GREAT EXPECTATIONS – The top 5 reasons why Homeowners Underestimate the cost of their Landscape Projects

By Glenn Curtis – Montreal, QC   Professional design/build landscapers dream of presenting a project budget for the perfect design and hearing,“Wow! at’s much less than I expected, when can you start?” Inevitably, we wake to find the real world holds a much more common reaction: unrealistic expectations. Homeowners want it all in this day and age, and few understand that their dream of having a permanent, 5-star luxury resort experience in their own backyard, often can cost more than going on an actual vacation. In the landscaping industry we call this “sticker shock”, and fortunately, there is a...

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THE POOL IS HALF FULL – Going back to the beginning

Inner reflection is never a bad thing. As I sit back and put my career into focus, I realize that a lot of things have happened since I first got into the pool game twenty-eight years ago. I’ve gone from labourer to foreman to subcontractor to owning my own business all within that span, and as I’ve grown and expanded my knowledge and experience, so too have the advancements in my industry continued to change and evolve. I started in humble beginnings in 1988, working for a local company installing vinyl-lined pools in three days or less. The must...

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By Mark of the Earth  “A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.” —John James Audubon  A New Enthusiasm There is a nice story about the great naturalist John Muir, building his small cabin over part of Yosemite Creek so that he could hear the sound of running water. A pioneer in many areas, he was a seeker who sought balance, connection, and understanding through nature. It is to our benefit that these eventually came his way, and that he spread the word far and...

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THE BUNKIE – The Art of Big Things in Small Packages

By Tim Zwart – Burlington, ON In this new age of technology and instant information, it takes quite a lot to make our jaws drop. We’ve gradually become accustomed to seeing things that push the envelope and make our lives easier, and each new iPad release or Android phone is often met with a collective yawn. It would come as no surprise to the majority of us to see Colgate market a Bluetooth toothbrush, or for Leon’s to patent a line of couches with retractable wheels (just think of the convenience!), or even to witness Benjamin Moore develop paint...

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WE ARE NOT SHEEPLE – Infusing your Space with Individuality

By HGTV STAR, Paul Lafrance Something I talk about a lot when I’m doing design workshops is that I don’t really like to follow trends or adhere to them when I’m designing a space. The problem with trends is that they, by definition, change. If someone is planning to spend a significant amount of money on, say, their outdoor living space, they’re not going to want to make a huge investment, only to have to redo the whole thing in a few years when the trends change.      When I’m meeting a client to talk about a new...

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