Landscaping refers to the physical element of landform such as mountains, hills, water bodies such as rivers, lakes, pond and the sea, living element of land cover including vegetation, human element including different forms of land use, building and structure and transiting element such as lighting and weather condition (Spon, 2009).
According to John (2013) landscaping refers to any activities that modify the visible features of an area of land including living element such as Flora or Fauna. He stated that it is the art and craft of growing plant with a goal of creating a beautiful environment that is worthy of human habitation.
Edward (2010) stated that environmental battles have claimed lives and property through natural disaster like flooding, hurricane and erosion. These occur as a result of individual, communities and government inability to carryout proper landscaping of the environment. Understanding of the site is one of the chief essentials for successful landscaping. Different natural features like term, topography, soil quality, preventing wind and the system of nature Flora and Fauna must be taken in to account (William, 2013).
Types of landscaping
According to Ifeose (2015) landscaping is subdivided in to four major types with each of these types having its own distinct characteristic. The types include.
- Private landscaping
Private landscaping involves the landscaping of personal residential properties like bungalow, duplex, estate etc. plant of different qualities are use for owners enjoyment private landscaping should not have a plant nursery because it utilize a small scope and its is usually expensive to keep a personal nursery.
- Industrial landscaping
Industrial environment require planted grasses, trees and hedges along the walkway. In industrial landscaping plant nursery are required area, due consideration should to the types of activity in each section of the industry in each section of the industry most future of industrial landscaping include present of plant nursery within the industrial estate absence of glass house. It should have at least two gardens.
- Institution landscaping
Institution landscaping as the name imply involves the landscaping of institution such as school, hospital, research institution, barrack etc. since institution is made for all categories of person that is the general public, it must be different from other types of landscaping balance it serves both recreational and educational purpose. Some features of institutional landscaping are the presence of plant nursery, green and glass house and many gardens.
- Recreational landscaping
It involves landscaping recreational area as such as polo ground, parks and garden football pitches, games village etc. for adult children, it has special inclusion such as restaurant, water fountains, focal plant, green lawns and other area for social like picnic, marriages.
Causes of improper landscaping
Improper landscaping of our surrounding result from several environmental and human induced conditions coupled with lack of resources. The following reason is responsible for improper landscaping.
- Lack of skilled personnel
According to Morris (2010) there is currently a shortage in the industry of landscaping horticulture and design. He also explained that there is need for a sustainable work force in habit culture with requisite production and business skills to meet the demand of the complex business environment in other to landscaping activity.
- Inadequate finance
Finance is a major constrain in landscaping planning and landscape design as it is expensive to hire the service of expert with desired skill for proper landscaping. Since money is involved most developer resort to doing it themselves without consulting an expert which often results to improper landscaping (Ifeose, 2015).
- Lack of awareness
According to Ludom (2015), lack of awareness is a major hindrance to health development. He explained that lack of awareness of the importance of proper landscaping on individual metal well-being has contributed to improper landscaping.
- Topography of the land
Topography of a settlement affects its landscape. Area built on mountain, river or coast line are difficult and expensive in term of landscape design and planning because it need the services of expert thus discouraging people in such area from embarking on landscaping of such environment (Carloson & Aytur, 2010).
- Climatic conditions
According to Richard and Jackson (2012), extreme climatic condition either hot or cold affects landscape design. Most plant and trees require optimal climate condition for growth and survival. He further explained that the poorest countries are in the tropics where it is hot; the land is less fertile water is relatively scares thus affecting landscape design with plant.
Effects/Implications of improper landscaping
According to Robinette and Sloan (2009), improper landscaping of our environment has result to different environmental issue such as severe degradation of the surrounding ecosystem, harm to human health especially in case of degraded drinking water supply, harm to Flora and Fauna and their habitant, sedimentation of surface water caused by water run-off etc.
- Reduction in the aesthetic beauty of the environment
Improper landscaping affects the aesthetic beauty of the surrounding natural beauty of either in industrial or residential premise. According to Bennis (2003), improper landscaping can decrease the value of a property. The most common mistake made by “do it yourselves” landscapers are planting trees to close to each other and too close to house which hinder the aesthetic beauty of such surrounding.
