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Changing landscapes

Landscapes are dynamic creations that are always changing. Plants grow larger, new plants are added along the way, other plants die and trees may be lost in storms. Over the years, a landscape can change radically from its original look.

How your family uses the landscape will change over time. Children grow up, so you no longer need a play area. As gardeners grow older, they often have to change a landscape to make it less labor intensive.

Spring is a great time to study your landscape and develop plans for change.

As you plan, consider future maintenance of your new plantings. Select insect and disease resistant plants that are well adapted to our area. Make sure they will not grow too large for the location you intend to plant them. Consider the amount of sun and soil conditions they will receive.

Don’t feel that you are indulging yourself when purchasing trees, shrubs, flowers and other plants for your landscape. Landscaping your home brings quite a few economic benefits!

A well landscaped home generally sells more quickly and at a higher price than comparable homes lacking a nice landscape.

Trees add economic value to a home by reducing heating and cooling costs. Trees work as nature’s air conditioners and heat pumps, providing shade in the summer and shelter from cold winter winds.

Landscapes also benefit the environment. A mature tree removes 26 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year and releases approximately 13 pounds of oxygen. Lawns slow erosion and allow water to be more readily absorbed into the soil. Trees, shrubs and flowers provide food and shelter for birds and other wildlife.

It’s nice to add to the value of your property and help the environment, but the most important benefit of landscaping is the enjoyment it brings to outdoor living.

So go ahead and indulge yourself! It will pay off in years to come.

Rebecca Bates is director of the Lincoln County Cooperative Extension Service. To contact her, call 601-835-3460.