One thing we love about our business at Mirage is that landscaping trends are always developing. Every year we see people’s choices change when it comes to their residential properties according to the ever-evolving needs of families and what has become more important to society. We’re always keeping watch out for new things we can do for our landscaping maintenance and construction clients in order to help bolster their enjoyment of the outdoors plus add value to their properties.
If you’re thinking of making some upgrades to your property, consider one – or a few – of these new landscaping trends to help you see your yard in a whole new way.
1. Gardening for food
More and more Calgarians are realizing the food-growing opportunities that are available in this city, even with our unpredictable climate. Growing plants to put food on the table is a wonderful way to teach children the value of what they consume, and for them to see exactly what it takes to go from mere seeds to a feature on their plates.
Get an herb and vegetable garden off to a good start by constructing raised beds for them to have their own dedicated space that is mostly comfortably aboveground. Create your own soil mix using about 60% topsoil, 30% high-quality compost, and 10% potting soil. Mixing in specialized fertilizer for vegetables is also a good idea. All kinds of herbs will grow well in Calgary, as well as vegetables such as beets, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, onions, peas, potatoes, spinach, squash and tomatoes (technically a fruit). Feel free to take a few risks and try everything!
2. Taking the indoors outdoors
A new deck can be a functional sanctuary for your family and friends. There’s nothing better than relaxing outside with a good book, dining al fresco on a summer’s night, or inviting friends and family over to spend time outdoors. A deck can be the perfect extension of your home to provide both comfort and convenience.
Fire pits are great additions to every yard, and you can make them as much of a feature as you like. You could choose a simple aboveground fire pit that can be hooked up to your natural gas, or go more elaborate with a custom in-ground brick or stone fire pit constructed with a surrounding patio for benches, chairs, and additional storage.
The crème-de-la-crème, an outdoor kitchen is an amazing addition to any yard. Most include counter space, cabinets and a grill made out of low-maintenance, tough and durable products such as stone and stainless steel. A dining area is also a must, of course.
3. Less structure, more natural areas
More and more people are discovering the benefits of a natural area in their yard, such as a flowering meadow. There are 6.2 million lawns in Canada. If we all converted just one-quarter of our yard space into a natural meadow we could provide 14,400 hectares of habitat for pollinators. Another reason to create a meadow is to cut down the average 48 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions put out by the average gas-powered lawn mower each summer, and also reduce the amount of water needed to keep lawns irrigated. In addition, meadows are much more effective at creating oxygen than lawns, cleaning up the air for everyone.
4. Using more native plants
Akin to #3, planting more native plants helps increase your yard’s overall robustness. Some Alberta nurseries such as Wild About Flowers in Black Diamond focus solely on native species. Their experts head out into Alberta’s natural areas to collect seeds from native plants to grow in their facilities. These plants are hardy and obviously well-suited to our climate. Choices are as diverse as sunflowers, asters, spirea, black-eyed susans, violets, forget-me-nots and so on,
5. Attracting the birds and the bees
Some varieties of bees prefer natural habitats. Keep an area of your yard wild by allowing grass to grow tall enough to fold over and leave behind debris such as plants with hollow stems and dead branches. Plant a good variety of annuals and perennials that will bloom from spring through to late fall, with favourites for bees including lavender, veronica spicata, salvia and liatris spicata. Sunflowers, black-eyed Susans, goldenrod, honeysuckle, echinacea and anything daisy-like also seem to work well. Pots of flowers in bright bunches are pretty much a sure win. Place them in the same spot each year, as bees may have a built-in radar that causes them to return to known pollen-hunting grounds annually.
Birds love water, which can be in short supply in the inner-city. Putting in a pond will give them a place to visit for thirsty drink plus a well-earned bath. Ponds also create a form of white noise, which acts as a filter for sounds around you, and provide a cooling effect during the hottest days of the summer.
6. Making better use of the front yard
Often in Calgary a front yard is a lot of wasted space that isn’t used nearly to its fullest potential. One of our favourite new landscaping trends is improved front yard spaces to provide more options for families. Front yard landscaping can be designed to incorporate a large and welcoming entrance with room to sit with family plus provide more visual and personal appeal for those passing by.
7. A dedicated space for the kids
Landscaping trends can sometimes be all about the adults in the family, which can be a missed opportunity. Obviously, it’s better for kids to be outside, so why not further encourage them to do so? Create a space for them to play where they can feel truly autonomous and hopefully at one with nature. Provide plants for them to care for that are entirely theirs, plus non-obtrusive activities such as a tree swing and toys made from natural materials. Starting up a rock garden for your kids is another way to get them interested in the natural world, plus can spark imaginations to build and create.
8. Artificial grass
There are lots of pros to installing artificial grass, including ease of care, less use of water, fewer allergens, extreme durability, and a perfect green carpet-like appearance. Artificial grass does not need watering, mowing, and feeding, just the occasional sweeping or raking to remove dust, dirt, and leaves to keep it looking tidy. It has a very long life expectancy — if taken care of, artificial grass can last for 25 years or more.
Let us take care of your yard so you can truly enjoy your time outdoors
Mirage Landscaping is a family-owned company that’s been serving residents and businesses in the Calgary area for three generations. Specializing in Calgary’s southeast and guided by trustworthy professionals with decades of experience, our crews get the job done in an efficient and affordable manner.
We invite you to browse our portfolio of past projects to get a more clear idea of the kind of work you can expect from us. When you’re ready, get in touch with a Mirage Landscaping customer service representative by requesting a fast, free custom quote for all your outdoor property maintenance and improvement needs.