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Discover Ways to Design and Plan Your Grounds

Oct 8, 2007
For the most attractive and beneficial use of your grounds, you will want to include in your plans features such as trees, a good lawn and flowers. In this way the grounds will become far more attractive, and will serve as a pleasing backdrop to your house.

Trees - For Shade and Beauty

Perhaps if any one feature can be singled out as basic to successful landscaping, it is the presence of fine trees. Architects agree that a single shade tree, even of medium height, can make a very great difference in the comfort and livability of a house. It is amazing to discover what a tree can do for a house. A tree in leaf, for example, can reduce noises from the street. A tree tall enough to throw shade over the roof can materially reduce heat in summer. Trees can lessen the amount of dust around a house and provide protection from winds.

But there are also the many esthetic considerations. There are the things that shrubs and trees can do to improve the looks of your house itself. Properly situated, they can sharply alter the lines of your house. They can give a small house dignity; appear to reduce the ungainly height of a tall house; soften the lines of a new house and provide welcome contrasts in color and texture. Plan from the beginning to plant new trees that will harmonize with the colors of your house and best suit its architectural style.

Have a Good Lawn

A good lawn is a basic requirement for attractive and enjoyable grounds. When you plant a tree you do so realizing that you are planting for years to come, even for generations. Few realize, however, that lawns must be planted in the same spirit. The lawns of many famous estates were planted over a hundred years ago, and this type of turf, luxuriously verdant, is always an inspiration. Today's lawn builder is fortunate. The battle against weeds and poor soils can be won.

But obtaining a fine lawn is sometimes a much more complicated matter than scattering seed or plucking weeds. You will want to have your soil analyzed, and then, perhaps, change its make-up. Perhaps you will need to drain or grade. Before you select your seed formula, take into account the use to which your lawn will be put.

Will it be a general-purpose area or will it be a showplace in your garden where you will strive for a putting-green lawn? Except for problem lots in suburban areas, where the living space outside is small and may have to be paved, the lawn will be the broad canvas on which you paint your picture with flowers, shrubs, trees and walks. Keep it larger than any other area, certainly two or three times the width of your borders and beds.


You will want flowers for cutting and flowers for contributing gaiety and charm to your grounds. The aim of the successful gardener is to have a succession of flowers from early spring to late fall. You can plan from the beginning to have perennials which bloom at different seasons, (for example, iris, which has the peak of its bloom just as the peony season begins).

Know accurately when the perennials bloom and then plan to fill in the gaps left by their passing with prolific and quick-growing annuals. You can plan to have a potting bed, perhaps in your vegetable garden or in a sheltered spot behind your tool house or garage, where you can grow extra annuals as well as those perennials which do not mind being transplanted. Then when the tulip season passes, for example, you can fill in with another tall bulb, a summer-flowering one, such as, perhaps, the canna lily.

You may have a mixed border of summer-flowering bulbs, perennials and annuals, backed by shrubs. Other designs can be planned for the center of the lawn, for the foundation planting, for the pathways to the house and for the sides of the house.

Thus with the addition of the right trees and flowers and a good lawn, you home will be immeasurably enhanced.
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