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Landscape Articles

The Top 3 Summer Flowers to Beautify Your Landscape

After battling the forces of winter into the early part of May, it appears to finally be time for consistent warm weather here in Massachusetts! We’ve been dealing with the cold longer than normal this year, which can make it challenging to get your garden ready before the bloom season hits full swing.

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  • The Monsanto Lawsuit - Is Roundup (glyphosate) Safe to Use in Your Yard?

    Using organic methods to take care of your lawn isn’t just better for the environment - it may also be safer for human health. This past summer, a terminally ill former groundskeeper in San Francisco was awarded a $250 million settlement from Monsanto, the company that produces the Roundup brand of weed control products.


    These lawn treatments use glyphosate, a chemical herbicide that has been linked to cancer by multiple studies, according to the National Pesticide Information Center. Dewayne Johnson said he was instructed to use Roundup 20 to 30 times a day working as a school groundskeeper in a San Francisco suburb. He blames the weed killer for the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma he was diagnosed with in 2014, which has made him terminally ill and left lesions on 80% of his body.


    Let’s look at some of the data on glyphosate and the latest developments in the Johnson vs. Monsanto case.

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  • Choosing Hardy Biennials for Your Yard in Massachusetts

    As the name suggests, biennials are plants that take at least two years to go through their entire lifecycle. With multicolor bloom phases and interesting shapes, these plants make an ideal addition to any yard. Some of the best biennials in Massachusetts are hardy, growing best when they can set roots early in more mild fall or winter seasons.


    Below are some of our favorite biennials suitable for the New England climate. Remember that some plants classified as biennials can last longer than two years.

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  • Redoing Your Lawn for Fall in Massachusetts

    In the fall, changing leaves bring the year’s last few splashes of color as flowers, shrubs, and other plants start to become dormant for winter. Even though spring and summer are the main bloom times, there are many maintenance tasks to do in your yard during the fall. The cooler weather in Massachusetts provides great opportunity to work on the foundation of your lawn.

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  • Planting Grasses in the Fall for Year-Round Interest

    One of our favorite things about landscape design is the amount of personal expression it allows. Most people associate landscape with flowers and shrubs, but there are many different styles of plants that can thrive in your garden, depending on your tastes.


    People sometimes forget about ornamental grasses. They often don’t take as central of a role in your garden as flowers and vegetables, but these grasses can still add a nice touch to your yard. Grasses are also great because many of them bloom in colder weather, which can help your yard look attractive even in the offseason.


    Here’s what you need to know about planting ornamental grasses in the fall.

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  • 3 Vegetable Garden Tips for Fall in Massachusetts

    Growing vegetables and other edible plants is one of the most rewarding forms of gardening. You get to enjoy the fruits of your labor - literally - with fresh food, spices, and herbs that can be used in delicious meals.


    As the calendar gets closer to the cool fall season, it is time to harvest many popular fruits and vegetables. But harvesting isn’t the only fall activity you should be doing to maximize your garden’s return and ensure it is a healthy, vibrant part of your yard all year.


    Here are three lesser-known yet important tips to improve your vegetable garden as the weather cools down:

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  • Extending Your Fall Bloom Time for An Attractive Yard - Even in Cold Weather

    Now is the time of year when cold weather approaches and spring blooms are mostly gone. But just because it’s not the beginning of the season doesn’t mean you have no interest in your yard to look forward to. With some thoughtful planning and selection of the right plants, you can maintain a vibrant garden with great aesthetics all year.

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  • 3 Tips for Fall Season Planting in Massachusetts

    With Labor Day now behind us, it’s time to wrap up summer and start preparing for autumn. Though the hot weather is still hanging around right now, before you know it the temperatures will drop and you’ll need a jacket to go outside.


    Many homeowners and even some landscape professionals believe that once the warm weather is over, life in your yard will cease until the next bloom season. While it’s true that your yard probably won’t be as active in the fall as it is in the spring and summer, that doesn’t mean it will be completely desolate of plant and insect life. There are still ways you can maintain a healthy, vibrant yard well into October and November.

