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Travertine

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Create old world charm with the beautiful Ivory coloured travertine slabs.

Travertine Slabs are available in three unique sizes that can be used independently or combined to create elegant patterns that resemble the Mediterranean feel in your yard. From Simple pathways to grand patios and entertaining areas, Travertine Slabs are an extension of your home that creates the perfect outdoor living space.

Travertine tile combines the look of polished natural stone with the enduring strength and cost effective savings of concrete to complete the upscale look you deserve. The chamfered edging reduces the risk of chipping during installation while maintaining the look of high-end real travertine. This product is extremely easy to install and will save you time and money compared to natural stone products. Travertine Slabs are ideal for patio’s, pool decks and garden paths. The unique look and sizes offer design options that fit both classic and modern elements in landscape design.

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Why a low-maintenance yard can be a high-enjoyment paradise

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Save time, effort, and money by turning your conventional yard into an easy-care landscape

There’s a significant reason why maintaining your landscaping is called yard “work.” Simply put, it takes significant work. A lot of time, sweat, energy, and money can be poured into your yard in order to keep it looking pristine and presentable. Weekends can be spent pulling weeds, watering, pruning, fertilizing, repairing watering systems, and mowing the grass (which also includes clearing the yard of kids’ toys and pet waste, cleanup, disposing of clippings, and other work-related duties).

And at the end of the day, what do you have to show for your work? In addition to a temporarily clean and maintained outdoor space, you probably have a sore back, tired legs, grass-stained shoes, a few callouses and the looming work week right around the corner.

Is it all worth it?

If you enjoy the “joy of gardening” and value a big, expansive lawn made of real grass, then it probably is worth it and more power to you. If, however, you’ve become overwhelmed by a high-maintenance yard and garden space, maybe it’s time to jump on the trend of “low-maintenance landscaping,” a term that coincidentally does not include the word “work.”

low-maintenance walkwayIt’s important to note that low-maintenance landscaping is still landscaping; it does not mean you are giving up any semblance of a traditional yard. It is, instead, a different approach to your yard and garden spaces that incorporates ideas like using rock and pavers, featuring plants that require less water and care, reducing the grass footprint, eliminating grass completely, or replacing it with artificial turf – for a clean, easy-to-maintain yard. It all adds up to less money and effort spent on maintenance, and more time for you to actually enjoy your outdoor spaces. Plus it can easily end up more pristine, unique, and fulfilling than a traditional yard.

It’s a trend sweeping through Western Canada, especially in cities where drought has created watering restrictions. It also turns the idea of a plain, conventional yard upside down by incorporating comfortable outdoor furniture, soothing water features, and advanced cooking systems.

“People are turning their backyards basically into outdoor living rooms with low-maintenance yards,” says one BURNCO Landscape employee. “Over the past four or five years, we’ve seen this trend really grow as people are wanting a yard that is more manageable with new functionality. Big patios, fire pits, barbecues, and even pizza ovens are taking the place of yards and flower beds.”

Benefits of Low-Maintenance Landscaping:

  • Water conservation – Lawn watering can lead to excess consumption which can reduce stream flows, ultimately affecting fish.
  • Safer – Eliminate the use of synthetic pesticides and herbicides, which can leach into groundwater, streams and then lakes through storm water runoff.
  • Reduced pollution – Every time you mow, you are creating noise and toxic air pollution.
  • Increased free time – Once you set up your low-maintenance yard, you’ll work less to maintain it and have more time to enjoy it.

Designing Your Space:

What you put into your low-maintenance yard is entirely up to you and will likely be a good mix of elements that require little to no care once they are created. Your biggest investment will be in hardscaping – or the non-living (stone, wood, etc.) portion of your yard that will form the foundation in your new, modern, easy-care setup. Other fundamentals of a low-maintenance space include easy care plants, a small patch of grass or artificial grass or turf for greenery, and an assortment of special features like outdoor furniture, statues, and landscape lighting.

