Video: The Use Of Stones In Landscape Architecture (end)
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The use of stones in landscape architecture: garden paths, terraces, alpine slides
On a stone terrace
Where the relief has significant drops, terracing is indispensable. But the method of forming terraces has very ancient roots, going back to Italian gardens and is so good and convenient in landscape design that architects often "invent" a place for terracing, creating an artificial relief on flat and boring areas.
Speaking of terraces, we should also mention the retaining walls, which can be independent elements of the garden design, or serve to strengthen the terraces. Often these structures are designed, in addition to the aesthetic function, to carry on themselves anti-erosion load, preventing soil leaching. In gardens, there are options when terraces and retaining walls are adjacent to alpine hills or are included in a rocky garden.
Arranging terraces and retaining walls is an incredibly demanding process. Special knowledge is indispensable here. When creating these structures, it is important to focus on the sunny side, otherwise a strong shadow from the vertical wall will lead to stretching of the plants, a change in their color and weak flowering. If the walls are designed to a height of no more than half a meter, then when laying the foundation, you can limit yourself to burying powerful flat blocks into the soil, on which the entire wall will then be laid out.
With large dimensions (and retaining walls sometimes reach three or more meters), one cannot do without a concrete or gravel cushion. In addition, during the construction of walls, a backward slope is made: for 1 m in height, the slope is 10-20 cm.
One of the most important concerns of the builders of walls and terraces is the arrangement of the drainage system. In short, technical problems prevail in this case. Most often, cement mortar is used as wall reinforcement. In this case, it is imperative to leave "pockets" in the clutch, in which the plants will be planted. Woody plants are planted immediately during construction, as the next row of stones is laid out. Japanese quince, horizontal cotoneaster look great on retaining walls, from conifers, preference should be given to creeping forms of junipers, varietal forms of
hemlock, tueviks or microbiota.
Heathers and eriks are very good here, as well as herbaceous perennials: obrietta, berry, periwinkle, highlander, saxifrage, sedums, rejuvenated, creeping tenacious, dwarf ferns and other garden plants with a small root system - in the gaps between the stones, you especially do not roam.
When choosing another method of creating retaining walls on the site - the dry masonry method - you should be extremely careful with the selection of stones and their subsequent laying. But this method, of course, facilitates the subsequent planting of plants: often the seams between the stones are simply sealed with soil with annual seeds.
An alpine slide is almost a symbol of suburban ownership. Few deny themselves the pleasure of arranging this touching element of landscape design, where small plants seem to make their way to the sun through the "rocks".
The slide looks more attractive if it smoothly passes into the adjacent flower garden. With the help of a flower garden (mainly from ground cover plants), the slide can be connected into a single composition with any other plant composition or a small architectural form nearby.
If the terraces, paths and retaining walls require the indispensable participation of a specialist, then you can try to create an alpine slide yourself, having previously, of course, still having consulted with knowledgeable people. The arrangement of the slide begins with the removal of the soil layer, if it is infertile, by 20-25 cm. Further, under the highest part of the slide, packing is made of crushed stone, gravel, broken brick or any other suitable material. This backing plays the role of the base of the slide and performs a drainage function. The packing should be laid in layers, ramming them.
After the foundation of the hill is installed, the bottom of the pit is compacted, and it is covered with fertile soil level with the ground. The soil is rammed and spilled in order to subsequently avoid severe subsidence.
Next, the outline of the first tier of the slide is laid out. In order to choose the right stone, all the material must be laid out separately from each other, since if they lie side by side, it is practically impossible to choose the right one. Soil is carefully rammed under each stone and thus from 1 to 3 foundation stones are laid. After the contour of the first tier is lined with stones, the resulting cavity should be covered with soil to the upper level of stones, compacted and watered.
Then the contour of the next tier is outlined, and the operations are repeated. The number of tiers depends on the size of the slide and the stones used. Usually, for a slide measuring 5x3 m, 3-5 tiers are obtained.
A pre-set, most decorative stone is installed on the upper tier. From him, in many respects, depends how the slide will look. In addition, there is the concept of "technological" stones - those that will help in the future, when weeding and watering, to get to any place on the hill and flower garden without damaging the plants.
For ease of movement, stones must be selected with a flat top side, and set very carefully, taking into account that they will have to be stepped on. Experience shows that the distance between the stones should be 50-70 cm. All work with stone on the site has one very important feature: it is extremely difficult to redo them. Therefore, you should start creating landscape garden elements in which a stone is involved only after all
the project (possibly in several versions) is carefully thought out and coordinated with specialists.
But business should not be limited to formalities: try to imagine yourself in a future garden, mentally climb an alpine slide, sit on the site where the garden bench is, walk along the garden paths, moreover, at different times of the year, in different weather and in different moods. The resulting attitude of comfort will tell you: are you on the right path?