Creative Landscaping Design Solutions in Mississauga, Brampton & Oakville

It is probably safe to say that almost every home has had its share of landscaping problems at one time or another. Perhaps different kinds of flowers were planted too close together, causing one to dominate the other and rob it of sunlight or shade. Perhaps a beloved fruit tree sucks up all the water from rain or sprinklers, resulting in patches or brown around its trunk because grass is not getting the fluids or nutrients it needs to survive. At Pyramid Contracting, we have been the number one irrigation systems, landscaping design, and sod replacement experts in the Greater Toronto Area for more than 30 years and can offer creative and affordable landscape solutions for all your needs.

Whether you live in a drought prone climate or an area with considerable rain, there are many landscaping design options we can present to keep your lawn lush and green all year round or find the right shrubs and flowers to grow all season long.

Here are some common yard problems and landscaping design ideas that may fix them.

Problem #1: Help! My yard is too rocky! In a case like this, many homeowners’ first reaction is to rip out offending rocks or level hilly terrain, when a more environmentally friendly and affordable landscaping design would result in the installation of a rock garden that enhances natural features of your yard.

Problem #2: I have a lot of hills on my property and it is causing erosion near my house. Moving Mother Nature — particularly small hills or berms that are natural to many yards — is difficult, time consuming, and expensive. A better idea would be to build a retaining wall using Armor Stone or some other large natural stone to disperse the water and eliminate further erosion.

Problem #3: I have one area of my yard that gets too much sun and everything dries out. Time and time again we have been approached by homeowners with this very problem, many of whom think the solution is to continually drench the area with water. For a fresh landscaping design idea that will add colour to your yard, try planting drought resistant plants or flowers native to your area or climate. This is what is referred to as “xeriscaping” and means planting succulents like Aloe Vera or Autumn Joy sedum, or Ornamental grasses such as Yellow Pampas or Blue Oat.

Problem #4: I love the trees on my property, but there is too much shade and nothing else grows — not even grass. In a case like this, the best idea is to plant grass that does not need as much water, such as Kentucky Bluegrass, or shade-loving shrubs like Red Osier Dogwood or plants like the multi-climate capable Hosta.

Regardless of the size or shape of your property, the experts at Pyramid Contracting can design landscape solutions that will take your yard from ho-hum to “Wow!” in no time. For more information or a free quote, call us at 877-343-7333.

Tree planting tips from a landscaping contractor in Mississauga, Brampton & Oakville

As a top landscaping contractor in the Greater Toronto Area for more than 30 years, Pyramid Contracting has built its reputation on innovative designs, affordability, and using the best materials and design techniques to beautify and add value to your yard or other areas around your home.


With warmer weather rapidly approaching, many homeowners have naturally begun thinking of yard and lawn improvements they can make, the expense, and how long such projects will take. Our team of highly trained designers can meet with you whenever convenient to discuss the latest trends in landscape design and whether they meet your goals or budget.

Part of what has made us successful over the years is our willingness to share knowledge with customers, and give them the information they need to select the right landscaping contractor. One area we get many questions about is in regards to trees and the many benefits they provide. Here are some things to keep in mind if you are considering planting trees on your property.

  • Decide what purpose the tree should serve. Is it expected to provide shade, fruit, or be more ornamental?
  • Inspect the areas where a tree may be planted, and take a soil sample. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources should be able to refer you to a company or school where the soil can be tested. This will help determine the soil type, and what kind of tree is most appropriate.
  • At Pyramid Contracting, we recommend customers select trees native to the region. Popular trees native to Ontario include American Mountain-Ash, Black Cherry, Red Maple, and many others.
  • Depending on the kind of tree you pick, make sure you or your landscaping contractor know how much space it needs to grow, and whether it will interfere with other landscaping or your home or utilities, such as overhead power lines.
  • Any knowledgeable and experienced landscaping contractor will tell you the best time to plant any tree is the spring, as soon as frost has broken and before buds begin appearing on other trees. If you miss this opportunity, the next planting opportunity rolls around in early to mid-Fall.

