Posted by & filed under Gardens, Landscape Construction, Landscaping Design, Lawn.

Believe it or not, whether you live in Hamilton or Burlington, Oakville or Guelph, the geographical landscape can differ greatly and how to best care for that landscape will vary as well.


garden with stone stairs


Many of the differences in the landscape between an area like Aldershot and Hamilton, is caused by climate. Burlington and indeed Aldershot could be experiencing flooding while Hamilton remains dry. Likewise, Hamilton is more vulnerable to lake effect precipitation because of its elevation and proximity to Lake Ontario. Different climates mean different types of soil.


Even areas of Hamilton can differ among themselves. The downtown core will experience milder weather as it is somewhat sheltered, while the Stoney Creek mountain landscape will have a shorter growing season because of often harsh conditions and open terrain. If you live by the lake, the wind can be a factor. Ancaster and Dundas are great examples of two towns that belong to the same city but have very little in common when it comes to soil composition, climate, and elevation. All these things affect the landscape, and Ancaster and Dundas experience them differently. With the Niagara Escarpment bisecting the city of Hamilton, much of Dundas and Ancaster are situated on opposite ends of the city. This makes for very distinct landscapes.


In Burlington alone, there is more than one kind of landscape as well. Properties along the lakeshore will differ dramatically from those in nearby Aldershot. The landscape closest to the lake may suffer erosion due to high winds, and the winters won’t be gentle. Any area inland, like Aldershot, will receive a measure of shelter which means less rain, less snow, and less wind.


Flamborough, in general, is mainly agricultural land and treated as such. The properties in Waterdown, while being a part of Flamborough, will differ when it comes to landscape. You don’t have to travel far to see these changes. Waterdown is rocky. It contains a whole lot of clay, and many builders have cursed the soil as it takes much longer to dig. Situated at the top of the escarpment, Waterdown receives the worst of the worst when it comes to weather. It could be snow, wind, fog, smog or rain and Waterdown will have more that it’s share in any given year.


The city of Guelph enjoys very fertile soil. The landscape in Guelph is so accommodating to agriculture that the soil in Guelph has been named the official soil of the province. This prize-winning soil, which can be found on rolling hills, supports some of the best crops in the province. If you live in Guelph, you are likely blessed with abundant gardens and have more freedom of choice when it comes time to plant.


No matter what municipality you live in, the landscape of your location is important for growing anything. The climate, soil, and terrain of any property will affect how the grounds are cared for. Neglecting to consider these factors will lead to a whole lot of frustration even for the greenest thumb. 

Evergreen Landscapes are experts when it comes to the varied climates and soils of Burlington, Hamiton, Dundas and Aldershot. When hiring Evergreen Landscapes for landscape construction, we will ensure your garden and lawn will thrive for years to come.

Posted by & filed under Patios.

Landscaping around your backyard is more than just planting a few bushes and calling it a day. There are numerous types of landscaping materials that you can use to create a beautiful backyard retreat. If you are looking for a distinctive patio design, most landscape professional companies can provide you with a great collection of different types of materials that you can incorporate into your plan.

patio stones


A patio is the foundation for your landscape design and achieved in many different ways. It defines your outdoor living area and used for a variety of activities, including sunbathing, dining and socializing. Since it defines your backyard, it’s important that your patio’s design complements your lifestyle and character of your home.


If you happen to have a swimming pool, you can enhance the surrounding area further with a patio made out of any number of materials. Your goal is to create an environment that’s inspirational, attractive, easy to entertain around, and more importantly, hard for you and your guests to leave. It’s a place where you create a tranquil environment to combat the effects of everyday stress and soothe your mind, body, and soul.


A great looking patio can be achieved using different types of material such as wood, stones or pavers. Whichever material you decide to incorporate into your design plan, a patio will greatly upgrade the look of your property and create a stunning accent area while increasing your property value.


