Courtesy the Landscape Artist Inc.

The great outdoors

Embracing the possibilities of outdoor living

Given Calgary’s sometimes seemingly endless winters, it’s important to make the most of summer.
That’s why people have embraced landscaping trends that create outdoor living spaces in their own backyard.

Peter Van Seggelen, owner of the Landscape Artist Inc., says one definite trend is outdoor spaces
with a built-in fireplace.

“People are gravitating towards that, because having a heat source can really extend the time that you can use your outdoor living space,” he said.

He even has clients who use their outdoor fireplace in midwinter, when temperatures get near freezing.

“People tell me they’re out there at Christmas time having a glass of wine,” he said. “It makes life just so much nicer.”

“People don’t want to be a slave to their garden, but want to enjoy their outside spaces.” – Peter Van Seggelen, the Landscape Artist Inc.

Also popular, says Van Seggelen, are low-maintenance landscape choices, such as putting greens and “lawn” areas that use artificial turf, so people don’t have to cut the grass.

“People don’t want to be a slave to their garden, but want to enjoy their outside spaces,” he said.

Van Seggelen adds that a basic landscape project that can really make a difference is a patio, which is less expensive than a deck and requires almost zero maintenance.

“You feel like you’re nestled in the garden as opposed to sitting on a deck (high) above,” he said. “And that’s what people are looking for, a space that they can go into and feel private and secluded.”

Mumtaz (Taz) Mirza, owner of Tazscapes Inc., says a broader trend is that homeowners are realizing the value of good landscaping.

“People are starting to understand the concept of outdoor living, and are investing a lot more money into landscaping in general,” said Mirza.” They want outdoor spaces they can actually use.”

The trend towards concrete products, such as paving stones, that mimic natural surfaces also continues, and now even includes wood grain.

“It’s a manufactured stone, but looks like wooden slabs,” said Mirza.

His company is currently finalizing a design that will include a huge deck area with a pergola, outdoor kitchen with retractable screens for year-round use, rock walls, patio, fire pit, putting green and water feature – all for a cool $500,000.

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