A Work of Art in Your Own Back Yard

How one design gained nationwide attention

By Pamela Mortimer

 

Imagine looking out your window at any time of the day or night and seeing the moon and the stars at your feet. For one DuBois family this dream became a reality due to the dedication and artistry of Johnston’s Nursery. Located in Penfield, PA Johnston’s Nursery won the 2001 Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute’s top award for design and craftsmanship in a residential setting.

 

The prestigious award, sponsored by ICPI and the National Concrete Ready Mix Association, represents the crème de la crème of craftsmen located throughout the United States. According to ICPI, judging criteria for the competition includes design, craftsmanship and innovative use of color, texture, and patterns in both commercial and residential settings. This is the second time Johnston’s Nursery won an award from ICPI. In 1999, they took second place in the residential competition with an inlay of an elk head design.

 

The Entry

The concept, designed by nursery co-owner Corey Johnston Wise, features a crescent moon and three stars nestled inside a blazing sun. Additional stars scatter across the patio, surrounding an in ground swimming pool. “The homeowners live on top of a hill, with a lot of acreage around them,” said Wise. “So they wanted something to reflect that. The sun and moon motif seemed to fit perfectly.”

While developing the concept for the design may seem like the hard part, Wise knew better. As seasoned professionals, the crew at Johnston’s Nursery knew the hard work hadn’t even begun. The first step was to create a template of the design. CW Graphics produced a computer generated vinyl template and its silhouette was traced onto the pavers. “The unusual thing about our work is that we don’t just inlay a squared off design into the pavers,” said Wise, describing the procedure of cutting out irregular sized pieces of the pavers. “We create the design so that the integrity of the paver is in tact. This gives the look of the design being etched or painted on, rather than inset. Overall, it’s a much nicer look.”

 

After the design was traced, the pavers had to be cut with a diamond tipped saw, which consumed a remarkable 240 labor hours. The pavers, manufactured by R.I. Lampus Co. in Springdale, PA, were supplied and delivered by J.A. Kohlhepp & Sons of DuBois, PA. To fill in the newly cut design, the crew used a charcoal paver, providing a striking contrast against the lighter, natural colored background. The installation was dry laid, requiring no mortar between the pavers, yet still maintains the high level of durability required in our region. Along with the free floating patio, Johnston’s Nursery also provided other hardscaping, such as two large natural stone retaining walls, sandstone stairs leading up to the house, and additional landscaping to give the project a finished look. According to Wise, the entire job required four months to complete.

 

About the Winners…

Beautifying North Central Pennsylvania since 1928, Johnston’s Nursery has built a solid reputation throughout the state. As growers and landscapers, the nursery is unparalleled in their knowledge and expertise. Not limited to traditional landscaping and retail sales, Johnston’s Nursery also provides design consultation, hardscaping, maintenance, and the innovative use of such exotic items as custom waterfalls.

 

Founded by Frank and Blaine Johnston, a father and son team, Johnston’s Nursery is steeped in a rich family tradition. Every generation has been taught by its predecessors, learning age-old craftsmanship and benefiting from years of professional experience. Following that tradition are the current owners, brothers Craig L. Wise and Corey Johnston Wise, who both reside in their area with their families. Craig and Corey have been in the family business since they were children and take great pride in their work. With this year’s award winning entry and their many other outstanding accomplishments, so they should.

 

Johnston’s Nursery may be approaching their centennial, but their eyes are focused on the future. Along with plans of expanding the current business, the Wises hope to continue to branch out into other challenging areas. “We’re unique in a way that other people are not,” said Corey Wise. “We’re willing to do what many people are afraid to try.”

 

Visit them on the Web: www.johnstonsnursery.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Johnston’s Nursery Takes ICPI Residential Award

By Pamela Mortimer

 

The Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) recently announced the winners of its 2001 Pavement Design Awards. The prestigious award, sponsored by ICPI and the National Concrete Ready Mix Association, represents the crème de la crème of craftsmen located throughout the United States. According to ICPI, judging criteria for the competition includes design, craftsmanship and innovative use of color, texture, and patterns in both commercial and residential settings. This year’s first place winner in the residential category is Johnston’s Nursery of Penfield, PA, capturing the award with a free floating patio design with a contrasting custom cut inlay.

