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Landscape Articles

Top Tips for Landscape Design on a Sloped Yard

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


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

How to Create a Sitting Area in a Small Backyard

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

How to Get Your Massachusetts Yard Ready for Outdoor Gatherings

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

4 Things to Know Before Your Next Hardscaping Project

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

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

Tips to Create a Pet-Friendly Organic Yard

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


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


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

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:

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:

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.

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:

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.

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.

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:

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.

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.

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.

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)

Personal Landscape Design Plan

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

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. 

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.

Small Backyard Sitting Area in Winchester Massachusetts

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

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.

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.

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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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.

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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