08.17.20

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.

08.10.20

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.

08.03.20

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.

12.06.19

Winter Flower Arrangement

Posted in Pruning, Uncategorized, Winter Landscape at 6:31 AM by Administrator

We enjoy being artistic and making things that do not cost money. We made this winter flower arrangement by picking up some fallen limbs of a white birch tree (they were resting on the ground in these pieces), kept some of the flowers from some perennials that we pruned to the ground as we were preparing a garden bed for winter and included some greens from a foundation shrub that we pruned and limbs from a christmas tree that were pruned off so the christmas tree would sit in the stand.

By combining all of these materials, we were able to make this winter flower arrangement without buying any materials.

Winter flower arrangement in Georgetown, MA.

For information about how Artistic Landscapes can help you with your pruning or decorating needs, please contact us at 978.948.2900.

11.20.19

Leaf Clean-ups

Posted in Plants, Pruning, Uncategorized, Winter Landscape at 7:07 PM by Administrator

We are in the midst of our Fall clean-ups and picking up leaves for our clients prior to Thanksgiving. Despite the very cold weather and constant rain today, we were able to be successful in this leaf cleanup for a Georgetown family. I thank Will, Jesse & Kevin for all of their hard work today in weather that did not make any of us happy to be working outdoors but we got the projects done!

I believe this property had more wet Oak leaves than we wanted, but we were able to remove all of them!

Too many leaves on the grass for a Georgetown family

This looks much better as we removed all of the wet leaves.

Fall cleanup in Georgetown
Leaf clean-up finished in Georgetown

For information about having Artistic Landscapes help you with your leaf removal or to vacuum up leaves that you have already piled near the driveway or road, please call us at 978.948.2900.

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.

09.27.19

Planting in Newburyport

Posted in Plants, Pruning, Uncategorized at 6:51 AM by Administrator

This Newburyport family wanted to transform their small front yard from an area that had a variety of plants growing into each other into a more defined garden area. We designed the new area to include some evergreens that will have red berries during the winter months, ornamental grasses that are great for dried flower arrangements while not impacting the beautiful, mature Japanese Maple that was existing.

This is what the front of this beautiful home had for their landscaping.

Prior landscaping in the front of this Newburyport home

The new landscape includes few plants while keeping a mix of loose, flowing plants (the Liriope and ornamental grasses) with flowering shrubs (the hydrangeas) and a couple of accent evergreens (hollies that will have red berries for the winter).

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

09.06.19

Plants along the front of a house in Newburyport?

Posted in Plants, Pruning, Uncategorized at 6:05 AM by Administrator

A Newburyport family had hired us to install their brick and cobblestone walkway in 2010 and then in 2019 asked us to design their front yard landscape. Based on the clients’ goals, type of curb appeal they want and their budget, we designed their new landscape to address those goals. Through the combination of evergreens and flowering hydrangeas, we were able to achieve the primary goals. We included some additional plants to further finish and make the front foundation gardens have year-round interest.

Because this family likes to do their own gardening but thought there was too much manual labor needed to create a new garden bed, we did the prep work up the right side of the house. The prep work included us removing the existing lawn before incorporating a few yards of compost/loam into the existing soil. Once we had the new garden bed area prepped, they were able to plant their own perennials and other flowers.

For information about how Artistic Landscapes LLC can help you with the design of your property or help you update your plants, please stop by our office at 111 Newburyport Turnpike {Route One} in Rowley, MA or call us at 978.948.2900. We have many of our plants tagged at our Office so that you can look at a variety of plants. As you will see, we have shade loving plants as well as plants in full sun.

08.19.19

What to do with an overgrown Rose of Sharon?

Posted in Plants, Pruning at 6:36 AM by Administrator

A Rose of Sharon is a terrific flowering shrub as the plants are often covered in multi-color flowers from August 1st – October 1st. A happy Rose of Sharon will grow to 8’ – 10’ tall and 6’ – 8’ wide. Although it is a beautiful flowering shrub, they often become too big for the area where it was originally planted and you have to decide whether to prune it or remove it.

 If you are wondering ‘what do I do with this Rose of Sharon that is too big’ then you may want to prune it or call us and we can take care of the pruning for you. Because the Rose of Sharon flowers in August and September, it is normally best to prune the plant anytime between November and March 1st.  This plant was touching the screens of their porch in Georgetown, MA thus it was time to be reduced. We pruned this plant on April 7th but eventhough it was later than the ideal time to prune a summer flowering shrub, it is still better to prune then rather than waiting another year. As you can see below, we pruned a significant amount of this plant off. The plant responded very well as the following picture shows.

For information about why we try to prune all Summer flowering shrubs from August 15th to September 30th and that we prune fall flowering shrubs from December 1st  to March 1st, please stop by our office at 111 Newburyport Turnpike {Route One} in Rowley, MA or call us at 978.948.2900.

08.16.19

What to do with overgrown rhododendrons?

Posted in Plants, Pruning, Uncategorized at 5:36 AM by Administrator

We are often asked ‘is there anything I can do with these overgrown rhododendrons’. If you think, I need to rip out those overgrown rhododendrons, you might be right but you can also prune them back into shape. Rhododendrons that are blocking your windows may be a problem but you have options.

During 2019, we reduced the size of many overgrown rhododendrons that were blocking some windows by pruning them extensively. We decided where to prune based on each plant. By that I mean, we made some pruning cuts about 2’ above the grade while other cuts were done at 3’ or even 4’ above grade. The cuts were made so that we would keep some of the green leaves on the plant and so that we will have clean cuts at branch intersections. The following pictures show what an overgrown rhododendron looked like when we showed up and how it looks like after we pruned.

Most of our extensive pruning of overgrown rhododendrons was done before June 15th so we expect all of those rhododendrons to flower next year. This rhododendron was pruned on July 29th. Because of the timing of the pruning, we expect the foliage to continue to grow but we do not expect this plant to be full of flowers next Spring.

For information about why we try to prune all Spring flowering shrubs before June 30th and that we prune summer flowering shrubs from August 15th to September 30th, please stop by our office at 111 Newburyport Turnpike {Route One} in Rowley, MA or call us at 978.948.2900.

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