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Landscape Articles

6 Best Practices of Organic Landscaping

We all know how important it is to take care of the planet, but you may be wondering what you can do to improve your practices. One easy step is to use organic landscaping methods.


Adopting these habits is much simpler than it may sound. The foundation of organic gardening is learning about your property, the kind of soil that you have, growing conditions, and what your yard needs to flourish. These six tips will help you easily use organic landscaping tactics for a healthy yard with minimal environmental impact.

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  • 5 Tips for Attracting Bees, Butterflies, and Other Pollinators to Your Garden

    Pollinators such as birds, bees, and butterflies are not only fun and beautiful to look at, they are an essential part of the ecosystem. Using plants that naturally attract these desirable creatures and complementing them with feeders will bring many pollinators to your yard. Here are five ways that will help you create a beautiful garden that welcomes these critical creatures.

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  • Clever Ways to Use Stone in Your Landscape Project

    Stones are a beautiful addition to any garden - they evoke a feeling of permanence and strength. By uniquely arranging rocks and boulders in your landscaping you can enjoy not only the aesthetic benefits but also the healing, grounding nature of rock’s mountain-like properties.


    Here are some interesting ways to incorporate stone hardscapes into your property:

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  • Doctor’s Orders: 6 Little Known Health Benefits of Gardening

    Being outside, interacting with nature, and actively gardening are beneficial for both emotional and physical health. Simply being in nature can enliven your well-being, and is a welcome break from a sedentary workplace with harsh, artificial lighting.


    These are six health benefits to help motivate you to get outside, get your hands dirty, and enjoy your garden:

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  • Most Popular Meditation Garden Backyard Layouts and Designs

    The way you design and plan your meditation garden is a matter of individual preference. There are many factors that may go into deciding how to create your own space to relax and unwind. Here are some features that have both proven to be both popular and effective in creating a tranquil meditation space in your backyard:

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  • Landscape Water Features: Which is Best for Your Backyard?

    Fountains, birdbaths, and ponds add a soothing and relaxing element to your landscaping - but they can be expensive and difficult to engineer. This short guide will give you an introduction to picking out the perfect water feature for your yard.

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  • Make Time to Stop and Smell the Flowers: 8 Plants and Shrubs with Relaxing Scents

    Picking the right plants for your gardens not only makes your landscaping look beautiful, they can add pleasurable, relaxing scents. Choosing flower smells you enjoy is important because they can have a positive effect on your mood after a long, hectic day at the office.


    Before you head to your local nursery or hire a landscaper, think about what scents you like. Some people like bright, sweet, and fruity smells, while others like more subdued, spicy, or herbal smells. From there, pick plants that have long bloom times and complement other flowers in your garden.


    Here are eight popular types of flowering plants:

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  • Do More Than Just Garden: 5 Tips for Creating a Relaxing & Remedial Landscape

    Is your garden just a garden, or is it providing you with a place to escape and find rejuvenation? With some careful thought, you can create a beautiful place where you’ll find rest from a busy world. These five tips will help you landscape in a way that is relaxing and remedial.   

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  • 3 Worthwhile Tips for Soundproofing Your Backyard Space

    Living in a busy urban area often disrupts enjoyment of your backyard. The sounds of cars driving by and loud neighbors can interrupt socializing with friends or quiet, post-work meditative time. Fortunately, with some well thought out landscaping, you can help muffle these sounds and create a more tranquil space in your yard.


    These three tips will help you soundproof your backyard so that it is more enjoyable, even if you live in a dense, populous neighborhood:

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  • How can my outdoor living space help the natural environment and assist in healing and relaxation?

    Gardens are a great option for creating an area that is both soothing and good for the environment. When landscaping, you need to consider your personal preference and the effect the plants you choose will have on the environment.

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  • Top 4 Landscaping Tips for the Ever-Changing New England Climate

    Creating vivacious landscape designs can be challenging, given New England’s intense four seasons. Massachusetts weather ranges from bitterly cold nights in the middle of winter to hot and humid summer days. This extreme variety of temperatures can put stress on plants. The four tips below will help you create a beautiful landscape in New England’s fickle climate.

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  • Little Known Ways to Select Foundation Plantings You Will Love

    Picking out the right permanent plants will give your landscapes great color throughout the year. They will complement your house and the flowers you chose for the rest of your garden. That’s why many considerations need to go into choosing the foundation plantings that work best for your yard. Here are some things to think about before you start planting:

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  • 3 Rules for an Effortless and Stress-free Landscape Project

    After a busy day of work, you want to come home to a beautiful landscaped yard – without worrying about hours of weeding, pruning, fertilizing, and watering. How can you design a stress-free garden? These three rules can help guide you through creating and maintaining a yard with minimal effort.

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  • 5 Fun and Creative Ways to Increase Your Home’s Curb Appeal

    The front of your house is the first thing that people see. What does yours say about you? Creating a warm entryway makes your house feel welcoming and gives a great first impression.

    A home with great curb appeal isn’t just for guests or neighbors to enjoy. When you return to your house after a long day at work, a well thought out and intentionally designed entry will make you glad to be home. Here are five ways you can create a beautiful front yard.

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  • 5 Super Easy Ways to Create Privacy in Your Backyard

    Entering your yard should feel like coming home to your own little sanctuary from the world. How can you do this naturally? A fence may seem like an easy solution, but there are other ways to give your backyard some seclusion that will be efficient and better looking than iron or wooden planks.

    Fences can feel cold and impersonal. In crowded, suburban and urban areas, sound and light is still carried over them. They’ll also interrupt the expansive, picturesque views that you want to enjoy.

    Instead of a fence, here are five simple and natural ways to help you create privacy, diminish light and sound pollution, and give your yard a warm and welcoming feel:

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  • 8 Questions to Ask About Backyard Landscape Designs

    If you’re in the process of landscaping your property, you may not be sure where to start. You know hardscapes can add value to your home - but maybe you’re struggling to figure out exactly what features to include. These eight questions will help you make a plan to create your ideal yard.

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  • Entertainment on a Dime: 4 Party-Ready Outdoor Entertainment Design Ideas

    Summer has come bringing warm afternoons, long evenings, and fireflies to add magic to the night. If you love to entertain you are probably wondering how to economically host your friends outdoors. With a little planning, you can have a yard that will be perfect for making wonderful memories.

    Here are four ideas to upgrade your backyard:

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  • 5 Ways to Create a Kid-Friendly Outdoor Garden Space

    Playing outdoors and learning to love nature are integral parts of growing up. Perhaps you have fond memories of playing whiffle ball with your siblings, going on neighborhood adventures with your dog, or rolling in the grass and staring up at the sky looking for shapes in the clouds.

    You probably want the same experiences for your children, but how can you create a space for them that is enjoyable yet safe?

    These five tips will help you assess options available in your area and give you some great inspiration for helping your children make memories like the ones you enjoyed.

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  • Beginner’s Guide to Building the Outdoor Living Space of Your Dreams

    You’ve spent time, money, and energy making your house a home. You’ve got the right furniture, the perfect paint colors, and the best setup for the kitchen, and now you're ready to tackle your outdoor living space.

    Perhaps you’ve tried to grow plants before with mixed results, or you wanted to start a flower bed and got overwhelmed by all the descriptions of what each flower needs. Here are some ideas for how to create an outdoor space that you’ll never want to leave:

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  • How to Create a Budget for Your Landscape Project

    Most people want to know that they are a vital part of their home improvement projects, even if they choose to hire professionals to carry out the heavy lifting. It is important for homeowners to understand what is happening on their properties, and that the job is done professionally. In order to get great landscaping services, you must create a viable landscape budget. By understanding what is a reasonable cost for your plans, researching local services, planning for investment potential and asking for professional guidance, you can create a design that will improve your property and fit your budget for your landscape project.

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  • Native Perennials for Eastern Massachusetts

    Two of our favorite native perennials to plant in Eastern Massachusetts are Kim's Knee High and Bridal Veil False Spirea. The Echinacea purpurea 'Kim's Knee High' is a compact version of Purple Coneflower. It is covered in 3-inch rosy-pink flowers that have drooping petals. This Coneflower will begin blooming a week or two the other Echinacea's. It is the ideal addition to a small landscape design where birds and butterflies can access it. All Coneflowers have such good root systems that they are known as "clay busters", tough enough to handle difficult clay soils. They grow best in full sun and are known to attract birds and hummingbirds, while keeping away deer due to their rugged texture.

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  • 6 Tips for Hiring a Professional Landscaper

    Your garden is a reflection of your personality as well as the personality of your home, and it can be quite challenging to find a professional landscaper who can take your personality and translate it into an outdoor area that you will love. A good professional landscaper will take your needs into account, but will also ensure that the landscape works in terms of choosing the right plants for your area, having buildings placed sensibly and ensuring that the garden is as easy to maintain as possible. Finding the right designer for you can be quite tricky, so here are a few tips that will help you make your decision.

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  • Low Maintenance Gardens for Eastern Massachusetts

    In Eastern MA, there are many different types of gardens that will grow and thrive, even in the finicky coastal MA weather. A few garden types you might want to consider planting are:

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  • Patio Materials- Price of Pea Gravel Patios

    More information on Patio Materials! The least expensive patio material to buy and install is pea gravel, also know as pea stone.

