Posted on

Angela Two Stars’ Ockiyapi at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Ockiyapi by Angela Two Stars at The Walker Art Center

Ockiyapi – Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, The Walker Art Center


Solus Decor was very pleased to be incorporated into the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and proud to be a part of Ockiyapi, a thought provoking sculpture representing the beauty of Dakota culture. 

Okciyapi (pronounced OH-key-YUP-ee) was designed and inspired by the talented Angela Two Stars. The Native American artist and member of Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, completed the commission and unveiled it to the public in the Fall of 2021. 


Ockiyapi at the Walker Art Center Sculpture Garden


Previously, the site was occupied by the sculpture “Scaffold”. However, this piece was deemed insensitive as it trivialized a significant and traumatizing part of Dakota history. Originally conceived as a commentary on capital punishment, Scaffold depicted the gallows that were the site of the largest mass execution in US history in which 38 Dakota men were hanged following the Dakota-US war in 1862. Ultimately, the presence of this sculpture and its tactless concept made the sculpture garden an unwelcoming space to the Dakota people.

The project, consisting of seven sections of custom-cast concrete seating, gracefully encircles the Solus domed water feature to resemble the ripples a drop makes. These seven sections represent the Oceti Sakawin – People of the Seven Council Fires, or The Great Sioux Nation, each inscribed with Dakota value words. In an effort to encourage further interaction, visitors can use their phones to immerse themselves in the stories of tribal elders in English and Dakota, fostering a deeper connection to the culture. 

Ockiyapi’s Inspiration


Inspired by the artist’s grandfather, Orsen Bernard, a noted scholar and teacher of the Dakota language, Two Stars imbued Okciyapi with profound symbolism. The integration of Dakota words and phrases not only honors the culture, but underscores the importance of the language’s revitalization. Moreover, it displays how Two Stars intended Okciyapi as a metaphor for her grandfather’s teaching of the language throughout the community. 


Ockiyapi at the Walker Art Center Sculpture Garden
The Artist, Angela Two Stars


Every element of the sculpture serves to weave together the fabric of Dakota tradition and identity, foraging a bond between land, water and language. For instance, the central water bowl is a reminder that the name Minnesota derives from the Dakota phrase; Mni Sota Makoce (the land where the water reflects the clouds). Just as the bowl’s gleaming metal disk and the water that runs over its surface allow us to reflect upon this thought. Even the gravel around the structure serves to absorb light during the day and glow blue in the dark to resemble a surrounding pool of water. Furthermore, the surrounding landscape adorned with medicinal plants such as prairie dropseed and sage, evokes a sense of healing and renewal that mirrors the Dakota language as a form of medicine, healing those that enter the space.

Okciyapi stands not only as a testament to Angela Two Stars’ remarkable talent and vision but also as a site of progress in the heart of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Through her profound understanding of her Dakota culture and commitment to honoring its traditions, Two Stars has transformed a painful chapter of history into a space of beauty, reflection, and unity. Okciyapi invites visitors to engage with the Dakota language, to immerse themselves in its stories, and to connect with the land in a deeply meaningful way. In its design and symbolism, Okciyapi serves as a reminder of the resilience of indigenous communities and the power of art to inspire dialogue and understanding.



Posted on

Feature Designer: Take Root Gardens

water dome take root gardens

Take Root Gardens is an award-winning garden design and build firm based in Vancouver.

Take Root specialises in creating residential garden spaces that meet their client’s need both functionally and aesthetically. The focus for Take Root Gardens is naturalized gardens; combining lush planting with natural stone, wood and concrete elements that complement their clients’ homes. They are a small company that allows them to have a keen attention to detail during design and installation that has earned them a fantastic reputation.


Water Dome


Take Root Gardens


Project :

The client reached out to Take Root Gardens to help with an under-utilized front garden at their home in Mount Pleasant, Vancouver. The area was overgrown shrubs with a small plot of grass and the client wanted a more functional space that was visually more in keeping with the clean lines of the architecture of their home. The intention was to create a contemporary landscape, combining a patio space for entertaining with a low maintenance naturalized plant palette with an emphasis on texture and bold foliage.

Low maintenance was high on the client’s list of priorities, so plants were selected specifically with this in mind. Large format boulders were craned in to the site to provide contrast to the planting and to give year-round interest to the space. Take Root have incorporated a Solus water dome adding the concrete element to the naturalized garden. The water feature is not directly visible on entry to the property, but it can be heard giving an added calmness to the space. The additional benefit of the water feature is that it masks the city noise and the sound of water can be heard in other areas of the property.


