Landscaping is an ancient concept and an old practice of modifying the readily visible features of any area of land. The primary aim of modifying land features is enhancement of the land for aesthetic purposes, though landscaping also achieves a number of other benefits. Today, landscaping is considered both an art and a science that stand on good observation and creative designing skills.
Activities for Altering Land
Landscaping involves a number of activities common to all of which is giving an improved and pleasing look and feel to a particular area. Landforms and terrains are altered for their shape, elevation and the position of water bodies. Gardening is a central feature of most landscape designs because plants and flowers add a lot to the beauty of the place. Another important element of creating attractive landscapes is the modification or introduction of human elements i.e. fences, buildings or any other manmade structures and objects.
Finally, the effects of certain abstract components of a landform, like weather and lighting, are skillfully introduced or modified in order to impart a brilliant look to the place. Landscaping is thus a blend of an understanding of natural elements and human creation used in combination for improving the aesthetic appeal of land.
Landscaping Through History
The exact origin of landscaping is hard to determine and it is thought that the art existed in some preliminary form among the earliest humans. The conscious development of the practice of shaping land as an art is generally traced back to the ancient Greece. Renowned Greek scientists and philosopher Thales is said to have reflected on the nature and scope of landscaping.
Unlike some of his students, Thales believed that any aspect (and not physical features only) of a land that affected the visual perception of humans could be the subject of modifying the view of that land. Later, Plato and Aristotle endorsed Thales’ view of modifying land. In the 17th century, European philosophers debated the visual aspect of beauty as the rightful object of landscaping. By the mid 20th century, there was a general agreement over the absence of any objectively definable standards of beauty and many experimental effects have been appreciated as fitting in with the desirable effects of landscape shaping.
Significance in Human Life
Landscaping is attributed a great deal of significance in daily human life. It is a form of art that brings greater beauty and joy to one’s living place. Modifying land for the better shows a heightened consciousness to the physical surroundings and their effect on human life. In addition, landscaping has been found as an ideal mean of relieving stress. Also, manipulating land creatively is a way of learning, experimenting and skill-building.