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A New Year, a New Landscaping Business? Tips to Help You Get Started

The big lesson we learned in 2020 is that, when forced to stay home, the good people of Peel region turn to their landscapers to create their ideal environment.

As a result, last year was a steady year for many landscaping businesses, so it’s no surprise that, for 2021, many of enterprising souls plan to start their own landscaping business.

Landscapers are the heart-blood of Toemar; they always have been, and with over 40 years working with landscapers and hardscapers under our belt, we’d like to think we’ve learned a thing or two about the anatomy of a successful landscaping business.

Before we begin, it’s worth saying that this industry is on the grow. There is lots of room for new companies! We can speak to this anecdotally of course; last year was off the charts in terms of demand (even if the situation meant we couldn’t always be open), but the years before Covid also saw incremental growth and an influx or new landscaping companies, the vast majority of them successful.

The numbers also prove the point. Landscaping in Canada is an $8bn (USD) industry. It employs upwards of 70k people across the country, and it’s egalitarian and diverse: No one company owns more than 5% of overall market share (as small business owners ourselves, we love this stat.)

Landscaping growth tends to follow housing industry growth and is therefore concentrated in certain places – Mississauga and the GTA being one of them.

Just because the external conditions may be right to start a landscaping business, what we’ve found is that it’s the internal conditions – your skill set, aptitude and attitude, that are the real driver of success.

There’s a wonderful quote from Bruce Pon Tip (founder of Toronto-based G Adventures (formerly Gap Adventures)) who said back in 2010, “If the economy isn’t good, you need to make your own economy.”

Ladies and gentlemen: This is 100% true, and while Bruce delivers the line quite nicely, we’ve been living it at Toemar since the day we opened our doors.

Beyond good equipment and a reliable pickup truck or two, here’s what you really need to run a successful landscaping business.

1. Willingness to Learn

No matter how much you think you know, there’s always more to learn.

In our industry, all our tradespeople work side by side and need to understand each other’s function. If you’re redesigning your client’s backyard, you must understand the physics of hardscaping, the science of horticulture and aboriculture, and the art of making those realities support your client’s vision.

This doesn’t mean you have to become an expert in all these things, but it’s important to create relationships with complementary tradespeople, and at least have a basic understanding of why you may need to call on them and what they can do for you/your client.

This often requires business owners to put their ego aside and be open to what other experts have to say, even if it may impact their project. When you’re working in the field, this is easier said than done, which is why an open-minded attitude comes in handy.

2. Support Your Team

A landscaping company will rise or fall according to the quality of its team.

If you’re lucky enough to find talented support staff, you must know how to effectively and respectfully communicate your expectations, while supporting their growth and development.

Personnel issues are going to come up. How will you handle them?

And there will be times when you will be blindsided because your team’s perspective is so far off from what you thought it was, or what you thought you’d communicated, that you will, at times, wonder if you’re living in a parallel universe.

As a business owner, it’s up to you to bridge that gap in understanding. It’s also up to you to take responsibility for how you communicate.

Something we’ve learned at Toemar is that, if someone is not receiving the message the way we’d intended it, the issue is with how it’s being communicated. So the issue is with us, not with the employee or the client or whomever.

It’s easy to blame the other person when something you’ve communicated is misinterpreted, but it’s a mistake that could cost you the trust of your team and respect of your employees. And always remember: In this industry, your team will make or break you.

3. Understand the Value of Client Relationships (Marketing)

The above header is synonymous with ‘know how to market your business’.

We didn’t want to write that because people may talk themselves out of starting their business because they think they don’t know how to market, but the foundation of marketing is simple: Build solid relationships with your clients, so that they know you, like you and trust you.

If you can do that without over-complicating it, you’re half-way there.

Speaking of complicated, having attractive social media is important to a degree. You will need a way to showcase the work your team has completed and the good results people have when they choose your company for their landscaping, but our advice is not worry about social media for now, and to focus your preliminary marketing efforts on two things:

  1. Invest in a decent website that contains lots of pretty pictures of work you’ve done and an easy-to-use contact form that includes a ‘referred by’ field
  2. Get to know your clients. Do a good job for them. Ask them for referrals. Do a good job for those referral clients. Ask them for referrals.

