Growing Fruit At Home

Growing Fruit At Home

Growing fruit at home is a great way to make use of your land and enjoy in-season fruit! 5 Quick Tips for getting the most out of your home fruit growing: Pollination: Plant 2 varieties within a species to get cross-pollination (Jonafree with Liberty, for example). Or attract pollinators by planting fruit companions such as these. Short on space? Carol Stocker of the Boston Globe suggests simply putting a blooming branch clipping from a crab…

Sensory Garden Plant List

Sensory Garden Plant List

This summer turn your garden into a Sensory Garden! Sensory gardens are fun for children because they’re full of plants that appeal to senses of touch and smell, as well as having eye-catching, bright colors. Here’s a starter list of plants for a sensory garden. Unless otherwise noted, all perennials are native to North America (many to New England), hardy to zone 5, drought tolerant, and low-maintenance. Many of the red flowers attract butterflies. Enjoy!…

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…

Celebrating National Co-op Month

Celebrating National Co-op Month

Had you heard about cooperatives before you got to know A Yard & A Half Landscaping Cooperative? October is the month to spread the word about the benefits of cooperatives and celebrate the co-op movement! This month we’re celebrating National Cooperative Month along with 40,000 other cooperative businesses serving more than 120 million people nationwide. Still not quite sure what co-ops are all about? Officially a cooperative is “an autonomous association of people united voluntarily to…

Spring garden to-do’s

Spring garden to-do’s

Happy Spring! In case you’re a little behind because of this month’s rain, here are some tips for the spring organic garden: Lawns Rake excess leaves and thatch from lawns. If possible, delay aerating until fall, as it brings many weed seeds to the surface. If you can, wait until fall to start new lawns from seed to avoid weeds taking over.  Sod lawns are ok. When forsythia blooms, apply corn gluten to lawns as…

Merry and Bright

Merry and Bright

 Are you planning to host a festive gathering this holiday season for business associates or family and friends? Set the tone with a few special touches for your indoor and outdoor holiday decor. Check out the gallery below for some decorating ideas from the pros, appropriate to our Boston-area climate and classic New England style. (See more on our “Winter Wonders” Pinterst page.) Between shopping, cleaning, and managing the food, beverages, and guest list, it can be hard…

Brookline Blower Update

Update to “Brookline’s Blower Ban: A Contractor Weighs In“ On November 18, 2015, the Brookline Town Meeting declined to ban gas-powered leaf blowers, with broad recognition that the proposed ban would unfairly target contractors, private homeowners, and small institutions. (The ban was amended to exempt Town crews and non-residential properties over 5 acres, most notably the Country Club.) Town Meeting voted 143 in favor, 57 opposed and with 2 abstentions to refer the question of whether…

Natural Playground, Codman Academy, Dorchester, MA

Codman Academy Charter School in Dorchester, MA occupies a storefront in one of Boston’s low-income neighborhoods, sandwiched between units of affordable apartment housing. Their “playground” was a packed dirt yard abutting a parking lot. The school, which uses trauma-informed design to help at-risk students feel more grounded and safe, looked to the Community Outreach Group for Landscape Design (COGDesign) to create a more appropriate play space. Designer David McCoy of Geographia Landscape Design developed a beautiful plan for a…

Gardening in Small Spaces – NOFA Summer Conference

Thanks to everyone who attended our Gardening in Small Spaces workshop at this weekend’s NOFA Summer Conference! As promised, here’s the powerpoint presentation and handout. If you missed the workshop, we looked at four case studies of urban gardens designed and installed by A Yard & A Half Landscaping Cooperative, bringing permaculture lessons to bear on planning and designing small spaces. We also explored some sustainable technologies for rainwater harvesting and urban agriculture, edible plant lists for…

Win in the Spring Home-buying Market

A real estate agent friend calls the week of Passover and Easter the “calm before the storm” that is the spring home buying market. If you are out on the open house circuit, keep your eye open for these common landscaping liabilities: Drainage problems – Bare soil around the downspouts or foundation of the house, or soil that slopes in toward the walls of the house maybe warnings of a wet basement. A lush lawn…