How to Plan for a Commercial Landscaping Project

When planning a commercial landscaping project, it’s important to go through a thorough planning process to ensure that you ultimately create a landscape that not only suits your company’s needs but reflects your brand and continues to impress for years to come.

When planning your commercial project, here are some important items to consider.

First: Find a Partner You Can Trust

Finding a partner that you can trust can help you put your ideas to paper and help you design a plan of action that will work according to your needs and budget.

A partner will be able to explain every aspect of the landscape project and answer any questions that you may have. They can advise on subcontractors and permits (if applicable), installation, planting, and care. They’ll want to visit the site to accurately measure the project area, gauge accessibility, and get a visual sense of the space in order to begin to rough-in a design. They’ll also be on hand during the landscaping process to manage the crew and to handle any ongoing matters.

Consider Your Design Approach

Once you’ve found a partner to help you bring your project to life, you’ll need to focus on a design that takes these elements into consideration:

Strategic Landscaping 

When in the planning phase of your project, consider the long-term effects of the landscape and be strategic about placement. For example, it will be advantageous if you design your layout strategically so that plants with similar water requirements are grouped together. Look for native plants as well. Not only will they take to the location, but they’ll also help maintain the local ecosystem and give wildlife a place to thrive.

Planning Around People

People ultimately will interact with the greenspace, so consider a layout that takes into account how you’d like your landscape to be used. This may include having elements such as:

  • Hardscapes (for gatherings)
  • Paths
  • Lighting
  • Shrubs, flowerboxes, or half-walls to create privacy barriers or natural flow of traffic
  • Seating (such as benches)
  • Coverings (such as pergolas) or fountains/water features to create focal points

Project Timing

Depending on how intensive the re-design is, a landscaping project may disrupt your business in a variety of ways. There may also be seasonal requirements in terms of when to plant to ensure the vegetation you choose is given the best opportunity to flourish. Working with a professional will help you find ways to minimize disruption to your regular operations and to ensure the finalized design is completed to your specifications.

Ongoing Maintenance

Some aspects, such as choosing low-maintenance vegetation and installing an effective sprinkler system, will help cut down on a lot of daily tasks. However, keep in mind seasonal tasks, such as pruning, clearing fallen leaves, and planting/removing seasonal flowers will need to be considered to ensure the long-term success of the project.

If you’re looking for a partner that can help your organization design the perfect commercial landscape, consider us! We’re here to answer all of your commercial landscaping questions from construction to maintenance. Contact us today.





Landscaping for Hotels: Enhancing the Guest Experience

A well-designed landscape on your hotel property can enhance your guest experience and help you fill your rooms. Guests often choose a hotel based on its look and feel. It’s important to create a comfortable and welcoming environment that has a little bit of a wow-factor to give everyone something to talk about and ensure repeat bookings.

While excellent customer service and spacious, airy rooms are certainly important, a hotel’s first impression is often the surrounding grounds, so when you’re designing for your hotel landscape, find ways to visually stun your audience. Here are a few things to consider.

Bring the Indoors Out

It’s important to design your hotel grounds as an extension of the interior. Not only does this give you more overall space, it gives your guests room beyond their room to interact with each other and unwind.

If you have a pool area, make sure you add enough hardscape space around it for lounge chairs and covered cabanas and consider adding in a pool-side bar where guests can mix and mingle. Even if your hotel doesn’t have a pool, create outdoor spaces with welcoming and comfortable seating around focal points such as statement fireplaces or water features.

Divide Outdoor Space with Privacy in Mind

Whether you have an expansive space or are dealing with a small amount of outdoor landscaping, think about ways to use greenery to create small pockets of privacy for guests who want a bit of privacy while enjoying the outdoors. Benches nestled against hedges are an excellent way to create welcoming nooks for visitors. Small accents, like statement planters between loungers on a pool deck, will also give the illusion of privacy even on open hardscapes.

Create Walkways for Exploring the Grounds

Once you’ve created separate spaces, make sure you’ve made your landscape easy for guests to explore. Walkways aren’t just attractive, they’re functional and can help direct guest traffic. Elevated wooden walkways or whimsical winding stone paths will help guests enjoy the grounds to the fullest while making them feel your hotel is their own personal oasis. Don’t forget to highlight this feature when the sun goes down. Well-lit paths with soft modern lighting will keep guests safe and create a welcoming visual throughout the evening.

