Categories
Backyard Landscape Calgary

Interesting Backyard Landscaping Ideas

It is spring and you are looking at your Calgary backyard and wondering how you can spruce it up with some interesting landscaping.  Here are some ideas that you can apply to your residential property.

Start with an area designed for seating and dining and then join it onto a nice berm covered in grass.  On this grassy area you can have play pits, swing sets, or other interactive items.  You can sit in comfort as you still keep an eye on the little ones.  Use some storage benches for seating that will double as a storage area for toys and other playthings.

If you are facing the opposite problem with children who have outgrown the rolling and tumbling, the area can easily be reconfigured by trading the swing set with a porch-style swing settee.  Add some pave stones for walkways and smaller areas of interest.  These can include plantings, water features, or seating nooks.

Another option is to design around a series of outdoor areas that resemble different rooms.  Just like indoors, people wander around during a party, your outdoor event will have the same ambiance.  Use pathways to join the areas that can include a small pond, a shade garden, and hideaways.  The right design will let you start the party during the daylight hours and continue into night.

Backyard landscaping ideas

If you have some irregular terrain, don’t worry.  A good landscape architect can help you with retaining walls that will serve as a design interest as well as opportunities for plantings.  Separate but defined spaces means you can experiment with different types of flowers or plants.

If you have been longing for a fire pit, make this year the time you make it a reality.  There are many different designs and types of pits available on the market.  Ask around to see which will fit your lifestyle the best.  A fire pit is a great area for families or friends to gather from early spring through autumn.  It stimulates conversation or can be a solo retreat after a grueling day.  Complete the décor with perennial plantings or pots that you take in during the winter.  The choice is yours.

You don’t need an enormous area to enjoy the backyard.  Even small spaces can be developed into places where you can enjoy the benefits of some good Vitamin D.  Use privacy fences to add vertical gardening with small pots of herbs or flowers.  Grow patio tomatoes in urns on your deck.  Match the flowers in your beds to those in window boxes to tie everything together.

When it comes to landscaping, take all the help you can get.  Visit with our experts at Project Landscape and find out the wonderful ideas we have to develop your backyard into a comfortable showplace that you can enjoy for decades to come.  We have experience with many different types of configurations and spaces.  We are excited to hear your plans and to help you make an ordinary backyard extraordinary.

Categories
Landscaping Calgary

Landscaping Trends for 2021

The Coronavirus outbreak caused many people to reconsider how they spend their spare or leisure time.  The initial restrictions caused a lot of folks to take to the outdoors.  Both back and front yards became centers for socializing, a respite from Zoom meetings, and a place to grow their own healthy fruits and vegetables.

As the health crisis continues and another warm season is looming, thoughts will be turning to Calgary landscape maintenance and outdoor activities.

Outdoor Havens

calgary landscaping trendsPeople will gravitate to their decks and patios.  There is likely to be an increased desire for privacy.  That means it is very likely that landscaping will feel that effect by strategic plantings of hedges, shrubs and other natural windbreaks.  Climbing vines on pergolas or lattice work will be an easy solution.  Retractable vinyl screens will also likely be used on trellises.  There could be more requests for fire pit installations to extend the use of patio areas into the cooler months.

Entertainment Spots

Backyard pools were a big hit for adults and children last year and will probably be requested again this year.  Parents will also likely be looking at ways to keep children entertained with maze areas, pavements for bike races, or climbing areas.

Vertical Gardens

Small spaces won’t be overlooked.  Vertical structures like fences will see the addition of pots to grow vegetables, herbs, and flowers.  This can become a “statement” area that will give interest to a little used area.

Front Yards

With more walkers and bikers, front yards in residential areas will take center stage.  Native plants have grown in popularity and that trend will probably continue.  With low maintenance needs and still attractive, the environment will be the focal point.  Pollinator-friendly plants will also be important.  Many of these are perennials and well suited to an eclectic landscape.

