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…

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…

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…

Your Yard in December

Your Yard in December

The snow has arrived! Make sure you’re protecting your plants and lawn from the elements.   Winter Plant Protection – Protect evergreens and sensitive plants from salt spray along roads and driveways by covering their bases with burlap. – Knock heavy snow off of evergreens like arborvitaes and boxwoods to prevent damage. – Wrap chicken wire around the trunks of trees and vulnerable plants to prevent rabbits from gnawing on their bark. – For roses,…

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…

Plant Spring Bulbs- It’s Not Too Late!

Plant Spring Bulbs- It’s Not Too Late!

Daffodils, American blue vervain (native), tulips, lilies, crocuses, irises! For beautiful color in 2018, plant spring-flowering bulbs before the ground freezes. It may seem far away, but these spring beauties need to be planted before the end of December as soil temperatures cool off.   First time planting spring bulbs? Follow these 5 simple steps. 1. Choose bulbs: If you’re overwhelmed by the options, try daffodils. They’re resistant to rabbits and squirrels! 2. Find a spot: Find…

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…

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…

Award-Winning Installation!

Award-Winning Installation!

One of our installations, “Kyoto Meets New England – An Entrance Courtyard”, will be recognized at the international conference for the Association of Professional Landscape Designers next week in Boston!   The winning installation was designed by Christie Dustman and Company and installed by Senior Landscape Construction Crew Leader, José Flores. In addition to being featured in Design New England Magazine, this North Reading, MA installation has now received APLD’s world class Silver Award for…