The Benefits of Planting Trees

Planting trees provide many benefits that you should be aware of. Besides being a source of shade and helping prevent soil erosion, trees — like all plants — produce oxygen. They also clean the soil, help reduce noise pollution, keep your home cooler during warmer months, purify the air, act as windbreaks, and even serve as homes to birds and bats, which are important for controlling the spread of insects and insect-borne illnesses.

At Pyramid Contracting, we are the top landscaping contractor in Ontario and never forget what comes first: Our customers.

Landscaping Tips for your home in Mississauga, Brampton or Oakville

One of the great misconceptions about having a beautiful and functional yard or other outdoor area is it needs to be expensive. A patio needs to be built using the latest wood composite or natural stone, an irrigation system has to be multi-zone and connected to the Internet for online access, and only fertilizer using rare, organic compounds are best for your lawn. If budget is not a concern, then by all means, spend as much as you would like, but if you want to beautify your property and save money, the experts at Pyramid Contracting have a few landscaping tips you may find useful.

One of the best landscaping tips any home or business owner should follow is this: Create a budget or, at the very least, track every penny you spend. Landscaping expenses, just like for any other home improvement job, can add up quickly. Write down everything you spend, and review it daily. The bottom line may be enough for you to say, “Okay, the yard looks great. I’m happy now!”

Great landscaping tips are everywhere, so here is another. An appealing do-it-yourself landscaping project is within your reach if you plan the improvements before starting the project. Inexpensive landscape design software is available for computers and smartphones, but you can get just as much inspiration by driving around your own neighborhood and jotting down notes about things you see that you find most attractive about someone’s yard. If you cannot afford design software, then grab a piece of paper, a pencil, and begin sketching out a design you find most appealing. Add trees, shrubs, walkways, or any other feature you may want to include.

The best landscaping tips often apply to existing elements within your own yard. If your property is small, design and plan accordingly. If you have large, natural rocks on your property, incorporate them into a rock garden. For a large shade tree that does not get much use, put a bench seat or Adirondack chair beneath it and create a place to relax and read or just enjoy the scenery. In fact, a smaller yard is less expensive in the long run as there often is less grass to maintain, minimizing the need for an in-ground sprinkler when a portable oscillating model will do the trick.

Landscaping tips that help customers save money on building materials is one of our favorites. In late winter or early spring, keep your eyes open for specials on top soil, mulch, grass seed, and fertilizer. Comb through classified ads for people nearby who may be selling off extra materials, like patio blocks or landscape stones. If you live near a lake or river, search the shoreline for colourful stones to accent your flower bed or walkway.

Beautifying your yard does not have to be as expensive as many home improvement magazines and cable television shows would lead you to believe. For more tips or a quote on our range of services, call us today at 877-343-7333.


Sod replacement types and information

Unlike planting a lawn from scratch or even re-seeding an existing lawn, sod replacement results in immediate satisfaction as it’s ready-made. All you have to do is water and feed it, and it can be a thing of landscaping beauty from one year to the next.

Of course, sod isn’t made in a factory or stitched together one blade at a time by elves who need something to do in the spring. No, sod is grown in a controlled, farm-like setting where it’s nurtured and cared for until it’s ready to fly the coop, so to speak. Interestingly enough, the whole concept of a sod farm was introduced in Ontario in the 1950s by a farmer named William Ruthven who developed a 900 acre turf farm from scratch and jump started an entire industry that thrives 50 years later like never before.

Sod is grown in a controlled setting where the environment – weather and the soil, primarily – are most conducive to sustained, seasonal production. Any successful sod replacement starts with how the sod is grown to begin with, and important factors include: Soil type (loam is usually the best), the depth of the soil and uniformity of the soil depth and the depth within a contained area, and the kinds of drainage systems available.

