Top Landscape Design Trends for 2013

Can’t wait to get outdoors and enjoy the hottest landscaping trends for 2013? You’re not alone! According to a survey of landscape architects conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), 2013 is all about outdoor living and getting more enjoyment out of our yards. Here are the top survey categories (with results in percentages).

Outdoor Design Elements
Outdoor living spaces (kitchens, entertainment areas): 94.5%
Gardens/landscaped spaces: 94.4%

Outdoor Living Features
Fire pits/fireplaces: 97%
Grills: 96.3%
Seating/dining areas: 96.3%
Lighting: 95.1%
Installed seating (benches, seat walls, ledges, steps, boulders): 90.3%

Outdoor Recreation Amenities
Decorative water elements, e.g., ornamental pools, splash pools, waterfalls, grottos, water  runnels or bubblers: 90.9%
Spa features (hot tubs, Jacuzzis, whirlpools, indoor/outdoor saunas): 81.5%

Landscape/Garden Elements
Low-maintenance landscapes: 93.9%
Native plants: 86.6%

Sustainable Design Elements
Native/adapted drought-tolerant plants: 83%
Drip/water-efficient irrigation: 82.5%

Outdoor Structures
Terraces/patios/decks: 97.6%
Fencing (includes gates): 89.6%

Hedberg Landscape & Masonry Supplies can help you with all of these design elements. If you want to get more enjoyment out of your yard, Head into Hedberg! Let us refer you to a qualified design+build firm. Now’s the perfect time to plan so that you can get the work done quickly this spring and enjoy your new outdoor living space all summer long. Call Hedberg’s referral line at 763.225.0589 or fill out an information/referral request online.

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Top 5 Holiday Gift Ideas for the Outdoor Living Enthusiast

 Our friends at Belgard Hardscapes provide more great ideas for outdoor living.

With the holidays rapidly approaching, here are some gift ideas for those who look for opportunities to continue enjoying their outdoor living spaces when the temperature drops.

Fire PitHoliday Gifts
Add a cozy gathering spot with a fire pit from Hedberg, or build a custom pit using retaining wall block. For inspiration visit our outdoor living Pinterest board.

S’mores Kit
No outdoor fire feature is complete without ooey gooey chocolaty s’mores. Build your own s’mores gift basket or buy a pre-packaged kit complete with roasting sticks.

Tabletop Butane Heater
Increase the warmth of any outdoor seating area with tabletop heaters, available in lots of styles and colors to complement the décor of any outdoor living space.

Fleece Throw Blankets
Nothing says snuggle weather like a fleece blanket. For extra portability, choose a convertible blanket that comes with its own set of carrying handles.

Polycarbonate Wine Glasses
The wine enthusiast in your life will love having polycarbonate wine glasses for outdoor use. Real glassware doesn’t stand a chance when dropped or knocked over onto hardscapes. Polycarbonate offers the elegant look of real glass with none of the worry.

We’ll add a sixth item to the list, and that’s a Hedberg gift card that offers ultimate flexibility for gardeners and landscape enthusiasts. It can be redeemed for plants and garden supplies at Hedberg Nursery, water garden supplies and other landscape materials (decorative rock, clay pots, mulch, stone)  and even masonry veneer and mortar for indoor fireplaces at any Hedberg store. Order a gift card online and we’ll mail it to you, or stop by any Hedberg store and we’ll give you a free ice melter gift with $50 gift card purchase now through December 21. Happy Holidays and keep enjoying the great outdoors!

You can reach Hedberg Landscape & Masonry Supplies at 763-545-4400 and .

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New Outdoor Living Trend: Sports-Cave

Photos in today’s blog were provided by our friends at Belgard Hardscapes.

outdoor tailgating

Outdoor living in the north country means many different things: hiking, camping, hunting, grilling and good old backyard games, to name a few. When it comes to residential landscapes, we’ve seen an explosion in requests for extending usable home space to the great outdoors with  outdoor kitchens, outdoor living rooms, and outdoor fireplaces. And now we’re see the popular “Man Cave” extend to the backyard in the form of a space where sports enthusiasts can gather with family and friends for outdoor tailgating and game viewing.  Behold the outdoor sports-cave.

 bar details

 This outdoor sports-cave was created for a  family who enjoys arm-chair quarterbacking and gourmet outdoor cooking. The custom Belgard Elements Bristol Bar includes an ice- maker, wet-bar sink, and commercial grade beer and beverage cooler. The detached Belgard Elements grill island has become the home of gourmet Creole foods like grilled boudin and chargrilled oysters. And, of course, no outdoor sports-cave would be complete without a big-screen TV and surround-sound system with speakers spread throughout the backyard.

