Attracting Birds Part II: Drought-Resistant Plants

Attracting Birds Part II: Drought-Resistant Plants

As a follow-up to our last blog post, Attracting Birds To Your Garden- Why & How, we wanted to share with you this list of 12 drought-resistant plants that birds love. Replacing any of your less water-friendly plants with any of these plant species will help you save on your water bill, reduce your water consumption, and attract birds to your garden. Our region of MA is still suffering from a Moderate Drought, so these plants…

Attracting Birds To Your Garden- Why & How

Attracting Birds To Your Garden- Why & How

WHY:  Even if you’re someone who isn’t much fazed by the natural aesthetic beauty and friendly songs of wild, attracting birds to your garden is a natural way to decrease a pest population (and thus, minimize insect damage to your plants and grass.). As you attract more birds to your landscape, its’ ecosystem becomes healthier and more well-balanced. You may have to sacrifice a few tomatoes over the season, but the net effect is worth…

7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Landscaper

7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Landscaper

It’s not too early to start thinking about hiring a landscaper this year. Do you know what to look for before you sign a contract? Don’t just go with the lowest bidder. Save yourself time and money in the long-run by asking these questions up-front.   1. Will the people working on my property be employees or independent subcontractors? Some landscapers misclassify their workers as “subcontractors” in order to avoid paying payroll taxes, overtime, accrued…

Interior Plantscapes

Interior Plantscapes

Have you missed being outside? Many of us simply feel better and more energetic during the warm seasons. Not to mention the countless scientific studies touting the health benefits of spending time near plants. “Shirin-yoku”, or “forest-bathing”, for example, comprises a major portion of preventative care and healing in Japanese medicine. Being in nature not only reduces stress and improves mood, but it’s also been proven to boost immunity, reduce recovery times from illness and…

February Garden To-Dos

February Garden To-Dos

This time of year many of us want to spend as little time outside as possible. So this month’s Garden checklist is divided into tasks you can do inside your warm home and tasks that require some time outside.   Inside:  Carefully plan your vegetable garden for next year. Start ordering your bulbs, flower seeds, and vegetable seeds for the coming season. Early spring vegetables like lettuce, peas, and onions should be ordered now so…

Tree Care After Storm Damage

Tree Care After Storm Damage

With all the wind we had this week, some of you might be concerned about broken tree limbs. And you never know if another Nor’easter is around the corner. So how do you know what needs to be pruned and when is the best time to do so?  Both your family’s safety and your trees’ survival are affected by how you take care of your trees after a storm. Follow these tree care steps and…

In 2017, I promise to…

In 2017, I promise to…

Why do we make resolutions? To live better? Meet our long-term goals? Enjoy life more? It’s all of the above! New Year’s resolutions help prompt us to make the changes that we hope will improve our lives in some way. Why not do the same for your landscape? The green (or brown) surrounding your property is an extension of your home and can be a concrete place from which to make a difference in your’s and your family’s…

What a Year!

What a Year!

Our season has come to a close and we’ve been reflecting on the past year at A Yard & A Half. Our landscaping cooperative has continued to see exceptional growth both in sales and in opportunities for our team. We’ve added 7 new members to the cooperative and more owners are involved in decision-making than ever before. We’ve also learned a lot! From the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives Conference in Austin, to expanding our…

Our Top Plant & Garden Tips for December

Our Top Plant & Garden Tips for December

It’s getting cold out there so make sure your garden is protected for the winter season.   Outdoors: Annuals and Perennials: After you’ve cut everything down and the ground has frozen, cover your gardens with a winter mulch of evergreen boughs to keep out the sun and prevent them from thawing and re-freezing. Trees and Shrubs: No more pruning for now. However, you can still water your shrubs and conifers midday when it’s sunny and the temperature is…

Avoid Fines & Liabilities: Know Your Snow Removal Responsibilities

Avoid Fines & Liabilities: Know Your Snow Removal Responsibilities

Since 2010, all property owners (not just landlords and businesses) in Massachusetts are legally responsible to remove accumulated snow and ice from their properties including adjacent public sidewalks. As a homeowner, neglecting to clear your sidewalks and entryways could mean a non-compliance fine of at least $50, not to mention a lawsuit if someone slips and falls. Cities and towns also have their own snow removal ordinances and by-laws that specify how soon snow and…