Except on the coastal areas of southern British Columbia landscaping in Canada is a seasonal recreation because even hardscape and terracing requires ground that is not frozen. In many parts of the country landscape contractors can work up until early December. So when the gardening supplies have been stored and the holiday season has past the early part of the New &ear is a great time for planning.
Some new home plans already include a selection of landscaping themes and in many instances the builders give an allowance for the landscape design so that the new occupants can have their own landscaper come in and do a custom job. On the other hand older homes have designs from the era when the property was developed and already have a beautiful selection of mature shrubs and trees. In both situations a landscaper can assist you in bringing the land to life. All they need is a plan and that can come right from your mind's eye.
A professional landscaper can tell a lot after just a short walk around your property. The slope of the land, the vegetation and the position of the sun give clues as to how the landscape design should be approached. There is also attention paid to the sidewalks, driveway and fencing as these may be the cornerstone of new landscaping ideas or detriments to the application of a new design. In addition the path of the water from the roof to its exit from the property is also studied because in flatter areas vegetation will be instrumental in taking excess water off the property.
Some homeowners dream of having their own garden from an early age. When the opportunity presents itself they spend every spare hour out in the back yard planting, trimming and pruning because of the zen benefits. Children present another use for the yard and those homeowners who plan to have a family would be wise to think in terms of lawn, playgrounds, pets and fences.
The other type of homeowner is busy at work, retired and wants to travel or would rather go fishing than putter around in the garden. These are examples of people who want low-maintenance that may not require a great deal of greenery. They may like the idea of a large, outdoor patio and paving stones that run from the back of the house to the fence and the only work they might want to do is to power wash the deck once a year.
Another form of landscaping fits right in with the ecological movement that is beginning to awaken in the country. This is finding suitable vegetation and landscape practices that are self-sustaining and require no chemical fertilizers or pesticides. It not only stems from the desire to use organic means for soil restoration but to choose both vegetation and features that are native to the area.
Soil Conservation: By using organic measures to replenish the soil the growing ability is, in many cases, increased far above the yields of artificial methods. Part of the reason for this is that chemicals meant to kill harmful insects kill beneficial species as well. Ladybugs, mantises and other species attack leave-eating insects but are eradicated by carpet pesticide application. With these carnivorous insects gone new pests can infest the garden after the poisonous effects are leached away. In addition these chemicals also kill organisms in the soil that are responsible for composting and keeping the soil healthy. The right way is to compost and add organic compounds like sheep manure and vegetation.
Water: Most arts of Canada do not have too much of a water problem yet but almost every year quite a few cities call for lawn-watering bans because reservoirs are low. To alleviate this problem in the U.S. many companies are introducing drip irrigation systems, a series of pipes that run underground and water the roots. In this way the plants, trees and lawn require much less moisture because the water gets right to the roots and is not subject to draining away or evaporation, both of which happen when sprinklers are used.
Other systems use “gray water,” the effluent from sinks, dishwashers, showers and clothes washers. These water sources are on a separate drainage system than the toilet water and contain small quantities of nutrients that benefit plant life.
Long before the house went up there were shrubs and grasses that grew naturally to the area. In the west there were saskatoon and huckleberry bushes and in the east, dune grasses and blackberries, to name a few. Thousands of years of seasonal growth gave these hardy plants the defenses against weather, insects and disease and yet we still try to plant tropical plants in dry areas and cacti on the coast. And each time we plant a non-native shrub we have to create a micro-climate to support it.