- Increases in aggression and lack of concentration
According to Kuo and Sullivan (2011), a study conducted in Chicago public housing development show that women who lived in apartment without greenery show much aggression in dealing with their partners, they further stated that women living in barren surrounding have worse scores on test of concentration. Worse scores on test of concentration was “linked to high level of mental fatigue and this study demonstrate that those living in barren houses where both more fatigue and more aggressive.
- Increases in air pollution
Improper landscaping contributes to poorer air quantity in the environment. Trees in our surrounding act as carbon sink within the environment. When there is lack of tree to accumulate the excess carbon dioxide release by man and other industrial activities in turn result to increase in concentration of carbon dioxide landing to green house effect (Olojoba, 2009). Mbakwe (2014) observed that carbon dioxide is normally found in the air in very small quantity but it become a pollutant when the amount in the environment increase to cause global temperature rise.
- Damages to building
Improper landscaping such as poor drainage construction /condition can live your home vulnerable to a number of serious health, safety and financial concern. Lack of gutter or down spot disconnected from proper drainage solution can dump excess water in to the soil surrounding your homes. This excess moisture can cause a part of the building to heave upward or this can lend to loss of support and stability of the foundation (Hendry 2011).
Bunn and Arthingtin (2010) stated that flooding have social consequences on the community and individual which ranges from loss of life, damage to property, deteriorations of health condition owing to water borne disease, destruction of crops, loss of livestock as communication links and infrastructure such as power plant, road, bridges damage, people are forced to leave their home and normal life is disrupted.
Importance of proper landscaping
Proper landscaping is an important environmental approach aim at promoting sustainable environment it contributes significantly to our well-being and quality of life.
According to Environmental Foundation (2015), proper landscaping plays an important economic role by increasing the value of our home because of the aesthetic value and the joy of living in a beautiful environment.
Renold, Smith and Hale (2010) stated that the following are some of the importance of proper landscaping:
- Proper landscaping of our surrounding and building reduces storm water run-off thereby decreasing local flooding, control extreme temperature erosion and reduction in soil degradation. According to Jackson and Andrew (2013), trees control climate by absorbing carbon dioxide gas within the environment. He further explains that trees absorb and store water which reduces ran off.
- Proper landscaping creates an atmosphere that is disease free.
- Proper landscaping increase productivity of workers and also increases concentration of student in school.
- Proper landscaping draws us closer to nature.
- Proper landscaping help in the preservation and conservation of national heritage.
- Proper landscaping creates employment opportunities for horticulturist and landscape planners and designers.
Preventive measures in reducing the effects associated with improper landscaping
Campball and Ogden (2009) stated that the following are the measure of reducing effect associated with improper landscaping of our environment. These measures include:
- Proper awareness through health education by relevant agencies such as town planning authority environmental health officers etc. on the importance of proper/sustainable landscaping.
- Incompetent personal should not be allowed to participate on landscape activities in other to prevent improper landscaping and its attendant effect.
- Effective supervision of project by qualified personal (EHO, Town planners, Engineers) so as to ensure that there is no alteration during the execution of the project.
- Adequate equipment and facilities needed should be provided when deciding landscape process.
- Enactment and effective enforcement of laws that will guide landscaping procedure.
Improper landscaping of our environment is of great concern to environmental sustainability. Nevertheless, there is need for individual, community non-governmental organization and government to participate in effective landscaping practices in other to create an environment that is worthy of human habitation.
From the research it has been identified than man ignorance on effect of improper landscaping of the environment has lead to severe health and environmental challenges.
However to control the menace to acceptable level, the following recommendation will help to reduce the effect associated with improper landscaping.
- Health education of the general public on the importance of proper landscaping.
- Effective supervision of all landscape projects by competent personal e.g. environmental health officers engineers town planning officers etc.
- Proper registration and approval of building plan by town planners and Environmental Health Officers.
- Encouragement of tree planting around individual surrounding.
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