Layout Consideration

You want to plan your patio in a way so that you can take advantage of your surrounding views from within the interior of your home. While most patio layouts have people sitting with their backs to the house, this seating arrangement is not always the best. A striking, well-landscaped rear façade can be accomplished and more aesthetically pleasing if your home is bordered by natural views, such as mountains, lakes or sunsets. These natural settings should be accentuated whenever possible by the positioning of your patio. If this isn’t feasible and you have unwanted views, consider a fence to orient the patio and minimize undesired sights.


Material Trends for Patios

Most patios fall into one or more of the material choices listed below. Some of these materials are highly variable with dozens of options, while others are more static.


Concrete: One of the biggest trends for patio designs is tinted, textured and decorative concrete that provides a safe, durable and slip-resistant surface. New techniques for stamping offer stunning designs that are unique, functional and affordable.


Pavers: Quality pavers are available in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, and colours. They are valued for their low cost, long term durability and permeability and ability to move with the ground to eliminate cracking. A big advantage of precast pavers is that they are small enough to be moved by hand without special equipment and can stand alone on sand or gravel without any mortar. There are numerous types of pavers that can be used for a patio. Some designs are ideal for permeable paving that complies with the zero runoff building codes. Here is a list of types of pavers:


• Natural Stone
• Brick
• Flagstone
• Concrete
• Interlocking
• Permeable


Wood: Most woods are best used for decks, but they can be used for a patio too, provided that it is pressure treated for outdoor use. If you are opting for a dramatic look, you may want to consider exotic hardwoods such as Ipe or Teak. Teak, in particular, is popular due to its intricate design, durability and ability to hold natural oils, resulting in this type of lumber being bug repellent and resistant to mold. However, wood is more high maintenance than some other materials and requires proper care on a regular basis.


Why You Should Invest In A Patio

Having a beautifully designed patio will not only increase the value of your home, it will be a place you go to for relaxation and connecting with the solitude of your surroundings.


If you are interested in getting a new patio for your home, please check out our Patio Work and Contact Us for more information.

Posted by & filed under Lawn.

As summer gears up and you begin to think about the importance of a good lawnmower for creating a perfect lawn both by performance and functionality, you may want to consider one of these top rated mowers for 2016. Mowing the lawn is a very important part of proper yard care and your lawnmower is an integral part of that process.

There are a host of benefits associated with regularly mowing the lawn that make it well worth it in the end, but you want to have the best equipment possible to accomplish your goal. Mowing your lawn serves a two-fold purpose, such as the cosmetic benefits of a properly cut lawn for a manicured appearance and keeping your lawn healthy by redistributing nutrients back into the soil. It also helps to eliminate pesky insects when your lawn is properly cut; therefore having the right lawnmower for the job will make your life easier and more satisfying. The folks at Popular Mechanics have provided a review of the top 8 lawnmowers that they consider to be the best machines for 2016 with an explanation of their likes and dislikes and why they have reached their conclusion. So, without further ado, let’s get to it.


1. Craftsman 37436Craftsman 37436

The likes for this model is considered to be “A sweet ride” according to one of their testers for the quick-clipping Craftsman. One example of its smart design is the spring-loaded height adjustment with a pull up on the red grip at each wheel and pivot to the correct height setting. When you let go of the handle, the height-adjustment pin snaps back into its hole. This model also has a well-shielded drive belt under the deck and responsive squeeze-handle drive lever. The dislikes were that the machine was louder than other models and the grass built up under the deck at the rear mulch plug. However, this did not interfere with mowing.


John Deer Lawnmower2. John Deere JS36

The likes for this model was its easy-going operation. The machine’s drive speed is quick to adjust using its pivoting top handle. There is little rolling resistance that with the engine off, the machine just skates down the driveway. The start-up is easy with just one pull and one easy pivoting lever raises and lowers the deck. The dislikes is the pivoting top-hand is better suited for simple cut patters rather than elaborate back and forth action or pivoting moves required by some yards.


