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Edmonton’s Top 2023 Landscaping Trends from Greentree's Landscape Designers

Updated: Mar 9

custom built green wall
Custom Built Green Wall

Calling all Edmonton homeowners in need of landscaping inspiration! With the help from Greentree Outdoor Living’s experienced Landscape Designers, we present three landscaping trends we’ll be seeing in 2023.

1. Feature Walls and Vertical Gardens

Implementing privacy in your yard is trending this year. Landscape Designer Dylan Margolis explains your various options for feature walls:

Recently, I've noticed how both green walls and privacy screens are becoming more sought after in residential landscapes. Oftentimes, homeowners will want to increase the level of privacy within their yards, allowing for a more personal oasis to be formed. These desires are oftentimes resolved by the implementation of a simple natural screen in the form of trees or shrubs. However, many other options can be explored!

Whether it be a green wall crafted out of Douglas Fir and housing a number of unique and resilient plants to create an artificially natural barrier or a handcrafted privacy screen featuring a modern wood finish and perhaps even the implementation of a couple of black aluminum screens to add a modern touch, these walls can be implemented anywhere from directly beside your deck or patio, to specified locations with the intention of blocking undesired views either out of or towards your property. Oftentimes, these structures can even be modified to allow the installation of a pergola roof overhead, offering an additional layer of cover that can even be surfaced with a poly membrane to shelter you from the elements.

The diversity in these options is a reflection of the desired design one might have for their yard, as these walls can be installed with as much detail as one may desire! We utilize Douglas Fir for our outdoor carpentry needs, which is a resilient wood ideal for our climate. This means that the maintenance required will be negligible, dependent on if you choose to stain the wood or leave it in its natural glory.

In summary, these walls are becoming more prevalent in landscapes every year, and with heightened interest in the construction of these walls, we are able to continue experimenting and creating more diverse and personalized options tailored to each individual landscape. If creating another level of privacy in your yard is something you have been thinking about doing, don't hesitate to reach out and start the planning process!

Additionally, our Landscape Designer Ryan Smith remarked that vertical planting could maximize your space:

Gardeners are always finding ways to make the most out of their limited spaces. One popular way to do this? Vertical gardening. This method has been popular for some time now but has seen a resurgence due to concerns about how small spaces can be maximized. Vertical gardening is also a great way to create privacy in space. Sure, fences and decorative screens can help enclose a space, but more people are choosing plants to achieve privacy instead. By planting vertically, individuals can create screening partitions using rolling shelves, pergolas, trellises, hanging baskets, planter boxes, fence-mounted containers, or pouches. This type of natural partition will look like part of the landscape and won't detract from the surrounding environment.

2. Dry Creeks

Margolis described dry creeks and noted how popular they are becoming:

A dry creek is a collection of boulders, stones, and perennial grasses installed with the intention of crafting a "false creek" down your property. These dry creeks are primarily installed as a landscape feature and not a water feature, as they are intended to resemble a creek rather than act as one. I say primarily because there are other options that permit the creek to house a steady stream that will run down the length to a collection basin at the end. These creeks are certainly aesthetic; however, they do require more maintenance as well as additional materials such as water pumps, irrigation systems, and pond liners will all be required (among other materials). Typically, when these wet creeks are installed, they will house a water bubbler at the highest point of elevation, which will act as the initial water source to feed said stream, with a connection from the bottom of the creek to the top to move the water underground.

These creeks are installed in two primary designs, which simply alter the physical appearance of said creek. These designs are a Mountain Style Creek vs. a River Style Creek. The difference is relatively straightforward, as the creeks are designed to match their natural counterparts. A Mountain style creek will utilize Rundle Rock and Limestone to create a dark grey/grey jagged appearance similar to that of the mountains in Creston Valley, B.C. The River style creek houses more rounded, colorful stones, which include Creekstone, which is a light brown rounded stone, and Montana Rainbow rock which is also rounded but comes in a number of attractive colors.

Oftentimes these creeks are installed based on the flora present in the area. The mountain-style creeks tend to look best when accented with evergreen shrubs and trees such as spruce, pines, and junipers, which all complement the grey rocks with their attractive dark green foliage. River-style creeks tend to be the opposite, however, as the variety in colors is oftentimes made more appealing when surrounded by colorful flowering shrubs or other deciduous plantings.

The number of creeks I designed and installed last year nearly tripled that of the previous year's numbers, which speaks for itself in terms of how popular these guys are becoming! Should you be interested in installing a new dry creek or even being able to visualize a 3D rendering of your property with said creek attached, please don't hesitate to reach out, and we can start planning today!

3. Using Natural Materials

Let’s take a look at what Smith had to say about using natural materials in your garden, specifically stone pathways:

As interest in creating calm and relaxing spaces has increased, more people are turning to natural materials for unique garden accents. Stone pathways have been particularly popular among homeowners seeking an eco-friendly solution, as they look beautiful and add value to a property. This low-maintenance approach helps to create the feel of a cottage while breaking up an otherwise solid lawn area with added interest. Broken stones are also trending, along with items such as asymmetrical boulders and slabs.

Take Advantage of Our Designers’ Insight

Margolis and Smith both graduated from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, where they gained valuable experience in design and construction. We’d ask you to trust their creative eyes, but we’d rather you decide for yourself. In fact, Margolis is committed to collaborating on ideas with homeowners, and Smith is constantly looking for new and exciting ways to approach design while still achieving timelessness.

To recap, feature walls, vertical planting, dry creeks, and natural materials are trending in Alberta this year. So, call Greentree Outdoor Living or fill out our form to bring these designs to life in your residential outdoor area.

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