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  • Reducing Waste and Harm to the Environment Part 2

    In our previous blog post, we touched on methods to choose, arrange, and support healthy shrubs and trees in your yard. For this post, we will be talking about ways to maintain your yard over the long run. We’ll also address how you can use vegetation to make your home more energy efficient, thereby reducing your overall environmental footprint.

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  • Top Tips for Landscape Design on a Sloped Yard

    People with sloped yards often feel like they are unable to get a yard to look as good as a more level outdoor space. This isn’t the case - while a sloped yard does require some specific care and may not be best for all types of plants, there’s still a lot that you can do to create a relaxing environment.


    Here’s what to know to design a peaceful, inspiring outdoor space - even if your yard is at an angle.  

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  • Reducing Waste and Harm to the Environment from Landscaping in Massachusetts (part 1)

    In recent years, there’s been a large push to educate homeowners and commercial landscapers on how to conserve the environment. More and more home and business owners are realizing that poor landscaping practices will not only hurt their plant life, but also negatively impact the greater environment.


    In this blog series, we will discuss everything you can do to mitigate harm to the environment through your landscaping practices. The first installment will cover how to choose, arrange, and take care of plants in a way that reduces negative effects on the natural world.

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  • 3 Tips for Conserving Water in Your Home Landscape Design

    In a July 2018 meeting, the Massachusetts Drought Management Task Force declared that the state of Massachusetts was free of drought conditions. This is a sigh of relief for residents of the state who remember the lengthy drought between March 2015 and May of 2017.


    Even though we may not be currently facing a drought, the task force did mention that water and precipitation levels have gotten worse since earlier this year. This fact, combined with lower-than-normal precipitation expected for the rest of 2018, means people still need to be aware of their water consumption.


    If you are looking for ways to reduce your impact on the environment, using less water is an excellent start. Below are three tips for conserving water that you can incorporate into your current gardening and landscape practices.

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  • How and Why to Minimize Your Lawn in Massachusetts

    A short, neatly-edged expanse of sprawling green grass is the ultimate idea of the American lawn. Unfortunately, the “perfect” lawn is more reminiscent of a chemically-treated golf course than a healthy yard that supports the environment around it.


    Without large amounts of watering, pesticide and herbicide use, and constant application of fertilizer, those pristine green lawns are impossible to maintain. These lawns are not environmentally-friendly, nor are they a healthy place for children or dogs to play on. Follow the advice below to create an organic lawn that is both safe for your family and good to the natural world.

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  • Seasonal Planting for Year-Round Beauty and Environmental Support

    Homeowners often place lots of emphasis on creating a garden with beautiful flowers and shrubs that bloom majestically in the spring season. Unfortunately, focusing on beauty for a single season can leave your yard lacking during the rest of the year.


    With some careful planning and a bit of creativity, you can create a garden that will keep your yard in color and wonderful smells for all four seasons, even during the warm months. Use the pointers below to create a garden that will delight your senses all year.

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  • 5 Organic Mosquito Control Methods for Massachusetts

    Summer is about getting together with friends and family in a fun celebration of the season. Unfortunately, this is a tradition that is often interrupted by uninvited pests like mosquitoes. These insects can make happy guests itchy and miserable and leave them wanting to stay inside instead of enjoying the outdoors.


    A mosquito problem is certainly an issue that needs to be solved before the season of summer parties comes into full swing. Don’t rely on Roundup or other chemicals to rid your yard of pests, as pesticides can be harmful to you and your family and contaminate the local water supply. Here are five organic methods to use to keep mosquitoes away from your summer gatherings:

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  • How to Get Your Massachusetts Yard Ready for Outdoor Gatherings

    There’s nothing like hosting a summer get-together in your backyard to celebrate the season. Spending quality time with friends in your outdoor space is the epitome of summer, and it’s time to prepare for upcoming BBQs and yard parties. Get your yard ready by updating patio furniture, adding new fixtures, and taking preventative measures against annoying insects. Follow the steps below to guarantee fun and successful gatherings in your outdoor space throughout the summer.

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  • The Top 6 Organic Pest Control Methods for Massachusetts Landscaping

    Every yard will eventually face pest problems. Caterpillars stripping leaves in your new vegetable garden and fungus that causes root rot in flowers and shrubs are only a couple of examples of the extensive damage that pests can cause. It can be tempting to use a chemical approach like Roundup to rid your yard and garden of pests, but organic methods can work just as efficiently, without the harm that chemicals present to your family and the environment.