This is a one-two marketing punch. Your website makes it easier for your clients to refer their friends and neighbours to you. Your strong relationships with these clients will make them want to refer people to you using your website.

(And aside: Write into your contract that you will take before and after pictures of your client’s property and use these for marketing purposes. Then, take those pictures and show them to every single lead.)

Some new businesses may opt to rely on a social media account to replace the need to have a website. While this practice can yield results and be affordable, there are a few issues we see with it.

First, it’s never a good idea to build your house on someone else’s property. As your business grows, you may want more flexibility to scale your business, and your chosen network may limit you.

Second, all social media users are beholden to the terms of use of their chosen platform, and most of those terms of use are written clear as mud. If you or an employee or contractor you’ve hired to manage your social media accidentally violates those terms, your account can be suspended or banned. It doesn’t matter how much money or time you’ve spent developing it, it can disappear overnight.

This is why, in the first year or two, we think it makes sense to invest your money in your own website, and to spend your time networking, and then, if you have the resources, add social media to the mix.

4. Get a Handle on Contracts and Money

Contracts

Never, ever, ever-ever, do work without a contract.

Look, we understand that the idea of hiring a lawyer to write a 45-page document in legalease can feel like a crime against humanity, but rest assured – that kind of contract is probably overkill anyhow.

What is necessary is a statement of work, or a scope document. We recommend you keep this down to a page or two, write your terms in simple English, and make sure you’re specific about what your team is responsible for, and what are additional billable services that are not covered in the initial scope of work. It can sometimes be hard to control scope-creep, but you can control whether or not you get compensated for it.

Also be clear about your payment terms and any guarantees you may offer, and promise the client that you will not embark on additional billable services without informing them and seeking their consent. There should never be a suprise on an invoice (unless it’s a good surprise for your client!)

If you don’t want to include pages and pages of terms in your statement of work, but you feel the need to include them, you can always post them online, provide the url in the statement of work, and have a check box that client has visited that url and read those terms in full.

Finally, make sure your statement of work has a dated sign-off for both you and your client.

Make it easy for clients to pay

Most landscapers need to invest in materials before starting a project, but if you have to wait two weeks  after you’ve begun your project to get the first payment, you’re going to run into serious cash flow issues.

Our advice is to a) be clear about terms (see above) and b) set up a merchant account so that all your clients have to do is provide a credit card number at the get-go, and you can do the rest.

It may sometimes be necessary to call a client who is behind on payments, and that can be awkward as anything. Our advice? Use the term ‘money conversation.’

For example, you can say to them, “Hi John. I’d like to have a money conversation with you, can we do that?” This is allows the other person to mentally prepare, and it empowers a frank and effective conversation about money, while separating that conversation out from small talk and other conversations.

Hire a bookkeeper

When you’re a business owner, its up to you to find, mind, and grind the business.

Hiring a bookkeeper is an affordable way to keep your books and invoicing up to date and shipshape  while freeing up much of your time.

An affordable virtual assistant who is also a bookkeeper is worth their weight in gold and will do more to free up your time and help you run your business in those first few years than most other functions.

This will not only assist with cashflow, but it will also mean that, should your name be drawn for a CRA audit, your books will be available, accurate and up to date. The less stress the better!

Be Proud of What You’re Doing

Look man, if it were easy, everybody would have a corner office.

What you’re doing is hard work. It takes courage and resilience. You’re going to trip, learn and succeed, in that order. But it IS a trip, and a good one too.

When you decide to open your own business, you are choosing to take control of your own destiny and finances, you are choosing to claim your own space in this world, and you are empowering others to reach their goals and provide for their families.

Sure, it’s not always easy, but it’s rewarding, and it’s always a bit of thrill to tell someone that you run your own business. And there’s one thing that’s even better than that: That feeling at the end of a day, on the last day of a project, when your team has done an amazing job, and you take a moment to look at what you’ve done. A happy client, a happy team, and a brilliant outcome. You did that, my friend. Kudos to you.

Stats:

https://www.ibisworld.com/canada/market-research-reports/landscaping-services-industry/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/899045/revenue-of-landscaping-services-in-canada/

How To Create Privacy In Your Garden

As the poet Robert Frost said: “Good fences make good neighbors.” We like to say: “Privacy makes GREAT neighbours.”

