Landscaping Trends


Despite the droughts that have plagued us in recent years in most parts of Canada we have lots of available water. However, because of global warming many cities and outlying areas will be faced with water shortages in the not-to-distance future. This means that the traditional way of landscaping will have to be revamped in order to conserve water for more pressing needs like drinking and household needs.

As well, the insistent rise of oil prices means that the transport trucks carrying food to our grocery stores is beginning to affect prices at the checkout. No longer can we expect low food prices when wheat and corn prices have shot up.

And one of the biggest problems we face is the long-term effect on chemicals that have leached into the water table from our backyards. Pesticides and chemical fertilizers have leached the soil of nutrients in many areas and killed off beneficial insects and microorganisms that maintain the balance in the soil through composting. With no compost materials the soil needs more bulk otherwise it will not hold water for anything we want to grow.

These three dilemmas facing Canadians have a direct bearing on how landscape designers will fashion our yards.  The new yards will lose their “golf course green” and become microcosms of good ecological methods.

The New Back Yard

Landscape architects have a new plan for our present properties and a vision for the developments of the future. For the first time, landscapers are looking at a self-sustaining space that is both beautiful and practical.

Patio Space

With the new trend in home renovation being 'bringing the inside outside” the patio has grown larger and is being made from more permanent materials like stone and pavers. Heaters and fireplaces have extended the season in our temperate climate zone by providing a cozy atmosphere. As well, this larger space cuts down the amount of lawn needed for outdoor activity meaning less water and less emissions and fuel use from ride-on lawn tractors.

Native Plants and Shrubs

Before your home was built there probably was a field or meadow with wildflowers and shrubs that existed without the need for constant care. Some of this vegetation gave you blueberries, wild onions, saskatoon berries and other delicacies that we pay a pretty penny for in the store. In many parts of North America landscapers are replanting vegetation native to their area to great success. And this doesn't have to mean that the space is littered with unkempt thatch.

Another benefit of using native plants is that they already have defenses against pests. Some strains also protect the surrounding plants so you can sometimes mix in non-native plants. With new ideas come new designs - even with plants that have existed for millennia.

The Vegetable Garden

Many of us grew up looking out at a large vegetable garden in our parents' back yard. When we all went off in different directions the traditional garden was no longer needed and the rich, dark soil was planted with lawn. After thirty years of dormancy landscaping crews are digging up the turf and laying out the vegetable garden once again. Now, with a little work, you can grow enough tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, carrots and other staples to cover the grocery bill for months. Not only that, growing vegetables in small spaces bordered with flowering plants makes a beautiful setting.

Garden Pots

If a full-fledged garden won't work because you don't have time or energy to keep at it try gardening in containers. The nice thing about this is that, when the frost comes, you can bring the pots in under the deck or into a greenhouse area to lengthen the growing season. This mix-and-match capability also means you can change the setting of your garden anytime you feel like it.

Organic Pest Control

If we would only look the internet and gardening books are full of pest control ideas which should make us put away the weed killer forever. Your landscaper has organic starters that can control weeds naturally or you can attack them yourself. For example, ants won't cross any area treated with cayenne, citrus oil, salt, crushed mint leaves and a dozen other natural products. For more information check with your local gardening shop or go online.

Rain Cisterns

For thousands of years people have been trapping water for use when the times are dry. By diverting the downspouts from your gutter into a holding tank or rain cistern, a whole season's garden water can be stored. There are many plans to make your own or systems you can contact someone to design one for you.

A professional landscaper can turn your backyard into a showplace or an area of solitude and peace, like a Japanese garden.

Posted by: TrustedPros
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