Friday
Jul172015

West Coast Modernscape Landscapers in Vancouver - Website Updates to Come!

Although our current landscaping website has had a good run, we have decided to give it a refresh to reflect our business model; a model that is cutting edge.

Check back in a few weeks to view our new updates!


In the meantime, please feel free to check out and follow us on Twitter!
https://twitter.com/wcmodernscape


Don’t forget to also check out our landscaping YouTube channel at:
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCC6yuKXRXpexlXP6QoZ3fhQ

Are you in the Vancouver area and looking to have some landscaping work completed? It isn’t too late.  WestCoastModernscape.com is still booking appointments.  Our landscaping bookings typically go through to the end of November.  Keep in mind that the days are gradually getting shorter and our crew is not able to work in the dark so it is better to book sooner than later.

Want to see some of our recent landscaping images in the meantime? Check us out at:
http://www.westcoastmodernscape.com/gallery/

We look forward to hearing from you!

West Coast Modernscape Landscapers of Vancouver
(604) 780-6304

Tuesday
Jul072015

It’s Only the Beginning of Summer and West Coast Modernscape Landscaping (www.westcoastmodernscape.com) Have Already Transformed Numerous Yards in the Greater Vancouver Area Since Early Spring!

Spring arrived early in the Vancouver, BC area and with it arrived; West Coast Modernscape Landscapers.  With the incredible weather they have been ripping out decks, pulling out shrubs and transforming yards with new concrete driveways, patios and decks and of course water features galore to create amazing landscaping master pieces.  

Ray Evenson, owner and operator of West Coast Modernscape Landscaping mentions “we have never seen such an incredible start to our year in the last 25 years!  This weather has been absolutely unbelievable providing many huge landscaping jobs across the city!”

Evenson’s landscaping crew have been busy non-stop since the end of February and have been booked solid with large scale landscaping projects, many of which include completely replacing entire front and back yards.  “People want to be able to use their outdoor space as much as possible.  We extend their living space to be able to enjoy their outdoor living with patios, hot-tubs, fire tables and water features” continued Evenson.

Rays landscaping crew also specialize in new concrete driveways, with 3 massive ones replaced already this year, some with the incorporation of grass between concrete slabs.  Evenson encourages people to check out their updated landscaping gallery on their website at: http://www.westcoastmodernscape.com/gallery/

If you are looking to transform your back yard to enjoy the rest of the summer, West Coast Modernscape Landscaping is still accepting appointments with most significant size projects taking between 2 – 3 weeks, depending on the detail. 

About West Coast Modernscape Landscaping

West Coast Modernscape (WestCoastModernScape.com), one of Vancouver’s premier landscaping businesses have been catering to homes and business owners in the lower mainland for over 3 decades.  Specializing in all aspects of landscaping including decks, patios, concrete driveways and paving stones we create an outdoor living space that reflects your more casual side.  As an award winning custom mason with over 30 years of landscaping experience, the team specializes in creating residential and commercial outdoor living spaces that incorporate first class, cutting edge materials and workmanship into every landscaping project.

Monday
May112015

Landscaping is More Than Just Concrete Driveways, Retaining Walls and Fountains - What About Lawn Maintenance?

One of the biggest parts of landscaping for most people is the lawn.  The lawn, aside from significant hardscape work, like a waterfall or concrete driveway is one of the largest components in landscaping that can stand out.  So you will want to make sure you look after it well.

Being a landscaping company in the Vancouver area, West Coast Modernscape Landscaping recognizes our springs can be damp with unpredictable weather.  That being said, there should be plenty of opportunity to get out and look after your lawn as early as possible.  Neglecting your spring lawn care could cost you down the road into summer and fall.  That being said, it does not entail nearly the amount of work that you’ll have to put in mowing your grass through the summer. 

The first part of looking after your lawn this spring is raking.  We are not talking about the same type of raking you performed in the fall (with the leaves), we are talking about controlling thatch.  For those that are not familiar with what thatch is, this is the build-up of grass (or blades of grass) from the previous summer which can promote something called ‘snow mold’. New grass may also experience difficulties growing through thick thatch.

Next up, you will want to check the compaction of your grass.  If it or the soil is fairly compact, you will want to look at investing in an aerator.  This will allow oxygen to get into the ground and also help free things up to grow better.

After aeration, depending on how much moss you have, you may want to apply a moss killer.  It is ideal to apply on a cloudy day just before a light rain.  Applying during a hot period can also kill your grass.