Remaining as a social mecca, the front yard, driveway or porch will be gathering places for neighbors and safe distancing for friends and relatives.  Additional seating options will start cropping up including retaining walls, or benches.  Expect more pathways and walk areas to be designed, including lighting options and plantings.

Vegetables

In the coming year, it is expected that veg gardens will be better thought out than in 2020.  The ability to become more self sufficient and to eat healthy will make it a return adventure.  Expect to see more plants available for sale including herbs and trees.  Irrigation systems may be one of the top requests to help maintain gardening plots.

The bottom line is that almost any outdoor activity will be popular in the coming year.  Landscaping will become more important and more thought given to plants that will afford some interest during the winter months.

If you have questions or would like help revamping your yard, contact us at Project Landscape.  We have experts just waiting to help you.  We are available for planning sessions, plantings, construction or ongoing maintenance.  We have lots of ideas to share and are very interested in what you may have developed yourself.

Categories
Landscaping Calgary

How a Landscape Contractor in Calgary Can Bring Value to Your Home

Landscaping your Calgary property will bring you current enjoyment and, as a really big plus, adds significant value for resale.  Studies show that homes with professionally landscaped exteriors turn over quicker than those with self landscaped and much more rapidly than those with inadequate landscaping.  Curb appeal is everything.  It is the first thing a potential buyer notices and it improves the general tenor of your neighborhood.

Here are some of the top ideas that others have used to perk up their exterior.

Patio – First, less lawn to maintain.  This is often overlooked by the homeowner but can be a significant time saver each week in mowing and edging.  Patios extend the living space of the home and are almost a necessity for summer entertaining, birthday parties, and lounging.

backyard landscaping calgary Walkways – Using pavers and decorative rock gives your landscape texture and color options.  Instead of a vast expanse of green, you will see some tans and grays.  Simply pouring a concrete path or improving the steps into your home makes a huge difference.  You can then add decorative pots of plants to bring in pops of color.

Retaining Walls – If you have some sloping areas of your property, a retaining wall will help conserve the soil.  A retaining wall serves a dual purpose of adding to the safety of the area preventing rocks and earth from sliding downward as well as adding a decorative element to the landscape.  These retaining walls can be used for additional seating or as an additional element to place potted plants.  They can also be used to define a garden area for a flower garden.

Irrigation Systems – A real plus when selling your home is an underground irrigation system.  This is an operation of plastic pipes and sprinkler heads to water the lawn and gardens.  It is a convenience to avoid dragging a hose and sprinkler around the yard.  It can be pre-programmed to run only at certain times and to provide only the amount of moisture a specific area needs.  A sensor will automatically adjust the system to not run if sufficient rainfall has been in your area.

Fire Pit – Planning and constructing a fire pit should really only be handled by a professional.  Then you are assured of safety and still provide the ambiance you are trying for.  This amenity is often a turning point for a home sale since it extends the usability of the outdoors most any time of the year.

So, as you can tell landscaping and hardscaping are viable methods to increase the value of your home and its enjoyment while you are still living there.  You are upgrading the neighborhood.  Using Project Landscape professionals means you will end up with the quality product that will enhance your property.  We pay special attention to the other homes on the street and those adjacent so that you will align with the general tone of the community.  We have lots of ideas that can help you improve your property at reasonable and competitive prices.  It is an investment you should not overlook.

Categories
Landscaping Calgary

Ways to Enjoy Your Snowy Backyard this Winter

Cold days and long nights are no reason to restrict yourself to the indoors during the winter months.  There are still a lot of ways to enjoy your backyard even in the snow.

Lighting

snowy yard calgaryThere are a lot of lighting options available in the market today including permanent outdoor light sets.  Choose from clear, white, or a set of colors that will work year round.  The strings of light will provide the illumination you want plus a bit of festivity

Warmth

There are some great ways to add heat to your patio or outdoor space.  Patio heaters are available.  They come in a number of shapes like wall mountings and infrared heat lamps.  You can add a fire pit that will run for your natural gas line, or portable units that are either electric or propane.

