Winter Curb Appeal That Can Sell Your Home

The weather outside is frightful- does this mean that any attempt to sell your home in the wintertime is going to be just as abysmal- or worse?

A house with beautiful curb appeal during the winter season
Pro tip: paint your front door a colour that pops.

Not quite. While it’s true that most Hamilton homeowners wait until spring to put their property on the market, hanging out your ‘For Sale’ sign now beside the inflatable reindeer or plastic snowman can actually be a great idea. Here’s why, and how you can spruce up the home’s curb appeal for a faster sale.

Benefit #1: There’s less competition

With everyone else waiting for spring, you’re going to have less competition for the buyers who are now out there, checking out homes while they do their holiday shopping. While the warm weather season is definitely a buyer’s market, winter is arguably a seller’s paradise.

Benefit #2: People are there to buy

Buyers looking for a new home between December and early April tend to be more serious about making a purchase. In the spring, your home will be overrun by classic ‘tire-kickers’ who may be more interested in making their afternoon fly by than buying a home. Few of the people who visit your house in December will be “just looking.”

Now that you’re putting your home on the market at the ideal time, here are some ways to make the most out of it.

Tip #1: Maintain Curb Appeal

When it comes to curb appeal in the winter, you’ll have to get creative. You can’t rely on a well-manicured green lawn to attract passers-by, but you can work with a Hamilton landscaping company to make sure that the property looks irresistible even under six inches of snow. 

Examples include:

  • While you can’t paint the home’s exterior when it’s minus 20 outside, you can still ensure that the property looks well-maintained. On milder days, use warm, soapy water to wash the siding and arrange for a professional window cleaning any time the winter winds cause grime to accumulate on the glass.
  • Painting the front door a solid colour. If you’ve got a stone house, red paint will stand out like a cheery beacon amidst the grey and white. During the Christmas season, hang a festive wreath on the front door and draw the curtains so that your indoor lights can be seen easily from the road. 
  • Adorning your yard with well-trimmed winter greenery. Your landscaping contractor can recommend some bright and beautiful options for your location. They can also ensure that existing shrubs and tree branches don’t bend dangerously low under the weight of snow and ice and obstruct walkways.
  • Clearing mud and puddles from the porch and setting out a clean welcome mat for each showing.

Don’t forget to salt your front steps and the path leading up to your front door. If snow accumulates, have your landscaping contractor shovel it away from the various walkways on your property so that visitors can easily -and safely- access the grounds.

Tip #2: Do some winter staging

Stage your property to make it feel cozy, comfortable, and inviting. Potted evergreens, plush throw rugs across the sofa, and a cinnamon or clove-scented candle will make visitors feel welcome and present the home as a cold-weather haven. Bonus points if you’ve got a pile of freshly baked gingerbread or molasses cookies on the kitchen counter during the showing.

If you schedule showings in December, it’s fine to leave the ornaments out, but put away any gifts or personalized decorations like stockings. You want to make potential buyers feel as if they’re going through their future home, not someone else’s. Great decorating options include plant urns full of pine or cedar boughs and a mantelpiece with sprigs of holly, silver ball ornaments, and gold ribbon woven throughout.

Tip #3: Brighten the interior

Ruby red or deep black accent walls are a nice dramatic touch, but they can also look a little gloomy in the dead of winter. After doing a thorough decluttering, repaint the walls in a light, neutral yet appealing colour. 

Other ways to create a warm mood on a freezing winter night include:

  • Scented candles and bowls of potpourri in the main rooms
  • Having a pot of apple cider simmering on the stove (Even better if there’s a pile of cups and a nearby note that says ‘Please help yourself.’)
  • Leaving a fresh pot of coffee on, along with disposable cups, creamers, and sugar

You’ll also want to keep the floors looking pristine, so put rubber mats in the foyer for muddy boots and leave out a small pile of one-size-fits-all slippers for visitors to wear while they are viewing the property.

Tip #4: Don’t forget to turn on the heat!

Your exterior looks amazing and people are requesting showings- congrats! Now don’t lose the opportunity for a great sale by forgetting to turn on the heat. If your home is currently not occupied, go to the property and make sure that the heat is turned on several hours before any showings are scheduled. No amount of flawless staging or holiday glamour will persuade a potential buyer to go through a house that’s freezing cold.


When you list your home months ahead of the often-frenzied spring market, you’ll be dealing with more serious buyers and have more time to carefully consider their offers. Remember: all those life events that motivate people to buy a new home (a growing family, new job, or even retirement) aren’t things that only happen when the weather is warm. If you present your house as cozy, cheery, and welcoming even in the depths of December, you may find your perfect buyer sooner than you think.

At Green Collar Landscaping, we keep homes and businesses looking enticing all year round by providing superior landscaping and maintenance services. To learn more about how we can boost your home’s curb appeal before you place it on the market this winter, please contact us.