3. Honda HRX2172VKAHonda Lawnmower

The likes for this model is like a luxury car for walk behind mowers. The machine leaves a velvet finish due to a unique dual blade and domed plastic deck that keeps the clippings suspended during the cutting. The mower stays unusually clean as it cuts, whether it’s wet or dry and even plows through a pile of dry leaves. It has a large fuel cap that’s easy to turn and a tool-free air filter access. The dislikes are the design of the deck-lift levers, which are small and uncomfortable to use.


Honda Lawnmower4. Husqvarna 7021R

The likes for this model is that it is equipped with an overhead-cam Honda engine that is powerful. It is one of the last machines with a choke lever that is handy for cold-climate users who prefer a slightly fuel-rich start. When you shift to choke and pull on the recoil start handle, it starts instantly and the choke lever travels automatically to the run position. It has responsive speed control, single lever deck adjustment and excellent below deck shielding of the drive belt. The dislikes are that the control bar is uncomfortable.


5. Poulan Pro PR625YRKPPoulan Pro

The likes for this model is that it starts easily either with a pull or with a key ignition option. The dislikes on this mower outweighed the likes considerably with the rear-wheel brackets being flimsy. The drive belt under the deck was poorly protected, and grass cutting left the belt area plugged.


6. Snapper SPVH21675Snapper Lawnmower

The likes for this model is that the Snapper is equipped with a device called a Fresh Start insert in its gas cap. This device slowly releases a drip of concentrated fuel preservative into the gas tank. This is helpful for preserving the gas in the mower instead of your gas can because you’re always assured of stabilized fuel during the cutting season. The dislikes is that the top handle is better for cutting open area, not back and forth mowing.


7. Toro 20332Toro Lawnmower

The likes for this model is that Toro offers top to bottom attention to detail. The mowers are designed for a variety of users and mowing condition. It comes with a collection bag, or you can switch over to mulching the grass with a flip of a lever near the rear wheel. You can mow at your own pace by simply pushing more firmly against the hand. It has a fitting where you can attach a garden hose for washing the deck underside and a three year warranty that covers the mower’s drive system. The dislikes could not be noted with this machine.


8. Troy-Bilt TB230

The likes for this model are pretty much summed up by the word “value”. It gives you a deck height control with two levers (instead of the usual 4), a deck washout fitting, a simple and responsive drive control and the ability to handle pumps and bulging roots because of its 11-inch diameter rear wheel. It is a hard-working and manoeuvrable mower that is easy on your wallet. The dislikes is that the front deck comb is too sharp to that you need to protect your hands when lifting it into a vehicle.


The Choice

So there you have it. Surely one of these top rated mowers will do the trick for your lawn and make your summertime mowing a more pleasurable endeavor.


If you live in the Hamilton, Waterdown, Burlington, Oakville or Carlisle area and value your home’s landscape, and want the best for it, Contact Evergreen Landscapes!

Posted by & filed under Gardens, Landscaping Design.

2016 is shaping up to be an interesting year for residential landscape design trends according to a survey by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Additionally, the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), the organization that is the voice of the landscape industry, announced its official list of the top landscape design trends for this year.


a modern looking home seen from the backyard


The NALP bases its forecasts on several factors including current consumer demand and lifestyle, plus broader horticultural, architectural and design factors. Both the survey and the NALP’s assessment prove to be a thought-provoking look at what the market is dictating and what landscaping companies are offering their clients.


Water Conservation:


One of the top trends is a shift by consumers to toward sustainable landscapes, such as rainwater harvesting, rain barrels, rain gardens and stone retaining walls that add dimension and allows for beautiful residential landscape, but also saves water. These water saving methods serve an important purpose for collecting, cleaning or stopping water runoff.


Water issues top the list in many communities that experience shortages and droughts. Because of this water shortage situation, people are incorporating native/adapted drought-tolerant plants to their landscape design. Homeowners are turning to landscape architects for creative green infrastructure solutions that can dramatically reduce water.