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  • Patio Materials- How Much Does a Paver Patio Cost?

    Judith Lipson- Rubin | 15 July, 2016 | Hardscape

    PATIO MATERIALS- concrete PAVERS!

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  • Questions To Ask A Professional Landscape Designer

    Are you looking for a new landscape design this season? All landscape design jobs- backyard designs, garden design plans, and front yard landscape designs, require a consultation with a professional landscape designer as the first step.

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  • Winter Safety Tip: How to Choose an Ice Melt?

    Being from New England I have seen many snow and ice storms come through. It’s important to keep in mind both personal and public safety with winter weather. State workers and highway departments take care of snow removal and sanding/salting for all public roads, but most sidewalks, walkways and driveways are the property owners’ responsibility.

    Regarding your own personal sidewalk, walkway and driveway there are two routes you can go: do it yourself or hire a professional.

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  • Perennials to Plant in Eastern Massachusetts

    Many gardeners choose perennials to plant in their yards to add color and create a low maintenance garden space. Perennials are great because they have color that pops in the spring, summer, or fall, then die back for the winter and repeat the next season.

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  • How to Design Your Backyard- Shade Plants for Massachusetts

    Growing plants in the shade can be a daunting task if not properly thought out. This does not mean you need to hire a professional landscape designer, but it does mean you have to do your research.

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  • What Are the Best Plants for Shade Gardens?

    Are You Growing Plants in the Shade?

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  • Patio Materials- The Cost of Bluestone Patios

    Anne Marie DiMatteo | 15 July, 2015 | Hardscape

    This is part 2 of the Patio Material blog series- Understanding the Cost of Bluestone Patios.

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  • Top 5 Landscape Maintenance Tips

    Landscapes that have been properly and professionally designed, installed, and maintained have a pleasing and consistent appearance. Of course the visual will change with the seasons, but it will always be inviting, regardless of the season.

    Eastern Massachusetts homeowners that have invested in organic, sustainable landscapes with native plants appropriate to the area do well to employ professionals to take care of their landscape maintenance so as to protect their investment. However it is still important for the homeowner to be engaged with what is going on. Let's take a look at some top landscape maintenance tips:

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  • 4 Benefits of Healing Gardens

    Healing gardens are not new, although they have garnered a lot of recent attention. While most notably found in hospital settings, home gardens are also gaining in popularity. They come in a multitude of shapes and sizes, generally catering to their owner's specific needs.

    Unlike a typical garden, healing gardens are places of refuge which are specifically designed to promote better mental and physical health. They typically include space for walking, sitting, and features are added with a calming effect in mind. These gardens have been proven to have multiple benefits, including the following:

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  • What do Landscape Maintenance Services do?

    Anyone who has installed an impressive landscape of any size knows how much work it can be to keep it up properly. The fact of the matter is that few of us have enough time to get the work done and then have time to enjoy it with family and friends. Landscape maintenance involves much more than simply mowing the lawn on Saturday morning. To compound the situation, anyone migrating from a chemical to organic program will have a steep learning curve. Luckily, professional landscape maintenance services are available to come to the rescue. So, what services are available?

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  • Twelve FAQ's About Custom Landscaping

    Anne Marie DiMatteo | 6 April, 2015

    Custom landscaping can be an involved process that brings in a surprising number of trades, and it's quite understandable that someone who is not familiar with it would have some questions.

    Here are some of the most common of those questions that we have encountered, along with the best answers we can provide:

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  • 4 Do's and Don'ts for a Successful Backyard Landscape Design

    A great backyard landscape design makes all the difference in how you and your family enjoy your outdoorspaces.

    Massachusetts has some of the best summer weather in the country, and you want to make sure you get the most out of everything.

    When you're planning your design, you want to make sure it works well for your lifestyle, your family's needs, and looks great.

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  • 7 Signs You Should Invest in Custom Landscaping

    Now that spring has (almost) sprung, you might notice that your landscaping is looking a bit sparse and sickly.

    Don't worry, that isn't uncommon, but an easy way to usher in the spring in style is to consider custom landscaping.

    Custom landscaping can make a home feel fresh, alive and new. We've collected seven signs that indicate it might be time to call in the professionals in regards to your landscaping. Does your home tick these boxes?

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  • Everything You Need To Know About Residential Landscape Design

    What Do You Want In An Outdoor Space?

    There are a myriad of options available to homeowners when it comes to residential landscape design. This is great, but it can be difficult to find the one that suits your needs. You may have an idea of what you want, but run into difficulties finding a company that can get the job done. You may find yourself having to hire multiple companies for hardscape installation, planting and maintenance. 

    While you may love the idea of a do-it-yourself yard, you may not have the hours to pour into planning and executing your vision. This is where a residential landscape design expert can help. Design can make the difference between a yard that is nice and a yard that is breathtaking.

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  • Six Advantages of Custom Landscaping Services

    Anne Marie DiMatteo | 25 February, 2015 | Landscape Design

    Landscaping can be broadly defined as the changes you make to the land around your home in order to make it more aesthetically pleasing. It covers everything from the plants that you choose to the extra structures that you can fit in your garden. Landscaping helps you create usable spaces for any outdoor activities you want to engage in and can create a safe and secure outdoor space for the entire family.

    There are plenty of options for what you can do with the space around your house. You can create a perfect balance between plants and man-made structures, or create a sustainable area that feels more like a wilderness than a sculpted garden. Some people want to have plenty of indoor amenities, and outdoor dining rooms and kitchens are becoming more and more popular. Some people want water features that contain exotic fish, while others want natural fencing grown out of plants.

    Choosing what sort of landscape design you want is the first step to creating a space that suits your needs and will keep you happy for years to come.

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  • Personalized Landscape Design Customer Success Story

    Anne Marie DiMatteo | 29 December, 2014 | Landscape Design

    Each client we work with presents new challenges and unique experiences. Our mission remains the same: create inspirational and harmonious landscapes by infusing the client's practical needs and aesthetic desires within the existing nature of the landscape.

    This is the story of one client's personalized landscape design. British homeowners wanted a formal feel in their front and backyard and they hired Moodscapes, which has more of natural style of landscape. Working together we were able to integrate a structure landscape that was elegant but also had warmth with a natural flare to it.

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  • Top Personalized Landscape Design Resources of 2014

    Anne Marie DiMatteo | 22 December, 2014 | Landscape Design

    The key to profoundly satisfying personal landscape design is the "something extra" that delivers a landscape capable of retaining its personalized magic that delivers the mood you and your family want to invoke. This can only be accomplished by selecting the right materials and plants according to their texture, color, scent, and even taste. It is details like these help transform a landscape into a therapeutic healing garden - a place for the family to relax and unwind. Winds waft perfect fragrances, textures are coordinated with complimentary colors. Shapes and images deliver a context that when placed within an overarching design - a moodscape is created.

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  • 5 Benefits of Using Moss in Your Garden and Lawn

    When it comes to relaxing in an environment that you find peaceful and inviting, few places can hold a candle to being on your own property and in your own home. Even if you travel to exotic locations and have seen fantastic gardens and yards, your own yard and your own land can give you a sense of satisfaction and completion you can't get anywhere else. And, if you're the outdoors type, one feature you can use to add softness and vibrancy to your landscaping is to take advantage of moss.

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  • 5 Advantages of Organic Lawns

    Organic lawns provide major advantages for your family and the environment. Your home is a major source of pride, and you want it to look great all the time. When you need to maintain your lawn, it's important to find a solution that works well for your lifestyle, but is healthy for everyone.

    Here's five unique advantages of organic lawns:

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  • What makes an elegant backyard?

    An elegant, well-landscaped backyard is a joy to behold when looking out your kitchen or living room window; however, if you are like most homeowners, you want your backyard to serve many purposes. When landscaped properly, your yard should function as a retreat that appeals to many senses – a visual palette of color and movement, a soothing place to relax, and a setting for fun with friends and family.

    With the help of a professional landscaping company, you can design an outdoor haven that multi-tasks to meet the needs of you and your family. To create an elegant backyard, keep the following tips in mind:

    Tip #1: Get your green on.

    Green doesn’t have to mean spacious acres of immaculate lawns. Many homeowners are embracing environmental trends, including landscape design. Whether you are dreaming of a zen-like private garden area to meditate, or an inspirational yoga-friendly space, going green in your yard supports your values.

    Consider incorporating environmentally focused elements such as:
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  • 5 Elements of a Kid-Friendly Backyard

    Your yard is an extension of your home. It is a place for rest, relaxation, play and rejuvenation. For children in particular, a backyard is a magical space where many memories are made. Long days playing outside, getting dirty, laughing and running are a universal childhood experience. The backyard is seen differently through the eyes of a child - tall grass or flowers becomes a jungle and a play structure becomes a fort, a castle, or a pirate ship.

    To help transform your backyard into a kid-friendly location, incorporate the following elements:

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  • 4 Reasons Why You Should Leave Your Patio Remodel to the Professionals

    Anne Marie DiMatteo | 6 October, 2014 | Hardscape

    When you need to give your patio a makeover, you might be tempted to do it yourself. After all, you can save a lot of money on labor if you do not have to pay a professional. But, when you want a beautiful patio that will stand the test of time, you need to seriously consider how hiring a professional makes the process easier for you.

