How to Use Christmas Lights to Make the Most of Your Landscape

How to Use Christmas Lights to Make the Most of Your Landscape

With the festive season upon on us, it means decorations will be lighting homes all across the country. As the evenings grow dim, add some holiday cheer to your home while highlighting the best features of your exterior. If you’re curious about how to use Christmas lights to really make the most of your landscape this year, here are a few simple tips to get your home looking festive and inviting this holiday season.

Enhance Your Entranceway

The front door and exterior entranceways are always a key focal part of the home since they naturally draw in your eye. You can easily enhance the look of your front entrance by hanging garland and lights around the door frame or placing miniature potted evergreens with lights on either side of the doorway to create a stunning display to welcome you and your guests.

Illuminate Favourite Features in Your Garden

Got a favourite feature that you’d love to show off in your garden? Whether it’s a Japanese Maple, fiery Winterberry shrubs, Cypress evergreens or other features, you can highlight the best areas throughout your garden by placing spotlights in front to create a soft and sultry glow. This will make those special features pop during the darker evenings while adding some character to your landscape.

Create Holiday Planters

Creating your own festive planters is another great way to get into the holiday spirit while adding splashes of colour to your exterior. Swap your old arrangements with combinations of Red Dogwood, Pussy Willows, sprigs of evergreens, Holly, Birch and any other items that you enjoy looking at. Once they’re arranged to your liking, add small strings of lights to light up your porch when the family arrives for Christmas dinner.

Use Lanterns

Since it’s the darkest time of the year, having some extra light along your steps or walkway can beautify your home while making it safer for walking to and from your front door. And lanterns are always a welcoming addition to any exterior. You can use solar-powered lights, battery-operated ones, or even white Christmas lights bunched up inside of the lanterns to brighten up your steps and walkway once the sun goes down.

This holiday season, use Christmas lights to make the most of your landscape by illuminating your walkways, front entrance, and those special features throughout your garden that add character to your exterior.    

4 Ways to Create the Best Holiday Yard in Your Neighbourhood

4 Ways to Create the Best Holiday Yard in Your Neighbourhood

One of the best parts about the holiday season is seeing the dazzling and colourful decorations light up the dark and dull nights. And it’s always fun to see people really get into the spirit of the season with elaborate and creative displays across their front yards. If you’re eager to make your home stand out this season, here are four ways to create the best holiday yard in your neighbourhood.

Plan Before Getting Started

It’s always helpful to have an idea of how you want your home to look like once it’s all decorated. This also helps keep your final display looking cohesive. So start by thinking of a specific theme. You can choose one by focusing on your favourite aspect of Christmas, whether it’s Santa and his reindeer, a nativity scene, the Grinch, or the classic red, white, and green combinations.

Think About Where to Place Your Lights

Next up, plan our your light display by walking to the curb and taking a few moments to look at your home from a distance. Consider where you’d like to hang your lights and where the best spots are for them to be seen from the street and sidewalk. Lights are a great way to accentuate favourite features of your home and garden. You can place strings of lights in your windows, wrap them around your tree, and place colourful spotlights throughout your garden.

Don’t Be Afraid to Go Bold!

To really create the best holiday yard in your neighbourhood, you need something a little extra that will make people stop and say wow. You could consider a giant inflatable Santa, an electronic reindeer set, holiday-themed music, or doing something fun and unique with your lights. Think outside the box and don’t be afraid to go bold with your decorations.

Light Up Your Walkway

Another simple idea is to use lanterns (battery-operated or solar) and place them along with your walkway or front porch steps. These can instantly make your exterior look magical while also making it easier to get to and from your front doorway.

Add some holiday magic and cheer to your yard this year by taking the time to plan it out first. Consider your theme, placement of lights, and adding something extra special and unique to give it that “wow” factor.

