The Drumheller Mail - - SPRING HOME & GARDEN - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail mailphoto by Pa­trick Ko­lafa

The Drumheller val­ley cut its teeth with coal and now a lo­cal land­scaper has found the quin­tes­sen­tial ma­te­rial to make area yards shine.

An­gelo Ber­lando of Ber­lando land­scap­ing be­gan us­ing coal as a land­scape ma­te­rial and en­joys its deep black lus­ter and dura­bil­ity to area yards.

“I know how ex­pen­sive mulch can be,” said Ber­lando. “Coal for one thing is shiny and it won’t fade.”

He says the coal is also good for mois­ture. top­ping up mulch, and even the black mulch it fades with time,” he ex­plains. “It breaks down and fades into noth­ing.” He adds that he has heard the coal dis­cour­ages spi­ders and in­sects.

While he is still tri­al­ing the ma­te­rial, so far he likes the look of it. Be­cause coal is rela- tively soft, it does crum­ble and break down.

“I’m still test­ing it out but as far as I know it will break down to what they call slack, but it is still go­ing to be black, and you could just top it up,” he said.

While the val­ley be­gan be­cause of coal, he has to go to Sheer­ness to get his ma­te­rial. So far, it is prov­ing pop­u­lar. He has a num­ber of pri­vate homes through­out the val­ley with coal land­scaped beds.

“If it lasts a sum­mer, it’s well worth it; it’s cheap and it looks good,” he said. “And it’s part of the val­ley. This is a coal min­ing place.”

An­gelo Ber­lando is in­cor­po­rat­ing coal into his land­scape de­signs and so far it is prov­ing pop­u­lar in the val­ley.

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