    You must have the skills to build a good foundation for the patio, grade it properly, choose the right material and ensure solid work. In the long run, an expert will give you the best investment. Here's four reasons why you should leave your patio remodel to the professionals:

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  • 5 Elements of a Family Friendly Backyard

    If you love the outdoors, you’ll want your children to develop the same love, instead of sitting in the house all day long. Having a backyard that suits both your needs as well as that of your kids can encourage them to spend time outside, learning new skills and exploring in a safe place.

    Whether you’ve got a yard already, or if you’re only in the planning phase, here are some elements that will ensure that your backyard is family friendly and a safe and relaxing place for everybody.

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  • 4 Tips for Finding a Garden Designer

    Anne Marie DiMatteo | 11 September, 2014 | Landscape Design

    Choosing a garden designer can be more difficult than it sounds. Although there are a lot of great ones out there, not every designer is willing to meet your high standards. If you’ve got something very specific in mind, you may find that not every designer will be able to get the job done in the way that you imagine.

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  • Professional Landscape Design vs Do It Yourself

    Anne Marie DiMatteo | 4 September, 2014 | Landscape Design

    Many people think that they can replace the work of a professional without a lot of effort. Sometimes, this is true. But, in other cases, you are almost always better off hiring someone who can do the job right the first time. When you want professional landscape design, there really is no easy way to skimp on costs or services. If you treat your property like the treasure it is, and arrange for professional landscaping design and maintenance, your land will be beautiful and useful for many years to come.

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  • 5 Benefits of a Landscape Design Plan

    Tackling landscaping of your New England property is a daunting prospect. With the help of our qualified, experienced and professional landscape designers, you unlock the full potential of your lot. A great landscape design plan utilizes every positive aspect of your property, which increases curb appeal and your ability to enjoy the outdoors for its beauty and exterior living capabilities.

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  • 3 Elements of Effective Woodland Gardens

    Gardens can be time-consuming and difficult to manage, especially if you have a large plot of land at your disposal. One of the trends that is becoming more popular with people who have large trees or unused wooded areas in their yard is to start up a woodland garden, which has the benefit of being more natural and less manicured than more traditional gardens.

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  • 3 Shade Garden Design Ideas to Customize Your Landscape

    Because there are so many factors to consider, it is best to leave shade garden designs to the professionals. To get you started, here are 3 ideas to get you thinking about the endless possibilities there are for growing plants in the shade.

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  • Reasons to Consider a Custom Landscape Design

    Before making any major decision regarding a home, any homeowner should do their due dilligence by researching their problem as well as all the possible solutions. Deciding what to do with your yard and then choosing the right landscape design can be very daunting and exhausting. We like to encourage potential customers to think about how they want to use their yard and the aspects of their existing conditions that they don't like.

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  • 3 Different Ways to Customize Your Patio

    Anne Marie DiMatteo | 5 July, 2014 | Hardscape

    Learn about 3 of the most common customizable characteristics of patios while deciding what you are looking for in your yard. Professional landscape designers are trained professionals to help you get the most out of your space and money, but it is important for you to understand how they can custom design a patio for your home.

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  • What is a customized garden design?

    A customized garden design takes the needs of each individual homeowner into consideration and applies them directly to the design plan. Although garden design plans can be customized in many ways, here are a few examples of customized garden designs.
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  • Reasons to Hire a Professional Landscape Designer

    Studies show that a well-executed, professional landscape design can increase a home’s value by 20 percent. A professional landscape designer spends their life thinking about the subject, they come to your home filled with knowledge, creative ideas and imagination to develop a personalized landscape design that is uniquely suited to your home, lifestyle and personal preferences.

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  • It's Time to Test Your Soil

    Before starting in your garden, make sure to get your soil tested. Many gardeners and landscape professionals forget this step and plant incorrectly. It is important to know the basic information about your soil in order to what know what and where to plant in your garden.

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  • Companion Planting with New England Native Plants

    One of the best ways to create an ecological garden is by planting more native plants. Planting native plants enhances and supports your local ecosystem which has more benefits than we can imagine. When selecting plants think about companion planting. Many native plants have evolved along side each other and grow more naturally together. The following are two great examples of companion planting:

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  • Customized Garden Design with Edible Garden Plants

    Home owners are more aware of the beauty and ecological benefits of an edible garden, and some are hiring professionals solely for their help with adding a variety of edible trees, shrubs, and perennials to their landscape. Edible gardens can be used to perform many functions in the landscape while achieving design and practical goals. For example, to reduce erosion and out-compete weeds, creeping herbs can be used as ground covers.

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  • Common Misconceptions About Edible Gardens

    Many people think to have an edible garden (a garden with fruit and vegetable plants), it has to be in a large, fenced in section of their backyard. This is not only false, but far from the truth.

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  • A story from my father-in-law

    Six high rise buildings over looking the George Washington Bridge and Manhattan Sky Line are home to former NYC residents who are "escaping city life". Fort Lee, NJ sits on the top of a cliff with a mountain-like climate, high winds and cold winters. My father-in-law was the landscape architect assigned to this community and was faced with the problem of finding a hardy, all season interest plant to put in the garden beds at the main entrance. Being the creative and innovative landscape architect he is, my father-in-law suggested a plant known for its hardiness and extended season.  It has yellow, red, and orange foliage in the autumn, yellow-green to reddish stems for winter interest, urn-shaped white flowers in May, and a tasty blue fruit. What has all of that? A blueberry bush, the Vaccinium corymbosum.

    His proposal was questioned numerous times-- a blueberry bush in the front of a multi-million dollar high rise complex, home to retired NYC residents who felt they were moving to suburbia by leaving the heart of Manhattan to only be 10 minutes outside the city with a panoramic view of the city skyline?!? Was he crazy? No, he was innovative and persistent. The highbush blueberry shrubs were eventually "okayed" and planted in front of two of the six buildings.

    After a year or so, the lifelong city dwellers got to do something they never imagine, dreamed or even thought of possibly doing. Every morning, you would see these elderly urban dwellers go out their front door dressed in their designer robes, and pick fresh blueberries for their breakfast. As these women "foraged" for their food, they got to finally taste the fruits of gardening; something they never thought possible from their NYC life style.

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  • landscape design with winter interest in mind

    As you find yourself in the middle of winter with below freezing temperatures and wind chills, it is a perfect time to stay inside and look out at your yard. What do you see? What would you like to see? This is the time you want to think about how you may want to fill in and add to your landscape. There are so many plants that will liven any landscape, even in the dead of winter. 

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  • Moodscapes Earns 2013 Angie’s List Super Service Award

    Moodscapes has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the consumer review service in 2013. They won the award in two categories, “Mulch & Topsoil” and “Landscaping - Hardscaping & Pavers”.
     
    “Only about 5 percent of the companies Moodscapes competes with in Arlington, MA are able to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a mark of consistently great customer service.”
     
    Angie’s List Super Service Award 2013 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, have a fully complete profile, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

    Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality. Members can find the 2013 Super Service Award logo next to company names in search results on AngiesList.com.

    Moodscapes has received the Super Service Award for many years and continues to excel within the field of Landscape Design and Installation.

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  • Personal Landscape Design and Installation- Needham, MA

    Job description: Moodscapes designed and installed plantings for the front of the house, including the beautiful ornamental tree on the left. We also installed a 330 sq ft bluestone patio in the backyard with a granite step from the back doors, which also included new plantings. The project consisted of demolition work done in the back in order to remove a small deck and steps, as well as running two downspouts to a dry well. We helped coordinate and hire an irrigation contractor to install drip irrigation for the new plantings.
     


    Throughout the design process and even during the installation, our team worked closely with the homeowners regarding plant and color decisions. The clients requested a few changes to plantings throughout and asked for certain colors of the natural cleft bluestone be removed. We hand picked the bluestone pieces to match the exact color preference of the homeowners. This job is a great example of how we customize everything to the homeowners desire. It is important to have a personal landscape designed and installed to be one that you will love to look at and be in for as long as you live in that home.
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  • Fruit and vegetable garden in Arlington, Massachusetts

    Anne Marie DiMatteo | 14 December, 2013 | Edible Gardens

    A fruit and vegetable garden is a great way to customize your landscape in New England.

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  • Customized Bluestone Patio for Outdoor Living

    An unspoken rule of thumb for living in New England, is that, when it is nice outside, you stay outside.

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  • Woodland garden design in Newton, Massachusetts

    Last summer homeowners in Newton, Massachusetts were connected to the city sewer system which left their backyard looking like the picture to the left, a complete mess. They wanted a redesign of their entire backyard with new plantings, some type of hardscape for entertainment space, as well as a swing for leisure and relaxation. The property is surrounded by many trees making the backyard a natural woodland setting with privacy.

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  • A Great Massachusetts Resource- MassRealty

    Everyone knows how important curb appeal is for selling and maintaining value to a home. We as landscape designers always encourage homeowners to think about increasing property value and their curb appeal through proper landscape design and installation. Aside from proper landscape design, there are many other aspects to homeownership that will help maintain and increase value. A great resource for understanding all the aspects of owning and selling a home in Massachusetts is MassRealty.

