There is nothing more satisfying than the sense of accomplishment that stems from creating something yourself. Every year, more people are inspired to take on the challenge of doing their landscape design themselves. At Making a Difference Landscaping of Calgary, we have come up with 4 essential tips when it comes to design that will help you achieve the yard that you have envisioned for you and your family. Of course, we would love for you to come to us for your next Calgary landscaping project.

Landscape Design

Assess your initial Design Idea

Unfortunately, just because an idea looks amazing on Pinterest doesn’t mean it will look amazing on your lawn. Most of these wonderful Pinterest yard inspirations are designs from professional landscape designers who have had years to hone their craft. However, this doesn’t mean that it is impossible to create the yard of your dreams, it means that this requires more forethought that you would think. One thing any landscape designer can tell you is that, because of their physical characteristics, no two yards are ever alike. This means that throwing a few plants around, maybe creating a sort of patio, and then filling the rest of the space with lawn might not work as well as it did on your neighbor’s yard and could potentially lead to disappointment. The best solution to your yard will be the one that compliments the physical characteristics that exist within the site. Before getting any landscaping done, you need to sit down and identify the specific functions you want your space to have, and to compare it to the reality of your current available space. This is especially true in Calgary, as terrain from one neighborhood to the next can be very different.

Understanding Site Requirements

The most important skill to have to determine if the solution you have in mind is the best for your yard is observation and imagination. For example, if your yard is predominantly narrow, then large rounded shapes like largely rounded gazebos when they are not designed with discretion, aggressively split your yard into two unusable spaces, ultimately working against the very nature of your space. Think about function. What specific activity would you and your family enjoy doing in your yard? If there will be different activities, how can the arrangement of different elements complement each other to support the activities that will be ultimately taking place there? Once you have identified this, it will be easier for you to pinpoint the flow between one point in your yard to another, as well as the required space for each component.

Planning is Key

It is just like the popular saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. If you don’t know what your final product will be before you start, how will you know when you’re there? Once you have an idea of what works best for you then put it on paper! Sometimes our imagination gets a hold of ourselves and we think that everything we want will work perfectly together. It isn’t until we see it on paper that we start noticing incongruencies between what we wish to do, and what can actually be done. Having a construction blueprint will help you get an idea of your project’s budget as well as help you plan for trips to hardware stores for materials in advance. If you lack the artistic skills to make a perfect representation of your yard design, there are many software programs (free and licensed), that you can find online that help you design your plan in minutes.

Revise your Plan

There is nothing more frustrating than wasted time and effort. The best way to go about approaching any complex, yet rewarding, a DIY project like landscaping is to think ahead and think of any possible scenario. What most designers, in general, don’t tell you (and this applies to any discipline of design) is that designing is a process, and like any process it takes steps; magazine-ready landscape designs are a result of arduous time and consideration. You might have an excellent initial idea, but you should always get in the habit of thinking how it could be improved. Sure, having a wide variety of plants might look amazing but if you barely have any landscaping/gardening experience, then taking care of each plant’s need might be harder than anticipated. The point of this specific design tip is not to make you paranoid that you might have missed something important in your design, or to halt you from engaging in a positive DIY experience but to stress the point that beautiful landscaping is a result of a design process. The difference between decorating something and designing something is that when you decorate you merely worry about how something looks, yet when you design you incorporate aesthetics into something that works.

At Making a Difference Landscaping inc. we understand the importance of creating spaces that resonate with our clients. Whether you want us to help you achieve your landscaping vision, or you want us to provide quality maintenance to the result of your hard work, please don’t hesitate to give one of our specialists in Calgary a call to discuss any of your questions.

During spring and winter, the water consumption of most houses in Calgary increase to almost fifty percent because of outdoor watering maintenance activities. Because of this fact, many people always look for ways to work around the expenses of keeping a pristine lawn. The first question that always seems to rise when it comes to watering is knowing exactly how much water is needed in order to effectively water your plants. The answer to this question is more than just a quantifiable answer, it is actually a qualitative answer. The truth of the matter is that the amount to water your plants need highly depends on factors such as plant species, where the plant is planted, amount of sunlight it receives daily, weather conditions, etc.

In other words, the more appropriate question to ask is, how do I effectively water my lawn without any unnecessary waste? From timing to actual methods, these helpful tips will show you how to minimize your water expenses while maximizing the beneficial effect that watering has in your yard or garden.

