Seeking a happier home? Ask someone with a green thumb

Commissioning a qualified landscaper is sure-fire way to improve the appeal and property value of your home

Robin Brunet  •  Postmedia Content Works

Just as a gourmet meal can be let down by bad wine, a beautiful home can be compromised by a boring front or backyard. “And that has financial consequences,” says Josh Timmermans, partner at 2Elements Landscaping Ltd. in Vancouver. “Studies show that enhancing a landscape can impact property value by five to 15 per cent, regardless of the size of the lot.”

Unfortunately, the green spaces of many homes are treated as an afterthought, and it’s not uncommon for developers to use the earth dug up by excavators as top soil — which, due to the earth’s heavy density and poor drainage, often leads to plant failure.

As co-founder of a growing company that handles eight or so residential projects monthly, Timmermans spends a lot of time dispelling misconceptions about landscaping. “First and foremost, effective landscaping can be created and easily maintained even in the tiniest of lots with minimal sun exposure,” he says. “Also, it doesn’t take a long time to transform a front or backyard, and it isn’t necessarily expensive — certainly less expensive than installing pavers, a patio and other hardscape items. Plus, a beautiful green landscape is attractive and has been shown to improve homeowners’ mood and sense of wellness.”

Beyond helping us de-stress, some studies suggest having plants in the home enhances memory and concentration, plus improves air quality — all noteworthy benefits with individuals spending an increasing amount of time indoors.

Finding a skilled landscaper who can fulfill diverse needs is easier than one might think. “The simplest thing to do is contact the BC Landscape and Nursery Association or PlantSomethingBC,” says Timmermans. “Both venues have membership lists of talented landscaping members and, equally important, what type of landscaping they specialize in.

“Conversely, I personally would avoid companies without an online presence. Good landscapers typically build their business by word of mouth and having an online presence, and some companies are offline because they don’t want to risk getting bad reviews for sub-standard work.”

PlantSomethingBC, supported by the British Columbia Landscape and Nursery Association, encourages new and experienced gardeners to buy locally grown plants and discover the benefits of greenery.

Once a landscaper with a solid portfolio, good communication skills and a penchant for punctuality is selected, the homeowner can have fun deciding what form the landscaping might take. “The big trend these days is sustainability,” says Timmermans. “Instead of high maintenance lawns, many clients are seeking lawn alternatives. Raised garden beds are very popular, and we get many requests for native plantings.

“But even if you don’t have any idea what to do with your existing green space, we can envision a range of choices. From planting islands and simple shrubs to more elaborate layouts, a lot of options are available, and all of them will enhance your home investment — and improve the quality of your home life.”

To connect with a qualified landscaper or learn more about how plants can contribute to a healthier and happier lifestyle, visit

This project is supported by the BC Government’s Buy BC Partnership Program; delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC with funding from the Government of British Columbia.

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of British Columbia Landscape and Nursery Association.