Retaining Wall Upkeep for Colder Weather

Retaining Wall Upkeep for Colder Weather

Retaining walls serve an important purpose — they contain soil and prevent erosion while retaining the difference in the level ground. And, for some properties, they’re installed to simply enhance the aesthetics of the exterior. Either way, performing some regular maintenance is always recommended to prevent any damage from occurring to the wall structure. To get yours ready for the winter, here are some tips for retaining wall upkeep for colder weather.

Inspect Drainage & Repair if Necessary

Whether you have a big retaining wall or a smaller one, having adequate drainage is important. That’s because saturated soil becomes very heavy, and it can place a whole lot of extra weight on the wall. If your wall is old or hasn’t been designed to allow water to percolate and drain through it properly, it can cause the wall to deteriorate. So keep an eye on it regularly.

Check for Excessive Settling

As moisture and soil mix and move, the retaining wall will naturally shift and resettle. However, too much movement can highlight a problem. Inspect it for any low lying areas. If you notice some, dig out the soil and mulch to replace it with new soil or gravel and a wall liner. This will help fix the grading issue and prevent shifting.

Maintain Surrounding Landscape

Believe it or not, your surface treatments, like the grass, vegetation, and ground cover, play an important role in protecting retaining walls. The vegetation helps to capture and absorb water while preventing soil erosion. So keeping your turf in good condition is necessary for protecting your wall. Take a walk through to see what areas could use new sod, seed, and attention to encourage better growth once the spring arrives next year.

Avoid Using Salt or Deicers Near Wall

During the winter, try to avoid placing any salt or deicer on or near the wall as these can damage the surface of it. Avoid piling any snow and salt residue on or near the wall. Instead, redirect it away so it can eventually melt without impact it.

You may not give your retaining wall much thought, but it plays an important role in stabilizing the ground level and landscape around it. To have your wall inspected, or to have your retaining wall upkeep for the cold weather taken care of for you, give us a call! Our team at Grow Green can perform any maintenance or repairs that it may need.

5 Final Steps to Prepare Your Home’s Exterior for Winter

5 Final Steps to Prepare Your Home’s Exterior for Winter

The snow, wind, and ice can cause some serious damage to the outside of your home – especially during our long Canadian winters. Taking time to get it ready and prepared is essential to avoid dealing with any damage and repairs come spring. When it’s time to address that outdoor to-do list, here are some final steps to prepare your home’s exterior for winter.

Put Away Garden Equipment & Protect Plants

Before the first frost arrives, we recommend taking some time to tuck your garden and plants away from the winter. Rake up any leaves so they don’t weigh down and damage your turf or plants. Apply a generous amount of mulch to protect the roots and soil in your garden. Use burlap to wrap and protect any young trees or shrubs from the wind and cold.

Repair Unstable Surfaces

If you have interlock or patio stones along your walkway and steps, now’s the time to replace any crumbling stones or areas that are loose and uneven. Once the ground gets covered in ice and snow, these areas can create potential slip and fall hazards. So it’s a good idea to have them repaired and replaced now.

Pressure Washing

Towards the latter end of fall, before the temperatures dip below freezing, give your patio stones, deck and walkways a good wash with a pressure hose. This will remove any mould, mildew or algae which can cause damage to the surfaces over time.

Drain & Cover Water Features

If you have any water features, these should be drained and turned off well before the temperatures hit the freezing mark. Also, use the appropriate cover recommended by the installer to protect your water features from the heavy snow.

Clean Your Gutters

Once all the leaves have fallen, don’t forget to clean out your gutters! The accumulation of leaves and moisture can end up blocking your eaves trough, which can cause water to pool and freeze. This can end up damaging to the roof, gutter system, and even the foundation of your home.

With the winter in close view, now’s the time to get these final steps done to prepare your home’s exterior for winter. If you’d rather leave your to-do tasks to someone else, give us a call! At Green Grow, we offer landscape, interlock, and maintenance services so you can dedicate your time to what matters and leave the tedious maintenance duties up to us. Call us today!