Outdoor fire places are more affordable than you may think.  Choose one that has a fire bowl to accommodate several large logs and a chimney that will send the smoke up and away from your eyes.  Once completely cooled, remove the ash from the removable bin and dispose of appropriately.  Some come equipped with a removable grill for a midnight hot dog snack.

Hot Tub

Hot tubs are not just for spas and ski resorts.  Give yourself a relaxing treat with a personal hot tub in your backyard.  Wear a hat to keep your body temperature regulated and to avoid chilly winter air from spoiling the experience.  Feel the daily stress melt away as your muscles relax.  Keep the tub illuminated at night for safety and keep up with the regular maintenance and cleaning.

Fire Pit

Fire pits are classic gathering points for a quiet discussion over s’mores or a gathering of neighbors or family.  Add hot cocoa, mulled wine, or flavored coffee and you have an instant party.

Furniture

There is plenty of garden furniture that is weather resistant like powder coated steel, teak and polyresin wicker.  You probably will want to bring the cushions and pillows indoors.  It is also a good idea to cover the furniture with secured tarps so that you just need to flip any snow off the furniture.  Keep blankets and throws in a chest near the patio door for easy retrieval and storage.

Grills

Grills work just fine in the winter.  Just be sure to position yourself to stay safe.  Be sure you keep fresh, dry charcoal on hand or a fresh tank of propane.  Then you can enjoy chicken or steak just like in the summer.  Catch up on some videos from cooking programs and find how you can make the whole meal on the grill.

If you have questions about any of these options or would like our help making them appear, just contact us at Project Landscape.  We have the experts ready to help you enjoy the outdoors no matter the season.

Categories
Landscaping Calgary

Fire Pit Design Ideas

Fire pits are a very popular design idea for your home.  Enjoying the ambiance with family and friends, or just a solo period of quiet.  There are a lot of design ideas available.  From the perspective of safety, it is always best to have a professional build your pit.

When you are working with your landscape company, here are some ideas you need to consider so that you get the best value for your money.

The first idea is whether you want a wood burning pit or one that is powered by gas.  Sometimes this is dictated by where you want to install the pit.  With a gas pit, there will need to be lines to access the gas; wood burning pits need to be located a safe distance from your home as specified in fire laws and municipality regulations.  If you are not into managing the wood, including clean up and disposition of the ash, then think about using gas.  While there is somewhat less ambiance, there is something to be said about starting and stopping the fire with the push of a button.

Fire Pit Design Ideas in Calgary

fire pit design calgaryThere is a third option of a portable unit.  This also might be a good idea if you are still debating about whether you would like a fire pit.  You can always sell it and get most of your investment back.

Placement is probably one of main considerations.  Do you want it to be a focal point or in a more intimate setting?  You will need to be sure there is enough room for seating and tables.  How many people do you anticipate gathering around the fire pit?  This can determine both the size of the pit and the placement.  More people means a greater area allocated.

General wind direction should also be considered.  This will help determine how to place seating as well as where it is located to avoid smoke wafting over your vegetables or prize roses.

If you have had a fire pit in the past, how did you use it?  What would you change and what would you leave the same?  Likes and dislikes should have a significant impact on your choices.

Finally we get to the construction materials.  They have an inner wall made from fireproof material, usually fire brick.  The outer wall should still be heat resistant but there are more options like stone, pavers or heat resistant tiles.  Finally there is a cap or a flat surface around the top opening.

All of this and more will be covered by one of our Project Landscape professional designers.  We are well versed on the safety features to be considered as well as the aesthetic design you want to achieve.  Contact us today to discuss your own design and landscape options.  We will arrange an appointment to view the area and recommend the best and safest options for your needs.  After you have approved all the design and placement, our crew can come in and make your fire pit dream a reality.