Personalized Lifestyle:


Equally reflected in today’s marketplace is the demand by consumers to bring the indoors out, such as fully equipped outdoor kitchens including brick ovens, grills and appliances, 3 season patios with outdoor firepits and fireplaces, fully functional dining rooms and even romantic canopy bedroom.


Consumers have gone past the basic decks and patios. As homeowner entertain outdoors more than ever before, the landscape is a reflection of making the most of their time spent outside as a personalized outdoor retreat that fits their interest. Today’s home hugger has the desire to create comfortable landscapes that are both functional and beautiful with a renewed sense of mindfulness for the Earth and its ecosystems.


High Tech Landscapes & Lighting:


As interest continues to evolve for extending home interior living to the exterior living space, a trend is emerging this year to go high-tech outside with creative, functional lighting and technological enhancements. Exterior lighting has always been a part of the distinctive element for any landscape design, but this year that component has been taken up a notch.


Today, you will find that many homeowners have transformed their outside landscapes with dramatic, boldly coloured lights or twinkling accent lighting along pathways, walkways and inside patio areas. With technology so much a part of people’s lives, homeowners have extended their ability to connect with the outdoors even more by installing backyard Wi-Fi and TV installations. This technological advancement allows residential landscape designs to merge the old method exclusive to indoor use to the exterior space where so much outside living is now happening.


Native Gardens:


Another popular trend for 2016 is “naturescaping” which is the act of selecting native plants for attracting birds, insects and wildlife. This method is being employed by landscape companies in an effort to satisfy the ever-growing demand for environmentally conscious landscapes by homeowners.


An ever increasing population of busy homeowners are seeking to develop beautiful landscapes that are easy to maintain. Naturescaping achieves this objective by encouraging the use of low maintenance perennial native plants that are easy to maintain and innately manages water runoff.


Sustainable Landscapes:


With such a large focus on water conservation and sustainability of our ego-systems, homeowners are now demanding both in their landscape designs.


With the help of landscaping companies like Evergreen Landscapes you can turn your property into an interesting environmental oasis of your liking. Please Contact Us and speak to a friendly customer service representative who will be happy to help you.

Posted by & filed under Landscaping Design, Poolscapes.

It is with great sorrow that Canadian families are stricken by the grief associated with swimming pool tragedies each year. The majority of these accidents involve drownings in residential settings and particularly affect young children ages 1 to 3 years old. Most of these misfortunes are preventable with the correct precautionary measures regarding securing the pool safely from involuntary mishaps.

a backyard pool with a fence around it


Although barriers can never replace adult supervision and not the sole method to prevent drowning of young children in pools, they do have a dramatic impact on lessening the possibilities of a tragedy happening.


In this post, we are going to look at the new “fence within a fence rule” that is being enacted in municipalities in Ontario. In Particular, we will look at the proposed new “Pool Enclosures By-law” for the City of Hamilton and what affect is has on landscaping your newly defined boundary.


The reason for this change came about, not only update and clarify the existing by-law content, but to incorporate several recommendations by the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario contained in the Drowning Review Report of June 2011.


The New By-law Proposal: (source-City of Hamilton)

Although you do not need a Building Permit to install a swimming pool in the City of Hamilton, you do need a Building Permit to construct the fence. The pool enclosure must be in accordance with Hamilton’s Swimming Pool Enclosure By-law No. 03-125 which defines a swimming pool as any privately owned body of water located outdoors, which is used or capable of being used for swimming and which is contained wholly or partly by artificial means (including inflatable sides).


In addition, you must not excavate or build a pool enclosure until you get a building permit, nor put water in the pool until you have the swimming pool enclosure in place and receive final approval from the City.


There are two major changes proposed that replace the existing Pool Enclosure By-law 03-125.

  • A new requirement that the pool is enclosed by a fence that completely encloses the pool area on all sides. Additionally, openings from a wall of a building which functions as part of the fence, such as doors and windows, would not be allowed. Swimming pool fences in existence prior to the day of the passing of the new proposed by-law would not have to comply with these new requirements.
  • A new definition of pool which would include any body of water that is capable, at any point, of holding water in excess of 0.6 metres in depth. The definition would also include a landscape pond with certain exemptions.