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  • Beautiful Fall Landscape on Cape Cod

    The Moodscapes team designed and installed this beautiful landscape with a combination of knock out roses (Rose x 'Knock Out'), a type of switch grass (Panicum virgatum 'Ruby Ribbons'), cinquefoil (Potentilla neumanniana 'Nana'), and an inkberry shrub (Ilex glabra). This custom landscape design allows the outdoor entertaining area to be surrounded by plants with a variety of color, scents, and textures all year round.

    (Photo taken by David Halberstadt)

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  • A front entrance bluestone walkway

    Anne Marie DiMatteo | 7 November, 2013 | Front Entryways
    Clients in Newton, Massachusetts wanted to redo the front entrance to their beautiful home by adding a classic bluestone walkway. Along both sides of the walkway we added boxwoods to mirror the elegant and symmetrical style of the house.
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  • Front entrance landscape design- one year later..

    Above is a picture of a natural field stone walkway and front garden bed our team installed last year. Plants, trees, and shrubs are growing well together and the field stone walkway adds an element of elegance and simplicity to the front yard design. To view this yard last year, read, Natural Field Stone Walkway.

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  • Front yard landscape design in Framingham, MA

    Anne Marie DiMatteo | 21 September, 2013 | Front Entryways
    The Moodscapes team designed and installed this front yard landscape design last year. The beautiful shrubs, perennials, and trees are in full bloom with various colors and texture throughout the front garden beds. The new landscape design has enhanced the curb appeal of this beautiful home, while maintaining a very natural and elegant look.
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  • Water features for landscape design focal point

    Professional landscape designers often use water features as a focal points for the landscape design. Above is an example of a water feature surrounded by plants and pea stone pebbles to emphasis the calming affect of the water fountain.

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  • Why Native Plants are Important to Use

    Throughout the past few years it has become a very popular trend for designers to create a native plant garden design, and for good reason.  The benefits of using native plants in your home garden are extensive and long lasting.

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  • Paver Walkway into Private Winchester Massachusetts Backyard


    A personalized landscape design in Winchester Massachusetts to lead guests into their new backyard. Our team customized a wooden arbor to lead the way along a paver walkway and along side the newly planted perennials and shrubs. The plants were selected to enhance the walkway during all seasons with various bloom times, colors, and textures.

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  • Personalized Landscape with Organic Lawn in Belmont Massachusetts

    Beautiful front yard design in Belmont, Massachusetts. Organic lawn has been thriving for over a year now with bright and manicured garden beds to surround it. This personalized landscape includes plants with various heights, textures, colors, and bloom time that enhance the bold green of the organic lawn.
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  • Front Yard Landscape Design for Curb Appeal

    Front yard landscape design done last summer by our team. We designed and installed the three garden beds in photo above. Our client wanted to enhance her curb appeal while maintaining a neat and orderly look to the garden beds. We achieved this look by adding color and textures that compliment and work well next to each other. Small trees to introduced to add some height to the front garden beds without taking over the shrubs and ground covers.
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  • healing gardens vs. personalized landscapes

    what is the difference between a healing garden and personal landscape?

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  • Personal Landscape Design Plan

    The below image is what a personal landscape design plan looks like from Moodscapes.

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  • Beautiful Shrubs for Late Summer Bloom in Massachusetts

    Are you looking to add more late summer blooms in your garden? You can attract butterflies AND add color for the end of the summer and early fall with the butterfly bush shrub. This shrub has all the fragrance and butterfly appeal of traditional butterfly bushes, but in as a small, easy to maintain plant. In most climates, Blue Chip stays under three feet tall without any pruning, and blooms continuously from mid-summer to mid-fall. We love to use these shrubs for borders and perennial beds. It is a great shrub to have in the yard for children to enjoy the butterflies.

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  • Privacy Landscape Design in Jamaica Plain, MA

    Clients in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts presented us with a very challenging situation in their back/ side yard.

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  • Front Yard Garden Design

    This is a photo from a design and installation job we did last summer of their beautiful front yard garden design in full bloom! The colors and textures all work so nicely next to each other and compliment the style of the house and neighborhood as a whole. The stand out purple perennials are Salvia and will bloom from about June to September. The two corners have trees which add height to the garden and compliment each other with the deep red/purple colors. The Heuchera Coral Bell ground covers are slow-growing perennials that will continue to get larger and add texture as well as pick up the red color from the trees. Some of the shrubs have not yet bloomed and will do so later in the summer to add late summer and early fall color to the garden bed.

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  • Colorful Garden Landscape Designs

    The colorful garden combination above is from a front yard garden design in Arlington, Massachusetts. The homeowner wanted colorful blooms combined with various textures and flower shapes and sizes. The pink shrub is an Anthony Waterer Spirea which blooms throughout the summer and even attracts butterflies. The blue shrub placed slightly behind the Anthony Waterer Spirea is an Endless Summer Hydrangea. This specific hydrangea needs to be planted in well-identified soil because the bloom color changes with elements found in the soil. The Endless Summer Hydrangea has a blue bloom in more acidic soil and a pink bloom in alkaline soil. The perennial in the front is a Hillside Black Beauty with dark purple, almost black leaves and creamy white flowers in early fall. The three plants next to each other makes this yard noticeable to anyone passing by as the colors compliment each other while allowing for each plant to stand out in a unique way.

     

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  • How does a garden "heal"?

    The characteristics that make a garden therapeutic or "healing" to someone is personal for each individual. For me, driving up to my house and seeing this mixed perennial and shrub border in bloom with different shades of color, various textures, and fragrant shrubs is healing. After a busy or stressful day, what I enjoy most about arriving home is walking up my front steps and experiencing the tranquility that my front garden design offers and the feeling of peace that is restored inside of me- a true healing landscape.

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  • Customized Patio Designs

    A new trend is starting with homeowners in Eastern Massachusetts- circular patios. Homeowners are looking for custom patio designs that give them space for a table and chairs and lawn play space. The solution professional landscape designers across Massachusetts are designing for their clients are circular patios, which can be built with almost any patio material. The below patio was designed for a client in Lexington Massachusetts who wanted a shaded patio tucked away in the corner of her property. 

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  • Circular Patio- Personalized Landscape Design

    Add creativity to your backyard with a personalized landscape design plan to incorporate all of your outdoor needs. Our clients wanted a small paver patio just large enough for a few adults to sit and relax on while the children had the rest of the backyard to play. In order to have space in a small backyard for both a patio and grass we designed the circular pattern to fit nicely in the corner. Plantings were added to the existing trees and shrubs around the patio for color and fragrance as the flowers bloomed.

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  • Benefits of Hiring a Professional Landscape Designer

    One of the many benefits of hiring a professional landscape designer is that you do not have to worry about plants growing too closely together (see above photo). When you hire a professional landscape designer they work hard to properly measure and plan out the space in your garden bed. If plants are planted too closely together they may not root properly and therefore not bloom or grow to their full potential. Many times plants can be moved by digging out the roots and transplanting them, but you risk harming the plant if it is not done correctly. Save yourself the time and aggravation of transplanting and hire a professional to help you.

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  • Side Yard Natural Field Stone Walkway


    Create an elegant and easy to follow path in your side side by choosing a natural field stone walkway. Flat field stone is the most natural looking stone and when installed correctly, can become a smooth surface to follow along. Often times field stone comes in varying heights and widths and therefore finding the correct stone is very important for creating a smooth, safe walkway. It is important for side yard walkways to be continuous from the front to back yard without imposing on the look of either space.

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  • Is a shade garden design best for you?

    When deciding on a new garden landscape, there are many types of garden designs to choose from. Depending on your needs and existing conditions, gardens can be made for privacy, relaxation, entertainment, play space, etc. The garden pictured below is a mature shade garden designed and installed in Lexington Massachusetts by the Moodscapes team a couple years ago. 

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  • The importance of a soil test in Massachusetts

    WHAT IS A SOIL TEST?

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  • Early Spring Blooms to Watch For

    It is technically spring now, but the lingering white blanket across eastern Massachusetts makes it hard to believe. During the few days of completely melted snow blooms were beginning to come through winter mulch and exciting everyone!

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  • Small Backyard Sitting Area in Winchester Massachusetts

    A small backyard sitting area for the entire family to enjoy!

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  • New Perennials for 2013

    Better Homes & Gardens published an article, "Must-Grow New Perennials for 2013", containing many new varieties of plants with colors and textures to brighten any yard. We are looking forward to two new Hibiscus plants:

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  • Personalized Landscape Design in Massachusetts

    Clients in Roslindale, Massachusetts had very specific ideas for how they wanted their backyard sitting room to be designed and installed. Our designer worked closely with them to infuse her expertise into their desires.

    1. GOALS AND MATERIAL- Clients wanted a fairly sophisticated and formal outdoor entertainment space that would extend their house and add outdoor living space. They wanted it to be formal, but provoke their senses at the same time. We added a water feature, various fragrant plants, and outdoor lighting surrounding the patio to allow nighttime enjoyment. The patio material was a carefully selected, formal blue stone, which created a structured layout. The nooks and sitting wall were added for additional space and enjoyment.

