How to choose a Calgary landscaping company


When it comes to finding a Calgary landscaping company, this can be harder than it sounds.  Just searching online alone will give you nearly 500,000 results.  Trying to navigate through the minefield of web sites that all have fancy pictures along with well-worded text, only leaves you more confused.  All the landscaping companies that you look at, seems as good as the last.

So which landscape company is right for you?

Firstly it is important to know what you’re looking for in a landscaping company so you can use that criteria to find someone.

One way is to take a look around your local neighborhood to see what your options are and what every local landscaping company is offering.  By doing this, you can see what level of quality, different landscaping companies are offering.

Things to look out for:

  • Hardscapes

Does it slope away from the house?

> Any hard surface should always be sloped away from the house as you don’t want surface water sitting up against your foundation.

Are there any low points?

> Low points in brick work can mean puddles in wet weather and ice patches in winter.

> If its an old patio/walkway, it could mean poor prep or installation techniques.

> Driveways can give a telltale sign, which is sunken tracks where the tyres of the vehicle enter the garage everyday. Another sign of poor installation techniques

  • Turf

Is it all green?

> Lawns with yellow or brown spots in them usually mean two things, either theres not enough soil under the turf or there’s poor or no irrigation.

Is it graded nicely?

> Hollows and low points aren’t easy to mow and visually don’t look too nice. You don’t want a lawn that you dread to cut each week.

  • Planting Beds

> Beds that are mounded high usually mean the landscaping company was too lazy to dig them out to add good soil, as its quicker to mound on top of the      existing sub-grade.

> Higher mounded beds make watering plants tough as the water just wants to run away.

> Dead plants are a good give away. This can be number of reasons; poor planting techniques, poor irrigation, poor soil or disease.

> Mulch doesn’t like to stay on steep sloped surfaces.

  • Irrigation

Are the heads equal distance apart?

> From a distance, it can be hard to tell if an irrigation system is installed well or not

> Dead or dying plants and shrubs are a good telltale sign

> Brown spot on the lawn are also signs of poor heads spacing

‘Over’ or ‘under’ watering?

> If the beds smell ‘marshy’ and your foot sinks into the lawn, then it’s a good sign of over watering

> Plants wilting and a brown lawn are signs of a drought

> A river of water in the gutter is another great sign of over watering. No one wants to pay to waste water, even less for a landscaper to waste your water

  • Retaining Walls

Are they sinking or pushing out?

> If the base isn’t prepped properly, then walls have a tendency to sink

> Walls without drainage can sometimes push out and crack due to hydrostatic pressure

> Depending on the type, some walls should also lean back by a certain percentage to help deal with pressure

  • Soil

Is there any good quality soil?

> Turf installed on no soil or poor quality soil will show signs of stress very quickly.

> Is the lawn ‘spongy’ or very thin/thatchy. A good sign of poor soil

> Plants will remain small or have a hard time growing if the soil doesn’t provide them with enough nutrients.

> High clay soil doesn’t take water very easily. This makes watering plants a problem.

> Good high quality soil can be the difference between a sick or a healthy landscape.

  • Mulch

Mulch is decorative as well as functional

> It can help to reduce weeds (as long as you stay on top of it)

 > Fabric under mulch doesn’t work! Mulch should be topped up every few years and turned over every few months. Fabric makes this hard. Also when you are looking to do a top up, turning the old mulch into the soil can help boost the soil for the plants. With Fabric under the mulch,  it makes it impossible to do.

> Mulch won’t stay in place with fabric, and it doesn’t take long after the initial installation, for the fabric to show through and make the bed look untidy.

Creative By Design Landscaping

Building with Quality, Installing with Pride


These are just a few pointers to check when looking at a landscape company’s handiwork. If they claim to be a professional landscaping company, then none of these issues should be occurring.

A professional Calgary landscaping Company should have nothing to hide.

Many Calgary landscaping companies will tell you that a cheaper quote should not be considered. This is usually true, unfortunately living in a city where everything is subject to the ‘Calgary’ Tax, I would look at what they offer before throwing them out.

Unfortunately, a lot of landscaping companies will charge you a fortune and still give you a very below average result.  The focus these days, is about getting the job done quicker and not necessarily  done right.

Asking landscaping companies ‘how’ they install their products , maybe getting a demonstration,  should be another way to weed out poor quality as well.

As a homeowner already paying a premium for landscaping, don’t you at least deserve to have it done right, and for that matter ONCE!

Just because more and more products around us are becoming a throw away commodity, does that mean landscaping should join it.