Once you have aerated, liming is a good idea to help neutralize the acidity of the soil.  Acidity is promoted by the presence of moss.  Typically you will want to use a spreader to apply the lime. 

Once you have limed, if you have light patches, or patches where there is no grass, you will want to over seed.  When you over seed, you will want to make sure that your evening lows do not go below 10 degrees Celsius or the grass will not grow.

Typically after over seeding, you would want to fertilize, however you might want to wait a little while after you have over seeded to avoid killing any of the seeds.

A couple of good rules of thumb include not fertilizing when you have a long hot dry spell coming up.  Typically, you want to fertilize when the weather is cool or overcast with rain in the forecast.  This will avoid burning the lawn.  You will also want to make sure your spreader does not ‘dump’ excess fertilizer on the ground upon start up or you could be in for some nasty burn spots. 

Your grass is one of the premium places for your landscaping and you want to ensure it looks fantastic.  Other parts of your landscaping you may also want to tend to are power washing any concrete driveways or retaining walls. 

At West Coast Modernscape Landscaping, we help you with your initial landscaping project to get things just as you would love to see them (concrete driveways, retaining walls, water features, new lawn, etc.), however we also like to see our customers maintain their new landscaping so they may enjoy it for years down the road, which is why we publish some of this type of information. 

If you would like us to write about something in particular to help you with your landscaping maintenance, we would love to hear from you! Check out our landscaping gallery here.

West Coast Modernscape Landscaping.

Wednesday
Apr152015

Spring Landscaping and Gardening Tips from West Coast Modernscape Landscaping of Vancouver.

Being a Vancouver based landscaping company; we continually receive questions and requests about certain aspects of one’s garden.  Although we are more focused on the landscaping, hardscape aspect of the business, we believe that providing tips and information about a garden can go a long way with current and future customers.

Spring is here, and gardeners & landscapers are eager to dig in. Let’s get right to some tips to help you.

Landscaping/Gardening Tip #1 – When you’re finished your morning coffee; don’t throw those coffee grindings away.  Were you aware that plants can also benefit from coffee?  Instead of throwing them away, dig them into the soil.  This will help your garden wonderfully.  Some landscaping companies or gardeners will use them like a fertilizer; others may use them like mulch.  The coffee grounds will also act like an excellent deterrent against unwanted pests like snails and slugs.  They have a reputation for being a defense strategy within a garden.

Landscaping/Gardening Tip #2 – When you start to reach the end of summer, let some of your plants grow to seed.  This is an excellent way to save the following year on the cost of purchasing new seeds.

Landscaping/Gardening Tip #3 – When it comes to weeds in your garden; we always look to the most environmentally friendly option available. This holds particularly true if you have kids.  So what is an easy inexpensive solution? Vinegar!  This is natures natural weed killer. So dig through your cupboard and see if you have any white vinegar that may have passed ‘expiry’.

Landscaping/Gardening Tip #4 – As a premier landscaping company in the Vancouver area, we have seen our share of creative DIY planters.  Depending on the style of your landscaping may depend on what we are about to mention will suit your appeal.  How about an old pair of rain boots? You could easily turn them into characterful planters.  When you think about it, if it is a receptacle and it looks good, why not use it! 

Landscaping/GardeningTip #5 – Did you know that there are many bugs and insects that cannot stand the smell of marigolds?  Go figure.  A natural insect repellent that looks great in the garden and looks good in almost any landscaped area!  Have a vegetable garden? Plant a few in the vicinity as well to keep the parasites away.

Landscaping/Gardening Tip #6 – Save those kitchen scraps!  Hold off on throwing out your old veggie peelings, you could be binning next year’s carrot crop! Did you know that a number of vegetables will actually root if they are held or suspended above a shallow dish of water?  This would include celery sticks, sweet potato slices and even carrot tops!  Give it a try!

Although West Coast Modernscape Landscaping is primarily involved in just the landscaping and hardscaping within the Vancouver area, we receive enough questions to warrant putting some helpful information together for our visitors.  Share this with a neighbour, share it with a friend and don’t forget to visit our website at: http://www.westcoastmodernscape.com

Wednesday
Apr152015

The First Step: The Importance of a building Permit

Now that spring has sprung, we, at West Coast Modernscape, want to make sure that everything is ready to go. Before any landscaping can start, it is important to remember the basics… a building permit. Building permits are an important first step in any job, since your outdoor living space is an extension of your home.  

