We will try and describe here the astonishing array of ecosystems, plants, and elements (visual and structural) that make up your landscape. By being conscious of them and carefully considering them individually and collectively, you can assess your landscape and its needs with confidence. Your landscape can be a confusing place. however there is a way you can simplify and categorize it that will make understanding it easier. We will try and break down the landscape into layers as a way to organize our thinking. These layers will help you categorize information and plan for the work needed to best maintain your landscape and to make the best decisions about changing it.
The Sky Layer
This includes all the tall canopy trees in Kentucky such as the tulip tree, the oak, the maple,the birch and the beech as well as pine, spruce and hemlock. To see the beauty in these trees you have to look UP. They start at about 40 feet tall (the height of a utility pole) and just keep going up! Usually these trees have been planted by a previous generation. If you need to trim or remove one of these trees it should be done by professionals only. Do not use unskilled labor for this dangerous work. If the tree is being removed and does not fall in the direction planned it can take down wires, utility poles along with the neighbors power.
Under 40 Feet Layer
This layer includes ornamental trees, flower or fruit bearing trees such as dogwood, crab apple , cherry and pear and many evergreens such as arborvitae, cedars and cypress. You may still have to do a little looking up but they are more integrated with the visual interest of your property. Many evergreens such as arborvitae, cedars, and cypress also fill this layer as hedges or year-round greenery. Trimming and removal of these trees and shrubs should also be done by a professional. If you take great care and get well trained and take safety into account this venture could be a place to learn and grow as gardener.
This is a huge category that also includes many compact and dwarf varieties . All the shrubs you could possibly think of fall into this category, from the big guys such as lilacs, viburnums, and butter fly bush; to the mid-range broad-leafed evergreens such as rhododendrons and mountain laurels; to the lower levels of azaleas, hydrangea, and roses. These are many of the eye-level plants that we see every day. One of the big things we want from these plants is to stay small. These are the plants most at risk of being butchered and sheared to death by our need to keep them small. The amateur gardener or the profession can prune this layer. I’ve met many homeowners keen on learning how to prune well and just as many so-called landscapers who haven’t a clue. With this layer you need to know the different needs of different plants.
This layer is both diverse in plant type as well as characteristics. All the low shrubs, perennials, and ground covers fall into this category. This layer is the most dynamic and the most forgiving and is truly the playground of gardeners of all skill levels. This is the layer that is most mutable as you can create and recreate perennial gardens, ground cover beds, and lawn areas over and over during your gardens lifetime. This layer is colorful throughout the year. While the middle story layer has a season of flowering the ground layer is always changing.
Beneath your feet and below your landscape plants there is a whole other world that cannot be forgotten or discounted. We don’t see this one, and hardly even stop to consider it, but it is a vast microcosm of activity just beneath our feet. Tread lightly and consciously on this hidden and precious layer. The soil layer is ancient and powerful and easily destroyed by heavy equipment, cars, chemicals and relentless foot traffic. The layers and interaction of root systems dictate the availability of water and nutrients as well as the stability and survivability of plants. This means that partnering with a landscape professional trained in soil management can be really useful when tackling any big problems like drainage and compaction.
If you believe that your residential or commercial landscaping is suffering because you or other company doesn’t really know what they are doing, contact the professionals at A&A right away. We have years of experience with residential and commercial lawns and landscaping.
Contact Us (859-384-0266) for a Free Consultation!
About A & A Lawn Care & Landscaping
A & A Lawn Care & Landscaping can beautify your lawn and landscaping using our vast experience in turf grass management. Our complete lawn service is designed for both residential and commercial lawns and we keep your lawn healthy without harming your family, staff, or pets.