There are many species used for sod production, including: Kentucky Bluegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass/Fine Fescue, Fine Fescue/Kentucky Bluegrass Sod, Creeping Bentgrass, Turf-type Perennial Ryegrass, Fine-Leafed Fescues, Turf Type Tall Fescue, Supina Bluegrass, and Weeping Alkaligrass.

Kentucky Bluegrass sod is the most popular for sod replacement in Ontario because of how well it adapts to cool, humid environmental conditions. It’s deep, rich colour makes it an excellent choice for private homes, cemeteries, institutional grounds, parks, golf courses, sports fields, boulevards, and offices and commercial lawns. When it comes to sod replacement, we recommend looking for a brand of Kentucky Bluegrass sod made from a combination of two to four varieties of Kentucky Bluegrasses.

Once seed has been planted to grow sod, it normally takes one and a half to two years before it can be harvested, though with proper maintenance this can occur after only one year of cultivation. In our experience, sod is mostly in demand between April and November, though we recommend customers choose an installation cycle later in the year.

What sod characteristics are most important? Everyone has their own opinion, but we look for sod that has uniformity of thickness, good density, is free of insects and weeds, has an acceptable colour, is strong enough to handle without falling apart, is mature, and has a minimal amount of thatch.


Sod replacement fertilizers tips and advice

More and more home and business owners are discovering the benefits of adding style to their landscaping by choosing sod replacement over re-seeding as a means of having a healthy, green lawn. There are many advantages of sod over seed grown grass, such as it being thick and rich as soon as it’s laid down, and the fact it doesn’t need to be watered as much as starter seeds, for instance.

At Pyramid Contracting, we’ve been involved in hundreds of sod replacement projects throughout the Greater Toronto Area over the last decade, and while the ideal time of the year to plant sod is in the spring, this type of lawn can be laid from the spring into early fall if taken care of properly. Of course, watering a lawn is most important for growth, but the proper application of fertilizer is a vital component in any successful lawn care regimen.

If you’ve decided on sod replacement over other methods of rejuvenating your landscaping, we applaud your decision but also would like you to know the best kinds of fertilizer that you should use during the year to keep your sod lush and green from one year to the next.

  • The best time for the first application of fertilizer is in the fall, normally September and then again in November.
  • We recommend customers not apply anymore fertilizer until the spring.

There are 2 main kinds of fertilizers for sod you should know about:

Granular fertilizers – Granular fertilizers are highly popular because

1.) They are easy to apply and difficult to overuse

2.) Are available in a time-release formula, meaning there’s a big time schedule before they must be reapplied

3.) This type of fertilizer works quickly and is ideal for sod in need of immediate care.

Organic fertilizers – The other kind of fertilizer that can be used for sod replacement projects is organic, normally made from all natural plant or animal products like manure. This kind of fertilizer is one of the best for lawn growth and is good for the environment, but also can be difficult to apply and often needs frequent application.

Keeping your sod lush and healthy from year to year isn’t as difficult as it seems, if you follow a normal lawn care regimen starting with the right fertilizer.

Pyramid contracting has extensive experience with sod replacement projects in the Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville areas. We are happy to provide you with a free consultation to discuss your sod replacement project. Call us today.


Protecting your irrigation system in winter

A residential or commercial irrigation system can be advantageous for a number of reasons. Thanks to programmable timers and control systems, they can be set to water a lawn at specific intervals for a specific time or based on water used. They’re designed to cover a large area, and conserve water while providing maximum benefit to lawns, flowers, shrubs, and other landscaping elements.

But because Canadian winters are extremely harsh with violent freeze and thaw cycles, we always recommend an irrigation system be maintained and prepped in advance of freezing temperatures. In any area where temperatures dip below freezing for more than a few hours a night, a sprinkler system needs to be drained of excess water. If water remains in the lines or control valves, it will expand upon freezing and damage the system, rendering it inoperative and perhaps resulting in a costly water line break.

