Outdoor Design

Outdoor Design Secrets from Edmonton’s Landscape Pros

You’re sipping your morning coffee on a stunning patio, surrounded by lush gardens that burst with color from spring through fall. In the evening, you gather with friends around a cozy fire pit, admiring the enchanting play of landscaping lights. Sound like an outdoor design dream?

As experts in crafting captivating outdoor spaces in our unique climate, we’re spilling our outdoor design secrets for turning your yard into a true extension of your home. Get ready to see your property’s potential in a whole new light!


Secret #1: Embrace the Seasons

Edmonton’s dramatic seasonal changes can be hard on landscapes, but they also offer exciting design opportunities. The key is choosing features that shine in every season. Imagine a vibrant bed of native perennials that erupt into bloom in spring, provide lush texture in summer, offer fiery hues in fall, and leave intriguing seedheads poking through the winter snow. 

By planning for how your space will transition through the year, you can create a yard that beckons you outdoors 365 days a year. Cozy fire pits, winter-hardy plants, and meandering pathways that look magical under a dusting of frost – these are the elements that make an Edmonton landscape truly enchanting.


Secret #2: Create Zones for Different Activities

When you start to see your yard as a collection of “outdoor rooms,” a world of possibilities unfolds. Just like inside your home, different areas can serve different purposes. Perhaps you dedicate one corner to a relaxing reading nook, complete with comfy seating and fragrant herbs. Another spot might be perfect for an alfresco dining area, with a sturdy table and a nearby grill for casual barbecues.

By defining zones for various activities, you maximize the functionality of your space. Clever use of materials like decks, patios, and stepping stones can help delineate these outdoor “rooms” while providing visual interest and flow. Suddenly, your yard feels more expansive, inviting, and purposeful.


Secret #3: Mix Hardscapes and Softscapes

The most successful outdoor designs strike a balance between “hardscapes” (think patios, pergolas, and pathways) and “softscapes” (beds bursting with plants, and other vegetative design features). These two complement each other both visually and practically.

Picture a sleek stone patio bordered by billowing ornamental grasses and colourful perennials. The plants soften the hard edges of the pavers, creating an inviting space. Trellises covered in climbing vines can provide privacy and shade over a seating area, blending function with natural beauty.

Of course, the key is choosing materials that can withstand Edmonton’s freeze-thaw cycles. Durable options like interlocking pavers and composite decking offer a style that stands up to our climate. When hardscapes and softscapes work in harmony, magic happens.


Secret #4: Invest in High-Quality Outdoor Design Materials

Cutting corners on materials may save a few dollars upfront, but it can cost you dearly in the long run. Our harsh winters and intense summers put outdoor features to the test, so investing in quality materials from the start ensures that your landscape will endure beautifully for years to come.

For hardscapes, opt for options like durable pavers or natural stone that can handle Edmonton’s extreme temperature swings. When it comes to furniture, look for pieces made to withstand the elements, like powder-coated aluminum or weatherproof resin wicker. 

Plants are an investment too – choosing species well-adapted to our climate will reward you with lush, low-maintenance growth. Spending a bit more on quality now means you’ll spend less time and money on repairs and replacements later.


Secret #5: Use Native Plants for Low-Maintenance Beauty

Speaking of plants, one of the best-kept secrets of Edmonton landscaping is the power of going native. Plants that have evolved to thrive in our unique conditions are naturally more resilient and require less coddling to look fantastic.

Imagine a bed filled with the delicate pink blooms of wild bergamot, the cheerful yellow black-eyed susans, and the stunning spires of blue lobelia. Not only do these native species paint a picture-perfect landscape, but they also support local wildlife and pollinators.

As an added bonus, native plants often require less water and fertilizer than their exotic counterparts. That means more time enjoying your gorgeous yard and less time working in it. It’s a win-win for beauty and easy maintenance.


Secret #6: Don’t Forget the Lighting

One of the most overlooked elements of outdoor design is also one of the most transformative: lighting. The right lighting scheme not only extends the usability of your outdoor spaces into the evening hours but also adds an element of magic and drama.

Strategic path lights guide the way for nighttime strolls, while accent lights nestled in beds and trees cast an enchanting glow. The warm flicker of string lights draped overhead can turn a simple patio into a romantic oasis. With a well-lit yard, your outdoor living doesn’t have to end when the sun sets. 

Beyond the ambiance factor, lighting also serves an important safety function, illuminating stairs and walkways to prevent tripping hazards. When you can see your landscape in a whole new light, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without those luminous finishing touches.


Secret #7: Add a Water Feature for Tranquility

Want to take your outdoor oasis to the next level? Consider incorporating a water feature. The sight and sound of flowing water add an instantly calming vibe to any space, creating a tranquil escape from the stresses of daily life.

Water features come in all shapes and sizes to suit different yards and budgets; a classic tiered fountain can provide a stately focal point, while a subtly bubbling rock formation blends seamlessly into a naturalistic design. Even a simple recirculating bird bath can add a splash of serenity.

As a bonus, water features attract beautiful wildlife to your yard, from songbirds to butterflies to dragonflies. There’s something undeniably peaceful about watching nature’s creatures enjoy the oasis you’ve created. 


Outdoor Design With the Pros

With these pro secrets in your landscaping toolkit, you’re well on your way to transforming your Edmonton yard into an outdoor dream come true. Whether you’re starting from scratch or looking to elevate an existing design, these tips will help you maximize beauty, functionality, and enjoyment in every square inch.

Of course, knowing the secrets is one thing – bringing them to life is another. That’s where the expertise of a professional landscape designer comes in. At GreenTree Outdoor Living, we specialize in creating custom landscapes that thrive in Edmonton’s unique climate. 

If you’re feeling inspired to turn your yard into a year-round oasis, we’d love to help. Book a free consultation with our team today, and let’s discuss how we can unlock the full potential of your outdoor space. From concept to completion, we’ll be your partners in crafting a landscape that exceeds your wildest dreams.

Talk to you soon 🙂

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