Thursday
Apr092015

West Coast Modernscape Landscaping - Rays Own Landscaping Transformation

The Project
At West Coast Modernscape landscaping, we transform imagination into reality. If you are looking for an upgrade, in the process of coming up with creative ideas or trying to get a picture of what something unique like stamped concrete, segmented concrete driveways or even infinity edge pools will look like in real life, then you will soon be able to drop by the house of West Coast Modernscape landscaping’s owner, Ray Evenson, to take a look and see all of your dream concepts implemented in his yard.

Ray has begun transforming his house using techniques to highlight his skill set, including water features, custom glass railings, irrigation systems, decorative concrete and underground trampolines, to create a beautiful, family friendly yard and a show home for his impressive talent. Even though his own North Vancouver landscaping project is still underway, you can already see the beauty and design of the final product.

Front Yard
The plan for the front yard sounds as beautiful as it is going to look. A vivid green lawn, extending from the segmented concrete driveway filled with artificial turf to the custom cedar fencing, will be split by decorative concrete stepping stones extending from a cascading water feature in the middle of the yard to three small waterfalls and a fish pond up against the front of the house. Glass trimming will be running around the bottom of all the water features and there will even be some stamped concrete on display! The front of the house will feature upright glass panels looking in on a staircase with custom glass railings. Although it is not as obvious, West Coast Modernscape Lanscaping has also installed a complete irrigation system and custom outdoor lighting. This front yard will be a combination of West Coast Modernscape’s amazing workman ship and design.

Back yard
Imagine an infinity edge pool and an underground trampoline in your own backyard. Would that not complete all you childhood dreams? At West Coast Modernscape Landscaping, we love to make dreams come true and in this case, Ray is doing just that for his daughter. Soon, she will be able to go outside, jump through the water jets on her trampoline and swim in her double infinity edge pool with a waterfall splashing around her. It will be her personal mini paradise. It may not be obvious to her, but it is West Coast Modernscape’s custom irrigation system that allows all of this fun to happen. Parents can definitely have their fun on trampolines and in pools but they get their own treats as well. There is nothing like a quiet evening spent in your outdoor living area, sitting on your deck by a lovely fire table. If you would like to get a taste of our custom workmanship, then you will soon be able to drop by and look around.

Visit our website at: http://www.westcoastmodernscape.com

Tuesday
Apr072015

West Coast Modernscape's New Showhome Part 1: Introducing the Project

At West Coast Modernscape we transform imagination into reality. If you are looking for an upgrade, in the process of coming up with creative ideas or trying to get a picture of what something unique like stamped concrete, segmented concrete driveways or even infinity edge pools will look like in real life, then you will soon be able to drop by the house of West Coast Modernscape’s owner, Ray Evenson, to take a look and see all of your dream concepts implemented in his yard. Ray has begun transforming his house using techniques to highlight his skill set, including water features, custom glass railings, irrigation systems, decorative concrete and underground trampolines, to create a beautiful, family friendly yard and a show home for his impressive talent. Even though the project is still underway, you can already see the beauty and design of the final product.



Tuesday
Mar312015

West Coast Modernscape Landscapers Talk About Fire Ants, an Emerging Problem for Gardners and Landscapers in the Vancouver Area.

They are pesky and they sting.  We are talking about the European fire ant.  They are also known as the bane of landscapers and gardeners across Metro Vancouver with their numbers surging with a vengeance in the summer of 2012.  

The name “fire ant” is a common terminology for several ant species in the genus Solenopsis.  This particular species is a minority within the genus that include in excess of 200 species of Solenopsis around the world.  The Solenopsis ants sting and most of their common names represent this.  

Fire ants typically enjoy feeding on young plants and seeds. They often attack small animals with the ability to kill them.  The difference between fire ants and other ants is that the fire ant will bite to get a grip and then sting while injecting a toxic alkaloid venom. This is why we always recommend gloves to anyone doing any type of landscaping.

This sting can be painful to humans, which is why we recommend excellent coverage while working through your landscaping or gardening.  We also recommend boots that are taped at the top.  The sensation from the sting is similar to that of a burn. If you do receive a sting from a fire ant while landscaping or gardening, medical attention is strongly recommended.

These ants are particularly pesky because of their ability to withstand extreme conditions and are more aggressive than most native species of ants.  In prolonged extreme conditions, because they do not hibernate, they can parish.

