Photography: Patrick Gervais
As winter sets in, most Quebecers hunker down and their thoughts turn to the cold months ahead. They’re certainly not thinking about their gardens.
That’s a big mistake, says Johanne Filion, director of landscaping for Services Paysagers Dominique Filion, the South Shore-based landscape-design company she has been operating with her son for some 22 years.
“Autumn is the optimal time to start planning your garden,” she says. “We do all measurements before it snows and draw the designs during the winter. It’s a calm moment to do the planning, when it’s not rushed.”
And then, when things start to bud in the spring, you’re ready to start!
Filion says most people start thinking of their garden plans in the spring and by then it’s often too late because it’s so difficult to book the companies to do the work.
The advantage of starting the preparations in the autumn and early winter, she says, is that the landscapers can still walk through the garden and get a feel for the space; then the appropriate plans can be drawn up and the bookings can be made for the spring. This is the best way to ensure the job will be completed in a timely fashion. “It’s a great time to walk in the garden and see what the possibilities are,” Filion says.
With our hotter summers, she adds, swimming pools have become more popular than ever, and a lot of planning is involved to get the landscaping around them just right. As well, people really want outdoor living rooms and kitchens to extend their living and entertaining space. These are all trends that require careful planning.
Another important new trend is lighting. Whether it’s fairy lights in the trees for a magical ambience or the proper lighting for al fresco dining, putting careful thought into the best lighting to meet a client’s needs is another aspect of landscape architecture that requires advance planning, Filion says.
Before you put on your winter tires or buy a new down-filled coat, she adds, take a look at your garden and don’t delay if this is the year you want to create the lush and comfortable outdoor space you’ve been dreaming about. •
Services Paysagers Dominique Filion
13 Rue Principale, Saint-Basile-le-Grand