Local experts provide landscape tipsHillside Gardens and Kiwi Landscapes recommend keeping it simpleIn today’s fast-paced world, more and more people are looking for way to simplify their lives, spend more time with family and relax in the comfort of their own home. During the warmer months, people are also looking to spend more time outdoors and entertain guests with garden parties, barbecues and drinks on the patio or by the pool. With so many things to see and do and such little free time on our hands, wouldn’t it be nice to have a beautiful yard that basically looked after itself?

With the help of local expects, you can learn all the landscaping tricks that will help keep your yard looking tasteful and trendy. People are busy and gardening is hard work. The number-one low-maintenance trick is to get rid of your lawn. With grass you have to water it, fertilize it and mow it. It’s for people who rather be taking care of the yard than (relaxing) at their cottage. You don’t need grass if you have gardens, patios and walkways. You can also implement water features that will give the yard a calming feel. The way to get rid of your grass is to use ground covers and permanent plants that you don’t have to mow. But make sure you get the right plant for the right place and that includes ornamental grasses. Plan it out and do some research. A little research goes a long way.

Another quick and easy landscape trick is to purchase hanging baskets and put them in to your planters. An assortment of vibrant colours can add curb appeal to your home and also spice up the look of your garden. The bigger the basket the better because you won’t have the water it as much. Size is more important than the amount of baskets you have. If you are living in a rural area, don’t worry to try to control your entire lot, because it can create too much work. Don’t fight with what you have, just enjoy it and work it.

No matter what the trends for the year are, stick to the style of gardening that suits your personal tastes. Some styles of gardens may mean more maintenance, so just be sure you are prepared to maintain them. Gardening is personal. If you like something, that’s what you should have. We can help you with all of those needs. If you have an existing garden or if you’re starting in a new home without even a blade of grass we can help.

Some easy ways to have greener grounds includes using compost to increase soil fertility and conserving water through rain barrels to water your gardens. A pond can bring tranquility to the backyard and it can also store clean rain water for irrigation in the garden and provide a habitat for wildlife.

Planting specific varieties of plants can help you to attract wildlife, including birds that enjoy nibbling on trees’ berries and butterflies that enjoy the nectar of certain perennials. Adding evergreens and shrubs is also an easy way to add colour to your yard and save you money on heating and air conditioning costs. Planting evergreens in groups to block off the northwest winter winds reduces heating demands, and deciduous trees in southern locations add shade to your house and cut down on air conditioning needs. There are also several ways to personalize your backyard or garden. Incorporating art and sculpture throughout your property can enhance the landscape and give it a unique appeal. For me, my inspiration comes from the clients. I look at more than one season so that things are in bloom at different times of the year. Waves of colour flowing throughout the garden add movement, and art inside the garden adds character.

One of the biggest trends for 2007 is having outdoor rooms. Having a space to relax is a key element to any landscape. Everybody is into these outdoor rooms and they are incorporating fireplaces and an area for cooking. It’s like a little living room outside.

By Courier Staff (The Perth Courier)

Spring: time to spruce up your yardBalance and simplicity are the keys to successAs the snow begins to melt, the harsh toll the great Canadian winter can have on a yard becomes more apparent – shrubs and flowers ravaged by hungry deer, driveways and walkways scarred from too much salt, steps damaged from overzealous shoveling and patchy, brown lawns. It’s no secret that spring is a time of renewal, which means it’s not uncommon for people to begin thinking about making some improvements – especially around the yard.

For those interested in sprucing up the outside of their homes this spring, Hillside Gardens is the place to start. We offer pretty much everything you need for gardening and then some. Everything you need for the outside of your home, we’ve got. We grow all our own flowers…we always have. We’ve offered landscaping services for the past 20 years or so. There really is no job too big or too small for us to tackle. We can offer advice, assistance and tools to complete a variety of jobs ranging from planting flowers to re-organizing and designing an entire yard. We love working on new homes that are just surrounded by sand and dirt. That way we get to work with a clean slate. We also like to work on existing properties and working on or fixing the troubled spots. That can be quite challenging and we’re always up for the challenge.

Typically people come here to meet with us prior to settling on an action plan. Some people just want to plant flowers while others are looking for a total redesign. Quite often, people aren’t quite sure what they want. We meet them at their home and we talk about what they want to do. We can make suggestions and then we go from there. It helps if customers have some idea of what they want and of the amount of money they wish to spend. But if they don’t it’s most certainly not a problem. The great thing about landscaping is that it doesn’t all have to be done at once. We can spread the project out over several years and just do a little bit at a time. That way, customers can get what they really want without having to pay a huge expense in one shot. Over the past few years, gardening has become a popular hobby for many people looking to escape the stress of daily life. It’s something anyone can do, as long as you educate yourself first.

By Courier Staff (The Perth Courier)


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