Hardscaping:

Instead of living things like grass and plants, hardscaping uses non-living landscaping elements – like garden walls, retaining walls, patio blocks and steps, pavers, natural flagstone, bricks, and roman paving stones to fill out your yard space. Transforming your living space into a hardscape creates a clean, easy-to-maintain – and beautiful – outdoor space.

low-maintenance hardscape“We’re finding a lot of people are putting in decorative rock or round rock in the spaces between homes,” says one BURNCO Landscape employee. “They’re typically shady areas that are hard to water, hard to mow, and more of a hassle than anything. But with clean rock, they’re simple to take care of and look really nice”

There are endless options and design ideas for utilizing hardscaping to enhance your yard while also making it easy to care for. Some common hardscaping ideas include replacing half of your yard with pavers, creating expanded garden wall planters with stackable stones, or using decorative rocks in place of a traditional garden bed.

Artificial Turf:

Gone are the days of cheap, plastic, fake-looking artificial turf. Today’s products are far more advanced in look, feel, and performance, and create a soft, natural replacement for a high-maintenance real lawn that requires watering, weeding, fertilizing, and mowing. Artificial turf (also known as synthetic turf) stays the same, lush green colour year-round and never fades. It’s soft and safe to play on, and features better drainage than a real lawn. It’s a great way to keep some natural-looking greenery in your yard, without the hassle of caring for natural grass.

“For people with small yards, turf is a great alternative,” says one BURNCO Landscape employee. “With any size yard, you have to have a way to cut the grass. And with a small yard, it’s almost not worth it to buy and store a lawnmower, but you still need to cut the grass. Artificial turf solves that problem in a beautiful, lasting way.”

Plants:

Though plants will always require some care, going low-maintenance doesn’t mean you have to be plant-free. There are plenty of smart plant options that will work well within your design plans. Specific plants can be easy to care for and require little watering, while still adding beauty and greenery to your landscape.

Ornamental grasses are drought-resistant, hardy, and grow well in most soils. They also don’t require fertilizer often and naturally resist pests and diseases.

You can also add color to your landscaping with hardy flowers and shrubs. Native perennials are best in that they require less work, watering, and fertilizer. Native plants are also more suited to Canadian weather than imported plants. You can also ask your nursery for local, low-maintenance and drought-resistant variety options.

By mulching around your plants, you are setting the foundation for easy maintenance. Mulch is a natural weed barrier and holds in moisture which means less watering. Mulch also presents a clean garden space.

Other Elements of a Low-maintenance paradise:

  • Planters – planter containers come in all shapes, sizes, and colours and are great for a tidy potted plant to complement your space.
  • Outdoor furnishings – create an outdoor living space with quality patio sets, picnic tables, and park benches.
  • Outdoor kitchen – add a built-in barbecue, pizza oven, or even a fire pit for warmth and ambience.
  • Landscape lighting – light up your outdoor space to become a beautiful place to entertain and to enjoy your evenings with friends and family.

Busy lifestyles and times of drought are giving us clear signs: it’s time to ditch the work and negatives of maintaining a conventional yard and get into a low-maintenance paradise.

“With a low-maintenance yard, you don’t have to work on the weekends, and you always have a nice, clean, fun yard!” BURNCO Landscape employee.

For low-maintenance yard inspiration, check out our “Do it yourself landscaping ideas.”

The Aristokrat Series 2cm HydraPressed Porcelain Slabs

Aristokrat Series

The Aristokrat Series from Abbotsford Concrete Products, this 2cm HydraPressed Porcelain Slab is manufactured with patent pending integral mix design, ensuring you the finest quality 2cm HydraPressed Porcelain Slabs on the market. Traditionally porcelain has been used for extensive indoor applications but now with our advanced manufacturing technology, porcelain slabs can be used for a wide variety of outdoor hardscape applications.

The Aristokrat Series is perfect for terraces, roof decks, patios, court yards, swimming pools, water features or any traditional hardscape areas. Porcelain slabs deliver performance, style, versatility and are resistant to staining, fading, marking, chemicals and extreme weather. It is the ideal choice for residential or commercial outdoor applications but can also be used indoors for aesthetic continuity.

This unique product, with next generation technology, can be used for exterior architectural cladding as an alternative to conventional masonry products, providing a low maintenance high quality elegant finish.

The exceptional technical features of Aristokrat HydraPressed Slabs are not affected by the passing of time and can be installed by using one of the three following methods: Adjustable BlackJack® Pedestals, sand set on aggregate base, or traditional mortar set.