Use Landscaping to Enhance the Style of the Building Itself

Consider the style of the hotel and rooms as well. More modern interiors should be mirrored by a modern landscaping style while minimal hotel designs should also have landscaping that incorporates a minimal aesthetic. By using your surrounding landscape as an accent for your interior design scheme, you’ll be tying everything together for an overall pleasing effect.

When you’re ready to enhance your hotel’s outdoor space, give us a call for ideas and suggestions that can elevate your property. Our professional landscape team can help you transform your space into something special for your hotel guests.

Restaurant Landscaping – Using Greenery to Attract Customers

If your restaurant is looking for ways to drive more customers to your door or increase sales, turn your gaze outwards and consider how you can landscape your way to bigger monthly sales figures.

Landscaping is one of the first attractions potential customers will come into contact with and the more welcoming you can make it, the more likely you are to attract more foot traffic and visitors. Creating an ambiance that welcomes customers to relax and kick back will often entice them to spend just a bit more money as they enjoy their time at your establishment.

Here are a few ways you can use landscaping to invite your clients to stop and stay a while.

  1. Use greenery as your greeter

Look at your entrance and see if there are ways to introduce greenery into the equation, even if it is just a few planters. Consider a bench as well, when you are reworking your entrance design, and accent it with greenery and flowers as a way to invite customers to wait out a line-up.

  1. Create a garden oasis to fill your patio

Patios offer up a wonderful chance to attract foot traffic. Whether your outdoor space is small or large, there are many ways to introduce plants and natural design elements that will make your guests feel at home. Consider a garden border, incorporate plant elements into your retaining wall, or use trellises and climbing vines to create a “closed in” feeling that makes a visit feel private and intimate. You may also want to consider a fire pit for a chill vibe or a water feature to add calming ambiance to the space.

  1. Grow your greens on-site to jazz up your menu

Whether you have limited or limitless space, consider adding edible greens to your patio or planting a small plot of herbs and vegetables on your roof or close to your restaurant. Herbs and lettuces can be added to your menu and growing them in-house can be a huge selling point for those who are fans of the farm-to-table concept. It’s not just vegetables or herbs that can make an appearance on your menu. You can even use edible flowers as garnishes in cocktails or on your plates to add a signature twist to any menu item.

  1. Use seasons to introduce variety to your decor

As the seasons change, so should your patio. Choose plants with seasons in mind and update your planters as holidays come and go. This will give your restaurant a chance to show off its personality while looking and feeling current and festive.

When you’re ready to re-imagine your restaurant patio and green space, ensure that your landscaping dollars are well spent with landscape design services from Okanagan Yard Works.  Give us a call today to see how we can turn your dream property into a reality!

Tips for Landscaping a New Home Build

If you’ve just purchased a new build, you’ll be starting your yard from a clean slate. You may not know what to expect when dealing with a recently excavated area. However, there are a few things to expect that will help ensure whatever landscaping you decide on stands the test of time. Here are a few key items to consider:

Ask What the Builder Provides

When you buy your new build home, be sure to find out just what is offered by the builder. Often, you can expect to receive topsoil and sod, at least in the front yard. Some builders may offer other yard perks, so find out what their bare minimum is and what extras (if any) they have in mind.

Be Aware of Your Property’s Grading

Builders will often grade the ground. This is meant to control the flow of water or stop erosion and ensure that not only your home but other neighbouring homes as well are protected from water pooling or basement flooding. Be mindful of your yard’s grading when you begin your own landscape projects.

Allow Time For The Natural Settling Process

The earth that was disturbed in order to lay the home’s foundation needs time to properly settle. Ideally, depending on your location and climate, you want the ground to go through four seasons, with natural rain cycles and freezing/thawing to occur to help settle the ground around the home. It isn’t advisable to “speed up the process” by watering the area with a garden hose around the foundation as you may inadvertently flood your basement. Be patient and let time and gravity do the hard work for you.

Choosing Your Plants

Once the area has had enough time to settle, the real work of adding your own flair to the yard can begin. Be sure to choose plants and shrubs that are consistent with the climate as well as your expertise. There are plenty of options that are low maintenance and easy to care for. Others may require more work. Some may thrive in drier conditions, while others may require irrigation systems to keep their thirsty roots well hydrated. Do your research and choose plants that work best for your environment.