Landscaping Options:

Now that you have this newly constructed fence around you pool, you may find landscaping more challenging, but it doesn’t have to be with a carefully thought out design. You can check out several design layouts through the Internet, read some books or even take some courses if you are that motivated. The other option is to hire a professional landscape designer to help you accomplish your poolside landscaping goals around the new fence.


You may have a favorite combination of plant colours that you want to see incorporated into the design surrounding the pool or you may want to incorporate rockery that provides an added dimension in addition to flowers, ground covers and shrubs. Stones are ornamental and a perfect complement for their form, texture and characteristics.


You can also soften the look of the new safety fence by planting trees around the area; however, they should have non-aggressive root systems. If you are considering adding trees to the landscape, some options that work well are narrow varieties of conifer, certain species of flowering trees and the layered look of planting trees with shrubs.


Although this new by-law has made landscaping options more complicated, a reputable company like Evergreen Landscapes can help you make it all come together beautifully. Don’t believe us? Check out our Gallery and let our work speak for itself

Posted by & filed under Gardens.

Whether you have a new, young tree that has recently been planted or more established trees, the best time to fertilize them is late April or early May.

Saucer Magnolia - Healthy Tree


The main reason that you want to fertilize your trees is to bolster their health, encourage new growth and develop a strong root system to fight off pests, disease, and environmental stresses. Young trees with a trunk diameter of less than 6 inches can especially benefit from regular applications of fertilizer.


While fertilizing will help new or more established trees to develop a strong core system, it can’t solve all of the problems a tree may encounter. However, fertilizing will certainly go a long way in giving your newly planted trees, or established trees, a fighting chance to flourish.


Natural Habitat


When trees grow in their natural habitat, they’re usually supplied with all of the minerals and nutrients they need to grow and survive. In a non-natural habitat, like your front or backyard property, anything that you can do to mimic a natural environment will help the tree to flourish. This may involve leaving leaves on the ground to decompose back into the soil, but chances are that despite your best efforts, the need to fertilize will still exist.


Young Trees


When you have newly planted or young trees, they literally soak up nitrogen from fertilizer, which helps them to grow quickly and establish a dense canopy right into the fall. The tree root system can extend for a long distance over time and the tree continues to absorb nutrients when the area around them is fertilized. As the young tree matures, their roots develop an association with fungi called mycorrhizae that helps the tree utilize minerals in the soil. This association is extremely beneficial because most young trees average about 12 to 18 inches of new shoot growth yearly.




Since trees require nutrients to live and thrive, soil that is deficient in one or more nutrients required for the tree to reach its full potential will be more susceptible to disease, insect problems, and shorter life than a similar, well-fertilized tree. A word of caution is that you should always test your soil for nutrient excesses or deficiencies before applying soil additives because over-fertilization has adverse effects on trees.


According to the Agriculture Department of the University of Minnesota tree-fertilization-guide, the nutrients required by all plants, including trees, is divided into two groups:

  • Macronutrients: 

    Are required by plants in larger quantities than micronutrients. The macronutrients required by plants for growth include nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sulfur (S). The addition of macronutrients, especially nitrogen, can result in improved growth while deficiencies can lead to slower growth and visible symptoms.

  • Micronutrients: 

    Are required in very small amounts, include iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), boron (B), chlorine (Cl), and molybdenum (Mo).


Many of the products that you find at your favorite garden center provide trees with the appropriate nutrients and all fertilizer labels indicate the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium contained in the product by percent.


How to Determine the Need to Fertilize


Trees in cities and suburbs are often stressed due to low moisture availability, soil compaction, physical damage, nearby construction, and competition from turf, nearby trees and shrubs. While fertilizing may reduce environmental stresses, it cannot eliminate them entirely. Therefore, newly planted trees should be watered and pruned regularly to keep weeds away from their bases to avoid excess stress.


