Luscious Landscapes

Experts from Ispiri Landscaping and Warner’s Outdoor Solutions offer tips for transforming our yards this spring.

Whether homeowners prefer a landscape of clean lines with lush grass and expertly trimmed, regal shrubs, or bright pops of color from rows of flowers, one thing is consistent—a yard is a sanctuary. This is a place to escape from the everyday stress of life and relax with family and friends, or enjoy a moment of solitude, watching the sunrise with a cup of coffee. Experts from Ispiri Landscaping and Warner’s Outdoor Solutions offer some tips on how to create the landscape of our dreams this spring because in Minnesota, enjoying the outdoors to the fullest is what we do best.

A beautiful landscape starts with a solid plan, and spring is the time to start planning. Ryan Warner, president of Warner’s Outdoor Solutions, recommends meeting with a designer to create your ideal space. “Everyone has different taste,” Warner says. “That’s the beauty of meeting with a designer.” In the planning stage, clients can decide what they want out of their yard. “Some people say, ‘I want hummingbirds’ or ‘I love bees,’” Warner says, adding that once the designer knows the needs of the client, they can work with them to create the space, choosing the appropriate plants.
Warner also recommends that clients consider their plant selection and when items will bloom. “Some shrubs bloom in early spring, some late spring, some summer,” he says. “The whole goal is to have continuous color all season long.” Planting annual beds with flowers such as pansies, marigolds or zinnias is a quick and easy way to bring color to a yard. “Create a foot-wide strip and put a bunch of annuals in there,” he says. “Boom, that’s instant color.”

Ispiri landscape design manager Ami Johannson believes that a yard is a reflection of its owner. “Not everyone sees the inside of your home,” she says. “[Landscaping] is your first impression, and the backyard is how you live and how you entertain.”

Over the years, Johannson has worked on a variety of elaborate projects including some with pools and outdoor kitchens. “But some of the ones that sit in my heart really are the ones that are small and cozy,” she says. Johannson also enjoys bringing natural materials into a space including flagstone steppers or a boulder carved like a bird bath, adding that natural elements provide low-maintenance beauty to a space.

Johannson warns clients not to jump the gun as spring arrives. “We never know about the weather,” she says. Johannson recommends planting evergreens to enjoy year-round, filling pots with annuals and keeping the space clean and tidy, stressing the importance of doing regular maintenance to keep the space looking clean.