Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Great Gardening Blog for Zone 3

I discovered a great gardening blog for zone 3 which is Calgary's zone.  It's beautiful and the gardener has great ideas.  I think you'll enjoy it.

Also check out this Calgary lawn care and maintenance site.  We're Superyards.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Buy Perennials for Calgary Gardens

The hardest part of landscaping or gardening in Calgary and all northern climes is that the season is so short.  So if you buy a bunch of annuals, they'll look great for a few months and then they get killed by frost.  That's why perennials make a good choice.  Perennials are often more expensive and they can grow really big if you don't know what you're buying.  So you have to research.  But they do come back year after year so you don't have to buy annuals for that spot in the flower bed every spring.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Calgary Landscaping Design: Before Going to the Nursery Part 1

It's best not to plan your garden or landscape design while at the gardening centre or plant nursery.  You will end up with plants that strike you as attractive while they are small shrubs or spikes.  Plant them too close to the house however and they become a problem as huge, mature trees or bushes.  Then they'll need constant cutting back or even complete removal.  Sometimes they;ll crack the sidewalk cement or porch, they might even crack the foundation of the house.

Here are some important things to consider when buying a plant:
  • Height and Width of the mature plant.  This is how tall and wide plant will become. Not considering this can cause problems in the future.
  • Form is the basic shape of a plant and how it will fill and accent the space it is in. Popular forms are weepy, arching, round, creeping, columnar, vase, weeping, oval.
  • Texture is the courseness and fineness of the plant leaves, stems.  It's best to use more finer plants and contrast those with the occasional coarser plant. Some plants have huge leaves and stems and others are delicate.
  • Seasonal interest and color are the colors and special features of a plant throughout the year, expecially blossoms, colours in autumn or winter, foliage, fruit.
Superyards are your landscaping Calgary specialists.  We're a lawn care and snow removal company with the special Calgary area needs and climate in mind.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Value of Landscape Design

Landscape design can increase the value of your commercial or residential property.  An expert landscape designer can develop a plan and work with you through the entire design process from meeting with you initially to what you need, to finished development.  The landscaper can also analyse your site and deal with permits and construction. It's best to hire an expert landscaper to create a professional and aesthetic landscape design.  
Once finished, you must  to maintain and protect the landscape design and installation.  A proper landscape design project provides for scheduled care for shrubs, vines, lawn and flower beds. Trees are trimmed regularly and cared for as well.  Regular mulching is needed to make sure that the exchange of air and water into the soil is healthy. A landscape expert will keep a regular scheduled service to make sure that all the plants look good and are healthy, and conforms to the original design.
Commercial landscaping needs maintenance as well. Commercial properties may have landscape lighting which creates a brilliant and dramatic night time effect for the property. This is good for public relations, marketing, and security.  A professional landscaping expert makes sure that this lighting system is well-maintained as it becomes deterrent to  crime and this is invaluable to  businesses who normally conduct business at night like hotels, restaurants, bars, and country clubs.  Other industries also benefit from the security and promotion a good lighting system provides for their business.
Irrigation system is and integral part of a landscape service program. A well-run irrigation system the right amount of water to the right area and provides worry-free watering for the property owners.  It also helps with drainage. For example, Calgary gets a lot of thunder storms so what it needs is a good drainage system. It will at least protect the property fr om flooding. Keeping a drainage system that is well developed, installed and properly maintained is essential.
A good Calgary landscaper company is Cat Trax Services.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Different Types of Retaining Walls

Different Types of Retaining Walls

Gravity walls are dependent on the mass of the rock stone, or synthetic material to push against pressures that come from behind. They may contain a small ‘batter’ setback, which improves the foundation and it’s stability by lying back on the soil. Smaller walls are sometimes made from mortarless rock or segmental concrete units. One of the perks of gravity walls is they are flexible, they don’t require strong footing in areas that frost in the winter. Larger gravity walls do need rigid footing made from concrete. This people could use a retaining wall specialist and an professional excavator. This makes digging a trench much easier.

Geosynthetic or precast facing, gabion, crib walls or soil-nailed walls are taking over for massive concrete or stones for larger retaining walls.

Cantilevered walls are steel-reinforced, with concrete that is cast into place or mortared masonry. These are often in the shape of the inverted T. A big, structured footing is cantilevered loads which converts horizontal pressures from the back of the wall to vertical pressures on the floor below. These walls are often buttressed on the front which increases the strength pushing back against high loads. Much less material is needed for this kind of wall.

Sheet piling retaining walls are likely to be the wall of choice when confronting soft soils and tight spaces. These types of walls are made out of steel, vinyl or wood planks that are smashed into the ground. Usually there is 1/3 above ground and 2/3 below ground but this tends to be altered depending on the environment. Taller sheet piles may need to be anchored.

Anchored retaining walls are built in any of the previous types but the strength is improved by using large cables or other materials so it is anchored in the rock or soil. A boring is used to push the anchor into the material. This is usually done by mechanized means or by injecting pressurized concrete.

Monday, January 16, 2012

History of Paving Stones

History of Paving Stones

Paving stones, or pavers as they are sometimes called, are concrete blocks used in landscaping.  They came to Canada and the United States after being developed in Europe in the 1970s.  In Calgary paving stones are often what people use to give their driveway, walkway or patio extra charm.
While they weren’t the first (that goes to the Egyptians) the Romans used pavers in 500 BC to get better use out of their roads.  The mud on the road really slowed down the traffic.  If there wasn’t mud that was dust, which created its own set of problems.  The Romans fixed these problems by created a deep bed of crushed rock while putting hexagonal cap stones as the top layer.  These provided the Roman military with greater mobility. 
As time progressed, a lot of streets, roadways and avenues used the Roman way, using natural rocks and clay.  These were used up until the 18th century when English road workers surmised that using clean stones would make for better roads.  This upped the cost of paving until the invention of concrete paving stones.  This increased the speed by which people could travel using the latest technology at the time, horse drawn carriages. 
As much of the Netherlands is below sea level, in the 1940s the Dutch were having problems with streets shifting and sinking.  Paving stones were seen as a much better solution that concrete as concrete would crack as the ground moved.  This allowed for a much more malleable and structurally sound road structures that would withstand the movement of the ground.
When Europe was reconstructed after being destroyed by World War II, paving stones were often used as they have shown to be a better long term way to build roads than concrete or asphalt.  At this time colors and shapes were introduced to paving stones by German Engineer Fritz Von Langsdorff. They also used concrete paving stones as they were cheaper to use and held together better under pressure.  Concrete paving stones were first seen in Stuttgart, Germany.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Gardening Article for Alberta

I found a wonderful article about vegetable gardening  in Calgary and Southern Alberta.  The writer Donna Balzer tells how to start plants indoors and other helpful gardening tips and seems a true expert on the subject.   Calgary landscaping and gardening is not easy with the short growing season, and early frosts, but experts like Donna Balzer certainly can make it easier.

For all your landscaping and lawn mowing needs, click here for Superyards.