in the landscape. Advantages and disadvantages of plan views. – Adv.- are easily drawn to scale, efficiently combine the concepts of the design with necessary mechanics such as plant spacing, mulch depth, and concrete thickness. – Disadv.- some clients find it difficult to visualize the symbolic, two dimensional drawing in three dimensions. Fourteen steps in the development of a residential plan: 1. Analyze the characteristics of the site 2. Determine the needs of the clients 3. Match client needs and site capabilities as closely as possible, allowing new needs to be suggested by the site’s potential for development. 4. Select a scale that allows the site to be reproduced on paper, including lot, buildings, and existing features 5. Assign use areas to appropriate regions of the property. Lay out the areas with wide angles to avoid the creation of narrow, tight, and impractically shaped spaces. 6. Select focal points and locate them within the use areas. 7. Shape each use area in a way that directs attention to the focal point and relates it to adjoining use areas. You may have to try numerous possibilities before you are satisfied. Lightweight vellum can be taped over the drawing to eliminate the need to erase as ideas are tired and rejected. Cont.’d 8. Retaining the shapes from the step above, convert the lines to planting beds and other outdoor wall elements. It is important to determine the location of the walls before considering specific plants or other materials. 9. Define the function to be served by each plant in the design. The function directs and restricts the choice of species. 10. Select plant species that will fill the roles defined for them, and symbolize them with their mature size and plant type. 11. Select enclosure, surfacing, and enrichment items that complement the total design. 12. Label all elements of the plan. Keep the letterning on or near the symbols. 13. Compile a list of all plant species used and the total number needed of each. 14. Trace the design, eliminating all unnecessary guidelines, on heavy vellum, film, or cloth, using a hard lead pencil or technical pen.