And if you're hoping to pour water down the street or into a municipal storm, first contact the city to find out about the applicable regulations. A sketch will help you decide which of the following strategies is best for your situation. For example, if you simply have no way of draining water from a low point to another location, your best option might be to build a rain garden or dry out. A stream bed like this can channel water away from a low point or direct runoff into a rain garden or dry well. With the right landscaping, the creek bed will look good even when it is dry. You can solve the drainage problems and create an attractive landscape at the same time with a dry creek bed.
If trees are desired near the structure of the house, choose a tree with a small canopy at full growth so that the branches do not interfere with the porch or roof. Placing tall trees in the yard and medium or small trees on the sides and front makes the house stand out (Figure 19-37). The dogwood (Cornus florida), the Japanese flowering apricot (Prunus mume), the Japanese maple (Acer palmatum), the eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis), the deaf wood (Oxydendron arboretum) and the lettuce (Amelanchier) are examples of small trees in the canopy.
Do not try to do everything at the same time - choose one or two things you can do now and consider the things you can implement later. Over time, each small improvement will create a truly sustainable yard, but the biggest impact in the shortest time will be the choice of your plants, which is a good starting point. First, identify the plant material you currently have and eliminate the invasive alien species. The simple removal of invasive plants will make your garden more durable and often more aesthetic. For a list of invasive plants, visit the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council website.
Remove any dead vegetation in the detachable area. Eliminate the fuel ladders, plants of different heights located close to each other, which provide a way for the fire to jump to the canopy. Leave a free space between the plants or groups of plants in the detachable space. Do not plant within 5 feet of any structure or use dense masses of plants. Plants are the dynamic heart of a landscape, and the judicious selection of plants is essential to develop a beautiful and earth-friendly landscape. The selection and proper placement of plants creates an attractive landscape, enhance the value of the property, beautify the community and build a healthy local ecosystem.
What we created is similar, but we had to have a place to start. One of the biggest mistakes landscape makers make is not paying attention to things like sun, wind and rain. As we live in a neighborhood with new homes, I see a lot of landscaping that does not respect the elements. Placing a patio on the sunny side of your home can be a real misery in August. You also do not want to place your barbecue or fireplace near a windy corner. This pretty umbrella can become a missile if placed in the wrong place. Before we started our backyard scenery, we stood outside while it was raining and watched where the water ran ~ a few times in the middle of the night with flashlights. Do not be in a hurry either. Make some plans, create sketches, then go back and study your garden with these things in mind. You can discover that one or two of your original ideas could be disastrous with the changing seasons.
Nell takes you on another tour of Seaside Gardens is in Carpinteria, just 10 minutes south of our base in Santa Barbara CA. The 3 acre+ botanical wonderland …