Landscaping For Dummies

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Landscaping For Dummies

Here is the bottom line: Landscaping for Dummies is the book that I would want on my bookshelf as a novice to landscaping who just bought a new home. As with all Dummies books, you can either read this book straight through, starting at Page 1, or use it as a reference. If nothing else, do not miss “The Part of Tens” in the back of the book (perhaps the best feature in the Dummies series).

Landscaping For Dummies

“A well-planned landscape beautifies your house, wedding it with the surroundings and making it a part of a neighborhood or native terrain.” My opinion of this quote from the Introduction could just as easily serve as my opinion of the whole book — comprehensive yet simple. As with all Dummies books, it is packed with information from the outset, giving landscaping URLs and sources for hiring professionals in the preface. Divided into five sections, it begins with how to draw a site plan. There follow sections on hardscape, softscape and site plans fully drawn by professionals. Finally, as is the Dummies tradition, it closes with “The Part of Tens,” most notably with “Ten Ways to Increase Your Home's Resale Value.”

Landscaping For Dummies

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Gardening is similar to landscaping in that it involves design and maintenance. Nevertheless, gardening mainly focuses on cultivating plants or flowers within a space. Landscaping caters to the bigger picture. A landscaper may design and plan for a garden of any size, but a gardener is still needed to do the “dirty work,” including planting, fertilizing, weeding, cultivating, and harvesting in season. Landscaping and gardening have a long list of benefits Planting in a garden burns 177 calories in 45 minutes, weeding burns 157 calories in the same amount of time. Just five minutes of gardening exercise in the great outdoors can noticeably improve mood and self-esteem. Gardening can support physical rehabilitation by retraining muscles and improving strength and coordination, according to the American Horticultural Therapy Association. One 25 foot tree in a garden can reduce overall heating and cooling costs by up to 10%. High-quality landscaping can speed the sale of a home by an estimated six weeks. A 5% investment in the value of a home for landscaping can yield up to 150% ROI—more profitable than other household upgrades like kitchen remodeling. Large trees can increase the perceived value of a home by 2.2%. Hardscapes can return the investment of landscaping projects at 100%-300%.

Owen shares with the reader the routines he has developed as a professional for organizing landscape redesigns and makes them easy for a novice to follow. He offers down-to-earth advice not only on how to make your personal space more attractive and environmentally responsible but also on how to accomplish this at a price you can afford, and at a pace that suits your schedule. Sustainability is a new movement in gardening, and it has badly needed a manifesto. This book fills that niche. So get smart and get Sustainable Landscaping for Dummies®.”

“Owen has broadened his focus to include the conservation of all our natural resources. And yet if his subject is serious (nothing less than the preservation of the planetary ecosystem), Owen’s tone in this volume is blessedly unsanctimonious. He assumes no previous knowledge of gardening on the reader’s part— this is Sustainable Landscaping for Dummies, after all—but there’s plenty of new information here for the expert gardener, too.

Above all, this is a practical book. Owen shares with the reader the routines he has developed as a professional for organizing landscape redesigns and makes them easy for a novice to follow. He offers down to earth advice not only on how to make your personal space more attractive and environmentally responsible but also on how to accomplish this at a price you can afford, and at a pace that suits your schedule. Sustainability is a new movement in gardening, and it has badly needed a manifesto. This book fills that niche. So get smart and get Sustainable Landscaping for Dummies.”

“The book is filled with sustainable insider’s how-tos, but more importantly, it’s filled with how-not-tos. Owen shows us how to avoid making expensive, resources consuming and possibly toxic mistakes. Because this book addresses the need for rethinking the lawn to grow gardens instead, it goes on my required reading list for all my Permaculture Design Courses. Sustainable Landscaping for Dummies is a beneficial resource for keeping up with the dynamic flows of environmental design.”

