How Your Landscape Helps You Manage Anxiety

COVID-19 continues to impact all of us in many different ways.

These aren’t the most relaxing times and, although we are transitioning back to normalcy, we are still not entirely sure when this will be behind us.

Fortunately, support is here for us from friends, family, and one often-overlooked source—as close as your nearest front or back door ????????

Woman gardening in her front yard.

Various studies, over decades, have indicated that the time we spend outdoors helps us to manage our fears, anxiety, and stress. This has never been more applicable during long periods of isolation and social distancing.

We know that sunshine increases the production of vitamin D. Findings also prove that the outdoors helps to increase serotonin levels—a proven stress reducer.

As the pandemic continues, it’s comforting to see members of our Hamilton community outdoors; there are more bikes, children and parents playing outdoors, and hiking trails are steady. Ontarians are taking advantage of this downtime and using it to improve upon family relationships and for self-care.

Landscaping is our top-secret trick to fight stress

A gorgeous and well-managed landscape can elevate the therapeutic effects of nature. Our neighbors will be enthusiastic about spending more time outside more often if they genuinely appreciate the scenery around them. We call this your lifescape.

Money might be extra tight right now. We get it. So how can you improve your lifescape without breaking the bank? Take it one step at a time and ENJOY!

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Some of us have never planted a flower or touched a garden trowel before. But what better time than now? And don’t worry about ‘messing up’—working outdoors is almost always forgiving.

Firstly, try setting some achievable goals that don’t overwhelm you. Then tackling these assignments in a focused way, beginning with a handful of relatively simple tasks, think raking or weeding.

There are quite a few resources on our blog to help you. Just get out there and get your hands dirty!

Look to the Experts When in Doubt

Gardening is excellent therapy for the mind and body by diminishing stress and stimulating physical conditioning.

Also, keep in mind that, as gardeners and landscapers—experts and hobbyists—we’re all in this together. If you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed with your project, connect with a local landscaper for some help. Instead of thinking of hiring an expert as an additional expense, please think of us as a valuable resource. We can a) help safeguard and improve your most significant financial asset, b) offer professional advice to manage your landscaping project and budget, and c) help you find your very own lifescape.

Note: social distancing is much more natural when you’re outdoors. We’re also following recommended protocols to keep our team and customers healthy and safe. So let’s all get out there and get some Vitamin D ☀️

Planting Bulbs Next Fall Will Illuminate Your Spring Garden Landscape

We love spring at Green Collar Landscaping. For us Hamiltonians, the dark, frigid winter has disappeared, Mr. Sun is smiling down on us, and the sweet smell of regrowth is in the air.

But hold on…there’s one last hurdle before full bloom.

Early spring has that drab brown-grey dull transition lull before the vivacious growing season.

Gardening and landscaping with bulbs.

March to May (sometimes more and sometimes less) is a gamble; Mother Nature is preoccupied with creating new growth, but it’s not yet very vibrant, and that makes for boring gardens. So, we patiently wait for the bloom of our favorite season. Thank goodness, we have a sneaky little trick to beat these dark days: bulbs.

Bulbs are quite possibly the most valuable and practical ‘back pocket’ tools a landscaper can have. With a little care, bulbs can almost effortlessly provide an early splash of much-needed garden color after a long winter!

A Tiny Window with Bursting Color

You’re using ephemeral plants when you are working with bulbs; fleeting plants, with a relatively short lifecycle. But they won’t let you down during their tiny seasonal window—they are on display—and they’re going to flaunt every color in the spectrum ????

Surprisingly, there is a massive variety of bulbs, so it makes understanding your inventory critical so that you know how to care for them individually. Tulips and narcissi are probably the most common bulbs, but there are countless others like camassia, crocus hyacinths, scilla, lilies, and too many more to count.

Fall is the Best Time to Plant Bulbs

Correct. Consider that you’re planting them during the fall season as storage—we’re planting them so that they can get ready to grow as soon as the frost melts and the ground warms.

Pro tip: ensure that all your squirrel friends have settled in for hibernation before planting your bulbs; that way, they won’t dig them up while looking for their sleepy snacks.

Heck, you can even wait to plant them in the winter.

