arrival_experience_banner.jpg

Why Systems Thinking Makes a Better Landscape

The landscape conversation is pretty common nowadays. Certainly, every homeowner will consider their landscape at one point or another. Mainstream media and the popular DIY movement has worked hard to keep things simple. Mostly, that dialogue seems to take its cues from the construction industry, integrating design with labor and materials to complete a project – a project with a beginning, a middle, and an end. 

Topics: Designing Gardens and Landscapes Landscape and Garden Maintenance

Why you need a new book on landscape design and construction

I get asked on a regular basis by people far and wide to design a Life-Scape for them. That’s a term I use to refer to a more integrated landscape design based on the land itself, the environment in which it exists, and how the property owner wishes to utilize it in a positive way. 

Unfortunately, I am limited to my local area and it is hard to travel so I cannot fulfill these requests. Consequently, many ask me to recommend other designers to create a landscape for them with my Life-Scape approach. That’s another request that I cannot satisfy because I come up short identifying landscaping professionals who approach landscape design and construction the way I do. The only reasonable answer was to write a book about this method.

For over three decades I have been intimately involved in landscape design, maintenance, and management. During those many years, I have learned an enormous amount about how to design, build and maintain landscapes from both formal training and in-field experience. I feel blessed that all of this has helped me gain a solid business reputation with satisfied clients and a certain amount of visibility in the industry. 

Topics: Building A Better Landscape Business

5 Things I Learned from another Amazing Gardening Year

Running a landscape business can be tough – keeping up with client needs, fixing finicky equipment, staying on top of what employees need to succeed, and snow that comes on December 1st that puts a halt to fall work, to name just a few of the challenges. Even the home gardener can find it tough going. When the growing season ends - sometimes abruptly - it can be easy to think “Whew! What a year! Time to take a break…” and while some R & R sounds good, the most constructive thing to do is review the year, see what worked and what didn’t, and begin planning things you can do next year to improve.

Topics: Landscape and Garden Maintenance

Plant bulbs in the fall to brighten up your spring landscape

Who doesn’t love spring? For New Englanders, the icy cold dullness of winter is on the way out, the sun is getting brighter and warmer, and nature’s renewal is in the air. But wait just a minute...there’s just one problem. That early seasonal transition from winter to the vibrant spring growing season is just plain, gray-brown dull. 

How to Make the Most of the Fall Landscape Season

Landscapes, when you think about it, are living entities – complex “organisms” that go through stages of life just like every other living thing. From their “birth” every spring to maturity over the summer, to their inevitable aging over the fall and entry into their quiet winter slumber. 

This annual lifecycle does not mean you have to start over every year. Far from it. Instead, when you implement well-thought-out landscape management strategies, you can extend the life and value of your landscape significantly, reaping benefits and squeezing the joy out of it far beyond what the less-prepared might expect.

Topics: Home Landscape Ideas Seasonal Garden Interest Landscape Value and ROI

How to Manage Your Landscape in the Late Summer

How do you make up for lost time late in the landscape season when your gardens have gotten away from you? There comes a time in everyone’s home management experience when their best intentions to take care of their landscape slips away as the distractions of family, work and the pleasures of summer take priority.

Topics: Seasonal Garden Interest

Choose the Right Plant for the Right Place in Your Landscape

One of the most basic mistakes made in the garden, especially by those just starting out, is selecting plants based primarily on whim: “Ooo, that’s a nice flower, or that smells so good, or I really like this color or texture of foliage. I’m gonna buy a few and plant them in my yard!”

Topics: Home Landscape Ideas Ecological and Sustainable Landscapes

The Importance of Understanding Available Sun for Your Garden

Sunlight – like most critical gardening elements – is highly dynamic. The sun is constantly moving throughout the day, as well as from season to season. Add in human-influenced elements such as buildings, walls, and other plantings, and you’ve got a surprising number of factors that all need to be considered when accurately determining the amount of sunlight your garden gets at different times.

Topics: Ecological and Sustainable Landscapes Seasonal Garden Interest

The Importance of Water for Your Garden

It is almost impossible to overestimate the importance of water for your garden – after all, water makes up 85 to 95 percent of the weight of living plants. In fact, plants use more water than anything else. Water carries nutrients from the soil to the plant cells, so plants that are kept at their desired hydration level will be stronger and healthier. 

Topics: Water In The Landscape

The Importance of Understanding Climate for a Fine Gardener

One key aspect of Fine Gardening is knowing and understanding the climate in which you are working. Around here, that means knowing your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone. Wait…what?