We’re not talking about building an English style walled garden with a secret doorway—though that would be lovely! When we say privacy, we’re talking about ways you can create spaces in your suburban backyard that go beyond standard fences.

Many neighbourhoods in Mississauga and beyond are designed in rows of two story, single family homes. That means that unless you’re at the end of a row, you’ve got neighbours who can see into your backyard on three sides. Your ideas around creating a private backyard oasis will be marred slightly if every time you sit out, you can see your neighbour in their bathroom, looking back at you!

In other words, fences will only get you so far: you need some other garden creations to create some legitimate privacy for yourself and your family.

Assess The Space You Have To Work With

Your first step in creating some privacy is deciding where you want it most and where it makes sense for your garden. Depending on the size of your garden, which way it faces and how much sun you get, there are different ways you can proceed.

Toemar has a handy checklist you can use before starting any project.

For A Small Garden, A Great Option Is A Living Wall

When you don’t have a lot of space for garden beds or even potted plants, creating a vertical garden, known as a living wall, will help you get some plants growing AND create some privacy. This is also a great option if you live in a condo or apartment to separate your patio from your neighbour’s side.

Planting edibles and perennials that bloom throughout the season in a vertical garden is ideal use of the space, while still giving in to your green thumb. If you place it in such a way that the plants get the sun they need, you can then create a space for yourself in the shade beside it! Add a simple shade awning, using your wall as an anchor, and you’ve got a little private space to lay on the chaise and snooze on a sunny, summer afternoon.

A Pergola With Vines, For Shade And Privacy

If you have more space in the garden, it’s nice to create a patch where you can set up seating or a dining table, to really enjoy your outdoor space to the maximum, without ruining the sight lines in your garden.

A pergola set up on a deck or on some flagstone can be enhanced with flowering vines, or even grape vines, grown through the lattice like “roof”, so that you have shade and privacy in one natural looking setting.

This can also be a perfect set up if you have a hot tub, to ensure that you can sit and soak without being peeped at.

A Gazebo Can Give You Privacy And Bug Protection

With the solid roof of a gazebo, you can eliminate the second floor viewings of your lunch spread as well as create a decent amount of shade. If you set up your gazebo on the corner of a deck, adding lattice on two sides can help create even more privacy.

The other advantage to a gazebo is the ability to add netting and a door, which makes dining al fresco more enjoyable, and an evening drink with fairy lights decorating the ceiling will be mosquito free.

Outdoor Curtains

You’ve probably seen people who have added gauzy, flowing curtains to the sides of their porches, giving them more privacy while still letting the breeze flow through. You can take that same idea to your backyard by adding them to your pergola or gazebo, if you have a side that is particularly exposed to the view of others.

If you don’t have the space for a pergola, another option to leverage the beauty and privacy of flowing curtains is to create moveable frames for them: this way, you can put them where you want in the garden, in effect creating a privacy wall, and you can move it around if you want to, depending on the position of the sun.

Lattice And Vines Keep A Balcony Cool And Private

If you have a small deck or balcony that you don’t use because of the way you are on display when you sit there, a simple fix is to add lattice with climbing vines intertwined throughout, positioned on the sides where you have the most ‘visibility’. The light still comes through but you can sit out and enjoy your morning coffee in peace, with a little shade to protect you from the heat of the sun.

For A Large Yard, Plant Some Trees

It’s a solution that takes time to grow up, but if you have a good sized yard, a large, leafy deciduous tree or two  will help create shade and privacy throughout the spring and summer months. The only downside is the raking you’ll have to do come fall, but jumping in leaf piles is a time honoured tradition worth preserving!

However you create your space, always be mindful of what you want to use it for and how much space you have to work with. The winter is a great time to start planning for next spring, so that by summer, you’re able to enjoy your backyard to the fullest.

Tips For Landscaping Around Your Hot Tub

Hot tub sales are through the roof these days, and with so many of us spending more time at home, it’s no wonder. Retailers are hard pressed to keep up with the demand these days. One of the reasons is that, unlike swimming pools, you can make use of the steamy waters of your hot tub year round.

