What to Know Before Calling a Landscaper

What to Know Before Calling a Landscaper

Landscaping can be a big investment. Before you spend time and money to transform your yard, you want to be thoughtful about the process. You don’t need a crystal clear vision of how you want your yard to look, but it’s important to consider the following factors before calling a landscaper.   1. Why Now? What prompted you to take action on your landscape at this time rather than last year or in the future?…

Backyard Pond Possibilities

Backyard Pond Possibilities

Title photo by FallingWater Scapes.  One of the best ways to re-establish a healthy ecosystem in your backyard is with a pond. Ecosystem ponds can reduce the need for fertilizer and water consumption, as well as support native wildlife. For these reasons we chose to showcase this collaborative installation- one of our favorite projects from 2018. The Challenge Last year Jonathan Marston of FallingWater Scapes set out to convert a stagnant pond into a backyard ecosystem in…

“Organic” Consumers Beware

“Organic” Consumers Beware

We are often asked the seemingly simple question “do you do organic landscaping?”. We assume this means “can you take care of my yard without using synthetic pesticides?”, which we can certainly do. But unlike in agricultural, there is no mandated standard for the term “organic” within landscaping. What this means is that a landscaper can legally use all kinds of pesticides while still marketing their services as “organic”.   NOFA-Certified One way to ensure…

When to Prune

When to Prune

“When is it safe to prune?” is a common question we hear from clients. The best time to prune depends both on what you’re pruning and why you’re pruning. By identifying and understanding your purpose in pruning, you can plan ahead for a lush garden next year.   Flowering Shrubs & Trees Why? These plants need ongoing maintenance to ensure flowering in the next season, as well as to control their size. In this case, the…

What is Garden Mentoring?

What is Garden Mentoring?

Sometimes we just don’t have the time to engage in maintaining the plant life on our properties. But sometimes, we might actually like to be able to care for our plants ourselves if it didn’t feel so intimidating. We might not even know what questions to ask and so we throw up our hands and throw money at the professionals. For those of you who want to learn more about the plants on your property, their…

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

What do you mean “design-build”? In a design-build firm like A Yard & A Half, the designers and construction workers operate as 1 team throughout the entire landscape installation process. The homeowner has only 1 contract to sign and 1 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…