Landscaping Advice

We are moving into a newly built home soon. I was wondering if anyone had suggestions on a really good landscaping book or software. We live in central new york Thanks
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

This topic comes up with regularity on every gardening chat room or forum I have been acquainted with and the consensus is that no home landscape design software is particularly good. All seem to have various degrees of unsuitablility, ranging from difficult to use, inadequate plant selection, inability to project maturing landscape images or even incorporate actual photos of your property. Most professionals, myself included, avoid them all like the plague, unless one has the funds and equipment to support a really good professional product like autocad.
Pencil and paper are generally suggested as the best way to go and you can get help to develop your own drawn design plan through any number of home landscaping how-to books. One that I have found to be useful and have recommended before is Ortho's Creative Home Landscaping.. It will take you through all the steps on how to measure and analyze your property for various landscape considerations, layout the design on graph paper using basic design elements and select appropriate plants. It also gives some pretty good basic info on implementing the design and basic landscape construction.
An alternative is hiring a landscape designer to develop the plan for you to implement yourself as time and money permit. Obviously some larger jobs may need to to be contracted out, but the majority of work involved in implementing a new landscape design is simple labor, which pretty much any homeowmer can accomplish. A designer is a very reasonable investment to make for the landscape of a new home - considering the effort and expense that goes into new construction, why skimp when it comes to the landscape?
pam - gardengal
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
For the plants themselves, and if you have shade, buy "The Complete Shade Gardener", by George Schenk. I have no tips on a specific landscaping book, though. Generally, I think it's a matter of gathering ideas from various sources, and walking/biking a lot. That slows you down so you can pick up ideas from other gardens. A few times, I've seen plants I liked, but couldn't identify, and left a note and my phone number in someone's mailbox. I've always gotten calls from the gardeners, who were happy to share information.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I bought several landscaping software packages and they all suck. Check with your county agricultural extension Service and see if they have a Master Gardener program. Master Gardeners have landscape training, provide free advice, and are generally eager to help.
Bob S.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Master Gardeners DO NOT have landscape training. They have some cursory horticultural training that enables them to be able to answer some very basic home gardening questions, but they have no formal training in landscape design. If you want or need professional advice, go to a professional, not a hobby gardener with limited skills and training and a committment to volunteer in return for this basic training.
pam - gardengal
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
how about a book recommendation on landscaping a steep slope? (we have a cliff that leads to LAKE MICHIGAN and it needs some planting!)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Pam, you're biased and full of it. I am a Master Gardener and I DID receive landscape training from the same college professors who teach it in college. Granted, not to the same degree as a professional landscaper, but certainly enough training to give good advice to the average homeowner. And training is just the beginning - all that volunteer time you are ridiculing adds up to a hell of a lot of experience. Sounds like you don't like the competition.
Bob S.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

On the other hand, landscaping is art. An artist commissioned to paint a mural on a building may choose the wrong paint and it may wash off, but before that happens, the picture may be terrific. A landscaper who chooses the wrong plants may still make a design which looks great until some of the plants die. So, a homeowner with no training could very well come up with a good design with the wrong plants.
Whatever.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I don't disagree at all. But there are many professional landscapers on a limited budget who will knowlingly put out inferior plants they wouldn't use in their own yard just to stay within budget. I can show you whole neighborhoods like that. The average homeowner needs to be enlightened about which plants do/do not grow well in their communities. Most Master Gardeners have that knowledge and are willing to share it. I never said they could landscape like a professional, but I did say they have the training and knowledge to let the average homeowner make knowledgeable decisions.
Bob S.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 11 Jul 2004 08:00:35 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Bob S.) wrote:

I believe Master Gardener programs vary in content and quality, just as Extension offices do. There is no standard. 40-50 hours of training is obviously not the equivalent of a degree program or a thorough apprenticeship. Some programs may be excellent, and as we know from rec.gardens, much good advice can be had from 'unofficial' sources.
I think Pam is wrong in her generic condemnation, just as Bob is wrong in his generic praise. *I*, on the other hand, am correct in regarding these programs as something worth looking into, just as seeking advice from local garden centers, neighbors, or paying for profressional expertise may benefit the OP. :-)
To the OP, there is no one book and virtually no non-professional (i.e., expensive) software that will tell you how to landscape a new home. There are *good* gardening and landscaping references, but this is a highly subjective area. It's rather like asking for a "really good" book on art.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Walk or bike in neighborhoods with established landscapes, take digital photos, identify the plants and seek the ones you want. Of course, plant the right plant in the right place - natives are excellent because of durability, wildlife friendliness and drought tolerant. Disease resisitant and bio-diverse, too.
Some of the native societies in NY:
Long Island Botanical Syracuse " Torrey " New York Flora Assoc http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~insrisg/botany /
J
Jay wrote:

--

Celestial Habitats by J. Kolenovsky
2003 Honorable Mention Award, Keep Houston Beautiful
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Long Island Botanical:http://libotanical.org / Torrey Botanical:http://www.torreybotanical.org /
--

Celestial Habitats by J. Kolenovsky
2003 Honorable Mention Award, Keep Houston Beautiful
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jay wrote:

I agree with others about the dismal state of the available software.
Things don't grow as fast in NY as they do here in NC. Still, you'll save a lot of problems if you note the expected mature size of woody plants (trees & shrubs) you're putting in and leave enough space between them for them to grow. The plants will be healthier, they will look better as they grow, you won't need to prune as much, and you won't have plants growing into your house. That one tip will eliminate 75% of the problems I see when I look at landscaping.
If the spaces between plants look too large at first, you can plant perennials between them to fill the space. In general, perennials are are easy to take out or move as the woody plants grow larger.
The second most important issue is to put plants where their sun and shade requirements are met.
An excellent book on woody plants is "Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs." That won't help with design layout, but it does have pictures of a wide selection of plants suitable to your area.
M
Mike Prager Beaufort, NC (on the coast in zone 8a) (Remove spam traps from email address to reply.)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

For most landscaping and backyard needs, I would suggest wondering through the website
www.backyard-lifestyle.com
They have many fun and fascinating things, eager to answer questions, and are very helpful. I hope this helps, Norman
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.