The Vision Behind the Display
At TNT, we build outdoor spaces. For the Home & Garden Show, we tried to show a few different designs that can be incorporated into your yard.
The Dining Area
A patio does not need to be done in 2 x 2 brick impression stone – we have the dining table sitting on a Northshore “stone carpet” section. The interlocking Eco Prioria brick surrounds the centre design and the area is completed with a Brussels Block accenting border.
Seat walls were built extending from the pillars. Add a seat wall around a patio or on your front porch to increase the amount of people you can entertain – no extra chairs required.
The pergola was a custom design – not a kit from the neighbourhood store. The entire structure was made out of cedar. A canopy can be added for shade. Typically we prefer to have a natural look to our pergolas and we would suggest planting either a variety of grape vine or ivy that would form a natural canopy over your pergola. This year we showcased recycling at its finest – the windows are old storm windows, repaired and painted and can slide along the channel to direct wind flow. When viewing a pergola, it is important to view it from all angles, including down from a second-story window; hence, we have a simple design incorporated into the top of the pergola.
The Water Feature
Jets of water, from laminars (not plastic tubes) were shooting blasts of colour from the garden into the pond. These jets are often found in the ground alongside pools, so the jets of water flow into the pool. We chose a colour pattern that rotated instead of a single colour. A bubbler was also placed center to the garden and a gentle trickle of water flowed down the river into the pond. This area was also lit in a similar fashion. Gerald Tester (Rob’s brother) of Rede Solutions Inc. (Innisville) was our partner for this part of the project as they specialize in design/engineering of water features worldwide (one of Rede’s latest projects was the Aquatheatre on the cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas). No water feature is too small or large.
The main patio was Subterra, a permeable paver. The grooves were filled with 3/16th chip stone, and when properly installed will filter rain water directly onto your property. Adding this permeable paver to a walkway, patio or driveway will add value to your home and make you eligible for a tax rebate when the Storm Water Management Tax is implemented. Using a permeable paving system allows the water to be filtered into the ground directly, relieving some of the stress on the storm water system.
And finally, an outdoor space is not complete without some decorations and unique details. A special thank you to Elanor at Not Just for the Garden in Waterloo for her excellent outdoor decorations.
We began discussing ideas back in October 2010. The main question we asked ourselves: What can we showcase that is different, new and innovative? We remember in past years, other landscapers had fences and screens for backdrops – and of course, rows of cedar. Designs have been simple with a small table and chairs added.
We wanted to be different and showcase our unique way of designing.
We decided to showcase a veneer wall, 9 feet high x 20 feet wide. The design is called a “candle wall,” where pockets are created for various candles or trinkets. We filled our candle pockets with scented candles, fresh cut flowers, vases and sea shells – and added ambiance.
Stone veneers are available in a variety of colours, textures and shapes and are ideal for interior use around a fireplace or along a wall (restaurants will sometimes install a chair rail and only complete the top or bottom half of a wall). A veneer wall can change a tone of a room to that of a relaxed atmosphere or to something more sophisticated, depending on the stone chosen. Outside applications usually involve veneers being used around concrete pillars and for use with outside kitchen applications. What made this particular wall unique were the 3 waterfalls that cascaded down to our waterless pond, topped with a colourful array of recycled glass. The glass is tumbled to smooth off all rough edges and it is an environmentally sound alternative to river rock. We chose a mixed colour collection of glass so that all possible colour options were available to view.
The second water feature this year was entitled “Fire & Ice”. The fire bowl was filled with only one colour of recycled glass: blue. Because our display was indoors, we had to use Sternos® for the flame; in an outdoor application, the bowl would be fed by either propane or natural gas. For this water feature, we had a traditional pond filled with river rock. All of our water features are commercial grade appliances; installation is engineered and designed by Gerald Tester of Rede Solutions Inc.
Our patio this year consisted of a sailor course of Mista permeable stone from Techo-Bloc. We chose a random pattern of square-cut, natural flagstone as the main feature inside our sailor course. Square-cut flagstone can be either dry set (as we had shown at the show) or wet set in concrete. Spacing can vary depending on the desired finished look of the patio. Two tall planters were added on the patio. The planters were filled with 4 varieties of cut willow branches: pussy willow, black pussy willow, curly willow and fantail willow (most unique).
Next, a serving station was added. Not a bar or mini-kitchen – just a counter where you can sit around and chat and serve refreshments and food. The pillars were constructed from Techo-Bloc stone and a triangular-shaped, mini-cedar pergola was added as accent. In a home setting, the pergola would be only high enough to reach a glass racking system and various grape vines would be growing all around, providing shade. Accenting the pillars were panels of square-cut flagstone that complemented the patio. During the show, we distributed more than 60 pounds of juicy, nutritious apples to children and visitors to our booth. We thank Hauser furniture for the use of their bar-height stools for our display.
The last feature we constructed was the corner-seat system. The seat system was constructed of Techo-Bloc stone as its base, pillars and garden walls; the seats were pieces of natural stone. The fence was constructed in such a way as to show the difference between a closed-in fence (no gaps), fencing with gaps (straight boards), and then our unique way of providing a privacy fence (angled boards).
What makes the angled-board style of privacy fence so unique is the varied applications:
Hanging from the pillar posts were test tubes used for cut flowers. These test tubes added a distinct character and added a sense of relaxation to our corner-seat system. During the year, if your gardens have been designed with a continual bloom –a variety of plants that bloom at different times – then you can change the cut flowers as the flowers change bloom within your own garden.
Lastly, for the plants we used boxwood in the corner seat-system garden, shown planted as a hedge; the hedge would normally be trimmed to uniformity. Junipers were used in the entrance garden. A variety of plants, including campanula, primula, daffodils, hyacinth, corral bells, English daisies, crocus, and Rob’s favourite spring perennial: helleborus (Lenten rose).
Our booth was both colourful and aromatic, showcasing at least five new design/decorating aspects. We hope you enjoyed our booth as much as we did.
For more inspirations, see our construction services.