“I’m the president and principal landscape designer for Earthworm Landscape Design Company in Edmonton, and we do on-site garden consultations in which we draw plans for people at their kitchen table in about 2-3 hours.

When we first started, we started out doing computer drawings for residential plans. That started out at roughly at $800 and some of them would end up around $1,200-1,400, which included about three visits to the home.

It was essentially overkill. So we finally decided that we can go into a home, spend that two and a half or three hours and end up with a quality product, and it seems to work really, really well.

Trees near roadways are known to calm traffic, resulting in speed reductions of 10-20 km/h.

We’ve increased our business by probably 30% a year since we’ve started, so it’s definitely been steadily increasing. As we’ve been fine tuning the process and getting rid of all that computer stuff, and we are actually making more money.

Our clients want things like low maintenance, and then in the same breath they’ll say “I want a pond”, but we do the best we can to make a fabulous garden for them but have as low maintenance as possible.

Some of the accents and features that people are looking for would be things like water features, statuary, big rocks, boulders, and bubbling rocks. Anything that makes movement and noise seems to be really appealing for people.

Attractive landscaping can increase the value of a home by an average of 7.5%.

We’re designing lots of pegodas, gazebos, lots of built-in fire pits as well as built-in BBQs, so people are building outdoor kitchens. And front years are being used a lot more, so we’re doing things like courtyards in the front yards.

So it’s becoming really fun to design outside, because it’s not just trees and shrubs anymore, they’re treating it like outdoor rooms that match the rooms in your house almost.”