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OTHER ITA SITES:
A Potpourri Of Landscaping Advice
Many people design their landscapes for a single use - but if children or disabled individuals are present, care must be taken to make the landscape beautiful to them as well.
Landscaping one's lawn - both front and back - is one of the most popular hobbies around. No matter how out-of-control people feel in their business lives, they can always come home and impose their will on their flowers, plants, trees and grasses.
Not only must the owner like his or her landscaping, but so must the people who use it, from children to the visually impaired to the disabled.
Construct a windbreak
Wind can be quite fierce at times, blowing steadily and unrelentingly throughout the landscape...and stunting the growth of your newly planted elements. One day to prevent this is to erect a windbreak - a wooden barrier that will break up the wind and provide welcome relief to your plants. Some people erect solid wood barriers, but a "permeable" windbreak is best - one that is half solid and half holes. A windbreak should be at least six feet high.
Earthworms are for soil, not fish
It's a childhood ritual....dad helps kids dig worms out of the garden, and then use them as bait when they go fishing. This is a pity, because earthworms are essential to your landscaping – they break down organic matter so that it can be ingested by plants, and by their tunneling they mix the soil and improve drainage
Small tools for tiny tots
If you have small children, try to instill in them a love of nature by having them start a small garden of their own. Let them choose the plants for their garden, and let them care for those plants using tools specially designed for them. Set aside an area for a playground, and teach your kids that all toys belong in that area and not in the rest of the lawn. And if you've got small children, be especially wary of those small plastic pools you can buy. Even a couple of inches of water can be dangerous - never let tots play in a pool without adult supervision.
The years take their toll on everyone, but creative desires remain strong. If you're wheelchair bound or simply don't have the strength in your hands that you used to, you will find that there are many solutions to the new way you must find of doing things.
Make paths as ample as possible to accommodate walkers or wheelchairs. And make a lot more paths than normal. Wide, shallow steps - slip resistant - can be used for those who have difficulty lifting their feet very high, and ramps can be constructed for wheelchairs. Raised beds can be expensive, but they make it a lot easier to garden when you don't have to bend over all the time.
Power tools are available that can be used with only one hand. Lightweight tools exist for those who have little strength in their hands. Wind chimes, or changes in texture on a path, will alert visually impaired people and allow them to orientate themselves. They'll want to grow scented and aromatic plants - and even plants with contrasting textures so they can "see" them with their fingers.
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