At Pyramid Contracting, we provide a wide range of landscaping services, including sod replacement, installing walkways, and designing, installing, and servicing an irrigation system for customers throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

Preparing a sprinkler system for long winter months isn’t as difficult as it seems if you follow these steps:

  1. Close the main system shut-off valve, which is normally located where the main feed for the system “Tees” off the main water line into the residence or place of business. For systems with an electronic control, set it to “rain” so it won’t need to be re-programmed in the fall; if the system is manual, turn off the rotating clock control mechanism.
  2. Turn the ball or gate valves on the sides of the backflow device if one is installed. To drain a manual system, open the valves where they’re installed at the lowest place per line. Once the water pressure falls, automatic drains will open and as the lines completely drain will close again.
  3. Next, open the backflow drain, typically located on a vertical pipe between the shutoff valve and main line or even a stopcock on the side of a backflow device. Then, allow any backflow to drain completely by opening the valve between the main line that goes out to the sprinklers and the backflow device.
  4. The fifth step is to attach an air compressor to the blow-out adapter, which could be located on the backflow device or on a standpipe on the main line. Hint: If using an air compressor, there’s no need to exceed air pressure greater than 50 psi. Blowing air through the line will result in the sprinkler tops to pop up and blow out what appears to be steam. Caution: Don’t run an air compressor for more than a few minutes at a time, but if you notice water in the backflow device or backflow pipe, the process should be repeated.
  5. When preparing your irrigation system for the winter, follow all manufacturer’s instructions for drying off and caring for the sprinkler heads. Each company — Orbit, Rain Bird, Toro, Hunter, Nelson, or any other – has their own recommended process.

If you are still not sure how to protect and prepare your irrigation system for winter then give Pyramid contracting a call, we have been installing, repairing and protecting irrigation systems for many years and we would love to help you with yours. Call us today.

How to match your landscaping project to your home

In the years following World War II, when the global economy started its long recovery, thousands of subdivisions across North America popped up featuring a wide variety of ranches, colonials, and tri-levels, among others. All shared the same thing: A clean, efficient modern design that emphasized function over form and lent itself to building and maintaining relatively inexpensive homes. Landscape design of the era followed the same pattern: Perfectly straight drives and walkways, backyard flower beds that stretched the width of the house; and concrete slab patios.

Times have changed, however. During the last 50 years, homeowners, architects, and builders have all embraced the “present,” emphasizing a contemporary design influenced by trends and styles that could change from year to year. In some cases, form and functionality have been treated with equal importance because of socio-economic and other factors – as evidenced by some homes now being constructed of re-purposed railway cars or large storage containers shipped via water.

Landscape design has evolved, too, and Pyramid Contracting has been part of that revolution for the last decade, implementing creative and affordable outdoor solutions to fit any home architecture, from modern to contemporary to anything in between.

With the right planning and materials, a clever landscape design can further enhance even the most unique contemporary architecture imaginable.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Pay careful attention to materials. When it comes to landscape design, “contemporary” is often synonymous with “modern.” This means that contemporary landscaping takes its cues from modern architecture, focusing on building materials and other features used in modern or “trendy” homes: sleek, brushed metal; glass; wooden beams; Flagstone and other high-end surfacing materials like black slate or stamped concrete. Simple additions such as these can go a long way toward adding contemporary style to your landscaping.
  • Contemporary landscape design often takes a compact, muted approach to outdoor projects. Some good examples would be a small, back-lit waterfall and pond facing a River Rock pathway leading to an exquisitely manicured lawn.
  • Colours are important, too. In many cases, contemporary landscape design doesn’t put a lot of emphasis on colour and is, in fact, partly dependent on the colour of the home itself. In our experience, natural tones are very popular, such as espresso and grey which can be offset by a dash of colour from flowers or other shrubbery – each adding a great deal of panache to your outdoor area. We also recommend avoiding colours that clash because they’ll distract from the beauty and quality of your overall landscape design.

Here are some other tips to consider with contemporary landscape design:

  1. Grass should be mowed regularly to a height of no more than two inches tall
  2. shrubs and small flowering trees can be planted in a straight line along a fence, usually three to five feet apart
  3. plant flowers that are in season and grow well in your climate area.

