10.30.19

Natural Stone Front Steps with Granite Treads

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:47 AM by Administrator

This Haverhill family loved the idea or natural stone steps but wanted strong, sure footing stones for the top (treads) of each step. So, we showed them a variety of stones that we could build the risers (the part of the steps that is vertical) with and they liked the combination of gray and tan stones. Once we had those stones selected then the homeowner saw the tan particles in the Caledonia granite. We built the top of each step with the Caledonia granite.

We decided to include several vertical pieces of granite closer to the house and one solid piece of granite across the front of the top landing. We believe this added some more interest to the steps and was in proportion to the house (one big slab of granite felt like it would be too heavy/big for that step).

The following picture shows the prior set of steps. Note that the bottom step is wider than the top landing. Because the homeowner liked that detail, we built the new steps to have those same dimensions.

Existing steps that were replaced
Granite steps with natural stone risers in Haverhill

For information about how Artistic Landscapes can build you steps into your house or within your yard, please call us at 978.948.2900 or stop by our Office on Route One (111 Newburyport Turnpike) in Rowley, MA.

10.28.19

Drainage in a Patio in Newburyport

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:26 AM by Administrator



This Newburyport added a beautiful farmer’s porch to the front of their house over the last year. The homeowners wanted access from their driveway to the front porch so we installed a 3′ deep solid granite landing as their step from the patio up to the porch. Because of the change in grade between the driveway and the porch and to the door into the house, the patio had to be built sloped towards the house. You never want to bring water towards the house but in this case, it was required. In our attempt to protect the basement from absorbing water, we installed a 5″ wide NDS drainage channel between the patio and the house. The drainage channel should receive any water that flows towards the house and this water will then empty into a 4″ drainage pipe that flows out into a dry well that is in the front yard. We believe these extra precautions will allow for the inside of the home not to get wet while providing a safe transition between the driveway and the door to the house as well as to the porch.

NDS Drainage Channel between a patio and door in Newburyport

For information about how Artistic Landscapes can help you with your drainage issues, please call Tony at 978.948.2900 or stop by our Offices on Route One (111 Newburyport Turnpike) in Rowley, MA.



10.19.19

Playground wood chips

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:30 AM by Administrator

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission – Public Playground Safety Handbook issued in 2008 (there may be a more current version or more authoritative source for current information, so do your own research). Table 2 of this handbook states that 9″ of wood chips is an acceptable surfacing material for a childrens’ playground. This information is informational only and you should rely on your own engineer or a person who is in a position to provide detailed information for your personal circumstances. Following this guidance or the guidance from someone else, does not guarantee that a person will not get hurt, or killed, if on a playground with this type of material.

Our clients are concerned with wood chips that may have been treated with chemicals thus we bought Certified Playground wood chips that are 100% virgin engineered wood fibers. The following picture shows the balance of the wood chips that we have for this year.

These certified playground wood chips are available in Rowley for a cost of $48 per yard. Delivery is available for an additional fee. Please call us at 978.948.2900 for more information or to request some wood chips before they are gone.

10.18.19

Winterization of Irrigation Systems

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:02 AM by Administrator

Here in New England most in-ground irrigation systems need to be winterized before the pipes freeze. We will be blowing out irrigation systems everyday for the next 10 days. Blowing out your irrigation system is accomplished by connecting a hose from our air compressor and forcing air through all of the buried pipes and the backflow preventer. We service all types of irrigation systems from Reading, MA up to Newburyport and out out to Rockport.

If you would like to be added to our schedule or get more information about winterizing your irrigation system, please call us at 978.948.2900 or send us an email through our website.

10.14.19

How are granite steps built?

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:22 AM by Administrator

We are often asked how we build granite steps as you may be able to see three sides of the steps and most people want to make sure that their new steps will look great from every angle. We normally build the steps by digging a footing that extends below the frost line as that ensures that the steps do not move. Once the footing is prepared then we install the granite steps.

We normally install the lowest step first then we install granite fillers from the back of this first step to the house or porch. The granite fillers are only 6″ wide so they provide stability without the cost of whole step. We don’t believe a whole step is needed to go back to the house or porch because most of the step would be covered by the granite steps that will be installed on top. In this instance, we have the lower step followed by a landing that is 4′ wide and 3′ deep. The landing is resting on the lower step and supported by the filler pieces. We believe this is an economical way to build steps that are structurally strong and look beautiful.

Granite Steps

For information about how Artistic Landscapes can help you with your steps or walkways, please stop by our Offices on Route One (111 Newburyport Turnpike) in Rowley, MA or call Tony at 978.948.2900.

10.09.19

Curb Appeal in Newburyport

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:49 AM by Administrator

This family wanted to transform the front of their house after adding the front porch. Artistic Landscapes was chosen to design the front of the house including the plantings and stonework. Our design included outlining the garden beds with cobblestones as this helps connect the walkway, steps and planting beds together. The cobblestones lining the garden beds will also help define the difference between the small front lawn and the planting beds.

The original landscape included a walkway that was part concrete and part asphalt and no plants by the new porch.
Plantings, walkway and patio designed and installed by Artistic Landscapes for a family in Newburyport

If you are considering ways to improve your curb appeal, please call Tony at 978.948.2900 or stop by our Offices on Route One (111 Newburyport Turnpike) in Rowley, MA.

10.07.19

Front Walkway in Newburyport

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:52 AM by Administrator

This Newburyport added a beautiful farmer’s porch to the front of their house over the last year. Once the porch was finished the carpenters installed a 12″ deep granite step as the step off of the new porch. The homeowner had difficulty with the step because it was too narrow to see it when they left their house and the height between the top of the granite and the porch left them feeling like they needed to jump to reach it.

We fixed their problems by adding a 3′ deep solid granite landing as the top step while using the existing granite step as the lower step. We set three rows of natural cobblestones in cement by the road before transitioning to Unilock’s Westport pavers for the walkway. The walkway is 4′ wide and is directly lined up with the front door making it a very inviting entrance way.

Front Walkway for a Newburyport family that starts with cobblestones by the road then Unilock’s Westport pavers before reaching the solid gray granite steps

For information about how Artistic Landscapes can help you with your landscaping needs, please call Tony at 978.948.2900 or stop by our offices on Route One (111 Newburyport Turnpike) in Rowley, MA.

10.04.19

Monthly Weeding and Garden Bed Maintenance

Posted in Plants, Pruning, Uncategorized at 6:48 AM by Administrator

We provide garden bed maintenance for many families in the Ipswich, Rowley and Newburyport areas. This service is performed on a monthly basis where we will focus on weeding and pruning. There are some months when we perform more pruning hours while other months may be more focused on weeding. The plan is determined by our conversations as we tailor our work to meet your goals and make sure that you smile when you come home as the plants look better than you expected.

This is a picture of the hillside in front of our own building after we performed extensive weeding. This area was not a focal point for us, so we did not perform any weeding in this garden bed over the last few months. Despite the recent lack of attention, we were able to bring the area back to being something that looks great.

The beginning of the weeding and garden bed maintenance of the hillside in Rowley

For information about how Artistic Landscapes can help you with your landscaping needs including redesigning garden bed areas, pruning or monthly garden bed maintenance, please stop by our office at 111 Newburyport Turnpike {Route One} in Rowley, MA or call us at 978.948.2900.