About Us

A certified, professional landscape design company

 
 

Specialty Gardens is a certified professional landscape design company...

...that has been providing professional landscape design and horticultural consulting services since 1989. We have provided environmentally sensitive design solutions in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan and our work continues to be distinctive, individual to the client’s needs, and unique in detail.

Specialty Gardens caters to homeowners, developers, architects, municipalities, and community leaders to devise sustainable and beautiful landscapes that strive to enhance existing features; architectural or otherwise. Your completed project and landscape spaces tell a story, it is who you are and what is meaningful to you. Your creative ideas, interests and preferences are paramount. Our designers interpret your wish lists and incorporate these thoughts into a plan that will address your priorities and dreams.

At Specialty Gardens, our thoughtful design process is built around several main principles:

  • Consider function before form; this means that each design decision must have a purpose and must be defensible. Aesthetics are vital to good design but mean very little if the plan does not work with the other aspects of the project like positive drainage and pedestrian flow.
  • Consider the style, architecture, and age of the home and neighborhood being designed around. Remember that the design must appeal to the client’s specific taste but also to the masses if ever they decide to sell.
  • Consider ease of maintenance; we assume that most people have more enjoyable things to do than weed-eat, let’s make that machine go away forever. We will suggest you use natural materials in your gardens that do not require complicated or expensive upkeep.
  • Consider using plant material that is native to the area or has proven to be tolerant to our climatic conditions. Use the correct plant for the location. We are plant material experts! Just ask us.
  • Consider environmental sustainability and be a better steward of the land. Use permeable materials to keep water from running off the property. Design rain gardens to collect runoff from hard surfaces and use plant material that is drought tolerant.
  • Consider the rest of the ecosystem. There are healthier alternatives to pesticides; the easiest ones are biological controls or growing plants that do not support the pests and diseases we are constantly fighting.

In the spring of 2012, Specialty Gardens expanded to include horticultural garden maintenance and planting to our clients. We employ landscape gardeners trained to spot potential issues before they become problematic, and are invested in the health and beauty of your garden from the soil through the entire plant system. Our professionals are trained in botany and weed science and understand the biology of plants and what they require to flourish.

Our maintenance regime includes the correct fertilizer where needed and any removal of insect/disease infested plant material. Insecticidal soap may be applied, but the use of harsh chemicals is not encouraged. Weeds will be removed; plants will be staked if required and light pruning will be done if needed. This service has become very popular since its inception, and we look forward to providing more opportunities for beautifully maintained gardens within our community.

Specialty Gardens has been a certified member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers since 2003, and has achieved ‘Permanently Certified’ status. Other societies we belong to that provide important contributions to our ongoing education include The Botanical Society of America, The North American Native Plants Society, The American Society of Plant Taxonomists, The Weed Science Society of America, Alberta Invasive Species, and the Alberta Horticultural Association.

 
 
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Annette Vierling, APLD

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