Gardening: Backyard gardeners can take the leap into landscaping with a little planning

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Author of the article:

Bill Brooks Calgary Herald

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July 17, 202117 minutes agoRead for 3 minutes Join the conversation Created by Lions Bridge Landscaping in 2019, this southwest backyard oasis includes a water feature, new fences, flagstone paths, flower beds, mulch, and plant material.  The crab apple tree has been retained and the double waterfalls and pond hug the tree giving the impression that the water feature has been around for many years.  Photo, Bill BrooksCreated by Lions Bridge Landscaping in 2019, this southwest backyard oasis includes a water feature, new fences, flagstone paths, flower beds, mulch, and plant material. The crab apple tree has been retained and the double waterfalls and pond hug the tree giving the impression that the water feature has been around for many years. Photo, Bill Brooks jpg

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Gardening often starts on a small scale, starting with a few pots of annuals. With the interest, so does the effort. Landscape planning is the natural development that culminates in a complete redesign of an existing garden or, in the case of a new room, starts from scratch.

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The list of things to consider may seem daunting. For example, is the room inclined? Are the fences crooked? Is a way desirable? What is the lot size. And what are the environmental conditions such as exposure to light, existing trees and plants? Pets? Color schemes. Budget. Personal style. Do it yourself or hire a professional? But without question, the most important considerations are scale and balance. There is nothing more staggering than a giant spruce growing in the middle of a smaller garden.

Stone slabs look more natural than poured concrete.  Ground covers will continue to fill up and soften the hardness of the stones.  Irish moss, creeping thyme, blue star creeper, sedum plant, baby tears and creeping jenny (be careful with this one as it tends to overtake) are ideal ground covers.  Photos, Bill Brooks Stone slabs look more natural than poured concrete. Ground covers will continue to fill up and soften the hardness of the stones. Irish moss, creeping thyme, blue star creeper, sedum plant, baby tears and creeping jenny (be careful with this one as it tends to overtake) are ideal ground covers. Photos, Bill Brooks jpg

“Always remember the mature size of all plant material. Imagine what the farm will be like 20 years from now, advises Jordan Reti, founder and owner of Lions Bridge Landscaping (lionsbridge.com). The native Calgarian has been changing Calgary and the surrounding area for 16 years.

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Before venturing into landscaping, homeowners should be aware of three things: budget, timeframe, and quality. “My team and I are proud to consistently achieve two of the three, but it’s a challenge to achieve all three,” says Reti. If someone wants to get a job done quickly and cheaply, they shouldn’t expect the Rolls-Royce materials. Conversely, quality is guaranteed if the homeowner has significant funds. “The biggest mistake you can make is rushing a project. It doesn’t have to be done all at once. It is a living work of art that is constantly changing and getting better and better over time. “

The front yard has an amazing stone bench under a weeping birch tree.  The landscaper was lucky enough to find two large rocks with flat tips for the base. The front yard has an amazing stone bench under a weeping birch tree. The landscaper was lucky enough to find two large rocks with flat tips for the base. jpg

The project presented here was completed in 2019. The entire courtyard had to be gutted and 2.5 cm of material removed for the new implementation. The conversion of the oversized south-west courtyard took two months. “One of the most rewarding things about this job was that the customers and I shared a common passion,” says Reti.

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The customers are avid gardeners and have been involved every step of the way. The scope of the project was huge and included new fences, flagstones, a state-of-the-art irrigation system, dozens of perennials and shrubs, several trees and the Piece de Resistance, a fabulous water feature. That was added as the scope of the project grew. The placement of the water feature in the corner of the courtyard was the perfect location as an elevated installation on a flat landscape in the middle of the garden would look out of place.

A curled tree or shrub like this weeping Colorado blue spruce creates a strong eye-catcher.  This tree was grown in Indus, Alberta.  Whenever possible, buy locally grown materials to ensure natural acclimatization. A curled tree or shrub like this weeping Colorado blue spruce creates a strong eye-catcher. This tree was grown in Indus, Alberta. Whenever possible, buy locally grown materials to ensure natural acclimatization. jpg

Reti and his team of five used different sizes of trees to make sure the garden didn’t look timestamped. “You get really good value with potted trees that can be mixed well with much more expensive saddle trees,” says Reti.

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Speaking of value, Reti recommends budgeting between five and 10 percent of the value of a home for landscaping. A $ 600,000 home could easily justify a $ 30,000 to $ 60,000 landscaping budget. Always think of a master plan that starts with the construction lines, especially in the city. Start with the structural elements – trees, poles, concrete, hardscape, and the like, and then decorate it with smaller details like lighting.

Reti closes with these last thoughts. “Many people often assume that landscaping is all about the appeal of the curb and forget about the homeowner’s enjoyment. Landscaping is like greeting someone when you come to your home. Do you want to greet them with a handshake or a hug? “

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