Here are a few lawn maintenance and bulb planting tips for those that have never planted bulbs before:

  1. Stay away from areas that hold lots of water and aim for slightly sandy soil to preserve bulbs from rot
  2. ‘Not too deep but not too shallow’ is the trick to digging the perfect bulb hole.
  3. Trying keeping bulbs in tight proximity to enhance the effect of deep color (just don’t have them touching)
  4. Softly blanket your bulbs with soil and pat them down firmly
  5. Twiddle your thumbs until spring and enjoy the colors!

Top Trending Backyard Designs

Every year there always seems to be some top trending backyard design that is being promoted and this year was no different. Backyards have become the new resort away from the maddening crowd and long drives from the cottage. Homeowners want a beautiful backyard with designs, additions and features that are both functional and an alluring retreat.

backyard

Regardless of the size or shape of a backyard, a makeover can turn a lacklustre yard into an appealing oasis of relaxation and entertainment. Creating a striking environment may seem like a challenge, but with planning and creativity, you can turn your backyard into something special and increase the value of your home. Here are five top trending backyard designs.

Patios

Patios play an important role in most backyards. It’s the perfect place for relaxing with family and friends. It’s an engaging outdoor room and entertainment area where grills, fire pits, outdoor furniture, hot tubs, planters and décor are all combined. To have the best and most functional patio design, you need to consider exposure to sun and shade, proximity to the house and outdoor views. Enhancing a patio area can be done easily and very economically.

Water Features

The beauty and tranquillity that a water garden adds to a backyard are incentives enough to create one of these stunning landscaping features. Water gardens can transform any outdoor living space into a natural oasis of serenity while creating a habitat to attract birds and butterflies. Complete pond kits will help you easily install a beautiful water garden. They come in a variety of sizes, specifications and can suit any size budget.

Landscape Lighting

One of the best ways to turn a dark environment into magic is by installing low-voltage landscaping lighting. Landscape lighting adds interest and intrigue to any backyard setting. The lights provide a soft ambience for guiding people along your garden’s pathways. They’re used to accent special trees or plantings. They can add additional light to brighten a patio area for outdoor entertaining. The lights are an important feature to improve safety and security near steps. Low-voltage lighting is economical because it consumes about one-third the electricity compared to high-voltage systems, and it is far less expensive to install.

Arbours

An arbour is a great renovation idea for the backyard because it enhances your outdoor living space with a beautiful garden structure. It can define an entrance, guide a visitor through the garden, provide purely aesthetic beauty or be a functional part of the landscape by supporting a gate, a bench or a climbing plant. You can even install arbours in your vegetable garden. Metal arbours are reminiscent of the Victorian era, while wooden arbours make an entrance feel casual and inviting. In a cottage garden, a simple wooden bench arbour can give you a beautiful place to sit in your garden. Arbours come pre-made and ready for installation, or you can buy an arbour kit and put it together yourself.

Flagstone Pathways

Flagstone walkways are a beautiful addition to any landscape. Because flagstone comes in so many shapes and sizes, it is possible to create the ideal pathway for your backyard. Installing stone walkways throughout your garden invites guests to stroll through the yard while taking in the beautiful landscape. A flagstone path makes a great addition to your outdoor décor because they work well in any garden, are easy to maintain and fit into most layouts. While many paved walkways look out of place in a yard, flagstone provides a beautiful alternative.

Finishing Touch

Whichever design project you decide upon, one of these five features will make your backyard a place to relax and enjoy with family and friends.

Reinvent Your Backyard Space

With the nasty, long winter months melting away and warmer days of spring finally arrived, now is the perfect time to consider some backyard renovations. Spring is the perfect time to think about how you’re going to morph your backyard into an alluring entertainment retreat for family and friends.

Hardscape Backyard

Regardless of the size or shape of your backyard, a makeover can turn a lackluster yard into an appealing oasis of relaxation and entertainment. Even if you’re on a budget, creating a striking environment is possible with planning and creativity in order to turn your backyard into something special. With a little research, you can design your outdoor space to be more functional and livable while increasing the value of your home.

There are many ways to create a striking environment in your backyard and turn it into something unique. Thoughtful backyard improvements bring two undeniable benefits for homeowners, one is financial, and the other is personal satisfaction. Creating an appealing retreat where you can escape the hustles and bustles of the outside world is worth every dollar spent.

