"I'm Not Dead Yet"

Uncommon Ground Design Group Portfolio - Mississauga

Uncommon Ground Design Group Portfolio - Mississauga

“ I’m Not Dead Yet !”

Have you ever looked at a leafless (possibly Not lifeless) tree and wondered if it’s truly dead ?Many trees have faced down a chainsaw wishing they could cry out “ I’m Not Dead Yet” like a scene from Monty Python’s Holy Grail - only to be removed before their prime. Be aware that some trees can appear as if to play Possum shortly after being planted.

After being planted and suffering some shock from being wrestled into the ground, some trees can show signs of being dead or dying by browning or dropping leaves. This reaction may not happen immediately but when it does, don’t be hasty with the axe. A common way of determining the health of a tree with questionable lifeless appearance is by using your thumb nail or small blade, lightly scratch the thin surface bark of a few small branches. If the result is a visible thin green layer that is appears moist (Not dry) just below the bark, there is hope. To give your tree a fighting chance to produce leaves in the spring (or sooner) here are a few tips that 


Best Practices: 

Watering : Water the tree with at least 1” of water a week after planting.

Mulch: Make sure there is about 2” of natural mulch spread evenly around the base of the tree.

Pruning: Don’t be afraid to consider taking off a few tree branches at the right time for the species of trees within the first few years. Check out Pruning Practices in Detail - below for more information.

Proper Planting: Check below the ground . The tree may have been planted too low or high, it may be suffering from a lack of air to the roots or  a lack of soil contact to the roots in the hole that was dug for it. In a worst case scenario where the tree was not planted properly, you might have to replant. Davey Tree has some in-depth helpful hints in “ Check the Planting of a Tree”.


Find out more : 

Davey Tree Web Site  - http://blog.davey.com/2018/05/helping-trees-recover-from-transplant-shock/

Pruning Practices in Detail : - http://www.agroconection.com/pruning-young-and-newly-planted-trees.html

Check the Planting of a Tree: - http://blog.davey.com/2011/06/in-too-deep/

Fall Preparation : Lawns Need Love Too !

 Portfolio image: Uncommon Ground Design Group Inc. MIssissauga Ontario

 Portfolio image: Uncommon Ground Design Group Inc. MIssissauga Ontario

Here it is. Fall fast approaches. Kids will go back to school and some of them will run across your lawn in the excitement to join their friends. Just before you consider yelling at them to keep off the grass, you decide they wouldn’t listen anyway and instead decide to contemplate your lawn’s condition and how to keep it in good health over the winter.

Opinions about Lawn Care are numerous on the internet  and if you have ever wondered what preparation is suggested for the Fall season, here are a few solid points that you might consider for the love of your lawn.

Best Practices: Grass Height : Maintain a regular grass height Spring to Fall of 5 cm (2inches) until the grass stops growing. Being careful NOT to remove more than two thirds of the grass height at any one time, your last mow of the fall season should include cutting the lawn to less than an inch before winter.

Nutrients and General Care: An early Fall (up to the 2nd week in September) aeration, and applications of spreading fertilizer, compost and seed application to fill in the gaps is suggested. For shade lawns, or if you want an option to water thirsty lawns, consider Eco Lawn grass seed from Wild Flower Farm in Orillia Ontario. This grass seed is for lawns from full sun to deep shade and has up to seven types of grass seed and can reduce water needs by up to 75%. This seed can be found in some garden supply stores or you can order directly. Follow the application instructions carefully.

Sustainability: Options to Eco-Lawn grass seed as a popular drought resistant lawns include a micro clover seed as a grassed lawn alternative. Clover grows in most sun and some shade situations and, is a nitrogen fixing agent which means it naturally adds the all important Nitrogen to the soil as it grows. Clover also grows densely leaving almost no room and nutrients for weeds.

Find out more : 

“ Green Side Up” by Wes R Porter  - https://www.amazon.com/Green-Side-Up-Wes-Porter/dp/1550413821 

Wild Flower Farm - ‘Eco Lawn’: http://www.wildflowerfarm.com/

“Gardening Grief and Glory” by Ed Lawrence - http://www.gardeningwithed.com/

Clover : https://dengarden.com/gardening/Clover-Lawns

Revival ?

With much of our design requests being modern and contemporary recently , it’ nice to return to rustic basics once in awhile. I’m particularly proud of our contracted carpenter, Fraser, for getting high ratings and compliments from the local building inspector for his framing and joining work on this. Having a good team pays off. 


Rustic Cabana in Mississauga.

A Finishing Touch

Landscape design doesn’t have to stop at the garden. The choice of lighting sconces and other details can bring the design together and complete a project. Don’t forget the details.


Here's a Flat light sconce (2.5" clearance) that matches the pergola colour, fits between the wall and the column and accentuates the house brick texture and offers optimal ambience at night on the deck.

About 3D

By popular demand, We now provide realistic 3D renderings with all of our concept packages. Plans are ok but it’s far better to put yourself in the newly designed site to get the true look and feel of the Landscape to be. Coming Soon ... we are working on Virtual reality.

A rendered 3D computer generated concept design. 

A rendered 3D computer generated concept design. 

Modern craft

I love modern and contemporary Landscape designs. The intensity of craft and precision is the same as most other fine design. The trick is to maintain the geometry and enhance the precision and sometimes soften it rather than fight it. This project was completed recently in Oakville and has yet to show its full potential as it matures.


We took the liberty to add to the architectural features to enhance the use of outdoor space. Our address wall and back pergola bring structure and seasonal functionality.