Sowing the seeds for good landscaping

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The former can have its advantages, but not necessarily when it comes to landscaping a new home.

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It can get tricky when you’re developing one of the first homes in a new neighborhood, officials say. If it is very dry and the wind picks up, dirt and debris from surrounding land will blow. When it’s really wet, that same dirt can turn into mud and trickle down your yard, making your landscaping job even more difficult.

But that’s really not bad news, according to experts at Salisbury Landscaping in Sherwood Park.

Working with new construction certainly makes it easier to get large landscaping items and equipment on site, Salisbury said, and more importantly, you can set the tone – although this is based on neighborhood guidelines.

Ian Ball is one of the first to build at The Banks in Keswick, southwest Edmonton.

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“It was time to move out and design a better house in a quieter location,” said Ball, who moved in about three years ago when the community was originally known as The Banks in Hendriks Pointe. .

The 4,200 square foot, four bedroom home sits back on a ravine – 20 of The Banks’ 23 lots are located on an elevated peninsula overlooking the North Saskatchewan River.

“The main thing for me is it’s calm,” Ball said. “You don’t hear the Henday, you don’t hear the Whitemud. It’s hard to find a place in southwest Edmonton where you can’t hear these two highways.

For the interior, Ball had the assistance of an interior designer. For the exterior, its builder, Avanti Homes, recommended Salisbury.

“I had indicated that I wanted a professional who would do a good job because I didn’t want to do it myself,” Ball added, noting that the wish was a low-maintenance yard up front.

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Xeriscaping proves popular

There has been a huge push towards low maintenance landscaping locally.

“Pretty much the very first thing someone says to me when they talk to me is ‘hello, I’m such, I want low maintenance,’” said Kevin Napora, master gardener and landscaper from Salisbury. “It’s the number one thing. What people want, especially in the new home market, is for them to focus on the backyard… and the front yard, they just want it to look pretty. They don’t want to spend a lot of time there.

As a result, there has been an increasing demand from homeowners for mulch, gravel or even artificial turf for their front yards, as opposed to sod, Napora adds. “We actually do a lot. “

The backyard of the Ball incorporates many elements of xéro-landscape.  PROVIDED BY SALISBURY LANDSCAPING
The backyard of the Ball incorporates many elements of xéro-landscape. PROVIDED BY SALISBURY LANDSCAPING

This is where xeriscaping comes in: using plant material that does not require a lot of water and requires less maintenance.

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Examples of integrating xeriscaping, Napora said, are using gravel, bark mulch, or leaving it open and having soil and plants – with all types of perennials. But he adds that it’s best to have an overall theme such as a Rocky Mountain look with boulders or a Prairie style with grasses as an anchor.

About two years ago, Napora said, Salisbury started getting a few more phone calls about xeriscaping.

“At that time, there was a real reluctance on the part of the developers,” Napora said. “First you had to do a complete landscaping and submit it for approval. For many developers, you still have to do this or you should do it anyway if you are using artificial turf. But now they are more and more relaxed about it.

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This year, however, Napora said xeriscaping had taken a bold leap forward.

“It’s just a change in mindset now,” Napora said, stressing that xeriscaping doesn’t mean no maintenance. “We still have to weed. You can’t just let it go and go wild.

Roll the ball

For the Ball House, the landscaping had to accommodate their sloping front yard, as well as the demand for low maintenance.

Part of the solution for the facade was to create spaces in the form of a terrace. The other part included the use of synthetic turf.

“The terracing of the front yard will slow the water flow when it rains, so that the water can be absorbed by plants or mulch,” said Andreas Lietz, senior landscaper from Salisbury, who worked with Napora on this project. “Most of the water will be used by the grass and therefore artificial turf will drastically reduce the amount of watering.”

As for going with artificial turf, Lietz said the reaction was positive. He also said today’s version looks nothing like the plastic version of days gone by, and today’s product is much more realistic.

Meanwhile, using boulders to help create the terraced look gives the illusion of a more leveled front yard.

“They did a really good job of integrating the artificial turf up front,” said Ball, adding that he was quite happy with Salisbury’s work.

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