Nothing beats the relaxation of spending time outdoors — whether you’re puttering in the garden, enjoying a glass of wine on your beautifully designed patio, or creating a room in your house that can actually bring the outdoors indoors all year long.
I consulted three local businesses to give you inspiration to create the outdoor space of your dreams.
Omemee Heights Greenhouses: a 22,000 square foot oasis in the Omemee countryside
Gary McMullen didn’t plan to have one of the largest greenhouses in the Kawarthas. What started as a small hobbyist’s greenhouse built for his wife Beth has become one of the premiere gardening destinations in the region, with 22,000 square feet of annuals, perennials, vegetables, and more.
Officially Omemee Heights Greenhouses (99 Heights Road, Omemee, 705-799-7208) started in 1999, but before then Gary and Beth sold $1 geraniums at their yard sale. Gary’s daughter in law Karin says that these geraniums quickly became very popular.
“The word got out about these geraniums and people started coming and asking for them.”
Soon Gary and Beth found that an 8’x10′ wooden greenhouse wasn’t going to be enough, so Gary expanded.
“Beth liked all kinds of plants. That was her little place to work and I like working on plants too. There wasn’t enough room for us and the plants too, so I built another one.”
Gary built all of the greenhouses with his son Mark, expanding to make room for more plants to grow. Karin says that Gary and Mark were determined to build more.
“The greenhouses kept expanding and Gary’s wife Beth would say ‘OK, no more greenhouses’. So then he and Mark would sneak behind the garage and build another greenhouse.”
With 22,000 square feet, the variety of plants is incredible.
“We have so many different kinds of plants because everyone has their specific interests,” notes Gary. Many of the plants are grown from seeds or cuttings.
“Everything we have here we grow to maturity ourselves. Nothing is shipped in as a final product. When we sell out of something, it’s gone until next year.”
Omemee Heights Greenhouses also specializes in arrangements. Mark is the master of the hanging baskets, a service that has become very popular for weddings and events. Customers will also bring in their own containers and have them planted, but in the busy season they sometimes have to turn people away for this popular service.
I asked the team what plants they would recommend for those just starting to garden. They suggested solenia begonias and dipladenias — two showy flowers that don’t require much care or water.
Even if it’s still a little bit early to plant, Karin encourages people to come by for a visit.
“I always tell people, even if they don’t buy, to come in early just to see what we have and get out of the colder weather. So many things in full bloom. It’s a breath of fresh air just to come in and enjoy.”
Cavan Hills Landscaping makes your outdoor space an inviting extension of your home
Now that spring is here, it’s time to start spending more time outside. Cavan Hills Landscaping offers services you need to make your outdoor space just as inviting as your indoor space: a true extension of your home.
Owner Darcy Beck started the business in 2000. His experience in the field dates back to the mid 1990s. Upon leaving university, he began working in the commercial landscape industry in Vancouver B.C. He has always enjoyed hard work, so in starting his own business he saw an opportunity to combine his work ethic with his creative ability.
Whether you’re looking to create a patio worth spending the summer on, revamp your driveway, enhance your space with armour stone, or create a garden oasis, Cavan Hills Landscaping has the expertise to get the job done right. All of their stone installations come with a three-year written guarantee.
Just because you walk on it doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful
A driveway, walkway or patio isn’t just a practical thing to have: they can be a great way to add low-maintenance design features to your property.
Cavan Hills Landscaping specializes in interlocking stone installations. With contrasting colours and textures, you can really accentuate different areas. Interlock is comparably priced to other outdoor paving options but offers both versatility and flexibility with our Canadian climate. The range of design, colours, and durable finishes are outstanding.
Cavan Hills Landscaping prides themselves on quality and functional front entrance designs. Darcy says “it’s the first place to start in making your home more welcoming”.
Great entrances offer great curb appeal, so it will likely also have a positive impact on the future resale value of your home.
