Documents: Special Interest: Organically Minded:

How to Completely Transform Your Green Space
by Carol Trehearn
August 17, 2021

Green spaces in a city need to be more than grass and perfectly cultivated hedges. They can be wild, they can be beautiful, and they can take you right out of the city and into a natural oasis that is all your own. You can add features like a dining area, or a fire pit, or even solar energy, and still have that stunning oasis to call your own.

Transforming your green space is all about considering the lifestyle you can lead with it, and how you can work with the power of nature, rather than trying to meticulously control it.

Forget Grass

Grass lawns that are not meant for sports or for hundreds of kids to play on are a vanity project. They take a lot of water to keep green, and offer very little benefit for the environment. There is a growing trend amongst landscapers to move away from grass. If it is used, it is used minimally to offer a small lounging spot while the rest is filled with wildlife that brings in bees, birds, and other essential bugs.

Grow Wild

Wildflower fields, forests – if Canada has anything, it is stunning natural sites. You can have your own right in your own backyard if you take a page from English gardens and consider how you can cultivate a wild garden. This does not mean allowing weeds to grow everywhere, but to instead minimize the control you have over your space and allow nature to grow in beautifully and naturally.

Invest in a Vegetable (and Fruit) Garden

Something that many people are moving towards is gardening. Growing fruits and vegetables of their own is something that is great for both their physical and their mental health. It is a whole movement, and it can be truly beautiful.

Going for multiple species works to reduce the necessity of things like pesticide, and, in the case of fruit plants, essential to produce fruit. Learning how food is grown, and understanding the hard work that goes into it, can also help everyone and society as a whole better appreciate our food chains.

These gardens can also look stunning in the home. You can add a greenhouse, create custom garden beds and use fruit trees to decorate your landscaping while providing your family with rich, delicious food.

Always Choose Native Species

Invasive species can be very detrimental to the natural ecosystem. If that is not the case, then they simply are not suited for the area and end up dying more often than not anyway. It is best to stick with native species. There are many beautiful options, and some are not going to be commonly found in garden nurseries either.

By choosing native species you can help support the ecosystem and enjoy the natural wonders of the area that you live. They also tend to survive much better and are typically far cheaper than investing in foreign plant species.

Consider Green Energy

There are so many ways that you can reduce the footprint of your home, but one of the best ways is by investing in a green energy solution. Adding solar panels either to your roof, or even to your land if you have enough of it, can help you save an average of $90 per month.

In most cases there are also incentives to add solar panels. In Canada you will have multiple provincial/territorial credits you can choose from, and even a few local programs that will help you get a solar panel in your home.

In the United States you have even more options. You can get two tax credits from a Custom Solar and Leisure solar panel system. The first is a federal tax credit, which will allow you to save 26% of the cost of your solar panels. The second is a state tax credit. In some states, this can be an additional $1000 off the cost of your solar panels.

Make Your Space an Oasis

You want to be able to sit amongst your efforts and enjoy them. Adding a patio, a dining area, and even a veranda can help you do this. Invest in romantic lighting. Invest in outdoor cooking. You can do so much even with a small space, especially when you think vertically. Having plants in planters or pots that hang from your fence or climbing up a trellis on your veranda can encompass you, block out neighbours and noise, and give you a beautiful space to enjoy throughout the year.

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