Consider Maintenance Requirements 

Once everything is in the ground, the real work of maintenance begins. If you aren’t sure just what to expect from a certain plant, tree or shrub, it’s a good idea to get advice. Visit your local garden centre, or hire a professional landscaper that can help you plan your yard and choose foliage that will compliment your personal style as well as the amount of time you want to put into maintenance.

Do you need assistance with unlocking the possibilities of your new yard? We’re here to help. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you transform your outdoor environment.

4 Reasons You Should Hire A Professional Landscape Company

If you’ve made the decision to invest in your property by improving your landscaping, don’t make the mistake of trying to do it yourself.  Take advantage of the skills and experience of a professional landscape company in order to get the most out of your budget.  You can actually save time and money by counting on the experts.  Here’s how:

  1. Thoughtful design. Having a well thought out design for your space will ensure that you will get adequate sunlight and drainage for your plants, as well as properly integrated seating and entertainment areas for your family and friends.  Experience plays an important role in making sure all of your features work well together, and that you end up with an outdoor area that is both beautiful and functional.
  2. Choosing the right materials. Our experts know what plants and materials will work in your climate and environment.  Not only will this help your yard to look its best, but it will also save you the replacement costs for stonework or greenery that simply doesn’t work in your yard.  Add to that the fact that professional landscapers often have access to volume discounts and a wider variety of inventory, and you’ll find that you’re likely coming out ahead on costs.
  3. Count on proper installation. Many outdoor renovations can seem like a relatively simple DIY project for homeowners, but unless you have experience or happen to be exceptionally handy, it’s best to leave the landscaping to the pros.  We have the knowledge and expertise to install your plants, stonework and features to exacting standards that will look great and last a lifetime.  The cost of materials is a definite investment, so don’t leave the results to chance.  Trust our team to make sure your yard project turns out just the way you want.
  4. Benefit from a set timeline. Many homeowners begin a home improvement project, but simply don’t have the time to devote to completing it.  In many cases, these landscape renos end up dragging on for weeks and months on end, to the frustration of all involved.  Using a professional means you will have a set timeline for completion, and you will get to keep your free time for things you actually want to do – like enjoying your newly revitalized outdoor space.

Get the job done right, on time and on budget with the friendly and talented team at Okanagan Yard Works.  Contact us for a free consultation today!

Landscaping for Urban (Read: Smaller) Properties

Most discussions on landscaping invoke visions of a sprawling estate with rolling hills, a thicket of trees and winding pathways leading to a perfect oasis.  Not every space is created equal, however, so what about people living in urban or city areas who have considerably less real estate to work with?  Even though your property is smaller in size, it can still pack a big punch with a few landscaping ideas from Okanagan Yard Works.

Consider scale.  When designing your layout, think about how the size of your materials will compare to the size of your house and yard.  If, for example, you put a giant pond in your 20 x 50 backyard, it just isn’t going to look right.  You could, however, build in a beautiful water feature like a fountain or waterfall that would fit perfectly into your yard.  Choose trees and shrubbery that won’t crowd your yard, and make sure your patio furniture is scaled to size as well.

Use hardscapes or gardens instead of grass.  If your front lawn is on the petite side, think about using hardscapes like interlock or natural stone, complemented by colourful gardens to replace your lawn.  It can reduce maintenance while also giving the front of your home more curb appeal.

Use colour.  Colour in small spaces really stands out and draws the eye towards your features.  Invest in perennials that add some pop to your yard, as well as trees and shrubbery that have some veining and colour variations to create a little more interest.  Cushions, carpets and even outdoor tiling can tie in with your garden theme for a really polished finish.

Hire a professional.  If you are planning to revamp your outdoor space this year, but need a little help and inspiration get it just right, hire the professionals at Okanagan Yard Works.  We have the skills and experience to help you create the look you are after, and to complete your outdoor remodel exactly the way you want.Call us for a free consultation and see how we can make your small space feel like your own fabulous retreat.

Why Fall is the Perfect Time to Plan your Backyard Makeover!

It’s hard to imagine that summer is over.  The leaves are falling and the air is colder, meaning it will be months before we get out to enjoy our backyards again.  If bidding adieu to your outdoor space until next spring doesn’t make you just a little bit sad, perhaps it’s time to consider a landscape makeover to turn your property into your own summer oasis by next year.

