I just love this time of year, when the white, grey and black of a long winter are replaced with the greenery and vibrant colours of spring. As the city awakens from the cold, we are starting to see the fabulous landscaping around our condominiums come to life – and what a beautiful picture it is!

Toronto is known as a cosmopolitan city with an abundance of greenery, and it’s true. Just drive along any of our highways, and you can see for yourself how much parkland there is – and residents make great use of these glorious spaces. Our condominium developers bow to this appreciation for nature by designing lovely landscaping to frame our buildings.

Let’s face it – just as a condominium lobby is like the living room in a low-rise home, the landscaping around a condo is essentially the front lawn that creates an immediate impression for those walking by, driving by or entering the building. These plantings offer a restful, soft component to the concrete, steel and glass of these stunning buildings.

Architecture is a form of art, and landscape architects are truly artists in their own right. Their contribution to condominium design results in beauty, and landscaping enhances the value of condominium suite owners’ financial and lifestyle investment. Landscape architects choose plant material carefully so that the shrubs, trees and flowers flourish in appropriate light/shade conditions and maximize the visual effect.

They work their magic on many levels. Some condos feature ground-level courtyards with lovely landscaped areas complete park benches, barbecues, trellises or any number of other scenic touches that invite owners to enjoy a coffee and morning paper surrounded by greenery, or meet friends for a chat. Taking the concept higher, outdoor terraces are extremely popular. These landscaped areas often feature barbecues, reflecting pools, swimming pools, hot tubs and/or other highlights. Some even have a sunbathing deck and cabanas for an exceptional outdoor experience.

Going up even more, the green roof is something that has gained tremendous appeal, especially with the environmental consciousness prevalent in today’s real estate scene. Green roofs are beautiful to look at and eco friendly, while offering a cosy place to barbecue with friends and dine alfresco amid nature and fabulous city views.

Many of today’s suite owners also create their own personal natural oases on their balconies and terraces with lush container gardens. Garden centres carry every shape, size, colour and pattern of container imaginable, so suite owners can express their personality in the outdoor extension of their living space, just as they do with their interior décor.

It’s spring … if you live in a condo, get growing!