5 Vital Steps of the Landscaping Project Planning Process

5 Vital Steps of the Landscaping Project Planning Process

Looking to design a beautiful landscaping plan for your home? There’s a lot more to creating an attractive outdoor design than just calling a contractor and picking out plants. Here we’ll show you five vital steps of the landscaping project planning process you should know about before committing.

Creating a Budget

First things first — you need to determine how much you want to spend on your landscaping. When trying to come up with your budget amount, remember that you’ll need to consider the costs to purchase the materials and products, money to pay the landscaping company, and the amounts to cover any of the immediate maintenance needs once completed. Once you’ve come up with a number that you feel comfortable with, the next step will be to sit down with a professional contractor to help you plan out a design that will create your outdoor dream space and fit within your budget.

Meeting with a Designer

The design phase is the most exciting part of the entire process. It’s where you get to work closely with a landscape designer to create your ideal final project. So you’ll first need to research and decide on a company that’s right for you. Once you’ve hired a landscaper, they will come to your home to conduct a site visit and discuss your options. Together, you will create a rough sketch of all the features that will be included, like the location and shaping of the hardscaping, the appropriate materials, and any design considerations regarding the softscaping features.

Designing the Landscaping Plan

Once you’ve decided on the design factors, the landscaping company will conduct a thorough site analysis and complete a detailed plan. During this process, they will measure out the boundaries and examine the environmental factors like the soil type. Then the designer will create a concept plan to show the exact location and size of key hardscape and softscape features, proposed grades for the drainage, and provide material and plant options that will accent your home.

Finalizing the Plans

When you’ve settled on the style and design of the concept plan, a master plan will then be finalized to include all the elements and features discussed and approved by you. You’ll find that each item will be properly labelled to include the appropriate sizes and the elevations. This plan will operate as the working draft for your landscaping design and is what the construction crew will use to create your outdoor oasis.

Construction Phase

The construction phase is where the landscaping company brings your design plan to life. During this process, any demolition of unwanted structures and surfaces will be completed. Proper grading and installation will be tackled during this phase too. Once the hardscape elements have been installed, then the planting and softscaping will begin.

As this process nears completion, the landscaping team will test any systems like the low voltage lighting, and perform a final cleaning and walkthrough to ensure everything has been done just right. If there is anything that needs adjusting or changing, it will be completed before you can step out and enjoy your yard.

When you’re ready to get your landscaping project planning process started, contact us at Grow Green. Our team of experts will answer any of your questions and provide a comprehensive estimate to get you started.

Landscaping Should Only Be Done by Professionals — Here's Why

Landscaping Should Only Be Done by Professionals — Here’s Why

Taking on a landscaping project yourself doesn’t always go as planned. And what you had envisioned can quickly end up turning out much differently if you’re not experienced or really know what you’re doing. When you’re considering upgrading your outdoor space, we recommend that the landscaping should only be done by professionals. Here’s why.

It’s Never as Simple as You Think

Landscaping is much more complicated than planting flowers and adding some stones throughout your yard. It takes careful planning and a number of detailed calculations. Plus, there are a number of other factors that you need to think about for your home’s landscaping plan, such as what materials will stand up to your climate, what plants are right for your area and design, proper drainage, elevation changes and much more. When you hire a trained professional, you can rest assured knowing that you’ll be getting professional workmanship with the experience to create the vision that you want.

It’s Extremely Time Consuming

If you’re like most people with have a hectic schedule, you likely don’t have the time it requires to design, install, and maintain a landscaping plan. With a professional team on your side, all you have to do is select the design and features you like and then sit back and watch as the work gets completed for you. You don’t have to spend countless hours figuring out all the technical stuff yourself or fixing costly mistakes that you make along the way. With a landscaping professional you will get the work done right the first time, within budget, and as quickly as possible.

