Granite is one of the earth’s most amazing natural materials; it’s also quite versatile in the right hands.
Being able to build pathways, flower beds, steps, and patios from granite is all part of a regular day’s work for Stonescaping Muskoka.
However, it’s when the opportunity arises to be really creative that their team’s abilities shine through, says owner Collin Dunnett.
One property required the removal of an unnecessary and unsightly rock wall before getting to work on revamping their landscape.
“We needed to dig it all out,” says Collin. “You never know what opportunities arise until you know what you’re working with.”
Indeed, as the old wall was removed, they uncovered a swath of natural features that Stonescaping Muskoka was able to incorporate into the landscape design. Using naturally situated granite along with a few additions, the property now features a stunning view featuring geographical scenery and manmade features.
Granite paths were made flush with the wooden deck on each side of the cottage, while retaining walls for a garden were made from both naturally occurring outcrops of granite and natural-looking blocks that Collin’s team brought to the site.
Collin says they prefer to blend their designs into the existing landscape because it creates a visually appealing flow without sacrificing strength and quality.
One water feature truly sticks out amongst all the beauty. It is situated just a few feet from the patio and centred near the main door. Stonescaping Muskoka created this feature by drilling a hole through the centre of a large, naturally cut block of granite.
The property’s owners, Bob and Sherry, were awestruck with the level of ingenuity it took to complete this feature, as well as the final results.
“Once it was finished, I said ‘wow,’” recalls Sherry.
Adds Bob: “It’s lovely to just sit on the front porch and listen to the water flow.”
At another Muskoka oasis, the Stonescaping Muskoka team removed old, rickety wooden steps and replaced them with large granite slabs which blend into the wooden dock. They then added granite steps that lead right into the water.
“We cut into the dock and brought the flagstone right into the dock,” says Collin. “We put 20-foot-long steps off the deck. It looked really cool when it was all done.”
These are only a couple of examples of the type of creative planning and expert installation Collin and his team have been doing for the past 15-plus years. They have built some amazing items over the years, including fire pits surrounded by granite and even a hot tub on a patio where the floor, seats and steps were all done in granite.
“Granite is the perfect material for landscaping in Muskoka,” says Collin. “It’s very versatile and creates a seamless flow with the natural environment. It can provide both a rustic and elegant feel, depending on its use.”
TEXT CHRIS OCCHIUZZI | PHOTOS ANDREW FEARMAN