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Landscape Articles

Hacking Nutrient Cycles for Vibrant Plants

When it comes to plant care, chemical processes are the main element of whether plants wither and die, or survive and thrive. But more often than not, these processes are watered down into three categories; light, water, and the ever ambiguous “nutrients”. A deep understanding of these processes is not necessarily vital to success, but being somewhat familiar with the chemical needs of your plants can make the path to a thriving garden far easier.

Rainwater Collection for Landscape Maintenance

Maintaining a home garden can sometimes require a significant amount of water to maintain. Of course, from time to time that’s supplemented by rainfall, but what about the rest of the time? For most people, this extra water comes from a municipal water supply, which can add up fast on the water bill. Luckily, there are ways to collect rainwater that would otherwise evaporate or seep into the ground, and use it to water your garden. Humans have been collecting and diverting rainfall for thousands of years, so why stop now?

Organic Gardening to Offset Rising Food Costs

Supply chain shortcomings are topping news headlines left and right lately, and it’s not just the latest cars and electronics being affected. Food shortages and price increases are becoming the new normal, and many people are beginning to look for places outside of the grocery stores to source their food.Luckily, you don’t have to look any farther than your backyard. Organic gardening can be a great way not only to decrease your reliance on grocery stores, but also trim your grocery bill, and decrease your carbon footprint all at the same time!

Shade gardening design ideas that bring the WOW to your landscape

If you’re a homeowner who has been discouraged about gardening because your property is partially or even totally shaded, take heart. Gardening in shady areas is not only possible, it also can be very rewarding – if you understand the various ways shade’s disadvantages can be overcome.

Of course, shade gardening can be challenging. Growing plants successfully among aggressive tree roots and matching the right plants with variable light conditions can take a little more effort, but it will be well worth it. The rewards include creating unique plant settings and textures that constantly evolve with the changing light and bringing color and interest to a part of your property that otherwise would be dull and monotone. In fact, shady spots in your yard, such as under a tree or beside a building, can be every bit as beautiful as brighter areas of your landscape. The key is choosing plants that thrive in low-light conditions.

Why Landscape Design is Important and How Professionals Can Help

Good landscape design is much more than simply sowing seeds and plunking a row of shrubs in the ground. There is much detail involved in landscape design that requires trained professionals who have knowledge and experience in many areas of the construction trades. Homeowners who don’t fully understand the complexities of an installation project can start a DIY project thinking it will save them money only to run into unknowns that can cost considerably more than they anticipated. Starting with a well-thought-out plan from a professional landscape designer can reduce both headaches and unnecessary cost.

The Best Garden Landscaping Tips Every Homeowner Wants to Know

There are few better feelings than getting outside and getting lost in your garden. No matter what the task at hand involves, from pruning and weeding to ensure your beds look beautiful, it’s an amazing feeling to create something beautiful, productive, and alive -- but like all great creative endeavors, you need the know-how to do it well. 

How to Attract Bats for Sustainable Pest Control

Although insects are vital to a sustainable landscape, an excess of the annoying ones like mosquitos can be a deterrent to enjoying your outdoor spaces. Chemical pesticides can be effective, but are indiscriminate and can cause harm not only to other wildlife, but also to you and your family. So what’s the responsible solution? Bats. Bats survive on a diet of insects, and some species are known to consume their body weight in mosquitos and other bugs on a typical summer night. That’s a lot of bugs that won’t be bothering you anymore!

10 Easy Ways to Rewild Your Backyard

Rewilding is not a new idea, but it has grown in popularity over the last several years. The modern homeowner is becoming more aware of how even small choices they make in their backyard affects the bigger picture.

As we understand the relationship between us and nature more, there are several changes we can make in our backyards that will help the environment and the critters who we share it with. The beauty of these changes is that they are not expensive—in fact, some of them are even time and money-saving because they hinge on us doing less!

