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Natural Landscaping, Introduction

by James P. Engel, © 2003

Table of Contents Previous Next

For me, natural landscaping which I also refer to as "Forest Scaping" recreates a sense of the natural world that follows the processes of nature. Natural landscaping is fully compatible with the aesthetic and social norms of today’s residential landscapes. You do not have to fear that you will be ostracized by your neighbors. You do not have to make an aesthetic sacrifice to enjoy the beauty of natural landscaping. In fact you will be the envy of your neighbors, because you will be surrounded by a living-breathing masterpiece of nature. Besides being aesthetically pleasing to the senses, natural landscaping serves a vital ecological and biological function.

The ubiquitous residential landscape as created throughout the Unite States is a biological desert; I cannot emphasize this point enough. This type of landscape can support only a handful of common and very adaptable species like the Gray Squirrel, House Sparrow and Robin. Very few species have adapted to living in this type of habitat. Most native species find it impossible to live in the residential landscape and they are displaced by suburban sprawl. A few more species may be seen in and around this type of habitat but cannot live and breed successfully in it. These visitors are only temporary guests. They occasionally may feed in this landscape or be seen moving through it but they are dependent on nearby natural habitat to survive and breed. Forest Scaping can help to reverse this trend.

Through this page I will try to show you the aesthetic and ecological benefits of natural landscaping and reveal to you step by step instructions on how you can create a landscape that follows nature's intended plan. I will describe two styles of natural landscaping "Forest Scaping" and "Habitat Restoration". The two styles differ only in the degree of management, the relative size of each and the amount of input required to create and maintain this landscape. The two styles make up ends of a spectrum with no fixed boundary between the two.

This page updated September 10, 2004