The Benefits of Landscape Lighting On Your Commercial Property

Commercial landscaping is all about maximizing the beauty, functionality, and safety of your commercial property grounds. What you may not realize is that the right choice of outdoor lighting can be just as important as mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges, and keeping the flowers blooming during spring and summer.

Your commercial property will benefit from commercial ighting in many ways.
Installing landscape lighting on your commercial property can have some proven benefits to boost value, improve security, and improve tenant satisfaction.

When positioned strategically, landscape lighting shows off the architectural features of your building and creates an alluring ambiance that will attract potential tenants even after sundown.  In this blog, the team at Green Collar Landscaping shares tips for making the most out of this unique landscaping strategy.

Benefit #1: Curb appeal

As you survey the property, identify its most appealing features. Is there a majestic weeping willow tree in an area where tenants like to socialize or spend their lunch breaks? Spotlight it with some classy solar flood lights. Are there unique architectural details like ivy-covered brickwork or an ultra-modern silhouette? Call attention to them with accent lights or a wall-washing effect. If there is a fountain in the courtyard or an outdoor pool, use underwater LEDs to capture their nighttime tranquility.

Benefit #2: Extend tenant spaces

Homeowners have mastered the art of using lighting to turn outdoor spaces into an extension of their living areas. Path lights that lead the way to a beautifully-lit garden or socializing area will encourage tenants and their guests to use and enjoy the building’s outdoor spaces even after dark.

Benefit #3: Tenants feel safer

When common spaces like the courtyards, pool areas, walkways, and parking lots are well-lit, you don’t have to worry about tenants stumbling over anything or groping around in the darkness when they enter or leave the building. Properly positioned landscape lighting also makes the ground less appealing to potential intruders, as there are no dark areas where they can conceal themselves.

Benefit #4: Highlight the holidays

When the Christmas holidays roll around, few sights are more festive than a commercial building awash in traditional colours. When skillfully applied for decorative purposes, neon shades can invoke feelings of cheer and good will during the chilliest December.

Which lighting technique should you use?

With landscape lighting, your choices range from compact, standalone solar lights to more elaborate mounted options hardwired into the building’s electrical system. However, lighting type doesn’t matter as much as the way you apply it: the right technique will highlight important features after dark and make them even more inviting.

Below are some of the lighting arrangements we routinely set up at Green Collar Landscaping:

  • Path lighting: Place small standalone light fixtures along the borders of the property’s driveways, walkways, and outdoor seating areas to let tenants move around safely at night. These lights should be positioned so that they illuminate the path but aren’t close enough for pedestrians, cars, or snow plows to knock them aside.
  • Accent lighting: This is a term used to describe lighting designed to draw attention to a specific feature. Use carefully-angled lights to point out a climbing garden, vintage architectural asset, or similar feature. Here’s a tip: add an aura of mystery to your accent lights by using narrow beams from concealed fixtures.
  • Highlighting: One of the most popular landscape lighting techniques, highlighting is done by positioning a spotlight at the base of a key feature, like a statue, fountain, or especially breathtaking tree. For larger assets, you may need at least two fixtures to get the ideal amount of illumination, but once you hit the right combination, the results can be spectacular.
  • Silhouetting: Create an illuminated backdrop for dense features like blooming trees, shrubbery, and statues by placing a spotlight behind them and aiming it toward a nearby wall. The visual effect will be especially striking when the sun sets.
  • Shadowing:  Like silhouetting, shadowing positions the fixture at the base of the target feature and aims the light at an adjacent wall, but the goal is to produce a gentle yet dramatic shadowing effect. This technique works best with trees that have light foliage, as they throw more artistically-shaped shadows.
  • Up-lighting: If the side of your building has an impressive artistic touch like a mosaic, sculpture, or living wall, placing spotlights close to the wall will make the smallest details visible from a distance.
  • Down-lighting: Like up-lighting, down-lighting is used to highlight an accent feature. In this case, the fixtures are placed high up, inside a tree or eave or on a roof, and cast downwards over a wider area. This technique is often used to illuminate a pathway or show off a garden.
  • Wall-washing: This technique is similar to up-lighting, but the glow-like result is more subtle and soothing. The fixture is placed a few feet away from the facade and angled sideways to throw a subtle and even ambient lighting. For best results, use a wide-angle flood light with a low-wattage bulb.
  • Moonlighting: If you’re looking for a more natural result, the moonlighting technique involves placing a large light fixture with a glare guard up in a tree and angling it downward to create the impression of moonlight shining through the branches. The resulting shadow patterns on the ground are stunning without appearing staged or overdone.

Show off your commercial property 24-7

At Green Collar Landscaping, we specialize in commercial landscape lighting that will turn your building into an around-the-clock showpiece. Our experienced technicians will design, position, and install an LED illumination system that suits both your functional and aesthetic goals while remaining energy-efficient. For more information about how we can make your office building, residential highrise, or other commercial property look modern and appealing even at night, call 289.339.8746 for a free quote today.

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.


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 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.


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.