Natural landscapes - Natural landscaping
A natural landscape is a terrain that remains untouched by the human influence and activity. All the living and nonliving elements of the natural landscape are not directly protected, modified, replaced, moved or removed by humans. The nonliving elements include soil, rocks and water. The living elements include all the micro and macro indigenous fauna and flora. The system is under the control of natural forces and free from human control, preservation or conservation.
Many natural occurrences like winds, rains and flow of water may keep modifying the terrain as an evolutionary process. Severe weather conditions like storms and natural calamities like floods and tsunami may totally destroy the current terrain, but an altered natural landscape evolves by itself after the destruction. In the terrains freed from human influences, the natural forces gradually act on it and turn it into a new variant form. The time required for the 'bounce back' and the return of the equilibrium depends upon the level of degradation as well as subsequent environmental effects. In the period of neglect, there should not be any human activity like fauna or flora management, conservation or preservation.
Many human cultural disruptions, either intentional or unintentional, may influence the natural landscape and degrade it. Any artificial obstructions like dams, barrages, irrigation canals, roads, trails, fences will severely affect the natural landscape. There should not be any management of living elements. Introduction of new species, introduction of invasive species, removing or culling of any resident species, altering plant or animal population ratios affect the fragile ecosystem of the natural landscape.
The natural landscape differs from the wilderness. A wilderness is an environment not significantly modified by the civilized human activity. It is usually a protected environment containing fauna and flora. The wilderness is usually legally protected from developmental activities like construction of buildings and roads. The conversion of land use for any other purpose is not allowed. In wilderness, national parks or reserves there is overzealous human activity for conservation.
Natural landscaping is a human effort to achieve near natural landscape. The terrain is allowed to adapt to the climate, water requirements and contour. The native plants which have adapted to the local conditions thrive well in such situation. There is no requirement of fertilizers, pesticides and watering. These low maintenance gardens, parks and greeneries are created for increasing the creativeness and greenery of the neighborhood. A number of commercial ventures have been started to provide made to order rain gardens, forested patches, slopes and dunes and woodlands.
Keywords: natural landscape