Custom Dry Stack Wall

It was such a pleasure to put together this custom designed dry stack wall - texture natural elements and a completely unique look. It came together beautifully and has created a unique, eye catching element to the front of the house.

 
BEFORE: out of date cinder blocks created an eye sore.

BEFORE: out of date cinder blocks created an eye sore.

Consider this look as a unique alternative for your landscape project!

Leslieville Backyard Transformation

This is another great "before and after" landscaping project. This Leslieville backyard was originally sloped up to the back fence, and wasn't the most functional space.  A large tree in the corner of the property made it difficult for sod to thrive, resulting in a rather mucky mess. For this project we excavated out the slope of the yard, and levelled an area for a natural stone patio. We cleaned up and edged in the gardens, and installed a retaining wall with steps leading up to the back laneway. 

We installed up lights in all three garden beds to illuminate the tree and larger shrubs, which gives the project more depth and a lovely atmosphere when viewed at night from the kitchen window. We also installed drip irrigation to the garden beds, and step lights on the deck, although you can't see them in the photos below.

THE COMPLETED PROJECT - READY TO ENJOY

THE COMPLETED PROJECT - READY TO ENJOY

 
BEFORE PHOTO

BEFORE PHOTO

THE 3D CONCEPT PLAN - CREATED BY TREVOR LITTLE

THE 3D CONCEPT PLAN - CREATED BY TREVOR LITTLE

PRODUCTS UTILIZED:
Patio
- Banas square cut 'Kota Black' flagstone
Retaining wall and steps - Unilock Rivercrest 'Coastal Slate' with Banas 'Kota Black' coping
Lighting - In-Lite
Irrigation - Hunter controller with rain-bird drip lines

CHALLENGES:
While it was a fairly straight forward project, our main challenge was the limited access we had to the back yard. The project required the removal of almost 40 cu. yards of excavation to get the yard to the grade we needed for our base. As is typical with many Leslieville properties our access down the side of the house was very narrow (31"), considering the amount of fill we had to remove we knew this would be a big challenge. To assist us and keep things moving swiftly on site, we brought in a Cormidi Mini Track Dumper which we used to fill a bin in the front yard (photos in slideshow below).

VIEW THE WHOLE PROCESS BELOW:

Function, meet natural elements

This was another radical transformation which we finished earlier this spring. The objective of the project was to replace the boring grass lawn with some visually appealing raised planter beds that could double as functional walkways.

The solution?

We pulled in some large natural bolders to frame the design - not only did it create a lovely focal point in the space, but they matched nicely with the natural stone coping and Unilock Rivercrest wall units.  

This project really shines with the planting our clients did after we left, so I will have to go back for some photos once the gardens are in full bloom this summer. But here's the final look as we left the job site, and scroll down to see more in the slideshow below.

COMPLETED CONSTRUCTION - READY TO PLANT!

COMPLETED CONSTRUCTION - READY TO PLANT!

 
THE BEFORE PHOTO

THE BEFORE PHOTO

 
CONCEPT DRAWING BY TREVOR LITTLE The product selection changed a little during the process, but here is the origional concept we decided on.

CONCEPT DRAWING BY TREVOR LITTLE
The product selection changed a little during the process, but here is the origional concept we decided on.

PRODUCTS UTILIZED:
Walls - Unilock Rivercrest 'Coastal Slate' with Banas 'Slate Grey' coping.
Rocks - Armour Stone
Walkway - Unilock Brussels Block 'Sierra'

PROJECT GOAL:
Create a visually stunning walkway with ample space for planting, and a unique look & feel.

SEE THE WHOLE PROCESS BELOW:

The final result really complimented the house perfectly and is high in function as well as style. We're quite thrilled with how it tuned out! A perfect example of how thinking outside the box can pay off.

MODERN Backyard makeover: CEDAR & UMBRIANO

Alright, winter is here, so we finally have time to share some of the projects we worked on over the 2015 season. Starting from the beginning: we kicked off our 2015 season with this very fun little project!  This design involved an interlocking stone patio, two custom cedar privacy screens, and the recovering of the existing deck & steps. We also built a new fence along the south side of the property which is shared with the neighbour, along with a couple matching gates to tie it all together.

