When it comes to landscaping and outdoor living, Calgarians have a lot of options to choose from, both in terms of features and the latest products. CREB®Now talked to two leading Calgary companies to find out a few of the hottest trends in luxury landscaping.

Courtesy The Landscape Artist Inc.

Low maintenance

“Low maintenance is key, and that has changed literally everything,” said David Abbott, owner of Chinook Landscaping and Design.

Abbott says artificial turf is replacing grass, natural wood is giving way to the latest composite materials for decks, and water features like streams and waterfalls are designed to recycle water without a holding pond, doing away with the extra cleaning.

He says natural wood is now used mostly for landscaping accents, such as privacy screens, pergolas and arbours.

David Walkington, owner of The Landscape Artist Inc., says less maintenance means more time to spend with family playing soccer or practicing the short game on a putting green in the backyard.

Cost: $6,000 to $12,000 to replace a typical lawn with artificial turf.

Courtesy The Landscape Artist Inc.

Outdoor kitchens

“What do you have to do when you come home from work? You have to cook dinner, so why not do that outside?” said Walkington.

He adds he’s starting to see more and more “niche outdoor cooking elements,” such as an Argentinian “Gaucho” grill installed for one client, smokers that connect to your phone to let you know when meat is cooked, and pizza ovens.

Abbott says outdoor kitchen are popular in higher-end homes, as people want to entertain outdoors. They typically have premium finishings, such as granite countertops, with the entire structure either made of stone or clad in stone to match the client’s house.

Cost: $25,000 to $50,000, depending on features and quality of appliances.

Courtesy The Landscape Artist Inc.

Sports courts and enclosures

Walkington says a backyard sports court is great for people with children and works well on pie-shaped lots with large backyards.

He says these sports courts are typically marked for one basketball hoop and can also be used for pickleball in the summer, while flooding the court in the winter creates a backyard skating rink.

Cost: $25,000 to $30,000.

Walkington has also seen outdoor enclosures, usually a roofed area for protection from the rain and one or more walls to cut the wind, growing in popularity.

“Throw a heater in there and you’re extending the usage of your outdoor space by a month on either end,” he said. “Now you’re outside having a glass of wine in early spring or having a cup of coffee in late autumn.”

Cost: $15,000 to $30,000.