    2. PLANTS- Plants were carefully chosen according to their textures and subtlety of the blooms' colors and smells to enhance the formality of the space. The plants soften some of the space by adding lighter color, but there is still a lot of structure in the plantings as well as the hardscape. We kept it simple.

    3. COMPLIMENTED THE EXISTING CONDITIONS- The design mimicked vertical lines found throughout the yard as a whole. The fence gate especially mimics the railings coming off the steps. There are also a lot of square and vertical lines, which creates the complete formal setting they wanted for entertainment and privacy.

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  • Spring Landscaping Ideas and Trends

    A couple weeks ago, NOFA Organic Lawn Care Certificate Course was offered to landscape professionals to learn about and stay up-to-date with the latest information on organic land care. The course touched upon topics ranging from storm water management, soil biology, and information on organic approaches to lawn care. The course was guided by the Organic Land Care Standards approach to all landscape situations.

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  • New England Winter Interest Plants

    ADD WINTER INTEREST BY NATIVE WITCH HAZEL

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  • Winchester Massachusetts Personal Landscape Design & Install

    We were approached by a family in Winchester Massachusetts to design and install a new front and back yard that encompassed three very specific needs. The family wanted to use their yard to entertain family and friends, access the outside directly from their house, and enhance their new front entrance and porch.

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  • Benefits of Personalized Landscape Services

    What are the benefits of a personalized landscape design in eastern Massachusetts? A personalized landscape is one that is designed and installed to fulfill your outdoor sensibilities, such as sense of space, privacy, texture,and  color. For a more in depth definition of personal landscapes, please read the article What is a Personal Landscape?

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  • What is a personal landscape?

    Every home, landscape, and family is different. When deciding to redesign your landscape, choose a landscape design company that will create a personalized landscape design and installation to work within your existing yard conditions, as well as meet your personal and aesthetic desires. 

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  • What is a Landscape Design and Build Company?

    A landscape design/build company is responsible for all aspects of the project from initial consultation through design and installation. Some companies also provide long-term maintenance. The company starts with a consultation with the potential customer in order to gather all information necessary for the job in terms of goals, budget, and schedule. After the proposal is agreed upon, a design plan is drawn up and a schedule is set for installation. Some clients wish to have long-term maintenance services, which is why many landscape design companies have started year round maintenance services.

    Here at Moodscapes, we approach new projects differently than other companies. As our mission statement states, we work hard to create inspirational and harmonious landscapes by combining the clients practical needs and aesthetic desires within the existing conditions of the landscape. Our team offers personalized landscape services from start to finish. We take pride in our detailed design process and continuous conversation with the client from the start with consultations, to the end of the installation. In order to create a personal landscape we take extra steps throughout the consultation, design process, installation, and even maintenance if a client chooses.

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  • New England Winter Gardening Tips for January

    As the new year begins, this is the best time to start thinking about your spring garden plans and goals. January is a great time to sit back and brainstorm about what your ideal garden would look like. Jot down notes, pull out pictures, maybe even draw a sketch or two, but most importantly find a local landscape designer to contact. This is their off season and the best time to get their undivided attention for an hour or more! They will dream up your garden with you and put it into a visible plan that will come to life in just a few months.

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  • Garden Maintenance for December

    Thankfully the cold winters of Massachusetts and the northeast mean that we can rest from our garden labors. A few things to make sure you have done:

    • finish mulching and burlap wrapping vulnerable trees and shrubs

    • mark driveway perimeters so snow plows will not damage your lawns

    • clean and service all garden tools before safely storing them away for the winter

    • enjoy the holidays

    It is also a great time to start thinking about your spring landscape plans. If you are looking to redesign your yard, or just add a few more plants, now is the time to contact your local landscape designer.

    Contact Moodscapes if you live in Eastern, Massachusetts- we would be happy to talk with you about your landscape needs and desires!

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  • Front Walkway with Pavers in Massachusetts

     











    Watertown residents wanted to enhance the front of their home with a walkway that would invites friends and family into their beautiful home. In collaboration with the homeowners, Moodscapes designed a paver walkway with a variety of pavers to increase curb appeal and aesthetics. We used Millstone Vineyard Blend quarry pavers, edged on the inside with a standard cobblestone. A half circle was designed right before the steps to mimic the architecture of the circular patterns on front porch and throughout the house. This enhanced and complimented the unique features of the home while increasing their front yard curb appeal.

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  • Lexington Massachusetts Driveway Design

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  • Front Yard Landscape Design in Watertown Massachusetts

    Homeowners in Watertown Massachusetts contacted us to redesign and install their front yard. They wanted to remove the overgrown shrubs and replace with something more appealing. Our design team shaped the existing garden beds to soften the front yard. We also added more beds to the front for warmth and enclosure. The plants installed were carefully chosen to include various textures, colors and bloom times. The new garden beds, trees and shrubs will increase curb appeal and property value for the owners. When redesiging your front yard, consult with your local garden center or a landscape design company in your area.

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  • Few Tips for Getting Your Yard Ready for Winter

    Getting your Massachusetts yard ready for winter is an important step for homeowners across the state. Our winters can be harsh and it is important to prepare our garden beds and lawns for the cold, snowy weather ahead.

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  • Attract Birds with Berries this Winter

    Feeding birds comes naturally when you grow trees and shrubs with bright and delicious berries. The following two plants are a couple of our favorites and they do double duty. They attract birds and create a beautiful display with their flowers, fall colors, and fruits to your landscape.

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  • Watertown Massachusetts Landscape Design

    Clients in Watertown Massachusetts wanted to make their backyard more usable by reducing the size of their deck. The existing deck was too large for the small backyard space and prevented easy access to the lawn. Moodscapes was able to redesign the deck allowing space for a bluestone patio and beautiful fieldstone wall with granite steps to the lawn. The clients are extremely satisfied with their custom built deck and new blue stone patio which they can now sit, relax and entertain on.

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  • Front Entry Walkway in Watertown Massachusetts

    At our client's home in Watertown, Massachusetts, a beautiful arbor design is complimented by an existing Hydrangea paniculata 'Pink Diamond' Tree. Well designed front entry walkways connect the front yard to the back yard in a fluid manner. This particular side yard design has field stone steps surrounded by plants as you walk through to the back yard.

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  • Custom Designed Fence by Moodscapes

    Anne Marie DiMatteo | 23 October, 2012 | Landscape Design

    A hand made custom designed fence by Moodscapes and installed by the Art of Fence, is pictured above. Our clients were looking for a white cedar fence to add privacy in their yard, while allowing light and sun to go through. This fence was custom designed to fit the client's wants and needs perfectly. It was built with the highest level craftsmanship and installed to perfection. A Massachusetts custom designed fence adds a lifetime of beauty and elegance to any yard.

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  • Beautiful New England fall color from native plants

    Native plants of the northeast have the best fall color in New England displaying a wide variety of reds, oranges and yellows.

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  • Fall Bulb Planting Tips for Massachusetts

    Anne Marie DiMatteo | 15 September, 2012 | Landscaping Tips

    Make your yard the envy of the neighborhood next spring by planting spring-flowering bulbs this fall. Planting bulbs now will extend your garden lifetime next season with early blooms in the spring.

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  • Kid Friendly Backyards in Massachusetts

    When designing your backyard, make sure to include space for both adults and children to play. Creating a backyard oasis for entire family is easier than it may seem. An adult space can consist of a patio made of any material just large enough for a grill, table and chairs. Surrounding the patio should be organic lawn for a swing set or a simple space to run and play. Moodscapes loves to create kid friendly backyard designs centered around the adults requests. Download our design process guide to learn about hiring a landscape design professional.

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  • Massachusetts Revitalization and Restoration Project













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  • Fall Garden Preparation

    As the summer months come to an end, it's time to think about preparing your garden for the wonderful fall months ahead. The first step in fall garden preparation is a clean up. Fall clean up services typically include a full garden clean up, as well as, debris and leaf removal services, weeding, the pruning of plants and shrubs, and winter bed preparations.

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  • Elegant Garden Feature- Water Features

    Would you like to add an elegant water feature to your garden for the fall, and all seasons to come? There are many options for water features that range in price, size, and function. A unique, low cost idea for a water feature is adding a bird bath to your yard.

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  • Another fragrant shrub- the Fothergilla plant

    Add an early bloomer to your yard for next spring!

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  • Ornamental Japanese Maple Tree for Your Garden

    One of the most versatile trees for almost any garden in New England, Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) exists in a multitude of forms that provide an endless choice of colors, sizes, and shapes. The most recognizable feature is the hand-shaped leaves, especially with its fall foliage colors of reds, purples, and greens. It varies in size from large shrub to small tree, but all have similar trunks that look great even in the leafless months of winter.

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  • Winchester, Massachusetts landscape design- One year later



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  • How to attract hummingbirds to your garden?

    Instead of just hanging red bird feeders to attract hummingbirds, try adding a few native plants around your yard! A great plant to add is the Goldflame Honeysuckle (Lonicera x heckrottii 'Goldflame'), a vine with fragrant and showy red flowers.