Build a Landscape You’ll Love

If a fabulous landscaped property is your dream, but not your reality, then take these steps to build a landscape you’ll love.

First, bring in the professionals. A professional landscaper will have the education and experience to work with you in creating a backyard oasis to make the neighbours jealous.

Brantford Backyard

Beautiful Decks and Patios in Hamilton

Just like the couch in your living room, much of your landscaping will be designed around the biggest element of the space. In this case, that design element is any deck or patio that our space includes. If you do not have a deck or patio, but wish to have one in your backyard oasis, a great landscaper can build you one, or put you in touch with a professional company who can.

When determining what design of deck or patio will fit your space, also consider any walkways. When building a landscape, you will want your space to flow and considering where their walkways will be and how they will flow, is essential. Also, these pathways will create natural areas within the larger space, lending to smaller landscaping areas creating that one large landscaping area. A landscaper will also be able to lay out all the options for pathways that might include interlocking brick and stamped concrete to name a few.

Pruning Best Practices

Pruning is one of the most important cultural practices that you can do in your landscape management. Proper pruning helps to keep plants attractive and vigorous while adding years to the plant’s beauty and usefulness. Many homeowners get apprehensive with the idea of pruning but knowing how, when and why to prune will end these fears.

Man holding pruning shears

General rules of thumb for the pruning timetable:

  • Non-blooming Trees and Shrubs: Prune in late winter while fully dormant.
  • Summer-blooming Trees and Shrubs: Prune in late winter.
  • Spring-blooming Trees and Shrubs: Wait until immediately after they bloom. They are the exception to the rule, but you still should prune them as early as you can.

Off-Season is the Best Time to Plan Landscape Projects

Even though we’re in the middle of winter with snow piled high and freezing temperatures, the off-season is the best time to start thinking about your upcoming landscape projects.

couple looking outside in winter

It might be hard to wrap your head around the idea of spring with budding flowers and grass turning green, but it’s a great opportunity to plan out your landscape design from the comfort of your home.

Like any good future project, you’ll have the time to plan and carefully consider what you want to accomplish for your landscaping venture.

What is the Difference between Hardscaping and Softscaping?

Before creating an appealing design around the outside of your home, there’s plenty to consider including your property’s soil type, regional climate, and water drainage. Once these factors are considered, the fun begins with designing the creative side of your property’s design through hardscaping and landscaping!

Hardscaping and Softscaping: Your Key to an Appealing Property Design

When aiming to create an appealing property, both hardscaping and softscaping elements need to be considered.

townhouse landscaping

The heavier elements in a landscape design such as rocks, stone pathways, and driveways are what hardscaping encompasses. Although they require more technical consideration when being installed, hardscaping elements normally require minimal maintenance thereafter.

Hardscape Ideas for Front Yards

Even though summertime is now behind us, it’s not too late to redesign your front yard! The best part about working on your property’s appearance in the fall means that your property is ready to be enjoyed next spring!

Make your front yard the best one on the street by completing a hardscaping project! Check out some of our ideas below for creating the perfect hardscape for your front yard.

retaining wall in the front yard

Install a New Walkway

When installing a new walkway into your front yard, begin by ensuring there is a firm foundation. A hardscaping project that is meant to last must be built onto a foundation that won’t settle, shift or wash away. To do this, dig into the mineral soil layer below the topsoil, tamp the soil to ensure compaction and add a gravel layer to begin the leveling process.

Once the foundation is prepped, go ahead and begin installing whatever type of material you have chosen for your new walkway. Bricks, patio stones, concrete, and gravel are only a few material suggestions to create a useful new pathway for your front yard.

Hardscaping Ideas for Small Backyards.

Great hardscaping designs are easier for some than others. If you don’t have much of an imagination in life, you aren’t likely to have much when it comes to the hardscape landscaping your yard. If your backyard is small, ideas may be even harder to come by.

hardscaped backyard bratford

Hardscaping often includes some of the more pricier items in your backyard. Things like patios, fences and retaining walls, won’t come cheap. You are only going to make this investment if done right, once. Make the most of your space and budget with these six tips and ideas.