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 knowledge of rain harvesting system installation, to our first year offering snow removal services we’ve continued to grow our professional skills.
To showcase some of our best work from 2016 we sat down with 3 of our project managers and talked about their favorite projects from the year. Enjoy!
A favorite hardscape installation of Steve‘s was for a client in Somerville seeking both a more natural and less formal look for their property, as well as a more sustainable approach to landscaping. For this massive project we started by swapping out their concrete paver patio for a brick “city hall” paver style patio, refreshing some of the preexisting hardscapes surrounding their home. Next we installed a permeable paver driveway as a way to minimize water usage by absorbing rain like natural land does. From there, we completed a rain harvesting system by building a bluestone retaining wall from behind! The lack of access from a neighbor’s property required us to be creative, so we rose to the challenge by building from the top (as opposed to the bottom) of their backyard hill. The clients were thrilled and well-prepared for this year’s drought.
Meanwhile in Wellesley, Carolyn dreamed up a new outdoor space for a client with a family. One of our crew leaders, Juan Carlos, built a beautiful stone fire pit and sitting area. Carolyn recalls, “The site was so barren and uninviting before we started – like this beautiful house had just been dropped on an empty lot. Now, with the sitting area, a play area for the kids, and the first round of plantings for privacy, it’s really integrated into the landscape, and the yard is a place the family wants to be.”
After 3 months of intense labor and a lot of creativity, Geovani helped a client in Arlington transform an overgrown and unusable backyard hill into an accessible, terraced play area. As we began digging we unearthed existing ledges, which required us to re-think our original plan and work with what Mother Nature gave us. Re-using materials that were already on site, including boulders and natural stone, allowed us to create a unique layout mimicking natural stone formations as much as possible. We extended this stonework to the front of the property as well, combining granite risers with Pennsylvania Fieldstone to beautify the entrance.