Why We Love Dry-Stacked Walls

Why We Love Dry-Stacked Walls

If you want a beautifully, hand-crafted stone wall that can withstand a lifetime of New England winters, we recommend the dry-laid method. Not all masons have developed the skills to construct these walls, but our builders actually specialize in dry-stacked stone walls.   What Do You Mean “Dry-Laid”? The first decision you’ll have to make when building a wall is whether you want it mortared or “dry-laid”. “Dry-laid” or “dry-stacked” refers to a construction technique…

Winter Interest in Your Garden

Winter Interest in Your Garden

Is your landscape looking a little drab now that the leaves have fallen and you’ve put your garden beds to sleep for the winter? Now is a good time to look around your neighborhood and envision how you could liven up your garden for next winter. While evergreen trees are important for winter interest, there are many other ways to bring beauty to your yard. Colorful berries and foliage, ornamental grasses, tree bark with interesting…

Your Yard in December

Your Yard in December

The snow has arrived! Make sure you’re protecting your plants and lawn from the elements.   Winter Plant Protection – Protect evergreens and sensitive plants from salt spray along roads and driveways by covering their bases with burlap. – Knock heavy snow off of evergreens like arborvitaes and boxwoods to prevent damage. – Wrap chicken wire around the trunks of trees and vulnerable plants to prevent rabbits from gnawing on their bark. – For roses,…

Is Your Home Ready for Winter?

Is Your Home Ready for Winter?

A little preparation during the final days of fall can prevent many headaches and chilly emergency repairs. Here are some tips to prepare your yard and landscape for winter: 1. Rapid accumulation of heavy snows can damage flat roofs. If your house has a flat roof, make sure that you purchase a roof rake ahead of time, or contract with a snow removal company that offers roof clearing services. 2. Disconnect and drain any rain…

Plant Spring Bulbs- It’s Not Too Late!

Plant Spring Bulbs- It’s Not Too Late!

Daffodils, American blue vervain (native), tulips, lilies, crocuses, irises! For beautiful color in 2018, plant spring-flowering bulbs before the ground freezes. It may seem far away, but these spring beauties need to be planted before the end of December as soil temperatures cool off.   First time planting spring bulbs? Follow these 5 simple steps. 1. Choose bulbs: If you’re overwhelmed by the options, try daffodils. They’re resistant to rabbits and squirrels! 2. Find a spot: Find…

Warmer Fall Means Later Mowing

Warmer Fall Means Later Mowing

To reduce the risk for winter damage to lawns, we will be doing an extra mow for lawn care clients during their next scheduled leaf clean-up visit. You may have noticed that eastern Massachusetts had an unseasonably warm October — the Commonwealth’s second warmest in history, in fact. Grass keeps actively growing while daytime temperatures are in the 50s and above, and the combination of recent rains and current warmth creates excellent growing conditions. Additionally,…

November Garden Tips

November Garden Tips

It’s finally getting chillier, but don’t neglect your garden yet!   Continue watering shrubs, conifers and anything planted in 2017 until the ground freezes. Consistent watering is the best way to protect your landscaping investment.    Falling leaves Yes, rake your lawn! The grasses need exposure to dropping temperatures to prepare for winter, as well as enough sunlight to build strong root systems for next spring. Once they’re dry, grind your leaves up with the mower;…

How to Create a Japanese-Inspired Garden

How to Create a Japanese-Inspired Garden

Japanese-inspired designs evoke feelings of peace, calm, and tranquility. For that reason, many homeowners often wish to include some Japanese-inspired elements in their own homes and landscaping Japanese gardens are well known for their use of texture, balance, and an invitation to sit and soak in your surroundings. Add a few of these ideas to your own backyard garden to capture some of the peace and tranquility for yourself. Mixing Texture   Japanese designs are…

BACKYARD ENVIRONMENTS FOR CHILDREN

BACKYARD ENVIRONMENTS FOR CHILDREN

Feature Photo- Nature Nook at Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center. Design: studioMLA Architects   What do you do when your kids are bursting with energy, but you don’t have time to take them to the park? What if your backyard offered classic play opportunities like building a fort or making a mud pie? A Yard & A Half’s team now includes Erica Quigley, a landscape designer with experience creating and managing children’s environments. We can help…

Save Time With Irrigation

Save Time With Irrigation

  Why Irrigation?  Professionally installed irrigation systems are a great way to save time and ultimately money on your landscape investment. Despite common misconception, irrigation systems with advanced rain sensors actually save on water. Compared to hand watering, irrigation gives you much more control over your water usage and ensures that your trees, shrubs, perennials, and lawn stay healthy throughout the season.   Irrigation Maintenance Tips Don’t forget that you need to call to have…