Water Dome


The Water Dome is part of our water feature range, made from high performance concrete and is available in our full range of colours with a brass or stainless-steel dome. The water dome is self-circulating with no plumbing required, simply plug and play. The self-circulating element gives greater flexibility, and it can be installed both indoors and outdoors.

Project Materials:

Water Dome: Solus Decor

Manhattan Paving Slabs: New Stone Group

Basalt boulders: locally sourced

Stone and Concrete supplies: Northwest Landscape Supply

Lighting: Kichler


Water Dome


The result of this garden overhaul is transformational and has created a truly usable space that the clients can enjoy for years to come with family and friends. The design compliments the architecture of the home perfectly giving additional wow factor as you arrive at the property.

To find out more about Take Root Gardens and their projects get in touch via their website or instagram.



Posted on

Garden inspiration with Solus

Elevated Halo fire pit outdoor space

As the weather improves we all look for garden inspiration on how to make the most of our outdoor living space.  We have put together some looks to give you some garden inspiration with Solus Decor.

We’ve created two looks combining our fire and water features with a range of materials that compliment our products perfectly to create the perfect outdoor space.

Look 1: A contemporary look that would with dark furniture and materials.

To create the perfect base we have used Trex decking; a composite decking that is easy to maintaint and excellent longeivity to ensure your outdoor space will keep looking its best for years to come. Trex are based at Cedar Nursery with the us at Solus Decor.

As a back drop and to give privacy we have used Aspen fencing drom Charles and Ivy. The fencing from Charles and Ivy is also made from a composite material limiting the need to maintain every year.

We have complimented the space with the Moments range from Caneline; a contmeporary yet timeless look that will compliment any outdoor space.  The Caneline furniture is available from Cedar Nursery with this range on display for you to try.

Contemporary black planters add greenery to soften the space. Both the planters and plants are available from Cedar nursery in a range of colours and sizes to compliment your outdoor space.

To finish off this space we have added the Elevated Halo fire pit, to center the outdoor seating.  All our firepits are available in a choice of 12 colours with bio fuel, natural gas or LPG and a great range of accessories.

Elevated Halo fire pit garden inspiration

Look 2 – A calming corner for relaxation

For our second look we have opted for neutral tones to provide a calming space to enjoy relaxation with our Water Dome.

water dome garden inspiration

This look combines natural fencing from Jackson Fencing. The ventian style fencing gives a contempary look that works equally well in both a town and country garden.  We have teamed the natural wood fencing with large format tiles from the Everscape range at Topps Tiles.

To soften the look and add textures we have added multilevel planting in a variety of sizes. A before the planters and plants are available from Cedar Nursery.

Next step the finishing touches. We have used the Barlow Tyrie cocoon range which compliments our Water Dome in halva and brass. The water dome is a self circulating water feature, no messy plumbing, simply plug and play.

Feeling inspired and want to update your garden? Get in touch with us or come and visit the showroom in Cobham, Surrey.





Posted on

How to create your outdoor living space this winter

solus hemi fire pit

The last year has made us all acutely aware of the importance of outdoor space in both commercial and residential spaces. As we approach the winter months we need to create real outdoor spaces with heating and protection from wind and rain.


We’ve put together a  guide on how you can create the perfect outdoor living spaces to get you through the winter months.  We’ve taken inspiration from our outdoor living space created for Chelsea Flower show in 2019.   Whilst we were lucky with the weather last year, this is not guaranteed so any design needs to allow for protection from the rain. We’ve put together a shopping list for you to create this space at home this winter.

The Quick Fix

A combination of high street finds with quick delivery combined with the our sustainable and durable fire pits.

outdoor living spae


  1. outdoor shelter, Jackson Fencing £1207.80  
  2. Artificial single boxwood tree, Blooming Artificial  £92
  3. Square concrete planter, £30.99


  1. Patterned cushion cover, H&M £6.99 
  2. Murphy Bench, Wayfair £191.99
  3. Green linen cushion cover, H&M £8.99


  1. 36″ Hemi fire pit with LPG fuel, £4,074 inclusive of VAT
  2. Fire Table with LPG Fuel, £5,034 inclusive of VAT
  3. 36″ Water Dome, £3,354 inclusive of VAT


The Big Investment

This is a luxury space at Cedar Nursery that has dining and relaxing all in one space with the all important protection from wind and rain. This space includes investment pieces for outdoor living for the future, a bigger price tag with longer lead times but made to last just like our fire and water features.


solus hemi fire pit


  1. Edge stackable dining chair, Cane Line £460
  2. Bio Sun Terrace and Patio Cover, Cedar Nursery from £7,325
  3. Drop Dining Table, Cane Line £2,750


  1. Flex Modular Sofa, Cane Line from £2,325
  2. 36″ Hemi fire Pit with LPG fuel £4,074 inclusive of VAT
  3. 90 cm Fiberglass pot, Primrose £171.99


Get in touch with us to create your own outdoor living space this winter

Posted on

Relaxation with Water

solus water dome in spa

Studies have shown that being near water and the sound of water can positively impact on your overall happiness, mental health, productivity and self-awareness. Given this it’s no surprise that spas and retreats are using our water features to help guests to relax and unwind as soon as they arrive.