Calgary Landscaping

Know your plants

Understanding the intrinsic characteristics of specific plant species can determine the amount of water each plant’s need. Any landscape designer worth their salt will suggest for you to try to stick with native species, the reasoning behind this is that native plants are genetically adapted to Calgary’s ever-changing climate as well as high-altitude, whereas imported plants, even if they have been cultivated here for many years, will struggle more to adapt with only natural rainfall. Once you know your plants’ species, you will know where they typically grow, and the amount of water they typically require. If your garden/yard consists of more than one species, a good hack would be to group plants with similar water requirements to prevent any overwatering/underwatering.

Timing is everything

It’s not the amount of water that guarantees a green, healthy looking, plant, it’s the timing when it is being watered. If you water your plants anytime between 11 am and 3 pm then more than 50% of the water is being evaporated before it even hits the ground, making this time window completely inefficient and expensive. The ideal time to water your yard/plants is dawn. At dawn your plants are the calmest, sunlight has yet to reach its peak (considerably cutting losses to evaporation), and the overall ambiance is cool. One could argue that dusk also has those qualities, however, if you choose to water your plants at dusk you’re inviting fungus and bacteria into your yard seeing as plants don’t use up the water overnight.

If you must use a sprinkler, use a timer

When using a sprinkler, a lot of the water is lost by evaporation, making the sprinkler work for longer periods of time and eventually wasting water. If you must use a sprinkler, then a timer can be set before you leave the house in the morning, that way you won’t forget to water your plants and you make sure that your plants are being watered at the correct time of day. Another important tip regarding sprinklers is to remember to aim them properly, water that ends on up your driveway and sidewalk is wasted water.

Rain Barrels are your friend

Be ecological about it. Mother nature can help you water your plants and save money at the same time when you’re collecting rainwater. There are many different designs of rain barrels that can complement the look of your yard in an unobtrusive way.

Water roots, not plants

Roots are the only part in plants that collect the water. When you water leaves and stems the water stays on the surface but does not go to where it is supposed to. Instead, the moisture build-up can create a perfect environment for bacteria and fungus to grow. Mulching beds help in keeping the soil from overheating as well as prevents water evaporation.
As experts in lawn maintenance and other landscaping services, at Making A Difference Landscaping, we offer a wide array of maintenance services for families that lack the time to give their yard the proper care. We understand your need to have a beautiful lawn, so let us help you with your landscaping vision. Give one of our specialists a call today and see the difference we offer.

Weed control is an obligation for every good gardener, as well as a responsibility for every Calgary business owner. As a City of Calgary by-law, you could get up to a $400 dollar fine for lack of corrective action regarding weeds on your property. Your garden might look spectacular, yes, but a place with weeds gives an image of neglect and abandonment. However beautiful your commercial landscape design may be, it will always look dull if you have random wild plants affecting the overall design of your space.
In addition to the aesthetic disadvantage of having weeds invade your condo complex or company’s exterior, there are other reasons to eliminate them: they compete with your plants for food as well as cause problems of pests and diseases. If there are nearby weeds, your ornamental plants will be forced to share the nutrients and water available. If resources are limited, your plants may not grow to their full potential, and if you provide fertilizer to try to solve this issue, weeds will take equal benefit from the fertilizer.
Weeds facilitate the appearance of all types of pests like aphids (small pear-shaped insects that feed on plant sap), as well as carry dangerous plant diseases. Some of Calgary’s most common weeds problem are dandelions and lawn mushrooms, and while they are not considered part of the noxious prohibited weeds list according to Calgary’s Weed Control Act, they are easily spread and are difficult to get rid of.
What is the best method to get rid of them? The best thing to control weeds is taking preventive measures like trying to limit watering directly to plant roots to prevent creating the ideal conditions for weed seeds to germinate. If this is no longer an option then removing them by the root is the next best thing; and for that, nothing is better than doing it by hand. Before you do it make sure you pull carefully so that the plant does not break while you yank it from the group. You can make the work easier if you do it with damp soil, either by waiting for rainfall or after watering the yard. If you notice weeds growing in your commercial space, do not wait too long to decide to remove them; you need to remove them before they bloom or leave their seeds.
The second removal option is to use herbicides. There are many types of herbicides depending on the specific need you may have: contact herbicides, systemic herbicides, total herbicides (can kill all types of plants), or selective herbicides (there are typically two types: for grass or broadleaf plants). As you can see there are many different options when it comes to selecting a specific herbicide and the adequate herbicide for you might not work in any other case. The wrong herbicide can potentially kill surrounding ornamental plants as well as the pesky weeds you were trying to get rid of in the first place.
At Make a Difference Landscaping we have a guaranteed weed control program for your residential complex or Calgary business. No weeds all year! It is our mission to help you with your landscaping vision. Give one of our specialists a call today and let us help you with your Calgary landscaping questions.