A Final Note


The history of the yard can be a final indicator of the need for fertilization since trees in regularly fertilized yards for turf rarely need to have supplemental fertilizer applied. The need to fertilize a newly planted or more mature tree should only be considered if shoot growth is less than 2 inches or soil testing reveals a specific nutrient deficiency.


Testing fertilizer or planting a new tree can be troublesome. Contact our team of experts today and we’ll be ready to help with all your lawn and landscaping needs.

Posted by & filed under Stone Steps.

First impressions count in every walk of life. Whether it is the clothes that you choose for that important job interview, to the car that you arrive in, the tidiness of your office when a client arrives for a meeting, or the display of produce on sale in a shop. And our houses are the same. People make judgments about you and your house from the very second that they set eyes on it, so it is important that you get the look of the outside of your house just perfect.


stone stair entrance


An excellent way of showing a strong, reliable and durable personality is through the use of stone steps. They can turn a relatively humble looking abode into the home of a successful, strong and robust family.


Exterior Stone Steps


Stone steps can be made in two formats – either by laying stones and slabs to create the steps or by making cast steps and fitting them as one piece. But whichever you choose, you can be sure that it will make a big difference to the overall look of your house.


Your steps can be designed to fit in with the overall look of your house – from a rustic looking type stone steps, to a grander, entrance making staircase.


By using the same stone that is found in the local area, your steps will blend into the outside area of your home with a natural harmony and coherence that other features or materials won’t.


Other Benefits of Stone Steps


There are other benefits to having stone steps which aren’t just aesthetic ones.


  • They are durable – Stone is one of the most durable materials which can be worked with. So your steps won’t break or buckle under pressure, extreme hot or cold won’t affect them, making them set to last for the lifetime of your property.
  • They are easy to clean – Just a hose down every now and again is enough to keep your stone steps clean and looking good.
  • They look better over time – The fact that your steps are out in nature, they will keep changing with time and become increasingly integrated into yourlandscape, looking more natural and perfectly fitting into your exterior style.


At Evergreen Landscapes we have a whole range of both slabs and cast steps which can be adjusted to fit perfectly into your garden. We use stone which is indigenous to the local area of Oakville meaning that they will fit right in in the outside area of your home.


We have designers who can give you exactly what you are looking for, allowing you to make your home give the right impression to people arriving, as well as give you the satisfaction that your garden or outside area is complete and looking its best.


For more information about stone steps, designing and fitting and other landscaping options, get in touch with Evergreen Landscapes today!

Posted by & filed under Gardens.

Composting has remarkable benefits. Not only is composting good for your garden’s soil, but it takes a huge chunk of garbage out of landfills that would otherwise become part of the waste debris that we throw away every day.


Mother and Daughter Composting


When it comes to learning how to compost, nature is your best teacher because the process has been occurring since the beginning of life on our planet. You see it in the forests, prairies, meadows and even deserts throughout the world.


Making compost is simple if you are willing to allow Nature to rot your leftovers and biodegradable garbage into a composting bin, trench, pit or barrel and let Mother Nature take over. You will be amazed that by adding biodegradable garbage, nature will convert the waste into rich humus.


Compost buffers the soil, neutralizing both acid & alkaline soils, bringing pH levels to the optimum range for nutrient availability to plants. It is a foolproof process because nature will readily correct almost all of your mistakes.


The Right Ingredients for Compost:


Composting is based on a balance rich diet of microorganisms eating nitrogen and carbon-rich foods. It helps bind clusters of soil particles, called aggregates, which provide good soil structure. Such soil is full of tiny air channels and pores that hold air, moisture and nutrients. This diet consists of:


  • Very High Nitrogen – C/N less than 10 – Hot Greens
  • High Nitrogen – C/N between 10 and 30 – Greens
  • High Carbon – C/N between 30 and 80 – Browns
  • Very High Carbon – C/N over 80 – Dry Browns


In general, grass, leaves, vegetable and fruit scraps work well. Keep meat and grains out of your compost as it will attract rodents. Wood, such as twigs and chips should be use sparingly as they are bulky and can quickly change the balance of your compost heap.