Aristokrat Slabs are fully rectified for squareness and are dimensionally consistent reducing installation time and cost. The Aristokrat Series is extremely versatile: it is thinner and lighter than concrete and natural stone slabs, while providing superior flexural and load-bearing capacity. The Aristokrat Series is extremely versatile: it is thinner and lighter (only 9lbs/sq2) than concrete and natural stone slabs, while providing superior flexural and load-bearing capacity.

The Aristokrat Series is very low maintenance, durable and stain resistant. All slabs come with our proven ‘Anti-Slip’ surface and are available in over 23 rich color blends with subtle variations and textures that emulate natural Limestone, Granite, Travertine, Marble and Quartz. There are six modular sizes allowing a wide variety of layout combinations for complete design freedom.

Standard Sizes:
23 5/8” x 47 1/4” x 3/4” ( 60cm x 120cm x 2cm )
23 5/8” x 35 1/2” x 3/4” ( 60cm x 90cm x 2cm )
23 5/8” x 23 5/8” x 3/4” ( 60cm x 60cm x 2cm )
17 3/4” x 35 1/2” x 3/4” ( 45cm x 90cm x 2cm )
17 3/4” x 17 3/4” x 3/4” ( 45cm x 45cm x 2cm )
8 5/8” x 35 1/2” x 3/4” ( 22.5cm x 90cm x 2cm )
All sizes are nominal.

Advantages of Aristokrat Porcelain Slabs:
-Stain and mark resistant high density surface
-No efflorescence
-Use outdoors or indoors
-Precise sizing greatly reducing installation time and cost
-Superior strength to thickness ratio than concrete or natural stone
-Lightweight (only 9lbs/sq2) provides for cost savings in shipping and installation
-Install on pedestals, sand or mortar set

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How to Remove Weeds from Paving Stones

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How to Remove Weeds from Paving Stones and Prevent Future Weed Growth
From envirobond.com

Nobody likes weed growth between their paving stone joints. Weed growth is tedious and time consuming to remove, and it makes a paved surface look untidy.

Many people think that weed growth occurs from the bottom up, but it actually occurs from the top down. When the sand washes out of the joints, they become prone to organic matter and debris, which leads to weed growth.

Weeds are very determined, but there are effective solutions that will eliminate weed growth and prevent future weeds from growing.

EnviroSAND is a jointing sand mixed with a powdered plant glue, it’s designed for the joints of paving stones or flagstone, it’s designed to stay in place which keeps it from washing out, and keeps the weeds out.

This video will show you how to remove existing weed growth from your paving stone joints, and install EnviroSAND to help eliminate weeds for good.

St. Patrick’s Island Park Re-development – ICPI

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BURNCO working with its partner barkman concrete supplied 65,000 square feet of paving stones for this project. The Contemporary Broadway pavers produced by barkman and supplied by BURNCO are available to order at BURNCOlandscape.com

“Unveiled to the public on July 31, 2015, the $20 million renewal of the regional park features restored natural habitat with native plantings and wetlands accessible by trail, a boardwalk and walking trails. A river channel was dredged and restored to its natural state to allow access for waders, water play and rafting, plus a woodland habitat was re-established for nesting hawks, owls and other birds. With the natural environment being the soul of the project, designers kept the human footprint light while providing an amenity-filled, family-friendly park that encourages year-round use by city dwellers. Amenities include play, picnic and viewing areas; walking, running and bike trails; pavilions surrounding two event spaces and pathways that can accept small (up to 1-ton) utility, maintenance and emergency vehicles.

MATERIALS OF CHOICE

The surface materials of choice for this island oasis include 65,000 sf (6,000 m2) of concrete paver ‘planks’ measuring 445 mm long, 100 mm tall and 70 mm wide, set in a running bond pattern with random color distribution in three grays. The pavers are prominently used in two key areas of the island: Confluence Plaza (an event pavilion and amphitheater area named for the island’s location at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers), and at the Seasonal Breach area near the landing of St. Patrick’s Bridge. St. Patrick’s Bridge opened in October, 2014, as a pedestrian and cyclist access route across the Bow River. Portions of paver pathways meander throughout the island. The design creates unique, seamless transition details in the many, varied edges where the pavers join the park’s other surface materials, including gravel and clay mix on trails and wood decking.”