“Last night I surveyed, read and savored the content of your new book, Sustainable Landscaping for Dummies. Your friendly and humor-filled choice of words is truly unique in the field of horticultural reference works. Any future teaching by me about landscape gardening will use your book as it’s ‘Bible’ to present a new and urgently needed paradigm for stewardship of the earth. After reading your book, how can a person garden any other way?”

Landscaping and gardening have a long list of benefits Planting in a garden burns 177 calories in 45 minutes, weeding burns 157 calories in the same amount of time. Just five minutes of gardening exercise in the great outdoors can noticeably improve mood and self-esteem. Gardening can support physical rehabilitation by retraining muscles and improving strength and coordination, according to the American Horticultural Therapy Association. One 25 foot tree in a garden can reduce overall heating and cooling costs by up to 10%. High-quality landscaping can speed the sale of a home by an estimated six weeks. A 5% investment in the value of a home for landscaping can yield up to 150% ROI—more profitable than other household upgrades like kitchen remodeling. Large trees can increase the perceived value of a home by 2.2%. Hardscapes can return the investment of landscaping projects at 100%-300%.

Owen has created a complete textbook on the process of garden making, from conceptual design to implementation to management of the finished product—all with the underlying theme of sustainability, which is what sets this book apart from the countless others on the subject of garden design. He begins by emphasizing the need to understand the site, its opportunities and limitations, and to realistically evaluate your own needs in the garden. The clear, simple style of the Dummies series shines here, making the entire process accessible for novices, although Owen is frank in acknowledging that some situations (e.g., retaining walls, irrigation, and water features) may need professional help.

Nearly one-third of the book is devoted to a discussion of the selection and care of plants in the garden. Given the national audience of the Dummies series, Owen wisely avoids any detail of specific plants, since he could not adequately serve the entire country. Rather, he focuses on the role that plants play in a sustainable garden (shade, screening, ground covering, wildlife habitat, and food production) and the practices that will ensure their healthy growth with minimal effort and expense to the garden owner. Again, adaptability to the regional climate is point one, along with the need to select plants suited to the space available—to avoid unnecessary pruning to control each plant’s growth.

If you’re itching to get started on a gardening project, it helps to know what you’re getting into. For starters, one of the most common misconceptions is the confusion between gardening and landscaping. Are gardening and landscaping the same? If not, how do they differ? We’re glad you asked. Landscaping and gardening share a number of similarities, but they are not one and the same.

Landscaping and gardening both focus on cultivating and maintaining beautiful, functional outdoor spaces. These areas may include large acreages, like parks and golf courses, or small backyard gardens. However, the difference between landscaping and gardening is quite distinct. The word “landschap” was first used by Dutch artists in the 16th century when painting beautiful scenery. The English word “landschap” takes cues from the original Dutch word to describe picturesque outdoor spaces By definition, landscaping involves creating a plan or picture for an aesthetically pleasing outdoor area—with the use of grasses, plants, trees, flowers, and hardscapes, like water features, stones, fences, planting beds, etc.

Gardening and landscaping have countless health, environmental, and financial benefits. Even a small garden can increase the appeal and value of your home to prove lucrative in the future. A larger investment in your home, like landscaping, has the potential to increase your return on investment by up to 300%. Here are some other lawn care service tips. Similarly, the health benefits of gardening and landscaping abound. For many people, gardening provides the opportunity to burn calories, connect with nature, and relieve stress—all without the hassle or cost of a gym membership. When cultivating a vegetable garden, the fruits of your labors can improve your health in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables, straight to your table. Gardening also protects mental health as it is likened to a “meditative experience” to reduce stress, anxiety, and even depression.

Upgrade Your Garden with a Landscaping Project If you have a large project in mind, it may be best to hire a landscaping service. Or, if you’re up to the challenge, you can brainstorm and plot a landscape yourself based on a myriad of design options. Consider a lush garden courtyard; an organized, geometric garden; a mixed foliage backyard garden border; a wild yet tamed backyard garden estate; or a paved garden path in bloom. The ideal landscaping design plan takes into consideration:

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