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First 6 Steps to Create the Garden of Your Dreams

If you love the outdoors and growing things, I’ll bet that, at one time or another, you’ve dreamed about the perfect garden – what you’d plant, how it would look – and then you thought “how would I ever manage to maintain something like that?” It’s easier than you think.

In fact, it’s possible to create the garden of your dreams that is both beautiful and manageable. However, it’s easy to make just a couple of mistakes that turn that garden of perfection into a garden of woe.

There are six landscape basics that come into play with the perfect garden and when they are addressed, maintenance becomes totally manageable:

Topics: Garden Design design

Case Study: Straw Hat Park, Medfield, MA

Turning underutilized public space into a green-oasis “pocket park”

Urban blight is not just a problem for major cities. Smaller communities across the nation are also faced with abandoned and forgotten properties, some taken over by municipal governments. For many community planners the problem is in knowing how to convert an underutilized parcel of public land into a useful and engaging space, like a vibrant pocket park for public use and enjoyment.

Topics: Garden Design Sustainable Design Environmental Landscape

5 Proper Ways to Use Fences in a Landscape

Fences are one of the most challenging landscape elements. People often install fences without first thinking the project through and the less-than-satisfactory results can range from simply inappropriate to downright claustrophobic.

Most people use fences to create privacy yet they don’t realize there are different levels of privacy: full, moderate, and “suggested.” Wait, “suggested”? Yes, that’s a type of privacy in which an illusion of intimacy and separateness is created with light or low screening that doesn’t really hide anything from view, but rather suggests the space is set apart from the rest of the landscape. Knowing which level of privacy you’re looking to achieve will help you focus on appropriate designs and materials to create that specific effect.

Topics: home landscape ideas Garden Design Landscape Fences

Shade Gardens

Shade Gardens - Flowers Accent a Lush Landscape

This garden in Wellesley, Mass uses all manner of plants to make this landscape into a lush display of color. The carpet of green grass is surrounded by blooming trees and shrubs as well as flowering perennials and ground covers. The success of this vista is in the composition of structure and texture. By mixing woody ornamental plants in with herbaceous plants a spectacular dance ensues that draws you in. Off to the right - just outside the frame of this image - is a sturdy hammock just beckoning for a visit. Can you imagine a rest filled afternoon amidst this garden?

Topics: Summer Garden Interest Shade Garden Garden Design Perennial Gardens garden

How to choose the right plant for your landscape.

Picking Plants is here to help you avoid falling into  the pretty plant trap!
Topics: Garden Design Garden Tips Picking Plants

Deck Landscaping Ideas

Decks - The Home to Patio Connection

This narrow back yard in Dover, Mass needed a comfortable space for outdoor living. A long transitional deck with open angled steps invites movement onto the new brick paver patio below.

Topics: home landscape ideas Garden Design Deck Design

Pools - Backyard Pool & Garden Design


This Canton, MA back yard was overgrown and little used. With kids who love to swim, the homeowners decided now was the time to invest in an outdoor living environment. This yard has transformed into a beautifully inviting oasis for swimming, sunning, gardening and entertaining.

Topics: Swimming Pools home landscape ideas Garden Design

Vines - Wisteria blossoming in May


This Wisteria floribunda was planted about three years before I met this Newton, MA client. The vine wasn't flowering well and was completely covering this small pergola structure. It had wound itself around the gutter and up into the window frame. After one year of aggressive pruning and training we have an amazing bloom this May.

Topics: Spring Garden Garden Design Vines & Climbers

Gardern Walkways & Paths Ideas

Walks & Paths - Oversizing Makes your Statement

This beautiful Medfield, Mass home needed a front face lift. By mimicking the white brick front in the risers of the stoop and capping the steps in bluestone, the color and feel of the house comes right out into the landscaple. 

The oversized walkway landing makes the front of this home inviting and grand. The serpentine walk takes the visitor through beautiful gardens making the approach to the house a joyful experience.

Topics: Spring Garden Garden Design Walks & Paths

Perennial Landscaping Ideas

Perennials - Put Your Purple on in the Garden

Nothing says "beautiful" better than gardens with color.

Topics: home landscape ideas Garden Design Perennial Gardens