When you are working on your landscaping; keep an eye out for these pests.  Fire ants typically are red in nature and have 3 separate parts to their body.  They like to nest in the soil in moist areas which may include river banks, damp lawns or ponds.  West Coast Modernscape Landscaping is extra aware of these conditions as a number of our landscaping jobs are represented on the north shore, which fit many of these conditions.  Nests of fire ants are typically not visible as they are usually built under objects like timber, logs or even bricks.  If cover is not available, dome-shaped mounds are constructed which may be found in the open.  Some of these areas may include fields or parks.  

We always recommend when doing your own landscaping or gardening to make a mental note when working around bricks, working on concrete driveways or even carrying wood.  You never know what may be crawling down that 2x4 you are carrying over your shoulder.  We further recommend checking any materials that you may be bringing onto the property.  This includes plants or even stepping stones as this is how the ants travel.  Once infested, the ants can spread over multiple city blocks.

Although the ants may have been in existence within British Columbia for upward of the last 15 years, provincial biologists only became aware of the ants around 2010.   As quoted in an article from the Vancouver sun, (http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Gardeners+uncle+European+fire+ants+return+force/8631625/story.html) “The fire ant is likely arriving ‘through landscaping plants and the movement of contaminated soil. This argues for increased education to all affected stakeholders, including the landscaping industry’”, which is why we have shared this information for those looking into landscaping and gardening this spring.

Nests may sometimes be destroyed through early detection which can prevent widespread incidences.  

West Coast Modernscape (WestCoastModernScape.com), a local Vancouver landscaping company has been catering to home and business owners in the lower mainland for over three decades.  Specializing in all aspects of landscaping and hardscape including decks, patios, concrete driveways and paving stones we create outdoor living space that reflects your more casual side.  As an award winning custom mason with over 30 years of experience, the team specializes in creating residential and commercial outdoor living space that incorporates first class, cutting edge materials and workmanship.

More information on the fire any may be found over at WikiPedia, here: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_ant)



Friday
Mar202015

West Coast Modernscape Landscaping Advises on Preparing Your Garden for Spring.

Living in a damp, colder climate like Vancouver can bring the excitement of getting back to the outdoors and of course you’re garden, at the first sign of spring. Typically, in the North Vancouver area which receives more rainfall than average, getting outside to inspect your landscaping usually involves a lot of moss.

Here are a few spring landscaping tips to set you on the path to a beautiful garden for spring and summer.

FERTZLIZATING: Not all of your plants require fertilizing all of the time.  This choice should be made based on the nutritional requirements of the soil, plants and grass.  First find out what your soil needs are by testing the soil.

Not all soils are equal and some require more nutrients of one kind than another may require.  Determine what fertilizer will fulfill the requirements of your soil.  If you’re fertilizing grass, find out the best time of year for your grass variety.  A common belief is that all varieties of grass should be fertilized in spring.  This is not necessarily true.  Depending on the variety you are using, fall may be a more conducive time.  For some varieties, June is ideal.

When you do use a fertilizer for your grass, make sure you use one with a ‘controlled release’.  This will minimize losses to the environment while increasing nutrient absorption into the soil.  Sometimes the introduction of organic materials may improve the condition of your soil.

Before you fertilize, ensure that you have read the label and fully understand the manufacturer’s information.  Make sure you also know the size of your lawn to determine how much fertilizer to use.  If you use too much and are in a warm period, you could destroy or burn your grass.  Using to little will not create the results you are looking for, or create a condition called ‘thin turf’.

TREES, BUSHES & SHRUB FERTILIZING: Before you look to apply any type of mulch to your garden, you may want to check to see if any trees or shrubs require any fertilizing.  This may include your rhododendrons.

CONTROL OF WEEDS: If you are looking to apply a pre-emergent weed control for pesky weeds like crabgrass, spring is typically an excellent time for this application.  How can you tell when the timing is perfect?  Look for when forsythia is in full bloom.  This is general a good indication for timing.  

BARK MULCH: Once you have fertilized and cleaned away any debris, branches or leaves, you may want to put down some mulch to dress up and make your garden look tidy and complete.  It also smells wonderful.  When applying mulch you will want to clear most of what was their previously, away.  When you apply the new mulch, keep it under 1” thick and do not let it touch tree trunks.  Never let it accumulate to more than 2.5” in thickness.  Mulch is an excellent way to help retain soil moisture while keeping roots cool in the hot of summer.  It also acts as an excellent insulator in the winter months.