The new Anda Spa at Hotel Ivy in Minneapolis have created the ultimate space for relaxation with their newly renovated spa with the introduction of the relaxing sound of water at the reception. The Hotel Ivy have incorporated our Water Dome water feature at the reception desk of the spa. The Water Dome is a self circulating water feature and simply requires an electrical point making it ideal for a commercial setting.

solus water dome in spa
Hotel Ivy Minneapolis, a Luxury Collection property, with the newly renovated luxury Anda Spa.


The philosophy of the Anda Spa is rooted in balance and for all of us living the faced paced life of today we all need to seek out balance. Taking time out at of your busy schedule for a chance to relax and unwind at a spa can help you find the crucial  balance in your life. At the Anda Spa they focus on a deeper sense of well-being, allowing you to reconnect your body, mind and spirit. Personalised spa treatments and rituals are inspired by a sense of vitality which offers you a calmer, more balanced, perspective on life.

Relaxation with Water

These water bowls feature polished metal domes that appear to float inside concrete vessels. Water flows up through the center of each dome to run over the reflective surface of the hand-spun metal and then drop off the edges into the surrounding water creating sound. Like our concrete pieces, each metal dome is handmade and unique. The Water Dome is available in a choice of three sizes, twelve different colours and a choice of stainless steel or brass for the dome.

water Dome
Water Dome in Cinder


If you would like an add an element of relaxation with water to your commercial or residential space get in touch with us to find out more about our range of water features.

Posted on

Solus Decor collaborate with Border in a Box at Gardeners’ World Live

Solus Decor at BBC Gardener's World Live

Solus Decor have collaborated with Border in a Box to create a sensory garden for BBC Gardeners’ World Live.

Solus Decor worked with Border in a Box to provide the water element of the sensory border at BBC Gardeners’ World Live entitled the Jar of Life.  The border had a focus on wellbeing using sensory plants with inviting scents, taste, touch and feel. Border in a Box incorporated the Solus Decor water feature as part of the design to contribute to the feeling of calm and wellbeing in this sensory space.

Solus Decor at BBC Gardener's World Live
Solus Decor Water Dome pictured in the garden created by Border in a Box at BBC Gardener’s World Live with a backdrop of screens by Screen with Envy


This inviting space created by Border in a Box proved to be a big success at BBC Gardeners’ World Live, winning a platinum award from the judging panel.


What is Border in a Box?

Not familiar with Border in a Box?

Border in a Box provide garden border template kits to enable anyone who is new to gardening or time poor the confidence to buy the right plants and know where to put them. Border in a Box allows you to achieve a beautiful border easily in less than a day.

To celebrate the border created for Gardeners’ World Live they have launched the new wellbeing border.



Solus Water Dome

The Solus Decor water features are made from high performance concrete. They are designed to withstand all the elements whether indoors or outdoors.

The Water Dome is a self circulating water feature making it both simple to install and environmentally friendly due to the recirculating water.

The soothing and relaxing qualities of water are well known. Water evokes the idea of wellbeing and self care that are so important in today’s fast paced lifestyle.


Solus Decor Water Dome at BBC Gardener's World Live
Solus Decor Water Dome at BBC Gardener’s World Live

To find out more about Border in a Box at BBC Gardeners’ World Live, why not have take a look at the feature on the BBC presented by garden designer Mark Lane.

To find out more about Solus Decor water features get in touch.

Posted on

Solus at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018. Launch New Modern Accessory for the Outdoor Gas Firepit.

Solus Decor at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 exhibiting fire pits, fire bowls, water features and accessories in London, England

We are looking forward to once again showcasing our fantastic garden terrace fire pits as we preview what else is in store for visitors at the 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, London.

This year Solus Decor are excited to launch a new accessory for the Hemi fire bowl. The metal table top  can convert into a drinks ring for the 36 and 48 Hemi fire pit and hence adds a new dimension to the use of this contemporary and sculptural firepit. A simple disk table top is also available for the 26 Hemi. They are constructed out of noncorrosive aluminum and stainless steel. Therefore they are perfect for social gatherings in residential or commercial settings.