It Requires Special Tools and Products

Each landscaping project requires a large number of products and tools to get started. It’s best to leave it to the pros who will have everything they need, including the correct tools, equipment and materials to get the job done efficiently.

It’s Difficult to Predict a Budget

Unless you’re a landscaping professional, it’s incredibly tough to predict your budget when starting a large-scale landscaping project. You’ll also spend a lot of time trying to price things out, comparing product rates from different stores. This is another good reason why landscaping should only be done by professionals since an expert will have contracts in place to get the best prices and will know how to stay within your budget.

Don’t get stuck with a half-done project, call us at Grow Green today! We’re the landscaping experts that can tackle any type of design for your yard. You can count on us to perform professional, quality work on time and on budget. Contact us today to learn more.

retaining wall landscaping feature

These are our 5 Favourite Outdoor Features

Fed up of looking out at your lifeless backyard? Looking to do a little something different to your outdoor space this season? We have just what you need! Whether you want to polish up your yard with some new interlock stones, add a unique focal feature to your poolscape, or enhance the ambience to make your landscape look more inviting, here are a few of our favourite outdoor features that can do the trick.

Interlock Pool Patios

Are you tired of the wobbly, faded, or cracked pavement around your pool? Having an unattractive pool surround can detract from your entire backyard. But interlocking stone can easily fix that. Interlock for your pool patio is the perfect way to add intricate and attractive detailing that can transform your yard. It’s also the easiest way to keep your pool deck safer (with a slip-proof surface).

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landscaping shrubs

Hardscaping vs. Landscaping — What’s the Difference?

Not sure what the difference is between hardscaping and landscaping? Although these two design elements are required for a fully functional landscape, they are entirely different in nature. To understand how to blend them together to create an attractive and inviting backyard, we’ll show you what distinguishes each element and how they can be combined to create the perfect outdoor oasis.


Hardscaping refers to the non-living elements that are solid and unchanging throughout your landscape like the interlocking walkways and patios, the retaining walls, pool patios, stone waterfalls and fountains, asphalt, lighting, and pool features. Hardscape is often used to gain extra livable space in your yard and to accent all of your natural features. This is what landscapers start with to create the boundaries, overall shape, and artistic design of your yard.

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our top 5 benefits of a full fledged landscaping renovation

Our Top 5 Benefits of a Full-Fledged Landscaping Renovation

Are you tired of having to upgrade or maintain a portion of your landscape each year? One year it’s the patio stones, the next it’s the retaining wall, then the pool area and no matter how much work you put into it, it can feel impossible to keep up and achieve that polished looking yard that you’ve been dreaming of. If this sounds familiar, then it might be time to engage in a full-fledged landscaping renovation.

Starting fresh can improve the overall appearance of your property and reduce the hassle of constant repair and maintenance that takes away from your precious summer weekends. To help you decide if this is the right option for you, check out our top five benefits of a full-fledged landscaping renovation for your home exterior.

Save Time

Do you spend a majority of your summer fixing up your hardscape elements or re-designing a damaged garden after a hard winter? If you have an outdated landscape design, chances are you’ll need to spend a significant amount of time and money trying to fix it up year after year. Instead, save yourself the effort and get the entire landscape improved in one go so you can finally just sit back and enjoy it.

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5 things to look for in your next landscaping contractor

5 Things to Look for in Your Next Landscaping Contractor

Hiring a landscaper is the best way to improve your home’s exterior without having to dedicate your summer weekends to doing it all by yourself. But before you sign on the dotted line, it’s important to understand what you both want and need. Asking the right questions can make all the difference in helping you avoid any costly regrets. When it’s time to find a contractor to makeover your property, here are a few things to look for.

Check the Cost

Of course, one of the main items that homeowners are predominantly concerned about before they consider hiring a landscaping contractor is the cost. Having a contractor that meets your budget is important. That being said, choosing the lowest price is not always the best solution. “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” It is also important to feel comfortable and have a real relationship with your contractor.

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