Armour stone is a great option for retaining walls and offers a real design value
Armour stone is essentially large pieces of natural stone or limestone used for landscaping. An affordable option structurally, armour stone is a superior way of stabilizing natural slopes. It also serves as a great natural aesthetic for garden design or front entrances. Cavan Hills Landscaping will also install square cut and rock-faced steps, custom made for each application.
Armour stone also offers a great easy care accent for gardens or landscapes. It can be a place to sit or the perfect foil for your garden plants.
Green spaces that give your yard wow factor
If your yard is looking a little plain, or if you’re just looking for a change, Cavan Hills Landscaping can design a garden that will complement the design of your home.
They offer both two dimensional and three dimensional design options and plant only select material from accredited wholesale nurseries. They also specialize in planting all species and sizes of specimen trees.
Darcy says that the best part of the job is seeing the fruits of their labour.
“The job is very physically demanding, but the sense of satisfaction is high with each visual transformation. Most clients are very aware and appreciative of the effort that goes into creating their outdoor space.”
Locally manufactured sunrooms by Lifestyle Home Products bring the outdoors indoors
Imagine living outdoors every day in comfort. Winter or summer, instead of walls and doors you can watch birds and wildlife living amongst trees and sky. According to Keith Carroll, co-owner of Lifestyle Home Products, that is the beauty of a sunroom.
“With a sunroom you surround yourself with glass. It feels like you’re outdoors but you’re really indoors. Every day feels like you’re outside but you’re protected from the elements. It’s really cool. It’s a different way of living.”
In 1989, brothers Bill and Keith Carroll began selling windows in the GTA. In 1995, they purchased the Sunroom Division from North Star Manufacturing (London) Ltd. Over the next 22 years they expanded, outgrowing the space of three smaller factories in the Durham region. Lifestyle Home Products is now a 150,000 square foot facility located at 944 Crawford Drive in Peterborough. Lifestyle is also known for high quality windows, exterior doors, metal roofing, and awnings.
Local manufacturing stands up to the elements year after year
Local manufacturing does more than keep jobs in our community. Keith explains that making sunrooms in Peterborough allows them to create the kind of quality required for our Canadian climate. Products made elsewhere aren’t designed for the temperature extremes that we experience.
“If you don’t make a product stringent enough for our climate it doesn’t stand up.”
High performance glass and quality materials mean that your sunroom will be comfortable year round.
Manufacturing locally also allows Lifestyle Home Products to ensure the quality of their sunrooms for years to come. Keith wants to make products that last a lifetime, not something that is designed to become defunct.
“People are so used to throwaway items where five or eight years down the road your parts are shot, you just go buy a new one.” That’s not the sort of product that Lifestyle Home Products makes.
“Ours will stand the test of time.”
Four seasons of enjoyment
Lifestyle Home Products offers three types of sunrooms. The Oasis is their most affordable sunroom and is designed for three-season use. The Oasis Plus is a four-season sunroom, made to withstand cold Canadian winters. The Grand Oasis is a full sunroom addition that opens up a wall to provide free flow into your home and four-season enjoyment.
VIDEO: Ontario Sunrooms Video Tour with Lifestyle
Convenient and customized building process
The design and build process offered by Lifestyle Home Products makes installing a sunroom painless.
First a design consultant comes to your home to customize the sunroom to your space according to your specifications. The design consultant works with an engineer to put together plans and get a permit. Then the sunroom of your dreams is manufactured in Peterborough. It takes a week or two to install the sunroom, a much shorter process than a traditional stick-built addition, which Keith says can take months.
The most common feedback Keith hears from customers is that they wish they had taken the leap earlier.
“Most people that buy a sunroom always say the same thing. It’s their favourite room in the house and they wish they would have done it sooner.”
You can learn more about Lifestyle Home Products on their website at lifestylesunrooms.com. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For more information, call 1-800-465-0593 or email email@example.com.