For ideas on landscape design and ways to add style to your outdoor area in a creative, affordable manner, contact the landscaping professionals at Pyramid Contracting today.

Creating a rock garden as part of landscaping design

Like homes, office buildings, artwork, automobiles, and consumer electronic devices, rock gardens come in all shapes, sizes, colours, and styles. Depending on how they’ve been integrated into an overall landscape design, they can serve multiple purposes – such as being truly functional or purely for decorative effect.

In our experience, many home and business owners have opted for rock gardens to cover-up a defect with an existing outdoor area, like an area not suited for flowers or a patio, for instance. In reality, that’s selling a rock garden short by dismissing its overall appeal. When integrated into the landscape design process, a rock garden may include water features, moss, pruned trees and bushes and, of course, rocks – all lending themselves to an area that exudes relaxation and enjoying the essence of nature itself.

If you’re interested in building a rock garden on your own, or will contract with a professional to do the job for you, there are a number of steps to follow for a successful project:

  • Start with a clean slate, which means thoroughly cleaning the area where the rock garden will reside. Remove any bushes, shrubs, weeds or other light vegetation, making sure to use a hoe to till the ground and remove live or dead roots. At this point, it’s a good idea to clean an area in the actual shape of the rock garden.
  • The most important step that customers take for granted is choosing a landscape design that doesn’t overwhelm the rest of the area, and doesn’t take away attention from other outdoor features like a deck, patio, or flower bed. To better visualize the rock garden, spray the ground with inverted paint to clearly mark its shape, boundaries, and size. Next, step back and take a good, long look at what you’re proposing. If necessary, lay down another layer of spray paint in a different shape.
  • Choose a variety of stone to work with. In most cases, armor stone is probably too large, though it can be cut to size, but we recommend a combination of small and large boulders, colourful and multi-shaped River Rock, Flagstones, and other rocks that strike a chord with your own sense of style.
  • Installing the boulders and other stone is the next logical step. To do this, you’ll probably need a few more sets of strong arms and hands, not to mention crow bars and sturdy shovels. Keep in mind that to look truly natural, a rock garden should be uneven, with rocks of varying size and shape bumping up against one another or even arranged in different levels. Also flandscape fabric should be put under the boulders and stone to limit weed growth.
  • Choose the plants and create the “river bed.” Embrace a wide range of styles by integrating sturdy juniper plants and other small shrubs with flowering chrysanthemums and other colourful flowers.
  • Create a walkway to and from the rock garden, perhaps using Flagstone or River Rock for a gentle, meandering pathway.

A rock garden can be a beautiful addition to any backyard and green space, so call the landscaping design experts at Pyramid Contracting for more information and receive a free in-home consultation to discuss your landscaping project.

Choose the right tree for your landscaping design

One feature of outstanding landscape design that draws the most compliments is a small shade tree that has been chosen to accent a home or outdoor space, but can only be done if the setting has been assessed to make sure the right tree is selected.

It’s important not only to find the right size and shape, but also to pick a tree whose growing requirements match the existing landscape features. At Pyramid Contracting, our landscape design specialists can help you select the right trees for your property, or steer you in the direction of horticultural specialists in the Greater Toronto Area with expertise in different kinds of trees and their growing requirements.

While small trees can provide shade to a particular area of your yard, they also can serve as a buffer between spaces occupied by a flower bed, rock garden, or River Rock pathway, or any other featured prominently as part of your landscape design.

