If you live in an urban area, you may be dreaming of having a beautiful green space, but may also be facing some barriers from limited and crowded space. Your urban landscaping dreams can still come true, with some creativity. There are many tips and techniques to use when landscaping in an urban environment:
- Evaluate Sunlight and Shadows
When you live in an city environment, there may be more buildings and structures blocking the sunlight from your landscaping space. Before you launch into your urban landscaping plans, first study the site to get a sense for the amount of and direction of sunlight at different times of the day. Your plant selection and landscaping layout should depend on the amount of light and shade.
Typically, right along buildings or structures there will be more shade throughout the day. Too much shade can be troublesome for some plants. However other plants don’t do well if there is too much direct sunlight. It’s also important to be aware of surfaces such as windows and shiny metal siding that could reflect light onto your landscape. Select plants that can flourish in those different levels of light around your garden.
- Assess Water Access and Stormwater Management
As you plan your urban landscape, you want to consider how much access you have to water sources, as well as typical rainfall. It’s essential to plan for stormwater management and design your landscape to support healthy water runoff, so that it doesn’t build up and damage your property. The angles and elevations of your yard need to be considered by a professional landscaper to assess this. You can use hardscape and softscape features to direct water flow, and support the larger environment by adding in a raingarden design.
- Consider Ambient Temperatures and Heat
As you plan your landscape, know that urban environments are typically warmer than rural ones are throughout the day. This is because there are more hard surfaces and dark colors that absorb and hold onto heat. You need to select plants that can withstand warmer conditions. You can also select a variety of plants with different heights and then arrange your landscape so that some taller plants provide cooler shade and protection for shorter plants, to shelter them from heat. This height variation also helps to add visual interest.
- Check and Improve Soil Composition
Urban environments may not have the best soil due to construction and topsoil erosion. As you start your landscaping, you might want to have your soil tested. Some plants can better tolerate poor or compacted soil. You can also place more soil, add mulch, and select plants that will support the health of your soil. Plants that grow deep roots will prevent soil erosion and improve soil texture. Landscaping professionals can help you evaluate the soil and make the best selections for your area.
- Use Urban Landscaping for Form and Function
When you choose to add landscaping to your home, you want to use flowers and plants with colors and textures that you will find attractive. Good landscaping is about more than just a pretty picture, it can also help to improve your lifestyle. In an urban environment, you might use landscaping to establish boundaries, for more privacy, or to hide unattractive features (such as poles and utility boxes). Study different angles to make sure your landscape looks attractive from all viewpoints.
With the professional assistance of a landscape designer, you can attain the ideal landscape, even in a small urban environment.