Friday, December 18, 2009

GardenStone Looks Back at 2009 – and Forward to 2010

2009 has been a fantastic year for us. In a year everybody said was going to be a time to jealously guard what you already have, we decided to place our trust in the community and expand. We not only grew to encompass more than personalized stone engraving, but built a whole new storefront from the ground up, to share with our sister business Cascading Creations.

We finished building and decorating the store in early Aril. When we say we built it, we mean it. We laid down the concrete floor, put the rooms together and did pretty much everything else, with help from the Cascading Creations crew and a few other great professionals in the community.

Let’s not forget one very important group that we have to credit with our ability to really expand and make GardenStone the kind of venture we always wanted. That’s Inland Northwest Bank. 2009 wasn’t a year when most institutions were exactly eager to lend out money, but INB didn’t just use a “cookie cutter” policy to decide whether to help us with our plans.

Just as INB supported the community, we wanted to do the same – that’s been part of the company vision all along. That’s why we added consignment space to support new local artisans and added a home décor section filled with Pacific Cost crafts and antiques. We also joined our area’s Buy Local movement to help keep the economy around us stable and active.

As 2010 looms we look forward to further establishing ourselves around Airway Heights and the Spokane region, as well as online through our website, where you can purchase home décor, suggested personalized stones and completely custom rock work. We hope to make contact with more Pacific Northwest artisans and expand the reach of our reputation.

Above all, we want to meet you, introduce you to our corner of a great community and dazzle you from some great stone engraving and other fantastic pieces of craftsmanship. So enjoy the holidays and see you in the New Year! We’ll be keeping stone in stock and shelves full for you.

Five Things You Can Do to Prepare for the Next Spokane Landscaping Season

The Spokane landscaping (and hardscaping) season is done, done, done. We may be concentrating on snow removal and miscellaneous jobs (site cleanup, stone engraving, etc.) but that doesn’t mean landscaping has to wait! Most landscaping and hardscaping jobs include a number of tasks that don’t involve any digging, building or other hands-on tasks. If you take care of this stuff now your job will go much more smoothly once the 2010 season starts. Even if you don’t we try to make it an easy, fun experience – but preparing just makes it even better.

Check Your Drainage

Check the area you want landscaped for slopes, swampy spots and where the snow tends to go when it melts. Take a few pictures – even make a few drawings – and you’ll highlight some of the space’s drainage issues. That makes it much easier for us to head off any issues during the job.

Keep Your Landscape Clean

We’re great at site cleanup . . . but we prefer to do it after the job. Get rid of debris, keep the snow from piling up too high and you’ll make starting the job much easier. Don’t forget to pay special attention to edge areas (such as between the home and lawn) where unwanted much can accumulate.

Look Into Permits, Pipes and Cables

Nobody likes being surprised by buried pipes and cables that derail landscaping plans – or by obscure bylaws that force you to make changes after you’ve carefully laid out your vision for the space. Do yourself a favor and figure it all out ahead of time.

Measure Your Space

This one’s pretty basic. Measure the dimensions of the area you want landscaped! The more accurate your measurements are, the better our estimates.

. . . and Book Your Job!

Winter may make the season seem distant, but before you know it, 2010 will bring it back – and it’ll be busy. Contact us to make arrangements in advance and put yourself at the front of the line!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Engraved Stones and More for Christmas

Christmas is very, very close. Naturally, we at GardenStone Creations would like to throw our hats (well, custom rock work) in to the ring and offer gift ideas. You might think that engraved stones are a bit somber for the season, but the fact is that we create more than memorial style engraved stone plaques. We know how to create personalized stone engravings for virtually any occasion.

(Oh, before we forget, we do more than engraving. We also carry a number of antiques, local handcrafted items and other great pieces for home décor. Check it out!)

Stone engraving is capable of a lot more than it used to be. We can create very close renderings of people, scenery objects and wildlife in etched stone and color engravings close to your exact specifications. Engraved natural stone always needs to take the nature of an individual rock into account, but doing so while creating a beautiful piece of art is part of the medium. Let’s look at a few different personalized stone gifts you can give this holiday season.

Personalized Birth Stones: Let us engrave the name, birth date, parents’ names and other vital statistics of a newborn in your network of friends or family. We provide numerous additional options to make the birth stone as elaborate as you like.

Wildlife Engraved Stones: We love this engraved stones because they really show what the state of the art is capable of. Our selection features a number if beautiful wildlife images such as running horses and deer. These are not personalized, but we are capable of creating personalized versions upon request. That takes us to . . .

Completely Custom Rock Work: Whether you want something just a bit different from a stone that we already offer at our store or site or want something completely different, we can accommodate you. Many people find it easiest to use an existing stone engraving (such as one of our wildlife stones) as a starting point, adding the other elements they want to see.

If you live near Spokane you can pick up an in-stock engraving right now by visiting our store in Airway Heights, WA. If you want a custom stone, let us know now and we’ll start your work right away. If you live elsewhere, contact us to order. We can ship directly to you, so there is no worry about ordering a rock that you can’t come and pick up!

No matter what you give or where you live, we at GardenStone wish you a wonderful Christmas, a happy New Year and joy through whatever you plan on celebrating as 2009 draws to a close.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

That Chill in the Air Means it’s Time for Snow Removal!

The main Spokane landscaping season is over. We’re still available to perform any task the weather permits, such as excavation and landscaping site cleanup jobs, but most people prefer to put off more complicated stuff until the spring. You might think we’ve got plenty of time to kick back and relax . . . but nothing could be further from the truth. There’s snow to move!

Spokane area residents know that our weather doesn’t fit the mild, rainy Pacific Northwest stereotype. Spokane weather is chilly, with spots of bizarre temperature fluctuation – just enough to produce enormous heaps of snow that blanket the area throughout the winter. Schools and businesses hire us to dig them out of major snowfalls because we do fast, thorough work and they can call us on short notice. That’s why Spokane snow removal jobs keep us busy throughout the winter.

We’ve set things up to make hiring us for snow removal on the spot is quick and simple. Many of our cool landscaping machines are also excellent for snow removal. Don’t worry about narrow or oddly-shaped spaces, either. Our machines are agile enough to handle tight corners and other unusual situations. That’s an advantage we enjoy by working in landscaping, as opposed to being just some guys with a truck and a spade we throw on once snow hits the ground. We need the ability to plough heavy stuff through tight spaces all year round.

We know how unpredictable the weather can be, and that a lot of snow can fall overnight. That’s why we’ve set ourselves up with mobile email to make calling us for same day service a painless, quick affair. We can easily add you to our rounds as we visit schools, businesses and other large driveways and parking lots. While, the most convenient option is to contact us to tell us you’d like us to come by ahead of time in case of a heavy snowfall, it’s not the only one – we’re ready to roll as soon as you call or email us (though it is first come, first served).

Many of our customers are larger organizations with fixed budgets. If you’re one of these, why not give us a shout to request a snow removal estimate. Contact Cascading Creations and we’ll take a look at your driveway, lot and other areas and let you know what we can do.

(And if you need landscaping in and around Spokane? Don’t worry – we’re still available for any job we can do safely. Don’t be shy about asking!)