Contact Us
Job Openings

Monthly Archives: April 2015

April 21, 2015

National Park Week

I know that this doesn’t have much to do with landscaping in Vermont, but the blog this week is in honor of National Park Week April 18th-26th 2015!  The National Park Services is offering free admission days, amazing programs and promoting these one of a kind natural environments this week.

As a landscape designer here in Vermont, I am always looking for new inspiration to bring fresh ideas to our client’s backyard landscapes. I love to travel and one of my life goals is to visit each and every one of the US National Parks and several others around the world. I am slowly checking them off my list and am always amazed at how drastically different and breathtaking each one is.

Below are some of my favorite photos from my National Park Adventures to date, and a little history about our National Parks. I hope it inspires you to get out and visit them too!




In March of 1872 President Ulysses S. Grant and Congress established Yellowstone National Park. It was the first national park ever created and started a worldwide movement to protect and preserve beautiful and unique natural wonders and historic places. Today more than 100 countries are home to 1,200 national parks and preserves. There are more than 400 national parks, historic sites and monuments comprising 84 million acres in the United States and US territories alone. That’s pretty amazing!


President Theodore Roosevelt who was in office from 1901- 1909 has been called our nations “Conservationist President”. During his time in office he created 5 national parks, 4 national game preserves, 51 Federal Bird Reservations and 18 national Monuments. He strived to protect public land and promote their use.


President Woodrow Wilson signed an act on August 25, 1916 to create the National Park Service. Part of this act reads “…the Service thus established shall promote and regulate the use of the Federal areas known as national parks, monuments and reservations… which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” There are more than 20,000 employees making up our National Park Service and dedicating their time to protecting some of the most breathtaking and unique places in the world.

np GSM


The Civilian Conservation Corps was established by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as a public work relief program, to help our nation deal with the Great Depression from 1933-1942. Over the course of the 9 year program 3 million young men worked to conserve natural resources and helped reforest land, fight forest fires and build and improve parks.


The National Parks have been inspiring writers, musicians and artists since their inception. Writer John Muir endeavored to promote visitors to the National parks through his writings and publications, which inspired thousands of visitors to venture west from the east coast. Ansel Adams created awe inspiring images of the National Parks and photograph all but one of them throughout his career. Thanks to the contributions of the likes of people like them the masses have been able to get an appreciation for these places even if they have never seen them themselves.  You can get involved with an artistic contribution too! Check out the National Park Foundation website to see how.

“Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter.” –John Muir

np GC

Here is a complete list of our US National Parks and more information on the National Park Service.

Photos taken by Marie P. Limoge

Everglades National Park 2014, Congaree National Park 2013, Biscayne National Park 2014, Great Smoky Mountain National Park 2013, Virgin Islands National Park 2012, Grand Canyon National Park 2011

April 10, 2015


For many of us here at di Stefano Landscaping one of the first sure signs of spring is the wonderful aroma of fresh mulch being spread throughout the gardens and landscape. Our Vermont landscape maintenance crew has been busily doing spring cleanups of both the residential and the commercial properties we take care of and maintain. Truckloads of fresh mulch have been delivered here at our shop and then carefully spread at each site. Even if it doesn’t feel like spring out there yet, it at least smells like it!

What are the benefits of mulching your landscape?

Mulch helps to stabilize soil temperature and soil moisture by reducing evaporation. This can cut the need for watering down by 25-50%. Using an organic mulch instead of stone or rubber can promote microorganism activity in the soil and can lessen the amount of soil compaction.  Mulching your landscape also helps to cut down on weeding, aids in erosion prevention and gives your gardens a finished and clean look.

Why do you need to Mulch every year and how thick does it need to be spread?

If you use an organic material such as Hemlock, Pine, Cedar or Leaves, you need to replenish your mulch each year. This is because they start to breakdown after time and will eventually turn into soil. When mulching, you should only spread a thin layer (2-3”) over the surface and around the plants in your beds. Be sure not to mound mulch around the base of trees and shrubs, as you can damage the plant.

What types of Mulch are available?

There are many types of mulches to choose from and each gives an entirely different feel to your landscape. Our Vermont landscaping company uses mainly Hemlock or Pine mulch, which we source locally. We use these types of mulch because they have a rich natural brown color, giving our landscapes a crisp natural finished look. Grass clippings, fall leaves and even newspapers can be used as mulch too. Other options for mulches include stone, glass or rubber.  These options come in a variety of colors and each provide the landscape with a unique look, and definitely are not the norm here in Vermont.

Hemlock mulch

Hemlock / Pine / Cedar – Natural rich brown color which is not dyed with chemicals, provides a clean finished and natural look. This is the most popular choice for Vermont Landscapers and can be seen in every residential neighborhood.




Stone mulch

Stone – There is a large choice of natural colors and locally sourced options. Stone mulch has more cost up front, but doesn’t need to be replenished as often.  Depending on the site exposure, stone may hold heat for long periods of time and dry out the soil and plants quickly. Watering may need to occur more frequently if you choose this look.




Glass Mulch

Recycled Glass – There is a wide variety of colors and this is not an inexpensive option. The use of recycled glass can provide a truly unique and whimsical look and feel to your garden and landscape.




Rubber mulch

Rubber – Recycled rubber mulch has a variety of color options which range from browns to bright and vibrant colors. This option is costly up front, but does not need to be replenished as often as natural material mulches. This is frequently used on playgrounds to provide a soft landing at the base of slides and surrounding play structures.



Leaf mulch

Leaves or Grass Clippings – These should be applied in very thin layers throughout the season and tend to breakdown quickly adding nutrients to the soil. Weed seeds are more prevalent in these options and will need to be monitored / maintained more frequently. These are good options for vegetable gardens that are regularly cultivated.



Newspaper mulch

Newspaper – Apply in thin layers of one or two sheets thick. Once the the newspaper gets wet, it will decompose quickly and need to be replenished.  This option is great for weed control, as it blocks out light almost completely from the soil not allowing weeds to prosper. It is light weight however and may need to be weighted down. If using in the garden, newspapers with a soy based ink should be used.