Photos of the project

TRIED AND TRUE

When starting on the island design, CMLC and city stakeholders were already familiar and comfortable with the aesthetic and practical benefits of concrete pavers, says Ms. Veres. The island project is part of a larger, 20-year infrastructure improvement program being delivered by CMLC throughout Calgary’s Rivers District Area in the east end of Calgary’s downtown. The lion’s share of CMLC’s work is a master-planned community called East Village, a 50-acre brownfield site reimagined for mixed-use, high-density development that serves 11,500 residents, and is planned in response to exploding city population growth driven by oil and gas development.

A key element of the East Village streetscape is about 31,000 square meters of L-shaped concrete pavers used to establish sidewalks and road carriageways with a cobblestone effect—the first large-scale use of concrete pavers in the city, says Ms. Veres. While the initial installation cost of the pavers was relatively high compared with some of the design team’s other options, that cost has since been more than outweighed by ease of repair and maintenance, and by the fact that the streetscape serves as a unique selling proposition to developers and residential buyers. “They’ve attracted interest, set a standard of quality we were seeking for this community, and helped set the tone for the larger project,” said Ms. Veres. After years of working on the East Village, CMLC’s contractors had a wealth of experience with the materials, she adds. “It was easy for us to imagine how the pavers might add to the experience and aesthetic of St. Patricks’ Island Park. We tested them and had success.”

Chosen in part for their experience with waterways, design firms W Architecture of New York City and Civitas of Denver envisioned a naturalized environment and modern amenities fitting together without too much visual contrast—a challenging design task, says Martin Barry, ASLA, associate with W Architecture. That led to the choice of paver planks for a linear look with texture created by a tricolor scheme, he explains. “It elongates the smaller spaces, while shrinking the scale in others. The result is some places have more of a feeling of expansiveness, where in others, there are big pauses.” While even longer pavers were an option, Mr. Barry says the paver length on the island project was limited to 18 inches to protect against potential cracking under occasional use by light-utility vehicles.

Pavers were also chosen for their ability to withstand Calgary’s climate, including bitterly cold winters and year-round sun. In addition to creating an even visual flow, the paver colors, in natural gray, medium gray and charcoal, were chosen partly for their high reflectivity to minimize heat-island effect, Mr. Barry says. The system is also designed to be entirely permeable, accepting and filtering stormwater just as the surrounding environment will do naturally. Calgary is flood-prone with the Bow and Elbow rivers running through it. While it is unlikely that St. Patrick’s Island will find itself underwater again anytime soon—as it did in a massive 2013 flood caused by a 100-year weather event—the permeable paver system fits neatly into the larger project’s necessarily water-friendly design, say stakeholders.

SEAMLESS TRANSITIONS

The paver design creates appealing, seamless connections to natural materials, such as wooden decking and trail surfaces, Mr. Barry says. “The flush transition from hardwood tropical decking onto the concrete pavers, and the color variation between the two, is really quite beautiful. Where the pavers intersect with trails of decomposed stone, a very nice transition is achieved with the soft material butting up against the hard.”

Read the rest at interlockdesign.org or pickup Interlock Design Magazine.

2015 IS THE INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF SOILS (IYS) – Leslie Nicholls

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From the Calgary Gardening newsletter Volume 29, Issue 7
Written by Leslie Nicholls

The aim of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations for the IYS is to “increase awareness and understanding of the importance of soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions” which comprises all plants and animals in an area. Soil is the foundation of any successful garden and landscape. Personally, I am fascinated by soil, including composting to augment my garden soil, scouting out good soil sources, and mulching each year.

A local supplier for me is BURNCO Landscape Centre, as my home is in Lynnwood. It’s a quick drive to bring home smaller loads of bulk product. I fill large Tupperware bins (three to four large ones will fit in the back of my car).

Often I bring along my grandchildren, ages eight and eleven. They each have their own shovel to help fill a bin. Sometimes we have ‘races’, other times we work towards finding the most efficient way of moving the soil, mulch or rock product I need. There is often an ice-cream reward for all when when the sweaty work has been completed.

Read the rest by joining the society and receive 8 issues of Calgary Gardening Member Magazine.