Water and Compost:


It’s important to have the right amount of water, similar to a wet sponge without it being too soggy because nitrogen-rich waste is already wet, particularly greens at about an 80-85% moisture level. When you add dry, brown carbon-rich material, which has a much lower moisture level, the two mix appropriately, but you still want a thin layer of moisture to cover all of the materials going into the composter. Ideally, the moisture should be about 40-60% water regardless of what is happening in your particular climate so that the breakdown occurs most efficiently.


Aeration of Compost:


All decomposition occurs most effectively in an oxygen rich environment; however as the compost materials settle, the oxygen is squeezed out creating a bogged down mound. A decent flow of air allows the aerobic microbes to thrive, do their job and thereby decomposition will occur faster. You’re striving to have your materials break down cleanly into CO2, H2O, minerals, and humus; otherwise, the process will slow down, and your compost will start to stink like rotten eggs from the Hydrogen Sulfide. To make your decomposition work effectively here is a short list of methods to use:


  • Turning Your Compost using Compost Aeration Tools
  • Making Air Pockets as You Build
  • Use PVC Aeration Pipes
  • If your compost is in a barrel, you can roll it


Your Gardens and Compost:


By the time this whole decomposition process has taken place, you will have rich humus fertilizer that your plants will love and amazing blooming gardens.

Posted by & filed under Gardens, Landscaping Design, Lawn.

Have you ever considered planting your flowers and vegetables in a raised bed? The advantages are numerous.Raised beds are quite different than garden planters. Planters are containers that are elevated and have bottoms which prevent the soil from falling out. The bottoms also have slats or holes which allow for drainage. However, raised beds do not have bottoms; instead, they are open to the ground. This provides the benefit of allowing plant roots to grow into the ground for any available nutrients.

a raised garden bed

Here are some of the advantages to using raised gardens:

  1. Weed Control. The raised garden is planted above existing soil. This allows you to use weed barriers which can be placed between the ground and the soil in the garden box.
  2. Better Soil. Planting a garden directly in the ground limits you to using the soil that’s already there. That soil might not be the best for gardening. You can add mulch and compost to improve the soil but it is a difficult task to manage. However, when you have a raised garden bed, you can fill it with the soil that will work best for your garden. This will help your plants grow more successfully.
  3. Pest Control. You can keep out critters such as ground hogs, squirrels and moles easily, simply by placing chicken wire beneath the raised garden and above the box. This will effectively keep these pests from your precious plants.
  4. Portability.  A raised garden box can be moved around in your yard. This is especially handy if you decide to do some landscaping and change the design of your yard.
  5. Accessible. Probably the best thing about raised beds is that you can easily reach every single plant in the garden. This allows you to easily water, weed, inspect and pick the plants.
  6. Higher Yields. Raised gardens generally produce more fruit and vegetables as a result of the better soil that you are able to use.
  7. Frugality. Seeds can be quite expensive. Often when you plant in traditional “in-ground” garden, you start by scattering the seeds. Then you thin the plants as they grow which wastes seeds. However when you plant in a raised bed garden, you are able to plant only the seeds that you need.
  8. Longer Growing Season. Your gardening season is determined by the temperature of the soil. The soil in a raised garden box will warm up much more quickly in the spring than the ground soil.
  9. Aesthetically Pleasing. Your raised garden beds will always look neat and tidy. Raised garden beds also inspire some creative ideas in the garden. Don’t be afraid to try something new in your garden design.

As you can see, there are a lot of great reasons to try raised garden beds this spring. There are so many different styles and types available you will surely find something that will suit your tastes and needs. Need some help choosing? Contact the professionals at Evergreen for some great ideas and advice.

Posted by & filed under Gardens.

