Patricia Skinner | 1/3/2007 8:27:59 PM
Louisiana has a climate where it is possible to enjoy the outdoors year round. A well-landscaped outdoor space can contirbute to your enjoyment of the outdoors, while meeting multiple-use needs from recreation to parking. When thinking about your own outdoor space, it is important to understand how you will most likely use it. Some families’s primary consideration is to have some open space for children to play, while for others, a quiet and private sitting area is the focus. A well-executed landscape design can help meet your needs.
The diverse plant life that flourishes in our region provides a vast range of options for landscape material. Once you have decided where you wish to have plants, you will need to make plant selections based on your interest in maintaining the landscape. A keen gardener who will spend much time maintaining the garden can utilize a wide variety of plants, while busy professionals, without the time or interest, will have to make landscape design choices based on plants that require little to no maintenance. Whatever your lifestyle, Louisiana’s mild climate will facilitate most landscape options you consider.
In addition to aesthetics and active use requirements that might be served by your landscape, you will want to consider how the contours of you yard and landscape serve to drain water away from the home. The landscape is also a place where barriers can be created to block rising water from reaching the home, for instance with a small personal levee or floodwall. Drainage, especially around the house, is extremely important. Any plantings should be planned with proper drainage in mind.
Also, keep in mind that landscape can be used to provide shade or wind-breaks for the home, and that certain plants are particularly suited to very wet, or very dry, soils.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture