Trendspotting at the St. Paul Home & Patio Show

Home and garden shows are always a great way to learn about the newest products and trends.

Anchor Block Company partnered with The Home Depot, Holm & Olson and Sculptured Earth at this year’s St. Paul Home & Patio Show from February 14 – 17, 2013, to help inspire homeowners with their spring projects. Here are a few outdoor living trends featured at the show.

Fire Pits and Fireplaces

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) 2013 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends survey listed outdoor fire pits or fireplaces as the most in-demand item this year – and they were a popular item at the show as well. While fireplace installations should be done by a landscape contractor, products such as the Fresco™ fire pit kit are suitable for professionals and do-it-yourselfers alike.


Fresco™ Fire Pit Kit

Water Features

Decorative water elements – including fountains and waterfalls – are also predicted to be popular this year. If you’re short on space, don’t cross this feature off your list. A simple but striking fountain built with Brisa® freestanding wall blocks can be as small as 4 feet in radius.


Brisa® Freestanding Wall System


Columns are as functional as they are decorative. As a wall end, they welcome planters, lighting or even a mailbox; standing alone, they can be used to create benches, pub tables and more.

Fresco™ Wall System

Fresco™ Wall System

If you missed the St. Paul show there are more opportunities on the spring calendar, including the Minneapolis Home + Garden Show, which runs February 27 – March 3, 2013, and the Bachman’s Landscape Design Show on March 9, 2013.

For more outdoor living inspiration, be sure to visit the Anchor Block Company website, which is full of project photos, installation tips and more. Whatever inspiration you find to make your landscape dreams come true, click over to our Facebook page and tell us about what you discover.


Concrete Paver Maintenance: What You Need to Know

Beautiful, durable and long-lasting, concrete pavers make driveway, patio and walkway surfaces that last for generations. Occasional maintenance may be required, and you’ll find a helpful brochure titled “Peak Performance from Concrete Pavers” from the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) on the Anchor website.

Snow and Ice Removal

Concrete pavers are a durable product for climates with harsh, cold winters. As with any surface, when ice builds up there is potential for slips, falls and less control of vehicles.

What to do.  Contact a local landscape products dealer to source a high-quality deicing product. Look for calcium magnesium acetate deicers and follow the instructions carefully, only using the amounts required to do the job.

White Patches

Don’t be alarmed if you see a patch of white film on your concrete pavers. It’s likely efflorescence, a common occurrence that results naturally when pavers become wet and the mineral salts in the materials used in production are dissolved and drawn to the surface of the paver.

What to do. If your concrete pavers were installed within one year of the occurrence, wait and the efflorescence will likely dissipate. Otherwise, cleaners formulated for concrete products are available. Contact a dealer for more information about efflorescence cleaners.

Oil Stains

Concrete pavers are a popular surface for driveways. Cars often drip oil, but the good news is the pavers won’t be damaged by it – although the stain can detract from the their appearance.

Kingston Plus™ Paver Driveway

What to do. Taking quick action to wipe excess oil from the surface is important so the oil doesn’t penetrate. After you wipe up the excess oil, apply a liquid detergent and allow it to soak for several minutes. Then wash the pavers with hot water. Repeat this several times for the stain to disappear. Another option is to use a cleaner designed for concrete pavers. Contact a dealer for more information about cleaners and availability. Or you can replace the stained paver with a new paver unit.

Concrete paver surfaces are a great way to add beauty to your landscape and they are mostly maintenance-free.

Whatever inspiration you find to make your landscape dreams come true, click over to the Anchor Block Company Facebook page and tell us what you found.