You can read more tips for backyard tailgating at Belgard’s blog here.

You’ll find more inspiration for outdoor living in our online project gallery. For information about creating your own outdoor living space or for a referral to a qualified designer+installer, please contact Hedberg or stop by our locations in Stillwater, Farmington or Plymouth to experience outdoor living displays and consult with our team.

You can also call Hedberg at 763-545-4400.
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Fire It Up!

Nothing says fall family time like a bonfire and s’mores. During the invigorating interlude between Indian Summer and the hard freeze of winter, we love entertaining outdoors on cool evenings with a warm fire to keep us cozy. Here are five ways to add fire to your backyard.

1. Fire pits – patio rings,  boulder campfire ring,  raised fire pits

  In ground fire pit


2. Portable fire bowls

portable fire bowl

3. Fire tables

fire table

Fire table

5. Brick Ovens

brick oven close up

brick oven

5. Outdoor fireplaces

Outdoor fireplace in winter

Other things that can enhance your outdoor living area include pergolas and gazebos, outdoor kitchens, water features (bubbling rocks, waterfalls, ponds), stone or paver patios, seating walls, propane heaters, LED lighting, furniture, plantings, TV and stereo sytems. We recommend consulting a landscape designer to create a look that pulls everything together and we’d be happy to help you find one.

Please come see the displays at Hedberg. We have Do-It-Yourself kits starting at $149.99 and we can refer you to amazing professional contractors for the heavy lifting projects. Keep enjoying your great outdoors – and stay warm while you do it!


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Seven Stone Laying Techniques

Today’s blog is provided by Steve Hedberg, Founder and President of Hedberg Landscape and Masonry Supplies.Steve Hedberg


In the third and final installment of my blog series, I will discuss stone laying techniques and the stone characteristics that influence them.

First, let me introduce you to some basic terminology. The top and bottom of a piece of stone are known as the stone bed. Beds are either sawn or natural. The front of the stone that shows is known as the face. Faces can be natural or fabricated. Some typical faces are:

  1. Weather or Seam face; This face is caused by mineral staining from water flowing down cracks in the earth.
  2. Bed face; The natural top or bottom face of the stone is turned out.
  3. Split face; The stone is split with a hydraulic splitter and that face is turned out.
  4. Rock face; The stone is chiseled by hand to shape the face

These rock faces can play an important role in determining how stone is laid. In order to achieve the desired design, we lay stone in many different ways. Here are images of seven ways in which we lay stone:

Natural and sawn bed ashlar photos

Sawn Bed and Ledge Ashlar Web wall natural stone veneer

 Rubble and Mosaic natural stone veneers


Thank you for reading my three part series on rock geology, quarrying, and rock laying techniques. For more information, visit Hedberg Landscaping and Masonry Supplies online or at our three Twin Cities locations.

Here is a sampling of some of the natural stone veneer configurations you’ll see in our Masonry Selection Center. Next time you’re in Plymouth, please stop in and say hello to our exterior design experts and ask them to show you the seven styles described above. We may be biased, but we think seeing that much beautiful stone layed indoors is pretty cool.




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Introduction to Rock Quarrying

Today’s blog is provided by Steve Hedberg, Founder and President of Hedberg Landscape and Masonry Supplies.

In my last blog, we discussed basic rock geology. In order to understand how stone is quarried and then used, it is important for us to know where it came from. If you recall from our last blog, the three categories of stone we discussed were classified as igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic.

The category of stone determines whether it can be split into layers, gathered, or needs to be sawn into slabs to be used in construction. Stone that has been created in thick layers must be sawn into slabs, while thinner layers of stone can be split or pried apart. Likewise, stone that has been sorted from rivers, streams, or deposited by gravity can be gathered at the source.

Block Quarrying

In block quarrying, large blocks of stone are cut out of the earth using a variety of sawing methods. The blocks of stone are then stacked and sorted by quality, color, and texture and brought into a manufacturing facility to be cut into smaller sizes. This is done by using a variety of diamond tipped saws. The process normally begins by cutting the blocks of stone into slabs (similar to slices of bread) with varying thicknesses that are dependent on the final product’s unique thickness.

Once the stone blocks are cut into slabs, they are then cut or split into smaller sizes by saws or hydraulic stone splitters. Lastly, they are cut into the approximate shapes and the final products are created using a variety of stone shaping machines and finishings. Final products of stone which originate with stone blocks go through the most cutting and fabricating and normally will have sawn tops or bottoms known as the bed of the stone.