If you’ve got a tub already or are getting one installed, you need to consider the landscape that will surround it, when it comes to positioning and views. It’s important that the immediate area around your hot tub be clean and safe, but it doesn’t have to be concrete and ugly!

After all, a hot tub in the backyard becomes a focal point just by virtue of its size so a little bit of planning and design will make it stand out in the right ways.

Consider Your Positioning

If you haven’t already installed your hot tub, consider the positioning of it from a couple of perspectives:

  • How far is it from the back door? If you’re going to have to shovel out a long path in the snow to get to it, you might decide it isn’t worth the effort, in January. To get maximum use of the tub, it should be within a reasonable proximity from the back door of your home for an easy dash!
  • Avoid placing it in the middle of your yard: it will become TOO MUCH of a focal point. Hot tubs integrate best into the landscape if they are more off to the side.
  • Covered or not? Many people choose to put a hot tub under a gazebo or overhanging deck, in order to provide some privacy and also to protect the area around it, to make it easier to access in all weather.
  • Look at the view. Unlike a swimming pool, where you are more often swimming laps or just fooling around, a lot of time in the hot tub is spent sitting back, relaxing and looking outwards. So what will you be looking at? The compost pile and garbage cans or a beautiful wall of blooms and grasses?
  • Consider who will be viewing you while you’re in the tub. By placing it near a privacy wall, or in a spot where you can create privacy, you can avoid your nosy neighbour peeping over their fence at you while you’re trying to relax!

Walkways Around The Hot Tub

Some people choose to integrate their hot tub into their deck, so while the tub is still above ground, you walk into it, as you would a pool. It’s pleasing to the eye but it’s a bigger project. If that’s not in the cards, it’s important to consider what the pool will be set on and what will surround it.

Cement, interlocking pavers, flagstone or stone tiling, are just a few options for walkways and areas around your tub. The pavers are a superb way to create pathways to and around the hot tub, allowing space to get around it for cleaning and maintenance, as well as making a clear path to have access even in the winter. Durable and easy to install, pavers don’t require mortar, so they make a good economical option too. Different colours and shapes are available, which allow you to design a hot tub area that matches your style.

You can also consider landscaping around the hot tub, with tall grasses, bushes and so forth, which have the added advantage of creating some privacy. After all, your enjoyment of an evening soak might be dashed a little if your neighbours are able to peer over at you!

Landscaping And Hardscaping Around The Hot Tub

If you’re planning on having trees near your tub, look to species that will not ‘shed’ a lot of leaves and branches into the hot tub. Even though you’ll use a cover when it’s not in operation, it can still rain a lot of leaves from the time you set up to get in and when you exit your tub! You also don’t want trees with root structures that could impact the flat surface you have created for your hot tub.

All that said, having some foliage can create a little shade, which makes your tub usable even in the midst of a fully sunny day, as well as to create a windbreak and some privacy for your enjoyment of the tub. With both of these functions in mind, evergreens are a good, low maintenance option.

If you want more plants and colour around your hot tub, container gardens, set at different levels are a good choice: you can move them if you need to but they can also be set at different heights for a variety of a view.

The types of trees, flowers and plants that you choose should be consistent with your hardiness zone: recreating the tropical paradise from your last vacation might be the goal, but the reality is that you can’t plant palm trees in Mississauga. You can, however, use a textural mixture of stone, rock, garden pots, grasses and shrubbery to create a truly luxurious ambiance.

Container gardens around your hot tub will also allow it to blend into the landscape more, rather than standing out. It really depends on the look you’re going for, but this type of landscaping will still give you the access you need to maintain and protect your hot tub, all year round.

Blending the materials from the rest of your garden design into your hot tub design is the best way to keep flow and a cohesive look. For example, if your garden patio is made up of elegant stone, you want to keep that up around your hot tub. Most hot tubs are set up on a concrete pad, to ensure they stay level, but there’s nothing preventing you from integrating the same stone from your patio right up to the level of the pad, to keep it out of sight.

Other Considerations

Lighting around the hot tub is an important consideration: you don’t want a spotlight on you while you’re in it, but you need to be able to get to it safely, any time of the day or night. After all, a late soak after a long day might be just what the doctor ordered, but not if you trip on the way to the tub and hurt yourself!