Categories
Landscaping Calgary

Landscape Design Change Tips

You have been staring at your landscaping and have come to the conclusion that it needs some work.  For residences it could be children grew up or arrived or grandchildren now come to visit.  Your tastes have changed.  Your lifestyle is different by retirement or remote working.  Your pastimes are different.  For commercial operations, the plants are looking bedraggled or it is just time for a change.

Whatever the reason, it is always best to work with a professional landscape design company here in Calgary. 

At Project Landscape we always start with a plan.  We discuss the ideas and dreams of our clients and spend time looking at the site.  We will probably take measurements and assess the plants and hardscaping that currently exists.  From that information we begin to develop the appropriate plans.  This usually involves a sketch.

calgary backyard design paversWe also start talking about plants and how they will integrate with the current architectural design, utilities and property lines, terrain and how you want your property to look when the work is done.  We discuss budget and offer alternatives.

If you are not sure what you would like to have in your garden, we usually suggest that you drive around the neighbourhood and make notes of what you do or do not care for.  The color palate you prefer.  In Calgary we have a number of different trees, shrubs and perennials that will thrive in our climate and soils.  We can help you decide so that you have varieties that will do well through the growing season.  Large items like trees should be considered for decades rather than a season and to plan for their growth and spread.

At Project Landscape we are professional landscapers in Calgary.  Each crew is supervised to provide our clients with the best possible outcome.  We have built our reputation on following through with our commitments and quality workmanship.

For either commercial or residential clients, walkways and patios are a popular option.  There are a number of materials to choose from like pave stones, exposed aggregate, and stamped concrete.  We work with you to decide the amount of traffic the area will take and how the materials will coordinate with the plants.  We can replicate or harmonize those materials with seating areas, retaining walls, and other surfaces.

Another area we concern ourselves with is the edging around the planting sites.  Defining the edges of your garden and blooms is very important to the overall appearance of the landscape.  We have options like a natural edging or creating berms with wood mulch.  There is also stack stone or natural stone that will tie into the paths or driveway.  One of the most popular choices is mowing pavers.  These are nice because your mower can just travel across them without harm to the paving or the mower blades.

So, if you are ready to embark on a new landscaping adventure, just contact us at Project Landscape.  We are happy to come and see your area and discuss all the possibilities.  Our rates are reasonable and competitive and we have lots of ideas to share with you.

Categories
Landscape Experts

Looking for a Concrete Retaining Wall in Calgary?

Retaining walls serve two purposes.  The first is structural to provide support to a vertical or steep slope.  The retaining wall will shore up the soil and prevent further erosion.  The second is the aesthetic of a landscape.  It can create a small garden or quiet area for respite.  It can coordinate or enhance the current landscape by providing a hardscape contrast.

retaining wall calgary Retaining walls can be constructed using a number of colors, dimensions, styles and materials.  They can be incorporated into raised patios or bridge gaps between levels of a yard.  Constructed correctly they are able to resist the lateral pressure of the soil and prevent damage to trees and structures.

One good choice for a retaining wall is one made from concrete.  There are, of course, advantages to other material usage, but here are some specific to concrete.

  • Strength – Concrete is incredibly strong, which is what you are looking for when you are trying to hold back a hill of dirt.  As the concrete completes the curing process, it will become even stronger.
  • Durability – A concrete wall can last for decades or longer.  This is important because you really don’t want to have it rebuilt every few years.
  • Resistance to the Elements – A concrete retaining wall won’t burn, rot, or rust.  Precast concrete can also withstand the freeze and thaw cycles found in Calgary’s winters.
  • Installation – Masonry will take time and the additional labor will mean additional cost.
  • Flexibility – Using concrete means you can create curves and angles with very little trouble.  It gives the ability to contour to the land and to create an area that will be harmonious with the other surroundings.
  • Appearance – Concrete is no longer the boring, smooth, gray rock.  You can color the concrete to whatever shade you want.  It can be finished to look like stone or a natural stone veneer added to the face.
  • Low Maintenance – There is not much to cleaning.  About once a year just tidy it up a bit.  Periodically check for any cracks or wear.  Patching is simple with some mortar.
  • Eco-friendly – Concrete does not emit any off gas allergens or dangerous chemicals.  It is largely made from natural materials like clay, limestone, or other mineral.  Normally the raw products are sourced locally.
  • Affordable – As compared with other building materials, concrete for a retaining wall is in about the middle of the price range.  That means you will be getting the best value for the money you spend.