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  • Kid Friendly Backyard Designs

    Creating a backyard oasis for the entire family is easier than it may sound. A family from Medford, Massachusetts hired Moodscapes to create a safe play area for their daughter, while keeping some space for the adults to sit and relax. We designed a kid friendly backyard, by adding a fence around the backyard, a paver patio just the right size for a few chairs, a couple fruit trees, and installed an organic lawn. This combination of elements will create a backyard space enjoyable for all ages!

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  • Fun Gardening Idea- Reuse Sunflower Stalks
























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  • Reblooming Shrub- Endless Summer Hydrangea

    Most hydrangeas bloom once and are done for the season. The Endless Summer, also known as All Summer Beauty Hydrangea, bears blossoms on new growth! This means you can enjoy the flowers several times each summer. The colorful blooms continuously surprise and brighten any yard or landscape. For gardeners in cold climates where winter damage prevents other hydrangeas from flowering, 'Endless Summer' ensures a spectacular show for the summer.

    The flowering shrub bears large, ball-shaped flower clusters in pink and blue in neutral soil and rich blue in acid soil. Beautiful green foliage provides a lush background to the opulent blooms. A deciduous shrub, great for cut flower arrangements for the household to enjoy!

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  • Natural Field Stone Walkway

    Field stone walkways create a natural, elegant, and easy to follow front yard entrance way. Flat field stone is the most natural looking stone and when installed correctly, can become a smooth surface to follow along. Often times field stone comes in varying heights and widths and therefore finding the correct stone is very important for creating a smooth walkway. Front entry walkways are very important for curb appeal and adding an edged garden bed with various plants and shrubs will enhance the natural look of field stone.

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  • Shade Border Plants- Japanese Spurge

    One of the most important factors that play into landscape design is understanding the light conditions of a front, back or side yard. When selecting new plants to add to your yard, or moving existing ones around, it is necessary to fully know and understand the light patterns before starting.

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  • Red, White & Blue Hydrangeas

    Hydrangeas are one of the easiest shrubs to identify throughout Eastern Massachusetts. They are superb garden plants with an enormous diversity from evergreen climbers, to small deciduous trees with splendid masses of flowers, to lovely alpine shrubs covered with flowers with fall color. In general, hydrangeas are summer bloomers, easy to grown and maintain, and suitable for all kinds of soils. They come in a wide range of shapes and colors and have long lasting bloom times.

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  • How to Create a Sitting Area in a Small Backyard

    How to use a small yard for a sitting area? Simple!

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  • Arbor Garden Design with Ramona Clematis

    Beautiful purple Ramona Clematis flowers are starting to cover fences and arbors throughout Eastern Massachuetts, and it is a sure sign summer has begun!

    The climbing flower vines, are most commmonly used for fence and arbor garden designs, but can also be used for a groundcover.

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  • A Creative Low Maintenance Native Garden Idea

    Native ornamental grass will give your garden four seasons of interest and a low-maintenance option for garden design. Creating a unique garden to fit your needs can be a challenging task, but with the help of native plants and especially ornamental grasses, it becomes enjoyable.

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  • Making Your Home More Appealing for Resale

    Making your Home More Appealing for Resale By the MassRealty team

    Now is the time to buy a home. Unfortunately, there are plenty of homes on the market for house hunters to choose from. If you are looking to sell your home, it is important to actively attract buyers rather than sit and wait for them to come to you. This can be done in many ways, some of which include clean landscaping, an attractive exterior, and an appealing interior.

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  • Creating a Backyard Oasis for the Entire Family

    A quick suggestion for someone looking to create a backyard oasis for the entire family is to use the existing features in their yard. This backyard in Belmont, Massachusetts was designed and planned around the large maple tree that shaded parts of the patio and lawn. With the use of this tree, a new paver patio is able to create both a sunny and shady spots for the entire family to enjoy. The children can play both in the sun and shade, while the adults can sit and relax in their choice of sun or shade as well. Perennials and shrubs were selected according to sunlight available for the particular garden bed location.

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  • What is a healing garden?

    The term "healing garden" is used more commonly, but what does it actually mean and how does a garden become a healing environment?

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  • What Are Invasive Plants in Massachusetts?

    Humans have continuously increased the rate of plant movements and introduced new plant species to Massachusetts for many years. Most introduced plants do not threaten our native plant and animal communities, but some non-native plants spread rapidly in our natural areas, thrive in a variety of habitats, and are difficult to remove or control. With the exception of direct habitat destruction, these invasive specifics pose the greatest threat to the native biodiversity of Massachusetts.

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  • What is the difference between a landscape designer and architect?

    A commonly asked question is about the difference between landscape designers and landscape architects. Although they both require extensive training, education and licensing in a similar field of study, there are explicit differences between them.

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  • Simple Pruning Tips

    Find some time and get outside in your yard to spruce up your garden beds, trees and shrubs! Pruning is one of the best ways to clean up your yard and with our simple tips you will avoid the common mistakes and misunderstandings over pruning.

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  • How to Create a Rain Garden

    Rain gardens are a lovely way for homeowners to help ease water problems due to storms. It is a garden, planted in a low area of your yard to catch run off water from rain. A Rain Garden can be created in 7 easy steps.

    Step 1: Location, location, location.
    Avoid creating your garden too close to your home because of potential flooding in your house. Choose a low spot in your yard that is in the sun.

    Step 2: Determine the size
    Will rain from your sidewalk or driveway drain into your garden? Measure all areas that will drain into your rain garden. Use the following guidelines to ensure the ideal size for your garden:

    Soil type     Multiply by
    Sandy            20%
    Loam             30%
    Clay               45%

    Step 3: Create a Design
    Use paper and pencil to sketch a unique design or layout for your garden. If design isn't your forte, consider hiring a local landscape designer to help you.

    Step 4: Plants, plants, and more plants
    Choose flowers and other plants that are well suited for your climate and grow well in both wet and dry areas.

    Step 5: Lay it Out
    Use your design to shape and form the boundaries for your garden.

    Step 6: Prepare the Soil
    Remove grass and dig your garden 4-8 inches deep. Mix the soil with 2-3 inches of compost.

    Step 7: Plant, Mulch, and Water
    Plant your flowers and grasses. Apply mulch 2-3 inches deep, using wood chips that won't float or blow away.Water your garden every other day for 2 weeks, if it doesn't rain.

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  • How to Extend Entertainment Space Outside

    For many homeowners here in the Northeast, having enough space for entertaining guests can be a bit challenging. A good cost-effective alternative to full-scale home additions or remodeling is creatively extending your entertainment space outside.

    Through professional landscape design and master planning, common yards can be transformed into both practical and highly aesthetic entertaining areas, ones that compliment the look and flow of your existing home.

    Regardless of how big or small your yard space may be, an inspired, well-conceived design plan can determine the most effective and attractive use of your space.

    Something as simple as a walkway made of pavers, and a bench, can be used to create a quiet garden retreat. Or resurrecting that long neglected lawn into a thriving, safe organic grass play area for your family and pets.

    Outdoor kitchens have become increasingly popular, offering an enjoyable combination of grilling space and garden beds. Space heaters can extend the use of these areas well into the fall months.

    There are a wide variety of design elements to choose from to create a relaxing space that is uniquely your own and reflects your individual lifestyle. From plush gardens and blue stone patios, to decks and arbors, your yard can become the envy of the neighborhood!

    Whether you do the work yourself or have it professionally done, begin with a design plan that is custom-tailored to your specific needs and desires. To better understand the design process, please download our free guide.

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  • FAQs About Hiring a Professional Landscape Designer

    Studies show that a well-executed, professional landscape design can increase a home’s value by 20 percent. Landscape designers utilize the creative process to plan an outdoor environment that’s a haven for your family and an asset to your home and neighborhood. Employing fundamental artistic design concepts of texture, color and proportion, they create anything from a sweeping, accented lawn to a quiet backyard room for relaxation.

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  • The Benefits of Mulching Your Landscape

    Mulching has many benefits, not the least of which, is that it makes your yard more asethicialy pleasing. Professor of Landscape Horticulture at Cornell University, Dr. Donald Rakow, believes the three major benefits of mulch are: the reduction of water losses from the soil, the suppression of weed growth, and the protection from soil temperature extremes.

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  • How To Choose Plants from a Nursery

    Before heading to a nursery to pick up your new plants for this season, we have a few quick tips to help you find the best selections. It is important to thoroughly understand your site conditions before selecting plants, because many trees and shrubs have specific light conditions.

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  • FAQs About How to Install a Paver Patio

    Anne Marie DiMatteo | 10 April, 2012 | Hardscape

    If you're looking to install a paver patio in your backyard, the process is limited only by your imagination. Once you've decided what kind of pavers you want to incorporate in your patio design, it simply becomes a matter of installing everything step-by-step.

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  • The Benefits of an Organic Lawn in Eastern Massachusetts

    Growing and maintaining an organic lawn is a worthwhile and valuable investment with many benefits for your home. Here in Eastern Massachusetts there are many options available to you to make it easy to reap the benefits, including:

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  • Outdoor Living Designs- Outdoor Kitchens in Massachusetts

    Thank you to Dianne Aucello for contributing this article to our blog! If you live in the Boston area check out Edesia Kitchen & Bath Studio at: http://www.edesiakbs.com/

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  • How To Design Your Backyard- What's the Best Patio Size?