However you design the space around your hot tub, make sure that the maintenance panel is accessible at all times, whether through a trap door section of the deck or enough space around the tub, particularly near that panel. You don’t want to have to tear apart your design so repairs can be made!

With all these tips in mind, you can get to planning the ideal hot tub escape to enjoy for years to come.

Decorating With An Autumnal Theme

Whether you’re into Halloween, or just like a little fall decor, there are some fun, kid-friendly ways to jazz up your curb appeal.

Even though trick-or-treating might not be on the ‘to do’ list this year for your family, there’s nothing wrong with decorating your home’s exterior and garden with a little ambiance.

Autumnal Wreaths

There’s no reason you have to limit your wreath creativity for your door and / or windows to the Christmas holiday season. You can use vine branch bases and hot glue on a variety of fall’s natural decorations, to create the perfect wreath. Leaves of all different colours interwoven with acorns, pine cones and a little greenery would look beautiful. It’s a creation that everyone can help with, by finding the perfect leaves and extras.

If you prefer something spooky for Halloween, look no further than your local dollar store for little ghosts, pumpkins, bats and witches to add to a neutral wreath. Imagine a wreath made up entirely of glowing, googly eyeballs? You can even add battery operated LED lights, for a little extra glow.

Floral Delights

There are some flowers that scream autumn, and will add that splash of colour that you might already be craving, as the nights get longer. Chrysanthemums, for example, are ideal this time of year, in pots or in your garden beds, as they add vibrant, natural colour to your design. Other options:

  • Marigolds
  • Peonies
  • Hostas
  • Daylilies
  • Daisies
  • Grasses
  • Ornamental pepper plants

Basically anything in shades or red, orange or yellow will go a long way to setting the autumn scene! If you’re planters are sitting empty right now, you can always take some branches and put them in, either all natural or painted with black, white, silver or gold. Add some pretend cobwebs or a fake crow, if you want to add a little spooky to your look!

Decorate Your Front Garden Trees Or Bushes

The trees that are losing their leaves and the bushes that are settling down for winter make the perfect canvas against which to add some seasonal decorations:

  • Foam cutouts of bats, witches, cats hanging from your tree will blow around with the wind and look fun in the proces.
  • Make ghosts with old pieces of white sheets or cheese cloth, cut into squares, filled with leaves you raked up, tied and a face drawn or pasted on. In a few steps, you’ve got wispy, floating ghosts to hang in your tree.
  • Add some spooky to your bushes by taking the cardboard tubes from your paper towels, cutting two holes and putting a glow stick inside the tube: placed in your bushes, it will look like your garden is coming alive!
  • Mummify your door by wrapping it with white crepe paper streamers. Add two huge felt eyes and you’re done!

Pumpkin Fun

Instead of the typical jack-o-lantern, particularly if you aren’t planning on handing out goodies this year, you can still take a visit to the pumpkin patch and have some fun with the orange gourds.

How about recreating your family with pumpkins? With three pumpkins per ‘person’, going from larger to smaller, they’ll look like little orange snowmen! Add leaves, acorns and other natural extras to make eyes and hair, and set them out to greet visitors before they’ve even arrived at your front door.

You can also line your front walkway with pumpkins and gourds of all shapes and sizes: mixed in with some potted mums or a bale of hay or two and you’ve got an enchanting path to your front door. Include some jars with LED tea lights in them, and turn the earlier sunsets to your advantage.

Another option is to paint pumpkins, creating whatever look you want and grouping your gourds on the porch for anything from a fun, Halloween look to a surprisingly elegant design that picks up colours from the front of your home, or your fall garden. Here are a few ideas of ways to paint your pumpkin, to get you started:

  • A leaf or ivy design, in greens, browns and reds.
  • A fun plaid or simple stripes.
  • Paint them a specific colour, to enhance what the front of your home already looks like. If you have a black door, you could add a black diamond pattern. Or paint them all black, add some eyes and whiskers and you’ve got yourself some spooky black ‘cats’!
  • Gold and silver paint can be extra fun, adding a little shimmer and shine to your design.

If you’re not big on paint, another option is to glue leaves and other garden treasures found in the fall, on to your pumpkins!

