To my mind, the word landscaping is planning of physical development. But to many people landscaping simply means gardening and planting trees
What is landscaping?
Landscaping is the combination of art and science to plan optimum physical development of land and its conservation. To implement this implies a study and comprehension of the ecological system and deep respect for its management.
The landscape architect is responsible for all this. His work and activities must integrated and in consultation with the work of the regional planner, the building architect, engineer, botanist, horticulturist and other professionals in projects like air terminal, high ways, residential and industrial areas. He plans and designs aesthetic layouts of land area, taking into consideration all aspects of environment such nature of soil and vegetations so that the landscapes harmonize with existing land features and buildings including the type of vegetations to be planted or preserved and other related site development.
It seems to me the term ‘landscaping’ is wrongly intrepreted in this country. Here it simply means construction of parks and gardens, planting of trees and ornamental shrubs. The landscape architects are not tuned to the planning and designing of physical development but rather taking over job of gardeners, horticulturists, botanists.
What make the landscape architects deviate from their responsibilities in design and planning of physical development. It is all because the organization is without by laws. We have the Town and country planning by laws already. And more over, the planning of our physical development can be carried out by almost any Tom, Harry and Dick.
To make matter worst, we have also Landscape Department, under the Ministry of Housing. The City Halls and Municipal Councils also established Landscape Departments. What is really the function of this department?. Many years ago we have Garden Departments headed by horticulturists or Gardeners.
It is really sad that the landscape architects deviate from their professional experts in physical development and environment and taking the jobs of horticulturists or Gardeners. If only we could established a Landscape Department under Ministry of Environment, consists of various professionals such as Botanist, Ecologist, Environmentalist, Horticulturist and others, we could have a very powerful department to look after our environment.
I was once appointed as a botanist to manage a Landscape Consultant in establishing a Botanical Garden. My Client Boss whispered to me “ Don’t let the barber become a dentist” I did not understand what he was talking about until there was presentation. The foreigner Landscape architect trying to establish Botanical gardens, neither he knew what Botanical Garden is all about or the flora of Malesiana.