    A patio is an investment not only in the value and outdoor appeal of a home, but also an investment in the quality of life for the homeowners that live there.  A quality outdoor patio material and of the right size provides the perfect environment for kids to play, entertainment area for your friends, or just to kick back and unwind at the end of a long day.

One of the many considerations that goes into a new outdoor patio is simply "how big should it be?".  If a patio is built too small it will feel crowded by the time the furniture, grills and planters are put on it.  If it's too big, you'll lose that intimate feel that patios can provide.  Feel free to use these ideas when deciding on just how big of a patio space you or your family may need.  



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  • Simple Garden Design Ideas

    If you are looking to create a simple front yard garden, our two favorite suggestions are contrast and focal points.

    1-CONTRAST- Properly planned and planted plants with color and texture contrast next to each other in a garden bed can add a lot of character to a front yard design. When selecting plants with contrasting colors, you must make sure they have similar soil and light conditions.

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  • Don't Be Fooled- It's Still Winter

    Despite the warm weather this March, be aware that the ground is still frozen. Here in the Northeast, it is normal to have frosts throughout April and May, which delays the planting season as well.

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  • Top 5 Signs That You Need a New Front Yard Design

    As a professional landscape design and maintenance company, we suggest these 5 signals to help you determine if your home needs a new landscape design this year.

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  • Patio Materials- How Much Do Fieldstone Patios Cost?

    Anne Marie DiMatteo | 18 February, 2012 | Hardscape

    Part 3 of Patio Materials: FIELDSTONE- How much does a fieldstone patio cost?

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  • Patio Materials- What is the Cost of a Brick Patio?

    Anne Marie DiMatteo | 11 February, 2012 | Hardscape

    Welcome to our 2nd blog series on Choosing Paving Materials- Understanding How Much Patio Materials Cost.

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  • New England Grows 2012

    Anne Marie DiMatteo | 4 February, 2012

    Our blog this week is an update about the where abouts of our team. For the past few days the Moodscapes team attended the largest green landscape conference in the Northeast, New England Grows. We all participated in various workshops, seminars and visited many exhibits. Below are highlights of just a few favorites.

    On Wednesday, we attended the lecture called, "Where the Wild Things Are: Designing with Native Plants" given by two landscape professionals Kyle Turoczi and Liza Turoczi from Woodbury, CT. They spoke about the importance of using native versus invasive plants when designing gardens and landscapes. They shared a portfolio of different projects they've completed using native plants, including the creation of many rain gardens. A reminder they had for us all, is to stay away from the two most commonly used invasive plants, the Barberry and the Burning Bush.

    On day two, we listened to Lew French a stone designer from Vineyard Haven, MA, talk about the different types of stone and its use in landscapes. He emphasized the importance of using stone in its most natural form. By avoiding changes to the stone's face and shape as much as possible you are able to create a more natural and organic look to the landscape. Each type of stone has its own unique properties and function. When designing with stone it is important to consider these unique characteristics.

    Lastly, on Friday morning we attended the intriguing lecture given by Brook Klausing from Brook Landscape, Inc in New York City and Rebecca McMackin from the Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn, New York.  Both spoke about the unique idea of outdoor rooms. They explained the purpose of an outdoor room is to bring people from the inside to the outside while remaining in a comfortable surrounding. Each room is designed and built with a specific purpose and function, whether it be entertaining, relaxing, cooking or playing. All outdoor rooms must create the "lure of a sheltered corner", by creating a feeling of sides, a roof and a view. Along with designing with a purpose, outdoor rooms should consist  of as many  native plants as possible in order to expand the ecosystem and to create a healthier environment.

    New England Grows provided our team with refreshing ideas and a great opportunity for networking.

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  • Landscape Problems & Solutions (3 of 3): Creating Curb Appeal

    Welcome to our 3rd and final blog of the Landscape Problems & Solutions series!

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  • Landscape Problems & Solutions (2 of 3): Outdoor Entertaining Area

    Welcome back to our Problem & Solutions blog series!

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  • Landscape Problems & Solutions (1 of 3): Urban Landscape Solutions

    Welcome to the new blog series- Landscape Problems & Solutions!

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  • Foreman's Favorite- Dwarf Hinoki Cypress

    One of my favorite aspects of living in New England is being able to watch the seasons change and plants adapt with seasonal interest. Most plants have one or two seasons of which they bloom or have bright foliage, very few are considered all season interest plants. Evergreen shrubs are one of the few plants put into this category of having all season interest.

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  • The Importance of Wrapping Plants for Winter

    Winter sun, wind, and cold temperatures can damage bark, injure or kill branches, flower buds, and roots. Snow and ice can break branches and ruin entire trees. Winter food shortages force some rodents and deer to feed on bark, twigs, flower buds, and foliage, injuring and potentially killing trees and shrubs. All is not bleak, however, as landscape plants can be protected to minimize some of this injury.

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  • Autumn Flower Arrangements for Thanksgiving

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  • Time For Fall Garden Preparation and Winterizing!

    Anne Marie DiMatteo | 20 November, 2011 | Landscaping Tips

    Are you preparing your garden for winter?

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  • Best Fall Colors in New England

    Before the wind and early snow take away the rest of our fall foliage, make some time to appreciate the variety of color New England has this time of year. Plants that have phenomenal fall foliage colors are important to consider when designing landscapes. A few of our favorite fall beauties are: Diane Witch Hazel Hamamelis x intermedia 'Diane', Little Henry Virginia Sweetspire Itea virginica 'Sprich' and Paperbark Maple Acer griseum.

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  • Fall in the Garden of a Professional Landscape Designer

    It is officially fall in the garden- foliage, final blooms, exotic colors and exfoliating bark!

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  • Planting Garlic Seed

    "Reading is good but the garden is the best teacher."
    -Chistine Allison

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  • 3 October Gardening Tips

    Anne Marie DiMatteo | 15 October, 2011 | Landscaping Tips

    October in the garden is one of my favorite times of year! Leaves are turning color, flowers are blooming, grass is green and the air is crisp!

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  • Tips For Fall Bulb Planting

    A few tips for fall bulb planting...

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  • Why Do I Need Fall Clean Up Services?

    Anne Marie DiMatteo | 23 September, 2011 | Maintenance and Care

    Why does one need fall clean up services? This is a great question! Here is why Moodscapes feels it is very important to schedule a fall clean up as soon as the leaves fall.

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  • Invasive vs. Native Plant Species

    Anne Marie DiMatteo | 10 September, 2011 | Flowers-Trees-Shrubs

    Planting native trees, shrubs, and flowers is a good way to plant a low maintenance landscape, while still enjoying colorful flowers, leaves, and fruits in our yard. Unfortunately many nurseries sell plants other than natives. Most of these plants are considered invasive plants and next to development, these species are the most frequent cause of species loss all over the world. With all the native plants to choose from it is easy to choose native, non-invasive plants to create a beautiful, colorful garden!

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  • Benefits of Using Native Plants of the Northeast

    Anne Marie DiMatteo | 3 September, 2011 | Landscape Design

    Throughout the past few years it has become a very popular trend for designers to create a native plant garden design, and for good reason.  The benefits of using native plants in your home garden can be extensive.  Some of them are:

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  • Money Saving Tips for Late Summer Gardening

    We still have some time before the end of gardening season! Here are a few helpful tips to save money as you continue to garden until the end of the season.

    1- Discounts! Many garden centers and nurseries have late summer discounts after the summer buying rush is over. It is important to remember though, you get what you pay for. Discounted plants tend to spend too much time on racks and end up in need of some extra attention. Try pinching back stems just above a set of leaves to encourage branching. Before planting, add compost or soil to enrich the soil. Late summer discounts are worth taking advantage of!

    2- TLC! Buying new tools this late in the season is not the best use of money. Give your old tools a little extra TLC as the season comes to an end. Better Homes & Gardens has a great resource for turning worn out tools into great workers again. Check out www.BHG.com/toolcare for more information!

    3- New Flowers! An easy way to change up your garden or to fill in gaps in your garden is to let flowers that sow their own seeds grow where ever the wind takes them! Plants like black-eyed Susan, hollyhock, and alyssum can grow where they blow. By delaying the deadheading process, flowers have an easier time spreading.

    Use these few tips to help save you money and get the most out of this garden season!

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  • Late Summer Perennial- Pink Bee Balm


    One of the most beautiful late summer bloomers is the perennial commonly known as "Bee Balm". The botanical name for this plant is Monarda didyma 'Jacob Cline'. 

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  • Location! Location! Location! The Importance of Plant Location.

    Before you start digging up your yard to plant a garden or add a few new shrubs, plans should be made to make the most of your garden layout. The first thing to understand is the sun and shade exposure throughout your yard. This week I am going to focus on one specific plant that thrives when correctly placed.

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  • Want to Attract Butterflies to Your Garden?

