Once a landscape planting is installed, the subsequent management has traditionally had the effect of ‘freezing’ the composition, minimising change over time. Whilst the natural growth of trees is permitted, shrubs are often trimmed to give them a more compact architectural form. And, of course, lawns are kept at a perpetual height of approximately two inches (5 cm) through frequent mowing. The species composition of traditionally designed landscapes is rarely permitted to change, with any invading plants considered ‘weeds’. Woody invaders are often mechanically removed by pulling or cutting; broadleaved herbaceous invaders in lawns or mulched areas are typically killed with herbicides.
The combined effect of prevailing plant selection, placement and management practices in the designed landscape is an ordered park-like appearance with smooth, deep-green lawn interspersed with predominately dense, dark-green shrubs planted as hedges, blocks or masses; and symmetrically shaped specimen trees planted either as individuals or in rows or in Informal’ groupings, often of a single species and size. The only noticeable changes in this landscape are the changing flower and foliage colours and, in some cases, the changing display of bulbs and annuals.