There is a lot of concern among Calgary homeowners regarding Calgary water restrictions and landscaping.  The city of Calgary warns outdoor water restrictions may be coming. in the near future if drought conditions persist.  Chinook Landscaping and design is receiving a lot of requests for Xeriscape landscaping and requests for totally removing front or back yards or both are becoming more common.  What to replace the lawn with? Typically, the lawn would be replaced with professional grade fabric as well as decorative rock or mulch.  You can add some interest by adding decorative boulders or driftwood or even a garden Gnome or two.

Should you remove your lawn?

It’s a big step to decide to remove your lawn.  The looks of lush grass is very attractive to many homeowners in Calgary.  Lawns are hardier than we give them credit for.  There are some summers where traditional Kentucky Bluegrass lawns can go without water for the entire season.  We tend to overwater our lawns in North America.  Underground sprinkler systems can be tempting to run on a daily bases but lawns don’t require that much water unless they are just getting started.  It’s actually healthier to allow your lawn to dry out a little in between waterings as this helps roots search for water, go deeper and become stronger.  Even so, lawns to some homeowners are not worth the hassle and cost. Annual costs can really add up and include mowing, fertilizing aerating and power raking.  Not to mention the cost to the city and the taxpayer for emptying compost each week or bi weekly.  Even with the extra costs though there are many homeowners who love their lawns and will keep them just as is.

Water restrictions and landscaping plantings are important

A Xeriscaped or drought tolerant landscape includes plants that are native to the Calgary area and plants that require less water. A popular planting option currently is Karl Forester grass and Blue oat grass as well as many other varieties of grasses.  We often see grasses do fine throughout an entire summer with not manual watering required. The occasional rainfall is enough to keep the grasses alive and healthy.  Shrubs that do well with less water incude varieties of Potentilla, Dogwood, Ninebark, Hawthorns and Lilacs as well as many others.  You can check out Yardsmart – Trees and Shrubs on the City of Calgary website for more options. This site has a lot of information on Calgary water restrictions and landscaping.  It is important to keep in mind that although there are many varieties of shrubs and perennials that do well with less water they will initially require hand watering for the first year or two.  Once the shrubs are established and their roots are deeper in the soil they will be able to handle less water.

Decorative rock is maintenance free

Decorative rock is a great option for a xeriscaped yard.  Once it’s installed it really is maintenance free.  Decorative rock needs to be installed over a professional grade layer of landscaping fabric to help reduce weed growth.  If you are concerned that too much rock can look cold adding some natural wood mulch can help soften the look.  Planting trees and Shrubs throughout the landscape will also help to warm and soften the look of rock.  There are many options when it comes to decorative rock.  Some of the most popular ones we install are Montana rainbow, rundle rock, salt and pepper and tan rock.  Many clients of ours like to use two different rock colours for a contrasting look.  The initial cost of landscaping rock to install can be costly when you include labour, hauling and delivery but it’s a one time insolkalation and unlike mulch will not require topping up on a regular basis.  Decorative rock is a great option to consider for Calgary water restrictions and landscaping.

Maintenance for a xersicaped yard

Landscape maintenance for a xeriscaped yard should be minimal especially with decorative rock as your mulch.  Perenncials can be higher maintenance as they require spring or fall clean up and removal of the dead foliage.  Shrubs and grasses are a lower maintenance option and should only require occasional pruning once they mature serveral years from when they are planted.  other than pruning there may be some persistent weeds that are from weeds seeds that blow into your yard.  The weed seeds are much more likely to germinate in mulch than they are in decorative rock.  The weeds can be pulled or sprayed making sure not to spray surrounding shrubs.

If you are interested in an estimate for a xeriscaped yard or have questions about Calgary water restrictions and landscaping give us a call to discuss your project.  403-370-4447