The old saying of out with the old and in with the new makes January a great time to begin thinking about your yard and see if there are features you would like to upgrade and improve. A quick search of the internet will let you see some of the new yard space suggestions trending for 2020.
Sustainability can be both a value and a material choice. The emphasis on climate change has people looking at how they can protect our environment. Some of the ways they are doing that are by improving their landscapes, using fewer materials, and maintaining a pleasant yard space for their family activities. Some things they are doing are:
- Planting more trees
- Planting in pots for less water consumption
- Composting their garbage and amending soil with the final compost product
- Finding ways to reduce water use
- Paying attention to materials used in landscaping and recycling/repurposing others
- Reducing fertilizer and chemical use
- Considering natural disaster prevention issues, like using non-flammable materials and establishing firebreaks or shrub cutback for wildfire prevention
- Designing with minimalist features to conserve resources
Bill Mollison, the co-founder of Permaculture Design, said permaculture is a system of assembling conceptual, material, and strategic components in a pattern, which functions to benefit life in all its forms. The philosophy behind permaculture is one of working with, rather than against, nature.
In 2020, more people are switching to native plant choices for their planting areas. The idea is to look at your local environment and adapt your gardens to that design. For the Calgary area, there are some excellent suggestions for plants that are native to this area.
Gardeners are growing edible plants, and some gardeners plant a little extra to share with the wildlife in their area. The use of biologic pest control or companion planting to keep harmful pests in check is part of permaculture practices. There are some excellent permaculture workshops in the Calgary area, including one at Urban Farm School and Verge Permaculture for online courses.
Yes, technology even makes it outside to our yard space! Iscape is an apple app that helps homeowners design their yards and offers plant choices. While technology will give you a decent idea of what will and won’t work in your yard, it can’t tell you everything. That’s why consulting with a professional landscaper is still a great idea. They will make sure you don’t plant something that looks good but is considered a noxious weed in Alberta. A professional will also be able to give you advice on what maintenance will be like.
Some other technologies used in landscapes are:
- People are searching the internet for landscape ideas. Love Your Landscape offers quite a few pictures and information.
- Computerized irrigation and lighting systems you monitor from laptops or phones.
- Apps for pest identification.
- Smart Televisions and projection screens in entertaining outdoor areas where mobile phones can cast shows and pictures
People are taking inside decorating choices and continuing them outside. They are also pulling the greenery inside. But what do we mean by that? This video on the GE Appliances Garden Kitchen Concept shows some examples.
Additional examples include:
- Right now, trending colours for inside your home are leaning towards nature-based and grey tones. People are also making those choices for outside accessories by carrying their interior colour scheme outdoors.
- Natural stone use is also prominent this year. People are using the same stone choices for their kitchen and outdoor cooking space, as well as interior feature walls and outside garden walls.
- Patterns are showing up in fencing, paving, and wall design. Examples are wave or chevron pattern, basketweave, and lattice shapes.
- Incorporating design in vertical and horizontal features. Outside wall decoration, border walls and climbing plants can provide private areas
- Concrete and large pavers are being used instead of small paving stones. It’s similar to what is being used in bath and foyer tiles.
- Sunrooms, rooftop gardens, and greenhouses are becoming more popular. Indoor plants provide a transition to the outdoors, and outdoor plants are grown inside.
- Patio and French doors allow views of beautiful landscape features from dining or kitchen/family room areas.
Several new or relatively new materials are on the market for use this year. They are:
- Cable railings installed vertically or horizontally. They don’t impede views and require no cleaning.
- Thermally modified wood is replacing treated lumber.
- Composite decking, railing, and steel substructure beams are expected to become a regular part of landscaping.
- Lighter volcanic rock for path fillers or mulch.
The Calgary Home and Garden show runs Feb. 27 to Mar. 1, 2020, if you are looking for ideas. Consult with a professional landscape design and contractor when you are solidifying what you want in your plan. They can help you identify where to plant your choices, where they would thrive best, and refer you to some reputable suppliers.
If you have any questions about landscaping, give us a call. Our staff is more than willing to answer any landscape questions and help you plan to update your yard for this year 2020.