The Pond and Rock Shop

April 1, 2016

I’m sure we’ve all heard the term before “rebranding” and that’s just what we are doing with regards to our retail/wholesale store business. When we first formed Landmaster’s Group, Inc., in March of 1996, yes twenty years ago, it was from three specific entities coming together that created our company. Executive Estates Landscaping of Cazenovia circa 1972, Exterior Design Specialties, circa 1990 and Garden Ponds Unlimited, circa 1991. Since that time there have been many changes, in 2008 we actually split off the construction component of the business and formed Landmasters Landscape and Construction Division, we opened two additional stores, Rochester in 2007 and Buffalo in 2008. The primary focus of our business in the stores revolved around water gardening, natural stone and manufactured hardscapes. In the fall of 2013 we decided to go a different direction and sold our Rochester and Buffalo locations and came back to our one store again here in Cicero. We also consciously decided to refocus our efforts back to ponds and rocks and expanded those offerings to better serve our hobbyist customers who we’ve always got the greatest satisfaction in serving! We will be adding new signage to both the front and rear of our store that will better identify us and our two specific companies. We are adding a new pond display at the end of our walkways that will significantly enhance the presentation of ponds and rocks, showing new varieties and variations of both!

We’ve added several new lines of water gardening products and expanded our LED lighting offerings as well that truly enhances and expands the time we get to appreciate our ponds. We’ve also added a concentration of products for natural or earthen ponds to improve water quality and clarity for them.

Our expanded natural stone products are coming from the Carolinas, Pennsylvania, Adirondacks, Quebec and northern Ontario which allows us to provide a wide selection of colors and varieties.
I would also like to clarify the relationship between our two companies, Landmasters Landscape and Construction and the Pond and Rock Shop; there is common ownership and the goals of each is to be sure that our common customers are expertly served as well as those that may only have a relationship with one of our companies!

We want to fervently thank each of you, our customers who have allowed us to serve you this past 20 years, as Landmasters, and look forward to continuing to doing so in the future as The Pond and Rock Shop and Landmasters Landscape and Construction!

Algae Control

August 20, 2015

Summer Algae Control Tips:

We find that during the Summer months algae can get out of control quickly usually because of the heat and sun. Algae generally is not a reason for concern since most of the time it is not harmful to your fish – it usually bothers us more than them! A few things to keep in mind when deciding when and how to treat algae:

  1. Use algaecides first thing in the morning or last thing at night.
  2. Check the weather before adding any algae control products to your pond – especially algaecides. When our air temperature is above 85 degrees Fahrenheit the dissolved oxygen levels are lower and algae control products should not be used.
  3. Do not mix products: Except bacteria based products like Microbial Algae Clean – avoid using  other additives when treating for algae.
  4. 65% surface coverage is ideal – whether you have lilies, lotus, or floating plants like water hyacinths and water lettuce – the more surface coverage you have in your pond the easier it will be to treat and prevent algae blooms.
  5. Keeping algae control products in your system throughout the season will prevent algae from taking over. Use Pond Balance on a monthly basis, most algaecides can be used on a weekly basis
  6. Keep your pump and/or aerator running at all times while using algae control products.

For suggestions on specific products to use to treat your algae ask one of our sales staff.

Earth Day 2014

April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day! We are always trying to think of ways to help reduce, recycle and reuse and we know many of you are as well so we thought we’d share an article from the Audubon Society that is very insightful.

