COCHRANE— Of all the ways that COVID-19 has impacted our lives, the need for accessible outdoor spaces in which to recreate and socialize has been one of the most in-demand desires to arise in the face of the pandemic.
“A lot of people are looking for patio spaces, fire pits. This year being a year of COVID again, people want an area that they can have a couple of people over and safely distance and socialize,” said Cooper Leary, Vice President of CLS Landscape Supply in Cochrane. “Our business doubled last year, and we’re on track to maybe do more than that this year. It is insane, the landscaping business is Absolutely one of the busiest industries that you’ll find during COVID.”
Leary said he believes people are trying to replace what they would have found on vacations and during travel— Beautiful outdoor spaces where they can relax, eat and sip a glass of wine.
Instead, they are bringing those spaces to their backyards.
“Your home is an investment and landscaping is part of that investment,” he said.
Roughly 90 per cent of the quotes he has looked at, Leary said, include patio spaces, AstroTurf or grade management, as Cochrane has a lot of neighbourhoods on hills.
Artificial turf, he said, is another trend that has been big with homeowners over the past few years.
“You literally never have to cut it, and it’s green as soon as the snow is off of it. It is purely a maintenance play. It’s got other benefits but I find most people are like, ‘you know what, I’m sick of trying to keep my grass looking good,’” he said. “We’re doing more turf this year than we’ve ever done.”
He said turf is also great in terms of return on investment, as it has a typical lifespan of about 15 years.
The benefits of landscaping your property, Leary said, usually fit into two major groups. Adding value to your property, either financial or the increased potential to enjoy your space, or managing the functionality of your yard and containing mud and a loose dirt, which could become problematic if left alone.
“It could be for, a lot of people like the term, extending your living space. When you buy a home, like a single-family home, you’re buying a full piece of property and a lot of people don’t realize the value of all that other space you have that you can utilize by taking the indoors outdoors,” he said.
The customers of CLS Landscape Supply also split along the lines of do-it-yourselfers and people who want professionals to undertake the projects.
Hiring the professionals means you will be enlisting people who will put best building practices into their work, and get the job done quickly.
“What we can do in a week to two weeks might take someone an entire summer to do. Not to mention a lot of our products are very, very heavy,” Leary said. “It’s heavy work and not everybody wants to do that kind of work.”
CLS Landscape’s peak season is between May 1 and Oct. 31 every year, although they do work outside of those times as well.
To get a quote for a project, or to find out more about the service, visit clslandscapesupply.com, or call 403-239-0600.