A Taste Of The Field

From dried wheat and corn stalks to bales of hay all piled up, adding some elements from a field can lend a down home country look to your front porch and garden. If you want to take it a step further, add a straw filled scarecrow or two, dressed in old clothes and last season’s gardening hat: visitors will walk up to your door and find someone already sitting on the porch!

Hay bales also make great side tables to hold pumpkins, or even to put a blanket on to sit out and enjoy a little of the fall weather. Add some burlap garlands or bows on everything and you’ll have a fully countrified front area, right in the middle of Mississauga (or wherever you are!)

Whether you tie some stalks to porch pillars, or turn them into a garland to surround your front window, there are a lot of ways to add some seasonal decorations that create a cozy, comfortable and inviting look to the front of your home.

How To Use Natural Stone In Your Landscaping

One of the best things about heading out for a hike in the great outdoors is the natural landscape and how a dose of it can calm even the most rumpled of spirits.

Whether you’re looking for a sleek modern look in your yard, or you prefer a slightly more wild design, natural stone is a perfect medium to work with. In addition to the aesthetic side, there are a couple of other advantages to natural stone:

  • It’s tough and durable but it can also be cut and shaped to bring out the best of the stone surface.
  • It’s an environmentally friendly option, relative to man-made materials, and also looks more natural in your outdoor space.

If you want to make a visual impression in your garden or infuse a natural look to your garden walls, steps, stairways or walkways, natural stone is definitely worth considering.

Rocks And Boulders

Provided you have a decently sized yard, rocks and boulders can be the perfect way to add some natural dimension and texture to a design. It is possible to go too far, however, by adding pieces that are too large or don’t fit well within the design of your landscape, so this is an area where you’ll want the discerning eye of a professional landscaper.

Here are a few things to keep in mind before you go shopping for rocks for your landscape design:

  • Size matters — A small yard with several large boulders in a raised garden bed might look distinctly uncoordinated. Choose rocks that are proportionate to the size of your yard.
  • Type matters — Stick to one kind of natural stone, or at least pieces that go well together. One way to ensure that is to stick to stone that is local to your area. In Mississauga and southern Ontario, that includes Blue Mountain rock, Orillia Limestone, or pieces from quarries in Peterborough and Bobcaygeon. Another bonus is that local stone will be cheaper than imported rocks.
  • Placement — Consider whether the natural stone will stand out like a sore thumb in the place you want to put it, or if it will blend in and create a natural division? For example, if you have a terraced lawn, natural stone can create a beautiful cascading dividing wall between the two areas, accompanied by appropriate trees or foliage. Sticking a large boulder in the middle of a postage stamp sized yard? Maybe not.

If you’re building a rock garden, swale or some other way to redirect water on your property, river rocks are a great way to line a flowing riverbed, giving a natural appearance. One note about river rocks: Buy the from reputable retailer like Toemar. Never remove them from the side of your local riverbed. At Toemar, river rocks come in 3 sizes.

Flagstone

Cut and shaped to a specific use or used in its more natural shape, flagstone is a beautiful way to create walkways, pathways, entranceways and so on.

All of the areas of your garden that require a more structured and functional design can still be very elegant by using flagstone. Available in a range of colours, there is a flagstone to complement most any design, including Blue Ice, Slate Grey, Limestone Black and so on.

Preferred by many homeowners over interlocking concrete pavers, flagstone is durable and naturally slip resistant, making it a good option for outdoor use. You can choose irregularly cut stone, for a more random, natural look in your design, or tile flagstones, with uniform cut and design, for a more formal look.

Either way, a properly designed walkway or patio will have the beauty of natural stone, with a lot of other design features:

  • Unlike pavers, each stone will have unique attributes, which are gorgeous and add a richness to a design.
  • Flagstone is a very durable medium to work with that will add value to the space you create with it. By the same token, it requires very little in terms of maintenance.

Natural Stone Projects

In addition to the ideas mentioned above, natural stone is a perfect starting point for a variety of landscaping projects including:

  • Ponds and water features: a pond can only be enhanced by the use of natural stone, giving it the true look of being part of the landscape, not just added to it.
  • Fireplaces also look more integrated into the natural landscape, if they are created with natural stone.
  • Retaining walls and flower beds, while intended to create dividers and specific spaces, look more integrated with the natural environment when built with natural stone.