 

Imagine looking out your window at any time of the day or night and seeing the moon and the stars at your feet. For one Pennsylvania family this dream became a reality due to the dedication and artistry of Johnston’s Nursery, a former ICPI award winner. In 1999, Johnston’s Nursery took second place in the ICPI residential competition with an inlay of an elk head design. While Johnston’s Nursery contracts a wide variety of work, 75% of their clientele are residential homeowners.

 

The Entry

The concept, designed by nursery co-owner Corey Johnston Wise, features a crescent moon and three stars nestled inside a blazing sun. Additional stars scatter across the patio, surrounding an in ground swimming pool. “The homeowners live on top of a hill, with a lot of acreage around them,” said Wise. “So they wanted something to reflect that. The sun and moon motif seemed to fit perfectly.”

While developing the concept for the design may seem like the hard part, Wise knew better. As seasoned professionals, the crew at Johnston’s Nursery knew the hard work hadn’t even begun. The first step was to take the design concept and make it a reality. CW Graphics of DuBois, PA took carried the concept to the next level, producing a large computer generated vinyl template. “The unusual thing about our work is that we don’t just inlay a design into the pavers,” said Wise, describing the procedure of cutting out irregular sized pieces of the pavers. “We create the design so that the integrity of the paver is in tact. This gives the look of the design being etched or painted on, rather than inset. Overall, it’s a much nicer look.”

 

Before any pavers could touch the ground, the crew had to prepare the base. The sub-base consisted of an 8”compacted depth of 2-A limestone, topped with a ¼” bed of leveling sand. For the sake of durability, the depths were determined by the variation in temperature in zones 5 and 6, which can experience both extreme heat and brutal winter conditions. Overall, the design would require 3600 square feet of pavers, measuring 18’ in diameter. The Stratford pavers, manufactured by R.I. Lampus Co. in Springdale, PA, were supplied and delivered by J.A. Kohlhepp & Sons of DuBois, PA. Additional materials were purchased at a local stone quarry.

 

After the base and natural colored pavers were laid, the design was traced onto what would become the background. The next step was to custom cut each paver with a diamond tipped saw, which consumed a remarkable 240 labor hours. For the inlay, the crew used a darker, charcoal colored paver, providing a striking contrast against the lighter background. The entire installation was dry laid.  Along with the patio, Johnston’s Nursery also provided other hardscaping, such as two large natural stone retaining walls, sandstone stairs leading up to the house, and additional landscaping to give the project a finished look. “I’d have to say, that on a scale of one to ten, the difficulty of this job was definitely a ten,” said Wise. And although the project took four months to complete, Wise and his crew relished every minute of it.

 

About the Winners…

Beautifying North Central Pennsylvania since 1928, Johnston’s Nursery has built a solid reputation throughout the state. As growers and landscapers, the nursery is unparalleled in their knowledge and expertise. Not limited to traditional landscaping and retail sales, Johnston’s Nursery also provides design consultation, hardscaping, maintenance, and the innovative use of such exotic items as custom waterfalls.

 

Founded by Frank and Blaine Johnston, a father and son team, Johnston’s Nursery is steeped in a rich family tradition. Every generation has been taught by its predecessors, learning age-old craftsmanship and benefiting from years of professional experience. Following that tradition are the current owners, brothers Craig L. Wise and Corey Johnston Wise, who both reside in their area with their families. Craig and Corey have been in the family business since they were children and take great pride in their work. With this year’s award winning entry and their many other outstanding accomplishments, so they should.

 

Johnston’s Nursery may be approaching their centennial, but their eyes are focused on the future. Along with plans of expanding the current business, the Wises hope to continue to branch out into other challenging areas. “We’re unique in a way that other people are not,” said Corey Wise. “We’re willing to do what many people are afraid to try.”

 

Visit them on the Web: www.johnstonsnursery.com