Creating spectacular landscapes in small spaces

What Do You Need to Consider When Planning for Roadway Landscaping?

by Janet Banks

There was a time when a roadway was seen as being purely functional, a method to get from A to B, with little thought being paid to any beautification. However, today architects and designers are charged with the responsibility of making as little impact as possible to the environment in general and to other landowners specifically. This means that much effort has to be put into landscaping, and this extends to more than just the planting of a few trees here and there. What needs to be considered?

Part of the Community

As roadways do much more than simply convey motorists to a particular place, they must be considered as a critical infrastructure component. A roadway is therefore an essential part of the community, and its design can positively or negatively impact the daily lives of travellers. Well-designed and landscaped roads can also convey to a visitor that this community is a vibrant and thoughtful place in which to live.

Canvassing Opinion

Due to the potential impact on other groups of people, it is important for anyone responsible for roadside landscaping to understand how their decisions will impact others. Any adjacent developments should be canvassed in order to develop a consensus for the right approach. Individual groups should be asked to help identify what plants, trees and other natural elements could work together in this situation.

Utilities and Climate

It will be important also to determine where local utility and underground service points are and which may need periodic access. With an eye to the climate, bear in mind the slope and angle of the terrain and how this could affect drainage as well as protection of the surrounding land and roadway itself.

Safety Versus Beauty

Safety is of course a primary concern. Any beautification and landscaping activity should always defer to safe usage for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists. Trees, shrubs and bushes should never obstruct views simply to create a better aesthetic.

Plants and Grasses

It is also important to remember that different types of plant will grow at different rates. Your desired outcome may take a number of years before it comes to full fruition, and this will generally impact the type and size of plant materials considered.

Choose a variety of different flowering plants that come into colour at different seasons of the year. The more colourful the plants are on a perennial basis, the better, and the choice of grasses should be tempered in order to keep mowing and maintenance expenditures in check.