Join one of Canada’s largest gardening organizations, connect with fellow Calgary gardeners, save money, receive a one-of-a-kind Calgary gardening magazine delivered directly to your door, visit members’ gardens and enjoy the benefits of member-only on-line resources. calhort.org

Environmental benefits of a Pond – Van Isle Water

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Ponds add beauty and variety to ones home landscape, not to mention the relaxing, soothing sounds of a stream or waterfall. Owning a pond is also good for the environment in several ways.

1. Water Conservation

Ponds and water features recirculate water making them a good landscaping option for water conservation. When a pond is filled, pond owners will need to “top off” the pond only occasionally. Shrubs, flowers and plants based in soil require constant watering, causing a household’s water consumption to increase dramatically. Through rainfall, ponds and water gardens literally water themselves, helping you save water.

Lawns are more difficult to maintain in dry seasons when they require lots of watering, whereas ponds can be re-filled with rainwater. Maintaining a green lawn requires regular watering; otherwise, it can quickly lose colour and become brown. Therefore, homeowners spend countless hours and thousands of gallons of water each year watering their lawns.

Pond water can also be used to water other plants in the garden, therefore conserving water by eliminating the use of the garden hose. Simply dip a watering can into the pond to care for other plants and trees throughout the yard.

It can be difficult to find a happy medium between lowering costs, conserving water and maintaining a beautiful garden—but owning a pond helps accomplish all three!

2. Support Local Wildlife

For years, pond owners have been adding beautiful fish (such as Koi and goldfish) to their pond. Ponds and water gardens also attract other creatures, providing a sanctuary for breeding. Frogs gather at the pond as it provides a shelter for reproducing in the spring and summer. Baby frogs and toads are generally a desirable pond inhabitant for their algae-eating habits. Adult toads are also beneficial to the garden for their aid in controlling insects.

Adding a pond or water garden to your yard not only adds beauty to your yard, but it also supports the indigenous wildlife in your neighborhood. Ponds attract and create a haven for beautiful fish, dragonflies, frogs and birds.

3. Environmental Awareness

Water gardens influence young people to help create a better future for the planet. Planning, building and maintaining a pond or water garden helps children understand the responsibility we all have for caring for our environment. Water gardens are complete ecosystems, which educate on how natural systems work and can influence people on how to help create a better planet. Including children in the building of a water garden or pond also helps them gain an interest in science and environmental issues.

Pond Benefits – From Van Isle Water

Belgard Tandem Wall

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Tandem Wall retaining wall system designed by Belgard Hardscapes provides the appearance of natural stone that will complement any hardscape. The innovative, versatile system can be used to create attractive, curved or straight retaining and freestanding walls. Great for use in a wide range of residential and light commercial hardscape projects.

Tandem Wall cutsheet

This new block is available at all BURNCO locations for order.

FlagStone – Abbotsford Concrete

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FlagStone from Abbotsford Concrete, with PermaFinish is ideal for decks, patios, sidewalks, pool surrounds or anywhere the look of natural stone is required, but at a fraction of the cost.

FlagStone consists of six identically shaped pavers, each with its own unique pattern, in six beautiful color blends that easily fit together to create an authentic look of natural flagstone at a fraction of the cost. This paver is installed in the same way as our other pavers, however, FlagStone requires the application of a Joint Sand to fill the joints.

FlagStone

This new block is available at BURNCOfor order.

Snap Edge

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Snap Edge Professional Edging, is a one piece system does it all: straight, curved and even a complete radius without waste.

● An 8′ piece transports easily and requires no extra connectors.
● Patented snap and spike together ends for a secure connection and extra support.
● Rugged injection molded plastic ensures the strongest edge designed for commercial, vehicular, and patio/walkway applications.
● Can be installed before or after the pavers have been laid.
● Easy to install with common 8″- 12″ landscape spikes.
● Convenient and efficient packaging.

“Unique “Snip & Flex” feature allows total freedom when designing your driveway or sidewalk. You can create unlimited curves and angles in minutes, ensuring an aesthetically pleasing and structurally superior project. This flexibility and strength has made Snap Edge® the premier edging choice of professionals.”

Snapedge Brochure

Available at all BURNCO locations.