We also ran electricity to the back of the property, and added gas lines around the perimeter of the project for future upgrades to lanterns and a fire table.  We installed a simple drip irrigation system in each of the planter beds. We also installed low voltage lighting under the trees, on the privacy screen and embedded in the steps for ambient light and a perfect ambience in the evenings. For an added upgrade, the shed was painted and re-shingled to match the modern look of the project.
(Scroll down to see the slideshow of the full completed project)

FINISHED BACKYARD, LOOKING OUT FROM THE BACK DOORS

FINISHED BACKYARD, LOOKING OUT FROM THE BACK DOORS

 
THE 'BEFORE PHOTO' 

THE 'BEFORE PHOTO' 

3D CONCEPT BY TREVOR LITTLE

PRODUCTS UTILIZED:
Patio: Unilock Umbriano EnduraColor in 'Winter Marvel'  24"x24"
Border / Accent: Unilock Umbriano EnduraColor 'Winter Marvel' 12"x24" with Unilock Copthorne 'Basalt'
Carpentry Materials: Western Red Cedar
Lighting: In-Lite
Natural Gas lines: Mike the Gas Man

PROJECT GOAL:
To create a more functional and visual backyard space with a surface that the kids could play on, that can grow with the family and function as an adult living space in the coming years. 

SEE THE WHOLE PROCESS BELOW:

It's never to early to start thinking about your next landscape project - we can help you with everything from concept to design, to product selection and execution.

Enjoy your new backyard guys!

Beyond The Pines: An Urban Transformation

3000 square feet of sod.
150 Fraiser Fir Trees.
40 tons of armour stone.

30 cubic yards of mulch.
4 tri-axels of sand.


22 HOURS...


One epic Urban Transformation pulled off by the LITTLE Landscapes team - all in the name of Jagermeister & Exclaim Magazine's annual Summer BBQ!


Roof Top Agency contacted us with a big plan - to turn a downtown Toronto parking lot into a bustling forrest fit an epic music industry invite-only bash like no other. 
Challenge accepted.

BEFORE:

Your run of the mill Toronto Parking Lot

Your run of the mill Toronto Parking Lot

3D RENDERINGS BY TREVOR:

Beyondthepines_LITTLE-1.jpg

AFTER:

Panorama from the DJ Booth at 2014 Beyond The Pines Event - ready for the party to begin!

Panorama from the DJ Booth at 2014 Beyond The Pines Event - ready for the party to begin!

With only 22 hours to prepare before the party, our crew started at 5pm sharp the day before the event. 150 Fir Trees were delivered and the crew got busy creating braces for our soon-to-be forrest:

Day two started with a lot of early morning deliveries - sod, mulch, fill and stone! 
From there it was all hands on deck to grade the fill, lay the grass, mulch the pathways and place all the armour stone benches just so.

The end result was nothing short of a complete and utter transformation - click to see a larger version:

Click image above for the full effect!

The remaining crew posing for a quick photo at the entrance - time to get the party started!

The remaining crew posing for a quick photo at the entrance - time to get the party started!

...and of course, bright and early the next day the crew was onsite to take things back down to parking lot standards. All within 44 hours, start to finish.

Not only was this project a unique and exciting challenge, but the end result had huge impact. Overhearing the conversations and watching people decipher the transformation was the best part. "Wait - ya, it is a parking lot..."

The moral of the story?
At Little Landscapes, no job is too big - and we absolutely love a challenge.

Chris from Rooftop & Trevor pose for a quick photo together before the party gets started - a job well done!

Chris from Rooftop & Trevor pose for a quick photo together before the party gets started - a job well done!

Special thanks to the whole crew over at Rooftop for bringing us on board to make this project a reality.

We also want to give a shout out to the amazing sponsors who kept our crew hydrated during building & fuelled at the party: JagerSteamwhistleMonster & Smokes Poutinerie.  