Audubon Society’s Top Ten Things We Can Do To Reduce Global Warming

  1. Conserve water – use less hot water – run your washer and dishwasher only when full
  2. When buying new appliances look for the Energy Star Label to be sure you’re getting a high efficiency model. Turn down your refrigerators thermostat and clean the condenser coil regularly.
  3. Reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose – choose reusable products instead of disposable. Find a new use for that old outdated item (just like our grandparents did) Check out Pinterest for ideas on repurposing items like wine corks, pallets, baby food jars, etc.
  4. Reduce excessive use of home heating and cooling. Turn up the temperature just by 2 degrees in the summer and turn it down by two degrees in the winter. Install an automated thermostat.  Clean your filters regularly.
  5. Change your light bulbs from conventional incandescent bulbs to energy efficient compact fluorescents. Maximize your use of natural sunlight.  According to Audubon if every US family replaced one regular light bulb, with a CFL, it would eliminate 90 billion pounds of greenhouse gases the same as taking 7.5 million cars off the road.  WOW!
  6. Think before you drive.  Drive a more efficient vehicle, follow the speed limit, take your vehicle in for regular tune ups, and keep your tires properly inflated which can improve your gas mileage by more than 3 percent.  Combine errands to limit the use of gas!
  7. Plant a tree.  Plant leafy trees around your home to provide windbreaks and shade.  Each year the average yard tree cleans 330 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. An average tree absorbs 10 lbs. of pollutants from the air each year, including 4 lbs. of ground level ozone and 3 lbs of particulates.   “THE BEST TIME TO PLANT A TREE WAS 20 YEARS AGO.  THE SECOND BEST TIME IS NOW.” CHINESE PROVERB
  8. Buy local.  The fewer miles your fruits and vegetables have to travel the less energy is used for refrigeration and transportation.  Select Organic Produce. The pesticides used to kill pests also kill the organisms that help keep carbon dioxide in soil.
  9. Stand Tall.  Stay informed and write letters to your leaders asking them to act.  You can stay informed and take action by signing up to the E-Activist list at www.audubonaction.org.
  10. Cut emissions in your yard.  Gasoline mowers are big polluters and greenhouse gas emitters.  In one hour, a conventional lawn mower produces as much pollution as 40 late-model cars driving for the same amount of time.  Reduce the amount of lawn you need to mow by planting native species of ground covers, plants, wildflowers or vegetables – protect the birds, bees and butterflies too! Mulch gardens with pesticide free clippings, take your yard organic and eliminate chemical inputs of pesticides and fertilizers. Nitrous oxide, a byproduct of nitrogen-based fertilizers, is a potent greenhouse gas.

Fall Pond Care Tips

September 14, 2013

We can’t believe Fall has come upon us already. We love the leaves changing, tastes of pumpkin & apple and the smell of Autumn but hate the thought of having to close the pond!

Here are a few tips to make closing your pond easier:

1. Use water gardening gloves: the water temperatures are not always conducive to pulling out the pump, cleaning out the algae and cutting back the plants but wearing pond gloves helps keep your hands/arms warm and clean.

2. Maintain your bacteria: Keeping up with bacteria throughout the season will help reduce the amount of sludge build up at the bottom of your pond which will help for an easier closing process.

3. Remove all the debris you can: Using a Pond Shark with a deep net and double sided opening will allow you to scoop out the leaves and debris at the bottom of the pond while the rake will help pull off any dead leaves. Rent one of our pond vacuums to clean the pond fully before shutting it down for the winter. Any sludge or debris that is left at the bottom of the pond will decompose and become toxic to the fish. In Central New York, we have a Pond Service Technician we can send out to your home with our stainless steel professional vacuum to clean out your pond of debris.

4. Cover your pond before the leaves begin to fall: Pond netting is great for keeping leaves and debris from falling into the pond. We can custom cut the length for you and offer different widths that will surely cover your pond. Also, don’t forget your stream! If you are concerned about bending plants with a leaf net we do offer a dome leaf net by Atlantic Water Gardens.

Earth Day should be Everyday

April 19, 2013

What was the first year Earth Day was celebrated?  Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd every year although in my opinion we should care about the condition of our world not just on that day but everyday.  Some of things I am going to do to this weekend is to walk around my neighborhood and pick up trash, plant a tree in my yard, change out some of my old light bulbs to more energy efficient ones.  We’ve also arranged for Habitat for Humanity to pick up some old doors, knobs, lights, windows, and other materials that we have on hand  so it can be re-purposed and sold to help that organization build new homes.  Other things I will continue to do is to recycle,  use recyclable grocery bags, recycle hazardous batteries and paint, recycle plastic bags, compost, use both sides of my printer paper to help save a tree, combine as many errands into one trip as possible to save fuel and reduce air pollution, line dry my clothes.  There are so many things you can do with the things that you no longer need or want.  For example you can donate them to a number of organizations,  or join your local Freecycle.org where community members post items that they want to dispose of or list things that they need.  If you haven’t done so check it out and remember make Earth Day Everyday.

Lastly, I will take my grandchildren on a nature walk and have fun observing some of the wonderful things in nature.  I don’t usually recommend children watching TV but after a fun day of hiking in the woods we could end our day with a movie night watching The Lorax.  If you haven’t done so already watch this film with your child or grandchild about what the world would be like without real trees or plants.

Never doubt a small group of committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.   Margaret Mead

First Earth Day: April 22, 1970

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