What to Look for in a Landscaping Company in Mississauga, Brampton & Oakville

A qualified and experienced landscaping company can provide a wide range of services to turn your yard into a place of beauty year round, from installing sod to landscape design to implementing an irrigation system to keep all areas adequately watered. But the work is often labor intensive, time consuming, and can be expensive depending on the new features or size of your property. Professionalism and experience are important when selecting a contractor, as your landscaping is one of the first things a visitor recognizes about your home and is in many respects its defining feature.

At Pyramid Contracting, we have been a leading outdoors contractor in the Greater Toronto Area for nearly two decades, and we take pride in not only quality and affordable work, but educating customers about what to look out for when selecting a landscaping company.

To begin with, whatever landscaping company you choose should be “on board” with how important the job is to you, and what it means personally. The company needs not only experienced and skilled workers, but the equipment and tools to execute your design.

Professionalism, work ethic, and employee appearance are also important. A landscaping company “lives and dies” by its reputation and word of mouth advertising. You want to hire a company that is professional in all regards, that understands the latest trends in yard design and how they can be integrated into your existing property. A landscape company should not only employ staff with a good work ethic, but employees with a sense of self worth and respect, and who value you as a customer and helping their employer succeed. Company ownership and management plays a key role, too, as senior level staff need to articulate company goals, demonstrate an understanding of your own, and can implement a plan to make it come together efficiently and with as little drama as possible.

Because landscaping is so important and is a “calling card” for your home, any landscaping company you choose needs to demonstrate creativity, the ability to think “outside the box” and offer unique solutions specific to your goals. For instance, is River Rock landscaping appropriate? How about Flagstone bordering your flower bed? The level of creativity the company exhibits will be brought forth in the designs they present, materials they choose, and their ability to draw inspiration from your yard and home.

In fact, the range of ideas a landscaping company presents is one of the most important things to consider before the project begins. Many companies use 3D design software to create landscaping plans, as well as show examples on their smartphones or tablet computers.

How the company uses new technology — its practical application and how it is interpreted — is a distinguishing characteristic between a proven, successful company and one that may not last. The same goes for a company’s use of the Internet, and whether they have a vibrant website that shows examples of their work, testimonials from satisfied clients, and updated contact information.

 

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.

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.