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  • Choosing the Right Plants for Your Yard

    5 Quick Tips for Selecting Plants for Your Yard!

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  • A Moodscapes Favorite: Daphne Carol Mackie Shrub

    Daphne Carol Mackie- Daphne burkwoodii 'Carol Mackie'

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  • Spring In the Yard of a Landscape Designer in MA

    Spring is here, so check out Judi's front yard garden design! With a mix of perennials, shrubs, and trees; the brilliant colors, exfoliating bark, and flowers of all types make this yard a must see! There are tulips galore with many different colors. The green foliage and lawn will entice anyone to stop and stare.

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  • How To Choose The Right Patio Material?

    Choosing the right type of patio material is the hardest part of designing or redesigning a patio. Here is a quick summary of the most commonly used material for patio design and installation.

    Outdoor Patio Materials can be divided into 4 basic categories:

    1-Brick: best used in locations with some sunlight, it can become moss-covered if there is not enough sun; shades of red and brown make up a variety of brick color. Learn about the cost of a brick patio here.

    2-Concrete Pavers: many variations in color, shape, and texture; moderately priced; add long-lasting value to a home with durability and easy maintenance. Learn about the cost of paver patio here.

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  • How To: Gardening Tips- Garden Advice For Everyone!

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  • Why Test Your Soil?

     

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  • 5 Principles of Simple Garden Designs

    The most basic principles of garden design include simplicity, rhythm and line, proportion, balance, and focal points. Every gardener should follow these principles in order to achieve a garden space that is aesthetically pleasing and an enjoyable outdoor space.

    1. Simplicity- This refers to a design that has a simple theme with just enough colors and elements to achieve an aesthetically pleasing garden. A simple design is found by using basic garden bed lines and curves.

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  • Five Reasons to Hire a Landscape Designer

    Do you see the plants, tress, shrubs, and lawn struggling to grow in your yard and wonder how to fix it? Can they even be fixed? What about the site conditions...poor water drainage, too much sun or shade? So many things to think about! That is exactly why you should hire a landscape designer. Some battles are worth fighting, but this time, let the professionals fight your landscape war.

    Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Landscape Designer:

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  • Think Green: Environmental Tips for Landscaping

    Think Green!

    How much to water does my lawn need?

    What kind of fertilizer should I use?

     

    These are common questions that we hear in the landscape design industry. We believe it is important to always THINK GREEN when answering such questions so here are our Green Environmental Tips for your common questions!

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  • How to Add Curb Appeal to Your House

    A landscape that is well designed and installed will increase curb appeal which can also increase property value.

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  • Increase Your Property Value With Landscaping

    If you are planning on selling your house this year or the next, landscaping is one of the most essential and rewarding things you can do to prepare for the prime selling season.

    A Clemson University study found landscaping can result in more than 100% return on investment. The return on investment is contingent upon the quality of the landscape design and installation project and company. According to Clemson Professor, Mark Henry, "There are few guidelines available to homeowners on the return of investment in sales that could be expected from added investments in landscaping".

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  • Getting Ready for Spring- Tips for Your Garden and Yard

    Spring Is On Its Way!

    Here are few suggestions for getting your garden and yard ready for the warm weather and green grass.

     

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  • Early Signs of Spring

    February is half way over!! This means its time to start looking for  early signs of spring! There is nothing I love more than looking out from my home office window and seeing a glimmer of hope for warm weather radiating out of the snow covered garden. The following are just a few examples of plants that start budding in the early spring! Keep your eyes peeled for these beautiful buds as they start appearing.

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  • Will You Be My Valen-Designer? Are Landscape Designers Worth Their Cost?

    Anne Marie DiMatteo | 10 February, 2011 | Landscape Design

    How does one go about answering the question, "Will You Be My Valentine?" Amongst the possible gifts of chocolates and flowers, you also consider  the other variables when making such a decision. In reality though, when it comes down to it, the strongest factor should be- Longevity: are you in it for the long run?

    A similar thought process should occur when deciding "Should I Hire A Professional Landscape Designer?" Along with considering cost and other variables, the most important factor to think about when wanting to redesign your landscape should be- Sustainability: what will give you the most sustainable and long lasting landscape and garden?

    So are landscape designers really worth their cost? It’s a great question that is often asked to landscape designers and architects. Basically, we all have our strengths and weaknesses in life and in our careers.  An important part in the decision-making process of hiring a professional designer is to be able to identify your own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to designing, installing, and maintaining your yard.

    The reason for hiring a landscape designer to help you redesign your landscape and change it into the design of your dreams, is the mere fact that designers are qualified and trained in the field. They have access to the latest industry news, tips, materials and ideas that are not readily available to the public. They are also professionally certified and have degrees in the field.

    The experience of professional landscape designers give them the knowledge of placing each plant in the right place, the importance of soil testing, the understanding of design principals, surfaces, colors, and textures and how to create the best circulation patterns.

    Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Landscape Designer:

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  • Largest Green Industry Expo for Landscape Designers

    Moodscapes attended the annual New England Grows Convention, the largest green industry conference in the Northeast. As always the convention brings together designers, specialists, practitioners, and contractors from all areas of the landscape industry ranging from hardscape and landscape supplies to lawn products, nurseries and professional organizations.

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  • Planning for a Home Addition this Spring? Helpful Landscape Design Tips!

    During the beginning phase of planning an addition to your home, it is important to consider the current and future landscape conditions of your property. Regardless of whether you want to do a new landscape design around the addition or not, it is still important to remember how your contractor could both positively and negatively affect your landscape conditions.

    The two biggest factors that the contractor must consider before any construction begins are:

    1- GRADING: understand the current grading condition of  your yard (grading- leveling the ground, so be aware of the current level in relation to where the level will be after the addition)

    2-DRAINAGE & SLOPE: understand the drainage and slope conditions of the yard. Make sure there aren't any vulnerabilities to water- if so, lets add erosion to your to-do list!


    (A client in Winchester put on an addition and the contractor left an air conditioner placed on the slope! (Not a smart move!) That's when we came in an stabilized the slope and protected the air conditioner as best as possible.)

    Okay! So you must decide the final grade and be sure that it leaves enough room to add the top soil, grass, plantings, and potential walkways or patios. I mean, you don’t want to have a 2 foot incline up to your yard when you walk out your door, do you?

    A professional and expert contractor will stock pile the good soil out of the way of the construction site so that it does not get contaminate or become compacted. Compacted soil makes planting difficult and puts a damper on drainage (no pun intended).

    A few more Tips!
                -Plan your focal points!! You want to consider the location of windows, entrance ways, gardens or specimen trees, walkways, patios, etc.
                -Get a Landscape Designer in on it! Let the professionals talk this all through- contractor will help with location of windows, landscape designers will discuss focal points and soil conditions.

    If you are thinking about redesigning your landscape after your addition, start the process off right by learning about the Design Process.

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  • What is a Woodland Garden Design?

    In 2005, Boston Magazine's Home & Garden section featured Moodscapes in their "Water in the Woods" article, as a landscape design company in Massachusetts with the ability to create a woodland garden design from a woodsy, sloped yard.

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  • Do Deer Resistant Plants Really Exist?

    Do the deer dare? YES!

    Many professional landscape designers have problems finding deer resistant plants for clients- for the simple fact that there are none. The only way for a plant to become deer resistant is if the deer themselves choose not to eat it.

    A perfect example is the Acer palmatum senkaki, also know as the Coral Bark Maple, 'Sango-Kaku'.

    Our foreman Jesse Golden went out to Sharon, Mass today to take a picture of this plant that is commonly known for being "deer resistant" with its newly engraved deer markings.

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  • Sneak Peak Into the Yard of a Landscape Designer in MA

    Landscape designer Judith Lipson- Rubin shares some of her winter interest plants with us. Judith has been a landscape designer in MA since 1997 and is the owner of Moodscapes, a landscape design company in Arlington, MA.

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  • New Winter Interest Plant- Wintercreeper

    Weston Nurseries of Hopkinton posted this new plant on their website.

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  • Pictures of Winter Interest Plants

    Here are some great winter interest plants I found in my own yard.

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  • Snow Adds Character to Winter Interest Plants

    As the fresh snow accumulates inch by inch, and school is canceled, and work is graciously closed, and we are left to enjoy the serenity of a cup of hot cocoa in front of the fireplace, take a stroll outside when the blizzard finally subsides and check out the beauty that now surrounds us!

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  • About Moodscapes LLC - Our Story!

    Over the years, many close friends, colleagues, and clients have asked me, "Why Moodscapes?" I put together this brief explanation for our followers and hope everyone enjoys getting to know me better through this article.

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  • How to Identify Winter Interest Plants

    Well designed landscapes and gardens are a sight to see all year round- including in the winter!

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  • New Gift Idea!! Professional Landscape Design Consultation!

    Anne Marie DiMatteo | 7 December, 2010 | Landscape Design

    Don't know what to give your spouse or loved one?

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  • A Guide To An Effective Landscape Design Consultation

    Anne Marie DiMatteo | 30 November, 2010 | Landscape Design

    Want a new landscape design? Asking the right questions about your yard and personal preferences will start you off on the right foot.

    Here are 10 guiding questions to think about during a landscape design consultation:

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  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Everyone has questions! Read through this article for our most commonly asked questions and if you still have more check out our website or send us an email! Don't be shy!!

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