Fall is the perfect time to plan and execute a backyard makeover:

  1. You are using your outdoor space less, so landscapers won’t be in the way of your day to day life.
  2. Landscape professionals are generally less busy in the fall and early winter, so you may have more success with availability than you would in the summer months.
  3. Many bulbs and plants require planting in fall in order to flower in spring – allowing you to have colour and vitality in your gardens from the very beginning of the season.
  4. Complete stonework, retaining walls and structures with plenty of time to allow grass and greenery to grow.

How do I plan my revitalized yard space?

In order to design the perfect outdoor entertainment area, it’s important to think about how you would like to use your yard.  Do you like to have friends over in the afternoons for barbeques, or for late-night cocktails on the patio?  Do you have small children who need space to play, or pets who may damage grass and foliage?  Are you looking for a water feature for ambience or a fire table for sipping hot cocoa on a cool evening?  All of these are important considerations that help to shape the look and feel you are after for your yard.

Armed with your ideas and our expertise, we can help you to design the ideal space to entertain, relax in and enjoy.  We will advise you on feature placement and materials, plant choices and irrigation systems to ensure that your final product is everything you wanted- and more.

Get ready for spring by planning your backyard getaway this fall!  Give us a call to book your free consultation.

Why You Should Invest In An Irrigation System

Many people see an in-ground irrigation system as a luxury reserved for country clubs and golf courses.  The truth is, a good irrigation system can be affordable and cost saving at the same time – all while keeping your yard in perfect condition.

Save Money And The Environment With Water Conservation

Skilled landscapers can design an irrigation system that will deliver just the right amount of water to key areas in your yard.  This means a calculated amount of water to be dispersed at regular intervals, with no waste.  The days of running a hose across the lawn and watering for hours on end are a thing of the past.  Controlling your water usage helps to keep your water bill down while not overusing this valuable resource.

Protect Your Plants With In-ground Sprinklers

We all know plants need water to survive, but too much or too little can be deadly to your lawns and gardens.  Too much water, and the plants can rot and die.  Too little, and they wither away without much hope for recuperation.  A custom sprinkler solution will help to avoid these common gardening mishaps and save on the cost of replacing your beloved perennials.  Give up the arduous task of manual watering, and enjoy the lush, beautiful yard you deserve.

The Pros Know

Expert landscapers know how to get the results you want from your irrigation system.  Whether you live on a sprawling country estate or a modest city lot, you’ll want the right number of sprinkler heads, spaced for optimal benefit and minimal water usage.  We will measure your space, check your water pressure, and develop a unique design suited for your home.

Having your sprinklers professionally installed by an experienced landscaping crew means you are guaranteed to have a system that accounts for high and low areas of your yard, and ensures there are no dry spots or pools of standing water – both of which can damage your lawn.  Leaving it to pros ensures you have a quality product that will function properly, and will last for many years to come.

Excavation Services for Home Owners

Many of our clients are surprised to hear that we offer excavations services for many different home improvement projects.  This is because excavation is more commonly associated with large scale projects and commercial construction.  There are, however, many applications for residential use that will help to make your job more cost effective and efficient, and which will deliver much more consistent results than excavating by hand.

Landscape Clearing

Excavation is a great way to begin your landscaping project.  It allows us to work with a clean slate and to give you the finished look you want for your home.  Through the use of excavation you are no longer limited to the current layout of your yard, but instead can customize your space to suit your personal taste.

  • Shaping earth to accommodate your landscape design
  • Removing debris
  • Clearing any unwanted plants and structures

Driveway Excavation

If you are considering a new driveway or stone pathways in your yard, hiring an excavation expert will help you to get the perfect finish every time.  Whether a gravel drive, a flagstone walkway or a paved parking pad, it’s important to start with a smooth level surface to prevent buckling and heaving that can shorten the lifespan of your investment.

Repairing Foundations

If you live in an older house, chances are you’ll have to have repairs to your foundation at some point or another.  While this is never great news to hear, it’s good to know that you can improve safety and efficiency by hiring an excavation team to get to the root of the problem.

Prepping for Construction

The first step in starting a home renovation or construction project is clearing the land and getting the area ready for the build.  Our expert team is familiar with construction code requirements and will work with your contractor to ensure that your reno moves forward without delay.

  • Digging basements
  • Clearing trees
  • Removing existing structures
  • Demolishing sheds and out buildings
  • Prepping for Pools or Hot Tubs

If you are planning home improvements that require excavation, trust the experienced team at Okanagan Yard Works to deliver quality service and impeccable results.