Ledge Stone Quarrying

In ledge stone quarrying, front end loaders with forks or hydraulic excavators pry apart layers of stone. These layers are then either palletized at the site or transported to a stone shop where they are fabricated into useful pieces and either set on pallets or put in baskets.


The third stone quarrying technique is gathered stone. In this quarrying technique, stone is gathered from streams, creek beds, or sorted out of glacial sand and gravel deposits.

 In my next blog, I will discuss stone laying techniques and the stone characteristics that influence them. For more information on stone products or quarrying techniques, visit Hedberg Landscape and Masonry Supplies.

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Summer Pond Plants

Brenda Neuenfeldt, Water Garden Specialist at Hedberg Landscape and Masonry Supplies presents three of her favorite summer pond plants.

Rosy Bistort

Rosy Bistort

Rosy Bistort is known by several common names, including Water Knotweed, Water Smartweed, and Amphibious Bistort. It grows in many types of wet habitat, such as ponds, streams, and marshes. It is a perennial herb that was once used as food and medicine by several Native American groups. The blooming period can occur from mid-summer to early fall, lasting about 1-2 months for a colony of plants.


Sweet Flag

Sweet Flag

Believed to be indigenous to India, Sweet Flag is known for its striking, beautiful sword-shaped leaves with vivid creamy-yellow banded stripes. It can be planted in full sun to partial shade and is considered to be a very hardy plant, which means that the plant is capable of surviving harsh winters. The Sweet Flag has a strong and spicy citrus odor and is a great accent to your pond that reflects beautifully on the water.



This perennial plant is native to North and South America and is about 1-3′ tall, consisting of a loose clump of basal leaves and occasional flowering stalks. The blooming period occurs during the summer and early fall and can last several months for a colony of plants. The vibrant purple flowers on the plant can be a beautiful addition to any pond. Pickerelweed is an emergent aquatic plant that prefers growing conditions of full to partial sun and shallow water with wet mucky soil.

Pickerelweed, image courtesy of Wikipedia

See these plants and other water garden features this weekend, July 21-22, at the Twin Cities Pond and Landscape Tour. Tickets are $15 each and 100% of ticket sales benefit Children’s Cancer Research Fund. Click here for more information, a map of tour sites, and to buy tickets.

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Rock Geology

Today’s blog is provided by Steve Hedberg, Founder and President of Hedberg Landscape and Masonry Supplies.

Over the last 25 years of being in the business of providing landscape supplies and later adding stone and brick for masonry, I have developed a couple of passions that relate to our business. I have decided to share my passion for rocks through a basic introduction to rock geology.

The Earth is active and its continuous change creates three categories of stone, each of which is commonly used in landscaping and masonry. These three categories are igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks.


Igneous rocks are composed of molten minerals and gases found as deep as 50 miles inside the earth’s crust. Heat and pressure within the earth cause these minerals and gases to form a volatile liquid rock called magma. This magma either rises to the earth’s surface during volcanic activity or stops below the surface and slowly cools there.

Extrusive igneous rocks occur when the magma cools after reaching the earth’s surface. The lava cools at a faster rate, which causes small or no crystals in rocks like basalt. Intrusive igneous rocks are created when the lava cools at a slower rate under the earth’s surface, causing very large crystals in rocks like granite.


Sedimentary rocks are made from debris of stone and organic matter that has been broken down by the action of wind, rain, rivers, glaciers or gravity. These same forces move and resettle the debris, during which process it becomes solidified or consolidated in layers that are easy to split during quarrying. Sedimentary rocks can be classified as both clastic and non-clastic rocks.


Sedimentary Sandstone

Clastic sedimentary rocks are made from weathered rock debris that has been physically transported and deposited. During the transportation process, the particles that make up these rocks often become rounded due to abrasion. A common example of clastic sedimentary rock is Sandstone. Locally used examples include New York Bluestone, Highland Brown or Sandy Creek. Non-clastic sedimentary rocks are created from chemical precipitation or more commonly from organic matter. Two common examples of a non-clastic sedimentary rock created by organic matter are limestone, which is a mixture of shells, coral, and other marine skeletons, and coal, which is created by the lithification of remains of plants.

