03.14.11

Spring Clean-up – Follow-up

Posted in Pruning, Uncategorized, Winter Landscape at 8:41 AM by Administrator

One way to determine if your soil is too wet to walk on or work with is to take a handful of soil and squeeze it in your hand. If water drips from the soil, then it is too wet and you should not work in that area. Once again, if you walk on wet soil, you will compact that soil and the plants/lawn will not grow well.

03.12.11

Spring Clean-up

Posted in Uncategorized, Winter Landscape at 2:38 PM by Administrator

Are you starting to see some of your lawn?  Do you want to get your Spring Clean-up done soon?  If your yard is starting to look like this picture, then you may hope to spend time this weekend enjoying the warm weather and getting some yardwork done.  You will do more harm than good if you have (or you do) your Spring Clean-up performed while the ground is soggy.  A soggy lawn is the result of the ice and snow melting.  Every step you take on a soggy lawn/garden bed will compact that soil.  Compacted soil makes it more difficult for the lawn to thrive and plants to grow.  If you must work on your beds before the soil dries, I recommend placing a 2″ x 10″ x 8′ plank to walk-on as this will distribute your weight over a larger area, thus the compaction will not be as significant.  We should be able to get back to our yard work in a couple of weeks when the soil dries out.

03.10.11

Attended Landscape Lighting Seminar with CAST Lighting

Posted in Landscape Lights, Uncategorized at 11:40 AM by Administrator

I attended a seminar that highlighted some best practice design ideas for Landscape Lighting for the professional contractor.  This seminar was led by an executive of Cast Lighting.  I was able to see some design elements and combinations of outdoor lights that have been successfully integrated into landscapes throughout the country.  These new ideas will allow us to continue creating dramatic focal features on all properties.  These dramatic focal points will be enjoyed and help you see the proper perspective and depth of a property even at night.

They will be impressive whether you live in New Hampshire towns such as Derry, Dover, Greenland, Portsmouth or Wentworth-by-the-Sea or in Massachusetts towns such as Andover, Boxford, Georgetown, Lynnfield, Ipswich, North Andover, Topsfield or West Newbury.

This photo shows a Cast MR-16 bullet light after 3 years, under a Dogwood tree, with no maintenance.

03.08.11

Client Landscape in a Magazine

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:31 PM by Administrator

Tonight, I delivered a copy of the Landscape Hardscape Design-Build Magazine which included pictures of their backyard before and after we transformed their yard.  The article highlighted how we were able to reuse some materials which were on their property that would have otherwise been disposed.

It was a great pleasure to speak with them and get updated about the last year.

03.07.11

Paver Patio Construction – Flooding Risks

Posted in Masonry, Pavers, Uncategorized at 9:24 PM by Administrator

This is a follow-up to a previously issued segment on the base material needed for the propert construction of a patio.  Clean 3/4″ crushed gravel has minimal ‘fines’ which allows for the proper drainage through the base.  The attached pictures show a patio which was constructed with a ‘crush and run’ base.  Crush and run is a mixture of crushed gravel and stonedust.  It is cheaper than 3/4″ crushed gravel that has no fines and it is easier to level, but it does not allow for adequate drainage.  3/4″ crushed gravel is the base material required by the ICPI (Interlocking Concrete Pavers Institute).

03.04.11

Paver Patio – Concrete Sand

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:25 PM by Administrator

Concrete sand is the layer of material that is put in place between the clean 3/4″ gravel (see Feb. 11th Post) and the pavers.  Concrete sand is recommended over stonedust, because the sand will allow water to drain while stonedust will hold the water and puddle.  Concrete sand is a mixture of fine sand with some smaller stones, thus it will have rigidity while remaining porous.  Mason or beach sand should not be used as they have too many fines and will not be strong enough to stop a ‘wavy’ effect from occuring overtime. 

This layer should be 1″ thick and is not compacted until the pavers are installed on top of the sand.  Because the sand is not compacted, you should not walk directly on the sand. 

03.03.11

Giving Back to the Community

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:33 PM by Administrator

It is with great pride that Artistic Landscapes has continued its annual contributions of gift certificates to local high schools.  Currently, St. John’s Prep of Danvers is having their annual fundraising event called Back to the Future Gala and their online auction portion of this event is live until Monday, March 7th.  You may bid on a $500 gift certificate that will be applied towards a low voltage landscape lighting system and a $400 gift certificate that will be applied towards hand pruning of your trees & shrubs or towards a complete Spring Clean-up.  If you are so inclined, a bid towards these items will help the whole Prep community.

03.02.11

Prune Ornamental Grasses

Posted in Pruning, Uncategorized, Winter Landscape at 10:17 AM by Administrator

This is a perfect time of the year to prune your ornamental grasses.  If you can see the base of the ornamental grass, then you can take pruning shears and cut as close to the ground as possible (you will probably be 1 – 3″ above ground level and that is fine) and remove all of last year’s leaves (the blades of grass).  If your ornamental grass gets very tall, over 5′, then I recommend cutting the outside edge of the clump so that 6 – 8″ of last year’s leaves (the tan stalk that is stiff) will be used to support the height of this year’s leaves.  Good luck.

03.01.11

General Pruning Points Related to Trees

Posted in Pruning, Uncategorized at 9:01 PM by Administrator

Pruning is very important as making pruning cuts or just leaving a tree as it is will have a significant impact on the health of each tree for the rest of the tree’s life.  As the International Society of Arboriculture points out, “proper pruning is essential in developing a tree with a strong structure and desirable form.”  We recommend you know why you are going to make a cut, before making it, and make the cut with the correct equipment and technique.  If you are not sure, then we recommend you hire someone (such as Artistic Landscapes) as a wounded tree will not heal right and will not be as strong of a tree.

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