o clean slate o no established trees to have to work around o opportunity to envision your design o allows you to set a style without pulling out existing structures
o little to guide your vision o can be daunting to approach a complete property that's blank o you discover the idiocyncracies as they arise
Buying in a new development provides a great opportunity to bring all of your landscaping ideas to life. But faced with a blank canvas of landscaping possibilities, many new homeowners find themselves overwhelmed and unsure of where to begin. According to Domenic Malatesta of Simple Solutions Landscaping in Cambridge, there are a number of factors that new home owners need to consider:
o The size of area(s) they want work with o The types of hardscaping and softscaping materials they prefer o What style or look they want o What the intended purpose is of the space o How much maintenance or time are they willing to devote to the upkeep o Are there any landscaping restrictions, limitations, by-laws or guidelines that they need to follow
"You also need to consider the vernacular of the neighbourhood, the style of the home and your preferred style of garden," says Peter Solti of Green Apple Landscaping. "By style I mean do you want formal or informal, natural or tame?"
"You might not be able to afford doing everything you want to right away," she says, "but having landscaping ideas and a vision for the completed project is the best place to start. Do some things well in the beginning and wait until you can do other things properly."
If you don't do your homework, you might be surprised at what good landscaping actually costs. Garden materials, waste and disposal, liability insurance, WSIB, labour and equipment expenses are all factored into the price when you hire a professional. Doing it yourself can save you money but Solti still recommends contracting a creative landscape designer to design the project.
"If your leisure time has value, then I would recommend hiring a professional design/build company with a portfolio of work that you like," he says. "Going the professional route will cost but the results of a beautiful garden will be the reward."
If you do choose the do-it-yourself landscaping route, Gaudet recommends picking one element and making it the feature.
"You can also use granular instead of hard pavement to cut costs, buy smaller plants - be creative," she says.
Landscaping ideas change from year to year so be sure to do your research about what's new in the industry. Currently new home owners are using their outdoor space as an additional room in the house with built in barbeque/kitchens, sofa/loveseats/armchairs for relaxing in, natural stone or faux stones for patios and planter walls, stone pillars, large cubical boulders.
Landscaping front yards is all about curb appeal, using many of the same materials as above. Wider entrances and walkways, sometimes courtyards for seating and watching the kids play out in front are all key features of a good front yard landscape.
Some of the other popular landscaping trends this year are: o Clean lines, courtyard feel o Draught tolerant garden planting o Storm water management systems o Low maintenance garden and decking o Backyard patios for gathering of friends and family o Fire pits o In-ground pools o Natural stone work o Landscaping lighting to enhance the gardens at night
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