Use Caution When De-Icing

Use Caution When De-Icing

Next week, homeowners will likely need to de-ice steps, walkways and sidewalks once again this season. While it’s critical for safety, salting contributes to pollution of rivers, can harm wildlife and pets, and increases human salt consumption via drinking water supplies. When de-icing your home, salt can also damage plants and lawns. Here are the steps we take for minimizing damage caused by de-icing. We recommend following these guidelines to minimize your salt use and…

The Design-Build Difference

The Design-Build Difference

What do you mean “design-build”? In a design-build firm like A Yard & A Half, the designers and construction workers operate as one team throughout the entire landscape installation process. The homeowner has only one contract to sign and one firm with whom they need to communicate, as opposed to hiring and managing a designer, a separate landscape installation company, and possibly other contractors to fill any gaps.   A Knowledgeable Team Designers in a…

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…

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…

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…

A Simple, Organic, Self-Feeding Lawn

A Simple, Organic, Self-Feeding Lawn

Facing any of these challenges with your lawn? “It looks uneven or patchy and I want a dense green lawn all season long.” “It’s labor-intensive and I don’t have time. My lawn requires a lot of watering, mowing and fertilization.” “I don’t want to use chemicals where my children and pets play.” “My lawn is overrun with weeds, but I’m not comfortable using herbicides.” “My lawn doesn’t get much sun, but I still want it…

Plan for Snow Before It Hits

Plan for Snow Before It Hits

For the 2nd year in a row, A Yard & A Half is offering snow plowing, snow shoveling and ice removal services for homeowners in Newton and Brookline.   The Farmer’s Almanac predicts “above-normal amounts of snowfall” starting in November for our area.  Contact us now to set up a contract so we can keep your property snow-free as soon as winter arrives.   We’re committed to the safety of our clients and workers and the health of…

Make Your Fence Come Alive!

Make Your Fence Come Alive!

Feeling a little claustrophobic in your own yard? Bored of your traditional fence? If you’re looking for some privacy from the neighbors, but don’t want to feel closed in, consider installing a visually dynamic “living fence”. Plant shrubs and trees around the perimeter of your yard to maintain a boundary while adding color and attracting pollinators.       If you want privacy throughout the year, try a wall of evergreens like Cypress trees (left)…

August Garden Maintenance & Watering Guidelines

August Garden Maintenance & Watering Guidelines

With all the heat and sunshine of summer, it’s critical to know when, how, and how much to water your lawn, trees, and plantings. Proper watering is the best way to protect your investment in your plants!  Determining the needs of individual plants and parts of your property will take some time, so check out our watering guide for basic tips on your trees, shrubs, perennial beds and lawns. Remember that these guidelines are no substitute for regular observation of…

See Boston Gardens On June 11th

See Boston Gardens On June 11th

Every year since 1995, hundreds of exceptional private gardens nationwide are selected to participate in The Garden Conservancy’s ‘Open Days’. On Sunday, June 11th from 10am-4pm the Greater Boston Area Open Days will feature outstanding gardens, some with historical pedigrees and others representing remarkable accomplishments of local gardeners and landscape designers. One such designer whose garden will be featured is our partner, Christie Dustman. Admission to each garden is $7. For discounted admission tickets ($35…