Solus Décor Hemi Gas Firebowl Firepit. With metal drinks ring. Shown on the terrace at Predator Ridge Resort Canada. The metal table top turns this firepit into a modern table when not lit.
Solus Décor Hemi Gas Firebowl Firepit. With metal drinks ring. Shown on the terrace at Predator Ridge Resort Canada. The metal table top turns this firepit into a modern table when not lit.

Chelsea is at the forefront of the shows for the garden industry. This year is no exception and we are excited to see the CHERUB HIV Garden: A Life Without Walls designed by Naomi Ferrett-Cohen. Naomi is working with HIV partnership CHERUB to help raise awareness about young people living with HIV in the UK and beyond. Featuring a Solus Water Dome, Naomi has designed a space that could be recreated within a home garden context. The garden uses specialist planting and design to take visitors on a powerful symbolic journey helping to promote acceptance and understanding about the condition.

Chelsea 2018: The CHERUB HIV Garden designed by Naomi Ferrett-Cohen and featuring a Solus Decor Water Dome.
Chelsea 2018: The CHERUB HIV Garden designed by Naomi Ferrett-Cohen and featuring a Solus Decor Water Dome.

Another must-see garden will be The Myeloma UK Garden, designed by John Everiss and Francesca Murrell. It will highlight the work of Myeloma UK. A bold 7 tonne, 12 feet high sculpture will rise from the garden as its centrepiece and as a result, promises to be unique and contemporary.

Chelsea 2018: The Myeloma UK Garden Designed by John Everiss and Francesca Murrell.
Chelsea 2018: The Myeloma UK Garden Designed by John Everiss and Francesca Murrell.

On the Solus Decor stand on Pavilion Way PW/608, we will of course be displaying and demonstrating a selection of our best-selling fire pits and water features.

Next to us will be Chilstone on stand PW/607. This year Chilstone are proudly celebrating 65 years of handmaking cast stone in Britain and always have a fabulous display.

If you are visiting this year, please come and see both stands. We look forward to meeting you.

Contact us for more information on Solus products. Or visit our website: Made in Vancouver, Canada. Shipped worldwide.

For more information on the RHS Chelsea Flower Show visit:


Posted on

The Various Benefits of a Water Feature

Whether you’re planning out a landscape design for a private residence, or in the final stages for decorating a hotel lobby, adding a water feature will be beneficial.


This is because among the numerous benefits, water has been proven to act as a calming agent for the mind. According to Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist, “We are beginning to learn that our brains are hardwired to react positively to water and that being near it can calm and connect us, increase innovation and insight, and even heal what’s broken,” Nichols writes in  Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do. Happiness, however, is only one of the benefits. In this article we’ll take a look at how water features are not only benefitting individuals but also the environment.


One of the more unknown benefits of a water feature is that it reduces noise pollution. This is heavily dependent on the type of water feature that is installed. For instance, a stagnant pond is only going to provide minimal noise reduction whereas waterfalls and bubbling fountains are known to absorb noise to a greater extent. Part of the noise reduction is because it has its own soothing sound that an individual is likely to tune into. So it allows them to block out the sound of a barking dog, or the bustle in a lobby.


In addition to reducing noise, a water feature also helps filter the air in two ways. The first is by attracting dust particles due to the negative ions emitted from the flowing water. The second is through the formation of water vapors that help filter the air.


Another benefit of a water feature is that it acts as a focal point for gathering. This happens regardless of the water feature being a pool, fountain, waterfall, or pond. Since people are naturally attracted to water, it means that the conversations will continue longer and the individuals within the circle are more likely to bond.


Solus Decor Water Dome


Along with a water feature providing a focal point, it also provides individuality to the landscape. This occurs through the the size, shape, colour, design and placement of the feature. It also provides movement to an otherwise still area in the form of the water rushing and with wildlife visiting the water feature.


Another benefit is that the water features require minimal maintenance – as long as they aren’t a swimming pool. Essentially fountains, waterfalls, and ponds continuously recirculate the water from within. This not only limits the amount of water used but also reduces the chances of bacteria growing out of control. Of course, some maintenance must be done initially like filling up the water feature upon installation, but the majority of it is relatively maintenance free.



Solus Decor Scupper



Perhaps one of the more appealing aspects of a water feature is that it raises the real estate value. This is because a water feature enhances the look of the property as it creates a harmonious and relaxing atmosphere.


Overall, a water feature is the answer for you if you’re looking to benefit the environment, the landscape, or yourself.


This article was written by, the leading provider of manufacturer-specific building product information, high-quality CAD drawings, 3D models, BIM files, and projects. All of their high quality, digital content is available for download here 100% free of charge.