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  • The Organic Gardening Guide to Summer Yard Maintenance

    Once summer hits and you’ve finished all of the work you had planned for spring, it can be tempting to spend your free time enjoying the sun and letting your yard do its own thing. While your yard doesn’t need as much upkeep in the summer, you do need to handle some maintenance tasks that will help maintain it for the season.


    Here are a few tasks for your yard this summer to keep up that healthy springtime glow until the fall:

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  • 4 Things to Know Before Your Next Hardscaping Project

    When looking to achieve a balanced, peaceful yard, remember that hardscaping is just as important as natural features. These man-made components, such as walkways, patios, and divider walls, are an important part of the perfect outdoor living space. Hardscape elements can add a great complement to your organic space, but creating them comes with a whole different set of concerns than building a vegetable garden or flower bed.

    Here are the top four elements to consider before you commit to a hardscaping project:

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  • Choosing and Caring For Organic Gardening Tools

    Soil, seeds, and sunlight may be the foundation for a healthy and fruitful garden, but without proper care and attention, you won’t be able to grow the beautiful shrubs and flowers you want. With the right tools for taking care of your garden, you’ll be much more likely to find success with landscaping.


    But just because tools for your garden are important doesn’t mean choosing them needs to be a complex matter. Picking the right type of supplies from the right vendor will not only give you a healthier yard, it will make your own gardening efforts much easier.


    Here’s what you need to know about selecting and taking care of gardening tools:

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  • Tips to Create a Pet-Friendly Organic Yard

    Everyone loves the family pet, a companion that kids and adults appreciate having around. But as homeowners with dogs and cats know, there are some parts of your residence that you can’t share with your furry bundle of joy, and outdoor areas aren’t always the exception.


    It’s great to have an outside space for your pet to run or play in. But if you plan on growing food, creating a peaceful garden for meditation, or simply want to keep your dog or cat safe outside, you have to consider the elements that could cause them harm.


    Here’s what you should know when it comes to making sure your pet is safe while enjoying time in the yard:

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  • What to Know About Honey Bees in Massachusetts

    Say the word “bees” around most people and the first thing that comes to mind is a black-and-yellow menace that terrorizes children and summer get-togethers.


    But that’s an unfair and incomplete picture of the importance of honeybees to the world around us. Bees pollinate more than 400 different types of agricultural products, including many common fruits and vegetables. In 2010, honeybees helped produce $19 billion worth of crops - and that’s in the U.S. alone! They also produce one of the most common and delightful treats consumed by people today in many forms: honey.


    Like every other state, honey bees are common in Massachusetts, both in nature and in beekeeping colonies. Whether you are a honey bee enthusiast thinking about starting a colony, want to attract them to pollinate your garden, or are looking to protect your property from bees, here’s what you need to know.

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  • A Beginner's Guide to a Massachusetts Vegetable Garden

    Growing your own food is healthy, reduces your environmental footprint, and can even reduce stress and improve your mood. But before you jump into buying supplies for a vegetable garden, you’ll want to do some planning. Not only will you have to decide what you want to grow, you’ll need to plot your garden, acquire the right tools and supplies, and protect your seedlings.


    Here’s a quick primer to help you start planning your garden for the warm growing season:

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  • They're Not Just for Beauty: Tips for Coordinating Bloom Times in Your Garden

    The timing of your garden is much more complex than simply thinking about planting, growing, and harvesting seasons. You must also think about the lifecycle of the plants in your yard. With a bit of planning and foresight, you can create spaces in your yard that are welcoming, relaxing, and colorful all year.

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  • 5 Excellent Plants for Your Natural Contemplative Garden

    One of the best things about the outdoors is its ability to rejuvenate the human spirit. After a tough day at work or a difficult experience with a friend or family member, it’s nice to be able to get home to a tranquil yard to let nature sooth you.


    If you’re building a space in your yard for this purpose, you need the right flowers, shrubs, and trees. Here are five of our favorites for a meditation garden in Massachusetts:

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