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Monthly Archives: May 2014

May 30, 2014

Spring 2014 Projects

Our crew has been busily installing hardscapes, softscapes and lighting all throughout the state of Vermont this spring. Here are a couple of the projects we want to share with you! To stay even more updated on the projects we have going on Like our Facebook page.

Barre, VT Residence:

The crew was busy at this residence installing patios and walls early this spring.  There were even a few days that the snow needed to be cleared out of the way so they could get to work! As things warmed up a bit the trees, shrubs & perennials were planted and the lawn was graded & seeded. We are all looking froward to seeing this landscape mature over time!

South Burlington, VT Residence:

We started this project late last fall and were able to get the wall, walkway and staircase installed before the snow fell. This week our crew completed the installation with plantings of trees, shrubs perennials and ground cover. Low voltage landscape lighting was also installed. We can’t wait to see what this project looks like in the evening hours!

May 23, 2014

Lilacs

With Memorial Day just around the corner I am often reminded of Walt Whitman’s “When Lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d”.

When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d,

And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night,

I mourn’d, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.

 Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring,

 Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west,

 And thought of him I love….

Lilacs are one of the most well-known Vermont shrubs.  They are in full bloom in many of the landscapes in Chittenden County and this early blooming plant has a fragrance that is unbeatable. There are more than 20 varieties of this hardy shrub in multiple shades of whites and light & dark purples. Depending on the lilac variety it can grow from 5-15 feet tall. Lilacs should be pruned after they have finished blooming. Dead branches should be removed and you can cut back as much as a third of the plant, to promote new growth. 

May 15, 2014

Native Plants

When we are asked about trends in the landscape industry here in Vermont, it is often mentioned that more and more clients are asking for native plants to be incorporated into their landscapes.

What exactly is a native plant and why should they be incorporated into our landscapes? Well, according to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) the definition of a native plant is the following:

A plant that is a part of the balance of nature, that has developed over hundreds or thousands of years in a particular region or ecosystem. Note: The word native should always be used with a geographic qualifier (that is, native to New England [for example]). Only plants found in this country before European settlement are considered to be native to the United States.

Because these plants have grown in each geographic area for hundreds of years, they are well equipped for their environment. This means that these plants tend to require less watering and general maintenance. They also tend to have less pest problems, as they have acclimated to their surroundings. Native plants attract local wildlife as well, providing both sources of food and shelter. The Nature Conservancy has put together a nice list of Vermont Native Plants.

If you are considering a landscape project this year for your home, think about using at least some native plant material. They certainly have their benefits and as Lady Bird Johnson is quoted to have said that native plants ‘give us a sense of where we are in this great land of ours.’

Visit the USDA website to learn more about native plants.

May 2, 2014

Moon Gardens

Never heard of a Moon Garden, don’t worry you are not alone. Moon Gardens are spaces that are designed to be enjoyed in the evening hours. These spaces are growing in popularity especially with the busy work schedules we all maintain. They are the perfect place to go on an evening stroll, a place for quiet meditation or to enjoy an after work cocktail.

Moon Gardens consist of mainly silver foliage and white flowering plants. Fragrance is also incredibly important when choosing plants. There are also many types of plants that only bloom in the evening hours. Some appropriate plants include:

  • Artemisia
  • Lamb’s Ear
  • Oriental Lilies ‘Casa Blanca’
  • Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’
  • Echinacea ‘White Swan’
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Hyacinth ‘Carnegie’
  • Clematis ‘Sweet Autumn’
  • Magnolia ‘Royal Star’
  • Anemone sylvestris

Other aspects of Moon Garden design that should be considered are the addition of sitting areas or water features. These are both welcome elements in Moon Gardens as they can provide a relaxing environment through the use of comfortable seating, the sound of running water and the reflection of moonlight through the use of reflection pools or fountains.

There is nothing like spending a beautiful Vermont summer evening out in your yard.  By adding a few of these Moon Garden elements into your landscape, you can extend the use of your garden well into the evening.