SHOUT OUTS:
Drysdale Tree Farm delivered 150 Fir Trees right to our downtown location, Ricky at DreamWorks Tree Services was amazing to work with, and had our back when it came to mulching the trees after the party. Richmond Sod came through with some beautiful, plush grass, and one of our go-to favourites, Lane's Landscape Supplies dropped off 40 tons of Armour stone so our guests could enjoy stone seating.
And of course, our amazing & talented crew who worked late, started early and partied hard.
We couldn't have done it without you guys!

What a Fence!

This was a fun little job we did last April, that shows the the difference a nice new fence and a bit of sod can make.  Aside for the obvious privacy benefits you get from a fence, they are also great for defining property lines and giving a clean backdrop which can make a yard look much larger and cleaner.  

For this project our client was looking for a clean and simple fence design.  They had recently purchased the house and wanted to make the backyard more aesthetic and functional.  We ripped out the overgrown gardens to give them a fresh start, and reshaped them to a more uniform look. The yard was covered in 'Pea' stone (I will do another post in the future explaining why 'Pea' stone is an awful ground cover) which we replaced with some fresh sod.  

The deck was in pretty good shape, just it had a slightly awkward design flaw, which we fixed by squaring it off, and building a more functional, larger staircase off the center of the deck to give better access to the yard and maximize its usable space above.  We then removed the privacy lattice on the sides and continued our fence boards right to the house to tie everything together.  Thanks to Sara for passing along these photos.

You can read the review left by our happy client on HomeStars.

Leslieville Semi - A complete property makeover

This was a really enjoyable project we completed last August, and a great example of how with a little planning you can create an entirely new space for the whole family to enjoy.  Its a small property, but one with lots of potential; the homeowners were looking to make their outdoor space more functional and welcoming.  They wanted to create a space that their kids could enjoy which also required minimal maintainance.  

Enter the LITTLE Landscapes crew!

With a stunning design that was created by Sylvie De Brabandere, and a modern grey colour scheme created using Unilock Umbriano stones in Midnight Sky and Winter Marvel we were able to create an inviting, eye catching space that makes you excited to be outdoors with family & friends.

MODERN COLOURS & ACCENT TEXTURES
We kept the palette clean and sleek with tones ranging from dark slate to light grey, and tied it all together with easy-to-maintain hostas from the client's previous gardens.  The seat walls are made out of Unilock's new Rivercreast wall system, and are topped with Banas Kota Black coping stones.  This feature offers extra seating when entertaining or relaxing with the kids in the summer, and separates the two areas beautifully. To take you up to the back patio area, we tied it all together with a stunning Banas Kota natural stone step which compliments the colours of the design and keeps the overall look clean & modern.


SYNTHETIC TURF - THE MINI LAWN ALTERNATIVE
One of the elements this couple was excited about was the addition of a section of synthetic turf.  This is a high quality, very natural looking product that offers comfort for tiny feet as well as the added bonus of a zero maintenance lawn.  No more worrying about watering the grass-patch or having to cut the lawn. Since this is the only "grass" on the property it was a perfect way to cut down on maintenance while leaving all the added function of a green space. 


LIGHT UP YOUR SPACE - THE FINISHING TOUCH
Another stunning feature of this job was the addition of carefully placed lighting fixtures.  Outdoor lighting is a detail that not only adds safety and visablity to your space but also an element of elegance.  Here we inserted lights from InLite into the new deck steps, and on the edges of the Natural Stone Step in the backyard. You'll notice that we've also added accent lighting in the front yard and in the garden areas as well.  The extra hint of light in the evenings offers both functionality and beauty.  

Design by Sylvie De Brabandere

Photography by Larissa Issler

 

Simple Leslieville Front Entrance

I really have to find the before photos of this job for you to get the full effect, but all the same we are very happy with how this little job turned out.  We replaced their crumbling concrete steps and garden wall with Unilock Brussels Dimensional in the 'Limestone' colour.  The landings are filled in with Unilock Brussels Block interlocking stone, and the garden wall is finished with Banas Kota Black coping.