Calgary Garden Landscaping
Gardens are great accent feature around any outdoor living space. A couple important questions to consider when planning your garden are:
- Am I a gardener?
- How much time do I want to dedicate to garden maintenance?
If you are an avid gardener, you already know that maintaining open soil takes a lot of work. Gardens will flourish when the plants have ideal growing conditions, such as the right amount of sunlight and irrigation.
Establishing healthy and robust plants will significantly reduce the amount of weeding required, as the plants will outcompete the weeds for moisture and sunlight. If you’re looking for a quicker way to achieve a lower-maintenance situation, then mulch and/or rock gardens may be a better choice.
If you prefer a more manicured look, you may find that a rock garden is better suited to your tastes. Unlike mulch, however, rock gardens tend to absorb larger amounts of heat when exposed to direct sunlight. This can stress less drought-tolerant plants, causing them to wilt and stunting their growth. For this reason, you may want to consider adding an irrigation system to your plan. Aggregates should also have fabric installed underneath to prevent weeds from growing.
There are several sizes and types of rock to choose from. Some things to consider are slopes and proximity to paths and patios. Generally, stones that are 1.5” or larger are better on slopes because they tend not to slide around as easily. Larger stones are also less likely to be kicked out onto an adjacent path or patio. Aesthetically speaking, smaller stones around ¾” are a good size to use in flat rock gardens bordered by retaining walls.
Combining several sizes of aggregates, and including a mix of small boulders and plants, can be a great way to create the look of a dried creek bed.
Offering a more natural look, mulch gardens are beneficial to your plants because they help keep moisture in the soil when conditions are very hot, dry, and sunny.
Mulch gardens generally don’t need any landscape fabric underneath, however, it doesn’t hurt to add a layer of commercial fabric if the grade allows for a thicker layer of mulch. These gardens look “fluffier” when first installed but will flatten out over a few weeks. Mulch also blows away over the seasons and will need to be replenished every few years.
Another consideration when installing a mulch garden is drainage. As this is a lighter material, it’s not a good idea to have this type of garden located in areas that are prone to water runoff. Trees and/or rock gardens are a better choice in those circumstances.