Yard Landscaping Ideas to Enhance Your Summer Enjoyment

The pandemic has forced many homeowners to spend a lot more time at home, contemplating their property and thinking of ways to improve it to add both value and enjoyment. For some their yards have become a refuge from the stress and anxiety of these uncertain times, and they’re considering how to make their backyards an oasis of calm and a more comfortable place where they can relax with family and friends.

Curb appeal landscaping to improve property value and envy

Whether you’re looking to make changes to your home to make it a more enjoyable place to live or you want to make it more attractive for resale, there’s a lot you can do to add curb appeal without breaking the bank. 

Protecting Our Pollinators: Popular Pollinator Garden Ideas

Pollination has recently become a hot topic in part because a fatal disease has been killing honeybees, threatening the ability of commercial farms to produce an adequate supply of the fruits and vegetables we all love – not to mention honey. Pollination by bees, hummingbirds, moths, bats, butterflies, flies, and beetles ensures the continued existence of millions of plant species, and in turn, of most animal species, including humans – in fact, one of every three mouthfuls of our food depends on them. 

Why sustainable landscaping will protect the environment

As efforts to combat climate change become increasingly urgent, one term that is gaining visibility and popularity is “sustainable landscaping.” But what exactly is it and how can it help us protect the environment?

Sustainable landscaping is an umbrella term that encompasses a number of landscape design, construction, implementation, and management practices utilized for both residential and commercial landscapes. Essentially, it is a strategy for making full use of the environment to provide natural key elements that a healthy landscape requires. As part of sustainable development, it preserves limited resources, reducing waste, and preventing air, water and soil pollution. Growing the right plants in the right places; utilizing compost and mulch; employing natural fertilization, weed and pest management; and implementing effective moisture control are all components of sustainable landscaping.   

Organic gardening ideas the eco-conscious homeowner will love

Gardening in general and organic gardening specifically are growing in popularity as an increasing number of homeowners are becoming aware of the benefits. The pandemic, economic uncertainty, and the rising cost of food coupled with a desire to help the environment while spending time outdoors engaged in a fun, stress-reducing activity all have contributed to an interest in planting and raising flowers for beauty and fruits and vegetables for the table.

Top 10 beautiful spring gardening ideas for New England

There’s no question about it – New England can be a tough place to garden. Whether it’s flowers or vegetables, pleasure or produce, New England’s soil and weather can take a toll on both the garden and the gardener. So what’s the best approach to minimize risk and toil and maximize growth, blooms, and gardening pleasure?

Container Gardening Ideas You’ll Love to Know

The pandemic has brought about a number of widespread changes in how we live, eat, and thrive. Gone for now are the days of carefree eating out. Tightened budgets often mean tightened belts as more and more Americans look to save money as their incomes take a hit with reduced working hours, furloughs and, in the worst cases, lost jobs. The silver lining to all this grim news is the growing interest of many people in growing their own food. However, substantial numbers of home gardeners find themselves challenged for space and turn to flexible, versatile container gardening to raise both food and flowers.

Smart Tips for Creating a Winter Feeding Habitat

While summer may be long gone, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an active yard during the colder months and throughout winter. The key is creating an attractive, sustainable winter ecosystem that not only provides year-round beauty, but acts as a winter feeding habitat for the kinds of wildlife you’d like to see and nurture. 

By helping sustain wildlife during the harsh New England winter months you’re also helping maintain a healthy, balanced environment. All life is interrelated and dependent upon each animal and organism doing their part, however small. Insects and microbes break down organic matter into nutrients; those bugs feed small animals that help keep plants in check; they, in turn, feed larger animals that, when they die, feed the insects and microbes and help nourish the soil. Every organism plays a critical role in the cycle of life.

Landscape Design Ideas You'll Love to Know

The pandemic has had some unusual positive effects on people, and one of them is the upsurge in home improvement projects. Homeowners everywhere have gotten busy putting in new patios, firepits, walkways, gardens and other landscape features as they’ve spent more time at home, looking more closely at their property.