TREE & SHRUB INSPECTION:  Depending on your location and what type of snowfall your winter presented can depend on how well your shrubs or small trees may have fared.  Typically with heavier snowfall come damaged shrubs, small trees and bushes.  If you find any that are broken, be sure to prune them or alternatively have a professional look at them if they may need to be removed.


SOIL TESTING:  Have you ever tested your soil?  Most people haven’t.  This is something that you may want to consider every few years.  You may want to have this performed by a professional lawn care or landscaping company.  Alternatively inquire with your local gardening centre for soil test kits.

PLANT BEDS: A reason why some people may leave leaves that fall in the fall is to create a little bit of insulation to prevent damage from frost or cold.  Come April, this may be a good time to look to remove the old leaves and look to prune back any dead branches and clean up any edging around the beds with an edging tool.

IRRIGATION SYSTEMS: Irrigation systems are now a popular choice with most modern landscaping.  When temperatures dip below the freezing mark, depending on how low they dip and for how long can depend on whether this may affect irrigation systems.  When the weather is no longer dipping below freezing for the season, make sure you turn it back on and do a full check to make sure it is working optimally and that there are no leaks.    Don’t forget to ‘blow the system out’ in the fall so there is no water buildup which can potentially cause ice dams or leaks.

OUTDOOR LANDSCAPE LIGHTING: Many homes now have outdoor lighting.  Again, depending on how much lighting you included in your landscaping project can depend on what your maintenance may look like.  Typically with landscaping lighting, lights will burn out and connections where the lights connect may need some attention or cleaning.  Depending on the level of snow in your area will depend on potential outdoor lighting repairs.  Sometimes the snow can move free standing lights, which may need to be re-adjusted.  

Having a landscaping business like West Coast Modernscape Landscapers create your dream is one thing, maintaining the work is something else.  We post these tips and information for you so that you can enjoy your landscaping to the fullest extent.  If you are considering a landscaping project and not sure where to start, give us a call and we can work with you to create your dream yard.

Wednesday
Mar112015

What Should you do When you Want a Professional but Money is Really Tight? West Coast Modernscape Landscaping Offers a few Money Saving Tips for Spring. 

Before you venture out and take that sledge hammer to that old rickety retaining wall you may want to talk with us about some hardscape work to give you a hand up with the ‘heavy lifting’.  After all, we have access to the heavy equipment combined with disposal resources to get the job done quickly and efficiently.  This will further provide you a starting point for the rest of your landscaping plans.  It also provides you the option of taking your time to plan where you want your plants, shrubs or trees to go, plus give you the flexibility to plant in stages. 

West Coast Modernscape Landscaping has come in, ripped out the old, put in some new retaining walls, new deck or patio or even some stone paths.  Now the rest is up to you to put the finishing touches on. 

Before you go to town on purchasing all sorts of plants, shrubs and trees, you may want to ensure you have a plan in place of what will go where.  This is important and you can save yourself money in the long run.  Take a look at our recent post on some landscaping tips

Depending on what your landscape budget is, you may want to split up the buying into phases; particularly if you are looking for larger trees.

Cheaper is not always better. Make sure you do your research.  Given how economics of scale come into play, some home improvement warehouses may offer extremely low prices for particular items like lumber and common plants.  However with the quantity they are required to purchase does not provide them the flexibility to offer a vast selection or offer quality control.  If you are a novice and you purchase through a specialty shop, the staff usually have a higher level of expertise where they may offer advice to help you with your decision.  Specialty shops typically offer a better guarantee too. 

  A rule of thumb is that it is good to accept cheaper when it is good enough.  This means there are some products that the difference in quality is very little.  An example I can share is when a friend was re-doing his landscaping and wanted a tree removed.  He had received 3 separate quotes which came in at $800, $1300 and $1500. All had insurance. All said they would leave the wood at the front of the house. The difference between them was the first individual was what we call a ‘weekend warrior’ (does this type of work part-time) looking for a few extra dollars that had experience doing this for the last 10 years. The other two were ‘bigger businesses with a name behind them that spend more on marketing’.  The reality is, you are taking down a tree, not putting up drywall and mudding where you are paying for something to look great.  It is removing a tree; how much can you mess this up? 

In closing, having a professional to do the hardscape for your landscaping is always beneficial as it provides a solid foundation for you to be creative.  Always plan everything out and make sure you have done your research for what plants, greenery etc. you want in your garden and you will be sure to have something to enjoy for the rest of the year.

Contact West Coast Modernscape Landscaping in Vancouver at (604) 780-6304 to see how we can help you with your initial start.