There are three basic types of concrete wall construction.  There are concrete blocks, precast panels, or traditional poured in place.  You can choose the method that fits your situation and pocketbook.

If you would like to learn more about concrete retaining walls, just contact us through this website or give us a call.  We will be happy to discuss your situation.  If you like, we can come to your home or business to view the space and offer our opinion and estimate.

Categories
Landscaping Calgary

Calgary Landscape Maintenance

Landscape maintenance in Calgary is significantly more than keeping the lawn mowed.  If it is beginning to feel overwhelming, consider a landscape maintenance company to help out.  Here are some of the services you can expect from Project Landscape.

Clean Up

In the spring our crew comes in to assess the current state of the yard.  We will remove any winter debris, aerate the turf, plant annuals, tidy up perennial beds, and deal with any additional plantings or maintenance necessary to make the landscape ready for the growing season.

In the autumn we can rake leaves, remove spent annuals, clean out tree wells, and prune hedges and shrubs to make them sturdy enough to handle the winter snow and ice.

Growing Season

lawn-maintenance-landscaping-calgary-5faebef65da82For the summer, we have a number of maintenance or special project teams that can help your area stay looking its best.  Weekly mowing, periodic watering, and appropriately timed fertilizing, weeding, pruning and trimming.  We can also remove excess litter and debris as necessary.

Clientele

At Project Landscape in Calgary we are pleased to service both residential and commercial customers.  Our clients include private homeowners, businesses and industrial parks, property managers, homeowner associations.  We can help with areas around condominiums and townhouses.  Ground maintenance like regular mowing as well as ancillary services like planting seasonal flowers, pruning trees, and shrub maintenance.

For turf we can provide top dressing and overseeding in the spring and possibly the fall.  Besides a regular mowing schedule, we can edge the lawn, treat for weeds and provide fertilizing.  We have experts who are willing to discuss the current state of the landscaping.  If a change is warranted or if you feel the need for some updating, we can help you redesign the landscape and offer suggestions for new plants or trees.  We can remove the old growth and add new plants or completely start from scratch to help your outside look lovely.  Curb appeal is important to maintain solid relations with your neighbors or to be in compliance with homeowner association regulations.  We make it easy for you.

The Process

Our initial consultation will include looking at your property and discussing your plans.  We use active listening to incorporate your ideas and requirements.  Relying on our years of experience we will be able to offer suggestions and alternatives.

After we have settled on a scope of work, we can estimate the labor and any equipment that will be necessary.  We will prepare a bid for your approval.  Then we can set dates for the work to commence.

For ongoing maintenance, it will be similar except that will we set up a schedule for the regular services.  The periodic or seasonal work will be scheduled based on weather conditions and the work to be performed.

It is just this easy.  Contact our office and discuss your ideas with one of our representatives.  We can then move forward and schedule an on-site visit.

Categories
Landscape Experts

Landscape Design Tips for This Year

Sometimes property owners wonder if it is really worth it to hire a professional landscape design company.  Here in Calgary, the answer is yes.  Landscaping can seem straightforward but in reality it takes an expert hand and eye to combine natural features with a human-made structure and incorporate function with aesthetics.  You may do an okay job on your own but a professional will make your landscape shine.

Site

Every piece of property has its own lay of the land.  There are rises, low spots, and flat areas.  Each area receives sunlight at different times and some is totally shaded.  Understanding how to best utilize the space is a job for a professional.  Knowing which trees, shrubs, and plants to place and where they will thrive is an integral part of the landscaper’s trade.  They will also help place the artificial elements like paths, water features, seating, and decoration.  Knowing how the house or office building will fit into the scheme is all part of the skill set.