Working with the Land: Sustainable Landscaping and the Natural World

Truly successful landscaping starts with sustainability, which is built on a foundation of ecology -- really just a fancy word for the relationship of all organisms to each other and their surroundings. By understanding how each element of an environment is in balance with all the others, we can learn how to create beautiful and harmonious landscape designs that can thrive with minimal interference. That’s sustainable landscaping in a nutshell. 

The Difference between Traditional and Ecological Fall Cleanup Part 3

In part one of our series comparing ecological cleanups with traditional ones, we discussed the differences between ecological and conventional landscaping. In the second part, we reviewed some of the specific processes of ecological landscaping.

For the final installment in the series, we’ll take a closer look at the overall benefits of ecological fall cleanups and the cost considerations of embracing a more environmentally-friendly strategy. At first blush, this approach may seem counterproductive and “messy” – a lazy person’s excuse for avoiding more aggressive and vigorous traditional cleanup tasks. Also, many people believe that preserving nature through organic landscape techniques is more costly than conventional methods. Neither of these are true.

How to Pick the Best Foundation Plants for Great Curb Appeal

Nothing improves the beauty of a yard and the curb appeal of a home more than the right plantings. Color, texture, size, and shape combine to create a unique and attractive environment that adds value as well as beauty to your property. 

Unfortunately, many homes suffer from less-than-stellar plantings as the result of neglect, disinterest, and just plain old lack of imagination. You can spot some of these homes from a mile away by their plop-and-drop, contractor-special shrubs scattered around the house in cookie-cutter beds. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If your yard is suffering from poor plantings, this post will provide you with what you need to know to quickly upgrade your beds.

Personal and Environmental Benefits of Outdoor Living Spaces

It seems intuitive that we like to spend time outdoors -- we’ve all craved nature at one time or another -- but science has now identified some of the reasons we actually need to spend time in a more natural setting. In fact, there is a term for this, Ecotherapy, that refers to the various physical and psychological benefits of being outside.

The DIYer’s Guide to Garden Landscaping

Gardening and garden landscaping to many people invokes images of beautiful flowers or rows of healthy fruits and vegetables. But gardening is so much more than that. Modern garden design encompasses a wide range of landscapes and locations – from sunny, open areas to shaded woodlands, from residential patios to commercial courtyards – filled with plants and features not even dreamed of just a few years ago.

Many garden landscape designers today, including Moodscapes, have embraced a modern, sustainable, and environmentally-based approach – ecological gardening. Instead of relying upon manmade solutions without regard to their environmental impact, ecological gardening emulates nature’s processes and promotes biodiversity, sustainability, soil health, and plant health. It’s gardening designed to restore and enhance both the environment and your wellbeing.

Combating Coronavirus: The Surprising Benefits of Landscaping

As the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, we’re hearing a lot about test kits, treatments, vaccines, and ventilators. And while all of these are crucial to the COVID-19 fight, many people don’t realize that there’s a lot of help to be found in a surprising place: nature.

The restorative benefits of nature, many health experts believe, can lower blood pressure, boost immune function, and reduce stress. Communing with nature is a full mind-body experience that is good for your well being and soul. There are no special requirements, just a willingness to spend some time outdoors, ideally doing something physical, such as gardening, mowing, trimming, or other landscaping tasks.

5 Ways Climate Change Impacts the Landscape and Growing

According to the American Society of Landscape Architects climate change is rapidly growing as a significant factor in landscape design. Raising temperatures, more frequent and severe droughts, and increasing damage from bigger storms are all taking their toll on both the natural and built environment.

If you’re a property owner considering a new landscape project it’s important to be aware of the following five major factors that can have a significant effect on your landscaping plans:

4 Important Characteristics of an Organic Landscape Company

Organic landscaping is both a process and a strategy for creating a beautiful, dynamic landscape while supporting a low-environmental-impact installation and maintenance approach. And while organic landscaping may not be the least expensive or  fastest method in the short-term, over time it will prove less expensive, healthier and more sustainable than more traditional techniques that depend on manufactured fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. 

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