Pruning Grape Vines in Newbury, MA

Posted in Plants, Pruning, Uncategorized at 10:13 AM by Administrator

This Newbury, MA family has more than 10 grape vines growing in their backyard. These homegrown grapes make terrific table grapes (they are not for wine). This is our first year of helping this family and we look forward to helping them achieve better tasting grapes than they had last year. As you can see from the pictures, we pruned about 90% of the vines and left just a few young canes.

Pruned grape vines in Newbury, Massachusetts. We will reinforce the posts in the Spring as that will help with the cabling.
The grape vines before we pruned them.

For information about how Artistic Landscapes can help you with your pruning, please call us at 978.948.2900.


Innovations in Outdoor Living

Posted in Landscape Lights, Masonry, Pavers, Plants, Pruning, Uncategorized at 10:39 AM by Administrator

Earlier this week, I attended a webinar held by New England Home – Connecticut magazine. This was a very interesting conversation as they had 7 panelists talking about some current landscaping trends and new innovations in outdoor living.

Because most of us are staying home almost all of the time, the trend has been to build multiple patios in a backyard but have each patio be small. After the small patios are built then the areas in between get planted to provide each patio with a private feel. This is helping families enjoy the outdoors while having some ‘me’ time. Interestingly enough, in my opinion, is that the trend is to plant pollinator gardens and food gardens because we gain a sense of calm and happiness by seeing the butterflies and birds around us while then being able to harvest our own food.

With our goal of being outdoors, a new innovation are screens that are motorized. By having motorized screens, you can be truly outdoors all day then lower the screens when the mosquitos arrive.

More and more people in Connecticut are choosing porcelain tiles for their patios rather than traditional pavers. The exterior grade porcelain tiles stay cooler than the typical paver and do not stain. I know that we installed porcelain tiles in an outdoor kitchen that we built in 2020 and they did stay cooler I expected.

Another trend in the outdoor living is that more outdoor kitchens included a pizza oven last year. Industry wide, pizza oven sales were up over 400%. The reason for this is that more than one person wants to do the cooking and by having a grill and a pizza oven then many families found it easier to get their children excited to participate in the cooking and spend more ‘happy time’ together.

Brown Jordan furniture has several new lines of chairs and tables that are able to be used indoors as well as outdoors. They have furniture to meet many different styles and plenty of colors to choose from. Their current lead time is 8 – 9 weeks. I think we are only about 12 weeks from Memorial Day so that might become problematic if someone wants to meet what I consider the start of summer (Memorial Day).

If you would like to discuss anything that was discussed during this webinar or would like to discuss your landscaping needs, please call us at 978.948.2900.


Why plant a tree – Byfield sunrise

Posted in Plants, Pruning, Uncategorized at 10:32 AM by Administrator

We often hear people say that they do not want to plant a tree that will get too big. We understand that a tree can be ‘too big’ if it is in the wrong location and you get concerned that it might fall onto your house. But, if a tree is planted in the right location, it can grow into a beautiful mature tree. Mature trees are beautiful all year but I saw this sunrise at around 6:45 this morning in Byfield. I couldn’t believe how beautiful the sky was and how terrific the trees looked with the sunrise behind them.

Sunrise in Byfield, MA

I hope you agree that today’s sunrise was beautiful.


Can I plant sod in the winter

Posted in Pavers, Plants, Uncategorized at 12:46 PM by Administrator

Artistic Landscapes is planting sod today, January 15th, in Newton, MA. As you will see, we built a patio and install drainage for this Newton family. During this project, we realized that the client’s soil is clay and they have had drainage issues and a very poor lawn (mainly weeds). We removed some of the clay adjacent to the patio and replaced that material with freshly screened loam.

In an effort to minimize cost, we have incorporated hydrate lime into some of the other clay areas. By doing all of this work, we are concerned with erosion over the winter and the upcoming Spring. Thus, we received a sod delivery this morning and we are in the midst of planting sod today.

Sod being installed by Artistic Landscapes in January – Newton, MA

For help about how Artistic Landscapes can help you with your erosion issues or landscaping needs, please call us at 978.948.2900.