Designs

landscape garden calgary The landscaper will work with you to find your preferences in terms of upkeep and overall concept.  Through education, training and experience, he or she will develop the concepts that will eventually become your landscape.  Taking previous ideas, they will be able to adapt to your vision and still maintain the best solution for the area.

Yards, green space, and gardens offer a wide variety of options.  The landscape company will guide the owner through the choices and eventually develop the best plan available within the budget.

Design

The landscape company will review all of the data it has gathered to create a unique design for your approval.  After any adjustments, they can create the best combination for the ecosystem in your yard or office park and then create the ideal arrangement for sustainability and maintenance.

Communication

A good landscaper will keep the owner informed throughout the project.  That includes days and times for physical labor as well as knowing what to plant first and in between.  This can be complex depending on the weather and availability of products and workers.  The designer should let you know where you stand in regard to the budget and any contractors.

Project Landscape is a full service provider for your outdoor needs.  We are able to work with homeowners and building managers to create the appropriate ambiance for their area.  We are experts at arranging a budget to fit within your financial constraints.  Once the work is complete we can also offer suggestions for maintenance.  In fact, if you wish, we are able to set up a schedule for mowing, trimming and pruning.

If all of this sounds good, contact our office.  We will be happy to schedule one of our landscape professionals to meet with you at a convenient time and see how we can help your dream materialize.  Then all you need to do is sit back and enjoy the finished product.

Categories
Landscaping Calgary

Fire Pit Design Tips

In Calgary, fire pits are becoming more and more popular.  They can be constructed of stone, brick, or metal and its basic purpose is to rein in a fire so that it does not spread.  However, the fun part is the ambiance it provides…not to mention s’mores.

Atmosphere – The fire pit creates the mood for a late evening to early morning chat and snuggle with a loved one.

Entertainment area – Much like a patio or deck, a fire pit provides the focal point for outdoor gatherings.  As an extension of your home, it can be surrounded by sofas or benches.  Your style and décor will continue outdoors around the fire pit.  You can coordinate with the seating already in place on your deck or create a new look.  Your guests will enjoy your personal touches as the conversation increases.  You may find it necessary to keep extra wood or gas available for impromptu gatherings.

fire pit design tips calgary All season useFire pits are not restricted to the summer months.  Think about telling ghost stories on Halloween or sipping hot chocolate on Christmas Eve.  Take advantage of clear nights and bring out your telescope or just sit back and enjoy the constellations.

Focal point – As you design your outdoor landscaping, a fire pit will give you a focal point that designers are always seeking.  Whether it is in full view, or more secluded, you can customize the area to suit your needs.  Go rustic or sophisticated.  It is your choice.

Relaxation – Watching the flames flicker is a great way to let the cares of the day melt away.  As you become more peaceful, your blood pressure will drop and things can seem more manageable.  You can transfix on the fire and feel yourself relax.

Cooking – Not just for charring marshmallows, if you add a grill plate on your pit and you can cook just like you would on a grill.  It makes a late dinner seem like a party.  Watch a few cooking shows and you will find that backyard cooking is more than burgers.  You can easily cook pasta, desserts or fondue.

Value – When it comes time to say goodbye to your home, you will realize that the outdoor entertainment area has added value to the asking price.  When you finally leave you will know that someone else will be able to enjoy many hours around the fire pit just as you and your family have for some time.

Safety First – Always locate your fire pit on level ground and at least 10 to 20 feet from any flammable object.  Always have it in an open area and not near any type of overhang.  Keep a fire extinguisher, bucket of sand, or hose nearby for emergencies.  Adhere to all local safety laws and regulations and educate children and others about safety measures.

As you can tell, fire pits make a wonderful addition to your Calgary home’s exterior.  If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information or an estimate.