In December, we wrote an article listing some great Christmas gift ideas that you could give the gardener in your life. We talked about the right tool makes any job easier and only a handful of inexpensive gardening tools can handle the most common lawn and garden maintenance. However, there are a few additional tools that every homeowner needs to top off that list for making gardening chores efficient and enjoyable with less pain and strain.

Gardening Tools

Even if your first foray into gardening might seem a bit daunting, the right tools will help you do the job right all the way through spring cleanup, summer planting, fall wind-down and preparation for winter’s hibernation. The right tools help to avoid strained back muscles, scratched hands, and other backyard annoyances, so having the right tool to do the job is a priority. Here is a recap of our Christmas suggestions, in addition to the selection of new add-ons, to make your gardening experience be the best it can be.

Xmas Recap:

  • Shovel

    Any gardener will tell you that a shovel is a necessity for any garden or landscape work.  It is best used for planting or digging out trees and shrubs, mixing large quantities of dirt, creating a dugout for an annual or perennial garden, composting and so much more.

  • Hand Pruner

    Hand pruners are a versatile tool that can be used for many purposes in the garden, but they are best used for snipping and removing dead and unwanted branches from trees and shrubs in an easy stroke motion.

  • Hand Trowel

    A hand trowel is designed for digging small holes, transplanting seedlings, planting flowers and bulbs in garden beds or performing similar tasks. Many gardeners find hand trowels immensely useful and quite commonly found in gardening sheds as an indispensable tool.

  • Garden Utility Bucket or Caddy

    A utility bucket or caddy is ideal for carrying your hand tools around the property, gathering clipping and weeds and freeing up your hands from carrying objects.

  • Leaf Rake

    The most basic of tool for any property is a leaf rake. It is best used for gathering leaves, lawn clippings, spreading mulch around the gardens and other ground-covering materials around planting beds.

  • Garden Rake

    These rakes are best used for working the soil in planting beds, pressing sown seeds into the soil and removing dead grass from the lawn. A flat head rake is useful for leveling soil, while a bow-head garden rake is often easier to maneuver.

  • Watering Can

    A medium sized watering can is ideal for transporting small quantities of water from an outdoor tap to thirsty plants that are potted or in the garden.

New Additions:

  • Folding Pruning Saw

    A folding pruning saw is indispensable for cutting through branches up to 10 centimetres in diameter. The blade cuts cleanly even through green wood, which promotes quick healing. It then folds safely away to be used for another day.

  • Telescoping Leaf Rake

    This type of rake can be used for raking leaves and cuttings neatly and efficiently.  It spreads mulch and smooths the soil in flowerbeds or veggie patches.  Its aluminum handle can be adjusted to suit your height, and you can change the width of the head to suit the task at hand.

  • Japanese Farmer’s Knife

    This tool is a cross between a knife and a trowel.  It is an indispensable tool for planting bulbs, weeding beds and containers. It is great for dividing perennials and handling those tough stems and roots. The curved blade is two sided, one straight and one serrated, and both are extremely sharp.

  • Stainless-Steel Soil Scoops

    These sturdy scoops are ideal when you want to mix small quantities of soil or compost. They can be used for all sorts of things like filling flowerpots, window boxes and bird feeders.

  • Garden Spade

    A garden space is a square-edge, straight blade used for preparing beds for planting, combining soil mixtures, edging beds and slicing through sod. The small blade has comfortable treads and the handle is made of fibreglass that helps to prevent muscle fatigue.

  • Bypass Secateurs

    This tool has a rotating handle, which make it easier for pruning rosebushes, shrubs and trees. It has bypass blades for cleaner, faster-healing cuts on the plants than Anvil blades, which crush as the plant as they cut.

Evergreen Landscapes is an Award Winning Landscape Design Company that specializes in lawn care for Burlington, Waterdown, Aldershot, Dundas, and Ancaster. Our services include Stone Patio Installation, Building Stone Steps, Paving Stone Walkways, Poolscapes, Backyard Fountains and Waterfalls, and various Landscaping Maintenance Services.