Metamorphic Rock

The third type of rock, metamorphic rock, is a rock that is transformed from pre-existing rocks into another kind of rock due to heat and pressure. Examples of metamorphic rock include:

  • Marble, which is a metamorphed limestone
  • Quartzite, which is metamorphed sandstone
  • Slate, which is metamorphed shale
  • Gneiss, which is metamorphed granite

The category of a stone determines how it can be quarried – whether it can be split into layers, gathered or needs to be sawn into slabs. In my next blog, I will discuss the three main quarrying techniques for stone used in residential construction, which have a direct correlation to the three categories of stone.

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Benefits of Owning a Pond in Minnesota

Top Benefits of Owning a Pond in Minnesota

While many people are taking to the lakes and rivers of Minnesota to keep cool during this hot summer, people are also looking to their own backyards. Ponds provide a natural way for children and pets to cool down in the summer right in your own backyard. A great alternative to traditional backyard pools, flowing ponds offer a less chemically driven solution to keeping cool in the summer and offer some lesser known benefits to summer outdoor living. We found some additional benefits of owning a pond from Hedberg Landscape and Masonry Supplies’ Pond Champion, Erik Lund.

Mosquito Control

Contrary to popular belief, ponds can actually help to detract unwanted summertime bugs like mosquitoes. Through implementing a flowing water system in your pond, you can ensure that your pond will not be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Ponds also allow you to emulate natural ecosystems typical ofMinnesota. In doing this, you can attract organisms like frogs, dragonflies, and native birds to ward off unwanted summertime pests.


Outdoor living areas, such as outdoor kitchens and fire pits are a growing trend for summer night time entertaining. In the same way, ponds are able to be enjoyed in both the daytime and night. The advent of fiberoptic technology has made it possible to transform your daytime pond into a beautiful pondscape that is perfect for night time viewing and entertaining.  With many lighting options and fountains to choose from, creating a night time pondscape has never been easier and more unique!


Algae is a natural byproduct of a healthy, pond ecosystem. Fortunately, the algae from a pond makes a great fertilizer. According to Erik Lund, “algae you get from ponds can be better than any fertilizer you can buy.” Using naturally derived fertilizers, such as algae from your pond, is a great way to give your vegetable garden extra nutrients in the summer. Skim the algae from the pond, let dry, and you are able to compost or mix with soil for an organic fertilizer that is great for plants and vegetable gardens.

For more information, visit Hedberg Landscape and Masonry Supplies or check out these Minnesota summer pond tours to see these benefits in action:

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Blooming Now!

Eileen Filek, Nursery/Aquatics Supervisor at Hedberg Nursery, presents three of her favorite summer-blooming plants.

Asclepia incarnate – Swamp Milkweed

Asclepias incarnata Swamp Milkweed

According to our grower, Cedar Hill Natives, “The clusters of aromatic pink flowers of this native plant are an excellent nectar source for hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. It is also a favorite plant for Monarch butterfly caterpillars. Landscape uses include butterfly and perennial gardens, raingardens, and wetland and shoreline buffers.” I like Red (Swamp) Milkweed for the pink of its blossoms and the fact that six of the plants we ordered came in with 5 monarch caterpillars on them.
Hgt. 30-36” Spread 24-30” Full sun.

Phlox paniculata – Tall Garden Phlox

Phlox paniculata – Tall Garden Phlox

Photos courtesy of Bailey Nurseries

Several different colors: Grape Lollipop is deep pink to purple, Bubble Gum Pink self explanatory, Coral Crème Drop is a beautiful peach color. Bailey Nurseries tells us, “These Grandma’s Garden favorites bring months of tantalizing color and fragrance to the garden as well as attracting hummingbirds and butterflies.” I like Phlox because it’s cheery and makes me smile. It reminds me of an old-fashioned summertime garden.
Hgt. 18-22” Spread 18-24” Full sun.

Platycodon grandiflora – Balloon Flower ‘Fuji Blue’

Platycodon 'Fuji Blue' Balloon Flower

Photo courtesy of Glacial Ridge Growers

This is an excellent border plant and remarkably easy to grow, no green thumb required! Glacial Ridge growers recommends, “Remove faded blooms to extend season. Slow to break dormancy so be patient for spring growth.” In my experience, Balloon Flower is one you don’t see often enough. Nice filler foliage and cool large bell shaped flower.
Hgt. 20” Spread 12” Full sun.

These favorites and many more are blooming at Hedberg Nursery. Come out and see for yourself! We’re located in the east metro on Highway 36 just one mile east of 694. Look for our big signs on the north frontage road. You can also reach me at 651-748-3158. We’re open Monday through Saturday and something’s always on sale

Please leave a comment. We’d love to hear what’s blooming in your garden.

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