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…

Winter Garden Tips

Winter Garden Tips

  Indoor Tasks Decorate your interior with branches of witch hazel, pussy willow, and other spring-blooming shrubs that you can force indoors. Be sure to check on your stored bulbs for rot or mold. Read on for how and why to store tender bulbs over the winter.     Planning is Key to a Beautiful Landscape Now is the right time to work with a designer to plan your landscape: quiet snowy days are wonderful…

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…

Winter Interest in Your Garden

Winter Interest in Your Garden

Is your landscape looking a little drab now that the leaves have fallen and you’ve put your garden beds to sleep for the winter? Now is a good time to look around your neighborhood and envision how you could liven up your garden for next winter. While evergreen trees are important for winter interest, there are many other ways to bring beauty to your yard. Colorful berries and foliage, ornamental grasses, tree bark with interesting…

How to Create a Japanese-Inspired Garden

How to Create a Japanese-Inspired Garden

Japanese-inspired designs evoke feelings of peace, calm, and tranquility. For that reason, many homeowners often wish to include some Japanese-inspired elements in their own homes and landscaping Japanese gardens are well known for their use of texture, balance, and an invitation to sit and soak in your surroundings. Add a few of these ideas to your own backyard garden to capture some of the peace and tranquility for yourself. Mixing Texture   Japanese designs are…

Outdoor Lighting & Your Home

Outdoor Lighting & Your Home

(Above: An Evening in Watertown, Design: Monica Fairbairn, Installation: A Yard & A Half, Photo: Daniel Nystedt) The days are getting shorter, but that doesn’t mean you have to coop yourself up inside after work. Enjoy your beautiful landscape all season long by installing an outdoor lighting system!   Low-Voltage Lighting We recommend low-voltage lighting to enhance your evening enjoyment of your property. The quality and intensity of this lighting is closer to candlelight than traditional…

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)…

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…