Here are the top 5 small shade trees we’ve worked with over the years, and why they may fit your needs:

  1. American Hornbeam, also known as an Ironwood tree. An aesthetically pleasing tree in many environments, the Ironwood eventually attains a height and spread of between 20 and 30 feet. It will grow in total shade as well as full sun; it also has smooth, gray, and fluted muscle-like bark.
  2. The Armur Maple is a small decorative shade tree that grows very slowly and never attains a height of more than 20 feet. Resistant to pests, disease, and environmental toxins, it is well known for its ability to grow in different types of soil with little or no maintenance. The Armur Maple’s defining characteristic is its brilliant red foliage in the fall as its leaves begin to turn for the season.
  3. With a maximum height of 20 feet at maturity, the Golden Rain tree is a small ornamental shade tree that is more discerning when it comes to soil conditions but nonetheless grows well on a wide range of soils, especially with regular fertilization. Because it’s delicate, we don’t recommend this tree as part of your landscape design if your property is exposed to high winds or other extreme weather. This type of tree is popular with many customers because it’s pest and disease resistant, is easy to transplant, and grows superbly in urban areas.
  4. With its rounded silhouette, multiple trunks growing close to the ground, and large six inch leaves that barely change colour in the fall, the Japanese Magnolia normally reaches a height of 25 feet or less in an open, bright landscape site but can reach 75 feet tall in a forest setting.
  5. Finally, another solid contender for a shade tree is the Black Gum Tree, which grows slowly and reaches a maximum height of 30 feet. It fends off attacks from pests and diseases, and grows admirably in different kinds of soil. This tree is sensitive to city-borne toxins and transplantation, so it’s critical to pick a sheltered area as its permanent home.

Pyramid contracting is proud to be one of the leading landscaping design companies in the Halton region and we have many years of experience with softscape and hardscape features.

Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn how we can help you with your backyard and landscaping project

A pond is a great addition to your landscaping design project

One of the most unique features you can incorporate into your landscape design is a garden pond, which contributes aesthetic appeal to your property and could increase its value over the long run. Even in harsh Canadian winters, the right aquatic life or vegetation will survive the colder months and thrive for the remainder of the year.

Once you’ve decided to build a garden pond, two important considerations are location and the type of pond best suited for your existing landscape design. An area in your backyard or other outdoor location that receives a significant amount of sunshine is ideal, though ponds stocked with fish may benefit from an area buffered by shrubs or small trees to protect it in the winter. If you’ve decided aquatic life forms are part of the plan, then the pond will need access to electricity for the proper filtration system.

Types of Ponds

Koi Pond: One of the most common garden ponds that customers ask us to incorporate into their landscape design is a Koi pond. Koi is an ornamental, domesticated version of the common carp, and is ideally suited for ponds in colder climates thanks to its ability to survive a sustained drop in temperature and subsist on aquatic plants that may grow slowly – if at all – during the winter. Be aware, however, that Koi are still carp and are, for the most part, aggressive in how much they eat – whether other Koi, goldfish, or aquatic plants. Therefore, it’s not unusual for homeowners to try to limit the number of Koi that live in a garden pond at any one time. Koi ponds are large, requiring a minimum of 1,000 gallons of water and a depth of between three and five feet, with about 18 inches of that below the frost line.

Water Garden: The second type of pond is a simple water garden, normally stocked with goldfish and hardy aquatic plants. This kind of pond is usually smaller and only needs to be two to three feet deep, with up to 16 inches below the freezing line.

The average homeowner can install a garden pond in a weekend. Regardless of the type of garden pond you want for your landscape design, the pond itself can be purchased pre-formed in a variety of shapes and sizes with the most popular building material being fiberglass. Many homeowners also choose to build a pond using pond underlayment and a rubber pond liner.

Filtration and Electrical Issues

Because garden ponds are landlocked without access to fresh water, they require artificial filtration in the form of filters and pond skimmers, both of which are operated electrically. Filters and pond skimmers can’t be run off an outdoor electrical cord; instead, they need a dedicated power source, so be sure to contact your municipal building department about permits and codes.

A garden pond can add style to any landscape design project and provide years of relaxation and pleasure to homeowners and guests alike. For information on having your garden pond professionally installed or for any question regarding a landscaping project contact Pyramid Contracting today. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation where we meet, discuss your intended project, show you some of our work and provide you with a quote.