The visual appeal and elegance of natural stone is without compare and a worthwhile investment to create the garden of your dreams.

If you are looking for something more premium, consider Indiana Limestone to use as a natural stone. It’s been in use for more than 200+ years on various projects such as Royal York Hotel, Empire State Building, more recently the Royal Alberta Museum. With that being said, this product is also used for beautiful homes (inside and outside) or for individuals looking to achieve a very specific look in their landscaping project.

If you’re unsure what your want for your outdoor space, grab a coffee and pop by Toemar’s showroom (really, it’s a show-patio within our show-lot!). Wander the lot and take note of those materials that catch your eye. If you’re not sure where to start, one of our staff will be happy to walk you through the different options.

Come visit us.  We look forward to serving you.

Landscape Design Trends 2013

A well-designed landscape can be inspiring. It can provide a sense of calm, a sense of awe and a sense of balance. A beautiful landscape can also improve the curb appeal of your home.

Landscaping and gardening are also ideal outlets for your creativity. It is important to keep a few design elements in mind when planning your new landscape – unity, balance, simplicity, variety, focus and emphasis.

Here is a list of the landscape design trends of 2013 to help you out:

#1. Focus – Water Features:

Water features are once again very popular this year as it is creates a dramatic focal point, add ambiance and really transform your outdoor space into a tranquil environment. Whether it is a pond or a moving water feature, the sky is the limit! Many water feature kits are available to purchase and simple to install; and with your choice of lighting colours it is no wonder that homeowners are going crazy for waterfall kits in 2013!

landscaping-trend-focus

Landscaping Trend – Focus

#2. Emphasis – Dark and distinct borders:

Borders play a big role when it comes to great interlocking stone projects. The usage of dark distinctive borders helps define and highlight your landscape and is a prominent trend this season. This can be the difference between a mediocre and a fabulous design.

landscaping-trend-emphasis

Landscaping Trend – Emphasis

#3. Simplicity – Clean lines and simple patterns:

Lines are a powerful design element that define rooms and connect people to the landscape. The days of swooping lines and circles are considered out-dated; and a minimalist approach using clean lines and simple patterns are currently hot at the moment. Although not new to landscaping, simple patterns and a ‘less-is-more’ attitude can create a much bigger impact.

landscaping-trend-simplicity

Landscaping Trend – Simplicity

#4. Texture – Mixing it up:

When it comes to interlocking pavers there is an array of textures and designs to choose from. When creating a driveway, walkway or backyard patio consider changing up patterns with different textures as it can highlight key aspects of your area such as borders, accents, trees and flower beds.

landscaping-trend-texture

Landscaping Trend – Texture

#5. Unity and Balance – Creating harmony with concrete products and natural stone:

Breaking up a landscape with natural stone is great way to create the perfect balance in any yard. It is important to not over use any one type of material as this could lead to monotony. A yard that is purely concrete becomes over bearing and dry, and by incorporating natural stone in a variety of shapes and sizes, such as boulders and rock, to the landscape helps creates contrast and interest.

landscaping-trend-unity-balance

Landscaping Trend – Unity and Balance

Garden Landscaping Trends for 2012

Garden landscaping trends for 2012 are exciting and unique. We have selected three trends that we think are impactful and timeless. Read on below:

1. Interlocking Paver (Brick) borders and the usage of contrast:

 

Borders are a great way to liven up any Interlocking Paver (Brick) project – driveways, walkways or patios. Ultra Black is a popular colour as a border and can be found in our following lines: Adora, Strada, and Bellagio. The vivid tone of black provides a remarkable contrast against all colours.

 

2. Textured Pavers:

 

In recent years, Textured Pavers have become increasingly popular in providing a reasonable alternative to natural stone and impressed concrete. Moderna is an excellent example of a flagstone alternative due to its chiseled surface and irregular shape.

 

3. Incorporating Natural Stone with Concrete:

 

Natural Stone Tread Copings provide an excellent alternative to traditional concrete copings/caps for steps and retaining walls. Tread Copings come in 6ft lengths, which provides a complete look to most steps and retaining walls.