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 ☀️

How To Turn Your Backyard Into A Staycation Haven

So far, it’s been an unprecedented year. That’s why spending time with your family, at home, is such a priority.

The team at Green Collar Landscaping recognizes that we’re all looking for ways to enjoy this summer in our own backyards—this is an amazing opportunity to connect with our loved ones.

But how do you transform your backyard into a space where you can experience the ultimate staycation? Let’s look at a few considerations to help enhance your outdoor living quarters.

Hammock in a backyard landscape.

Create Your Little Sanctuary

Resting in a hammock is the quintessential image of relaxation and we can’t disagree! Lay back and read a book, enjoy an afternoon nap, or simply watch the clouds above. With such popularity, the vast assortment of sizes and colours are endless, and finding something that fits your space should be as easy as one, two…Zzzzzzz.

Pro tip: Find sturdy, healthy trees that exhibit no signs of disease or weak branches. If you don’t have two perfect trees, try installing solid wooden posts.

An Outdoor Area for the Entire Family

This time of year is great for watching your favourite movie outside, in the privacy of your own backyard. You most likely have a flat exterior wall out back somewhere, right? If you’re fortunate enough to have one, try projecting your flick right onto your house, or you can pin up a light bedsheet onto those same two hammock posts couple and project onto that.

You don’t own a projector, right? Too bad. Just kidding!

Over the last few years, projectors have dropped in price considerably. Check Amazon and have one shipped directly to you. We promise that the kids will love it ????

Create Forever Memories

It’s no secret that gardening and even taking care of plants is a mental health vacation or, staycation. During these times, it’s super important for everyone to get some fresh air each day.

So why not take this opportunity to make an awesome memory with the kids? Teach the kiddos how to plant a tree or tend to some flowers. Teachable moments don’t come by as often as we would want. Helping your children see the benefits that landscaping and gardening can have a positive impact on their ability to connect with nature.

Who knows? They just might be part of the next generation of team Green Collar ????

Benefits of Outdoor Lighting Fixtures

According to Mike Holmes of HGTV Canada, outside projects account for almost 40% of renovations and include such projects as decks, patios, outdoor kitchens, firepits and poolside landscaping. They also include adding water features, walkways, pathways and fencing. One of the most critical aspects of your renovation projects is the addition of outdoor lighting fixtures to enhance the overall effect of your property.

Outdoor lighting fixtures are one of the best ways to turn a dark environment into magic by installing low-voltage landscaping lighting. Landscape lighting adds interest and intrigue to any backyard setting. Lamp posts, front entry lanterns, driveway lights and spotlights add not only beauty and charm to your home, but they provide a safety feature for your family, friends and guests.

Ambience

Landscape lights provide a soft ambience for guiding people along your garden’s pathways. They can add a subtle glow to trees, shrubs, pathways and patios. They can illuminate any dark zones in the backyard, artfully accentuate your property’s best features, or highlight your home’s architectural design. Front entry lanterns and lampposts offer a welcoming feature to your home while driveway lighting provides guidance and safety to the property.

Safety

Low voltage lighting can also provide added safety features near steps, rockery, or around the pool area. They can add additional light to brighten a patio area for outdoor entertaining. 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.

Selection

Consumers have many choices today because landscape lighting is very popular. There are many options to select from, such as durable plastic or corrosive-resistant metal. The lights come in a variety of colour finishes, so finding a set to suit your taste, and the budget is relatively easy.

Unlike solar fixtures, which require a certain amount of exposure to sunlight daily, low-level landscape lighting provides a consistent output of light in all different types of weather conditions.

Outside fixtures like lamp posts, front entry lanterns and driveway lights come in a variety of styles, material and colours that will add beauty and charm to the front of your home while providing visitors with the safety features of guiding lights.

DIY

By following some simple steps and basic guidelines, anyone can master the art of installing landscape lighting. Whether you’re a novice, or you’re handy with tools, the benefits of adding these decorative accents will create an ambiance of charm to any outdoor setting.

Plan your outside lighting layout by using a simple diagram of the area that is the focal point of your design. By doing a layout first, you will have a better sense of the quantity of materials that you require before moving on to the next phase.

Check around at your favourite retailer for a boxed set, and style, that you like. Whatever you decide, these kits provide you with everything that is needed, like the transformer, the outdoor lighting cable, the fixtures, and the low voltage light bulbs.

Professional Installation

If installing outdoor fixtures yourself is more than you can manage, a professional landscape company can help you design a plan and take the headache of installation out of your hands. They will work with you to create a landscape lighting paradise that will enhance your home and property while providing safety features that keep your family and friends protected from unnecessary accidents on the property.

Beauty-Safety-Ambiance

Whichever route you decide upon, outdoor light fixtures offer beauty, safety and ambiance to any home and property. They provide a unique visual appeal that will set your home apart from others and increase the overall value of your home.

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.

Latest Trends in Concrete Pavers

Outdoor landscaping continues to evolve, and nothing beats outdoor living when the weather is right, but high maintenance materials, like wood, are decreasing in popularity. Many homeowners today are moving towards time efficiency and sustainability materials like concrete pavers.

backyard patio