When It Rains It Pours: Landscape Grading

The saying “when it rains it pours” took on a whole new meaning for many people on July 8th, 2013 including a number of our customers who had their basements flooded. It was incredible to see the amount of destruction that water could do in such a short period of time. One of our customers took a picture of a ravine near their backyard that had transformed into a raging river of 80 feet wide and 20 feet deep.

So that got us thinking of how we can help our customers weather the next rainstorm. One of the most important things in landscaping is the grading of your yard. We’ve combed through the web to bring you three articles that we think you will find useful to help you do landscape grading.

Lawn Drainage Systems – Read about landscaping professionals advice on drainage and grading issues in and around your yard. There is definitely some great advice that you can take action now.

DIY Grading – If you are thinking about grading your landscape yourself, this article gives you some useful tips on what to do. However, the image on how to grade your yard makes it easy.

Tips for Taming the Slope – If you are looking to transform your graded yard, here are some great ideas that will make your yard stand out.

For more information on landscape grading and other landscaping advice, you can contact us by email or by phone and we will be more than happy to help you out.

Streetscape Mississsauga Judging Underway

If you haven’t seen him (“the Gnome”) yet, you will soon enough! The Gnome and Streetscape Mississauga’s expert judges have been visiting various residential gardens all over the city in search of that winning garden. Here is an inside scoop of what the gnome and judges consider to be a potential winning garden.

Judges tend to favour more complex gardens with a mix of evergreens, shrubs, perennials and annuals, but there are always exceptions to every rule. Judges also look for gardens that are unique in some way that make it stand out from the rest.

As the judges come and visit your garden, you can simply avoid losing points by taking a couple of simple steps such as:

  1. Using artificial plant materials in the garden or in planters.
  2. Lack of maintenance such as uncut grass, no weeding and deadheading, poor pruning techniques, clutter or garbage left in the garden.

You also have to keep in mind that there is no such thing as a perfect garden because gardening is always changing. To manage pets, diesase, and better environmental friendly practices, chemical products used in the past are no longer considered to be an option. More gardeners today are incorporating environmental methods into their garden maintenance e.g. leaving grass clippings on the lawn; leaving seedheads on plants as a wildlife food source etc. In recognition of these issues, Streetscape judges will be more lenient when judging general maintenance, in the following ways:

  1. Gardens will not be penalised for spent flowers, fruit or leaves on the ground, unless they are diseased, as these are part of the natural garden cycle.
  2. So long as a lawn is generally healthy, some lawn weeds are acceptable. Weeds in flower beds are not.
  3. Spent flowers and seedheads may be left on plants if they have a decorative quality or if they provide a food source for wildlife. General deadheading will still be required.

What we are expecting is that you use judgement and common sense in maintaining your garden, without necessarily striving for a pristine appearance so Good luck and Good Gardening!!

For more information on Streetscape Mississauga, you can visi them here. For other advice on landscaping, please contact us and we will be more than happy to help you out.

Gearing for Streetscape Mississauga 2013

April showers bring May flowers. Yes, it is that time of year that gardens wake up seemingly overnight from their winter slumber and transform into lush green and colourful landscapes.

Do you have a garden that you always thought was worthy of a magazine cover? Well now you have the chance. Streetscape Mississauga is a city-wide, summer- long garden and beautification contest that features entries from both residential and small business. Established by the city together with Mississauga’s four horticultural societies to encourage beautification and conservation, to showcase and raise awareness of innovative garden styles, and to celebrate the creativity of the residents of Mississauga.

But what if I’m a beginner? How can I compete with experienced gardeners?

All are welcome to participate – from novice to seasoned gardeners. Many past winners have been beginners and the judges are looking all types of gardens from traditional to alternative. Entries will be judged on visual appeal, design, general maintenance and originality.

Not only are bragging rights on the line, but prizes including gift cards, one year’s membership to one of the city’s horticultural societies and a commemorative plaque!

Throughout the month of July, specially trained volunteers from the horticultural societies will make their rounds to judge every entry. So make sure your space is in tip-top shape!

Gardening is about experiencing the outdoors and turning your passion into something creative and beautiful.  Try your hand at it and see what comes up! And remember to have fun!

For more information on dates, judging classes, contest rules and tips – visit the Mississauga Streetscape website or call: 311