Walkway and Plantings in Bradford

Posted in Masonry, Pavers, Plants, Uncategorized at 6:41 AM by Administrator

This Bradford family needed to replace the broken concrete front walkway as it had become a tripping hazard. They were also ready to add some curb appeal to the front of their house as they have done extensive landscaping in the backyard but had not focused on the front yard.

We listened to their goals and built them a front walkway with Unilock’s Beacon Hill Flagstone 80mm pavers in the Fossil color as their front walkway. The perimeter of this walkway was defined with Eco-Priora pavers in Granite color.

Beacon Hill Flagstone pavers for the front walkway of this Bradford family’s home
The front yard for this Bradford family
The front yard before Artistic Landscapes arrived

If you have one of those walkways or a set of steps that is becoming dangerous to walk on as those minor cracks have been expanding, please call us at 978.948.2900 as we can help.


Hot Tub Installation

Posted in Masonry, Plants, Uncategorized at 6:15 AM by Administrator

We were hired by this Newburyport family to build the base for which their hot tub will be installed. Because of the weight of the water that will be in the hot tub, the base has to be reinforced and solid. We had discussions with their electrician and hot tub representative as to what they wanted us to provide for a base and where the electrical conduit needed to be so that the electrician could wire the hot tub. A segmental retaining wall was built to allow the base of stonepack to be compacted and level. We also included a layer of geotextile to further help support the hot tub.

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


Exposing the Root Flare of a Tree

Posted in Plants, Pruning, Uncategorized at 6:50 AM by Administrator

Planting a tree is more difficult than planting a perennial due to the trees size and trees NEED their root flare exposed. Most of the time, nurseries and garden centers sell trees that have been reinforced to stay upright by having extra clay/loam up on the tree trunk. I believe the thought is that if we (the growers) can have the tree stand straight up then people will buy it. That is fine if you remember to remove the extra soil when you are planting.

The root flare is defined as the area where the tree starts to get wider at the base. Normally the tree trunk is straight and about the same size then just before you get to the roots of the tree the tree will start to get wider and it is that area that is defined as the root flare. If you bury the root flare too deep then the tree will still grow for a number of years but as it grows it will begin to need more oxygen and water to help support the larger tree. It is at this time that the root flare being exposed is critical.

This is a 20 year-old evergreen that had its root flare buried about 6″ – 7″ below the grade of the mulch. Because the root flare was buried, the tree eventually suffocated and died. We had to remove a tree that should be a beautiful specimen after 20 years but instead they are back to having no tree.

Root flare was buried too deep which caused this evergreen to die

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


Getting plants ready for planting

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

We are at the time of year that is great for planting. We believe you should help your plants get acclimated to their new home by loosening up the roots as most plants have been growing within a container or burlap. You will probably need pruners or a knife to pry the roots free of the rootball. By loosening up the roots, you help the roots grow outward from the plant thereby making the plant stronger and more viable. This is what a perennial looks like just before we plant it.

Loose roots for a perennial (Phlox) before Artistic Landscapes plants it

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


Pruning of Rhododendrons in Newburyport

Posted in Plants, Pruning, Uncategorized at 6:22 AM by Administrator

We did a significant amount of pruning on mature Rhododendrons this summer. We normally try to do our significant pruning of rhododendrons shortly after they flower (June or July) as that timing will allow the plants to recover and grow flower buds for next year. Although we can still prune rhododendrons, any plant pruned at this time of year is likely going to have only a few flowers next year as we will be pruning off most of the flower buds.

Here are a group of mature rhododendrons that were blocking the view out of the kitchen windows as they had grown too tall. Although we pruned them significantly back in the middle of July, we expect this Newburyport family will have some flowers on their rhododendrons next year.

Rhododendron that is too tall as nobody can see out the kitchen windows
Mature rhododendrons that blocked the view of the kitchen windows
Rhododendrons pruned so that you can see out the kitchen windows of this Newburyport home

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


Sod lawn

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

We planted a sod lawn after completing an outdoor kitchen. We prepared the ground with freshly screened loam prior to planting the sod. We do not roll the sod after planting it as we do not believe that is beneficial to our planting process. This picture shows the sod one week after the sod was planted.

Sod after 1 week of being planted

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

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