Mumtaz Mirza is the owner of Tazscapes, a landscaping company in Calgary, Canada. He specialises in adding outdoor settings to peoples homes, as well as creating natural looking scenery for rural homes. He works with both gardens and ornamental features.
Mumtaz, how did you get involved in landscape design?
I studied Landscape Design and Architecture at the University of Manitoba, Canada and received a Masters degree in it. I love creating unique outdoor spaces that accentuate the natural elements of an environment thus enhancing people’s lives.
What is the difference between rural and urban or suburban landscaping?
Rural landscaping often looks at incorporating the natural landscape it exists in, for example, native trees, or vast views. This often means using a “natural” elements such as rock walls for retaining walls or sporadic planting methods.
Urban landscaping has recently really focused on the more contemporary design concepts. These are often rectilinear in design and much “cleaner” in that they use modern elements such as polished stone or granite surfaces. In terms of landscaping, many hardscaping products such as paving stones and retaining walls have adhered to the market.
Are there specific challenges that come from working in Calgary?
The weather is obviously the big one. We essentially live where there is snow for 6 months of the year – thus it’s often challenging for clients to spend money on a backyard they would use for only 6 months of the year.
Do you have to worry about outdoor water features freezing in winter?
Not at all. Our pond building experts have comprehensive ways to ensure the water is properly set up for winter with installation methods that are more than capable to handle our climate.
What are the most common landscaping requests people have?
Many of our clients want something they can really enjoy. I tell my clients to turn their backyard into their own personal island. Invest in their lifestyle and show them ways to do so once I understand their day to day needs. This often includes destination points for cooking, dining, lounging and play.
What would you recommend as a feature to add a difference to people’s homes?
I always tell my clients to think about their sensory perceptions. Sight, sound, etc. I have found over several years of being in this business three things that really enhance those perceptions are: light, fire and water. They bring an astonishing change to the landscape.
Do you need a big backyard to make landscaping worth it?
Not at all. I’ve done beautiful design and build projects in some of the smallest yards. You can check out our website for these examples in our portfolio!