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3 Tips to Design Your Landscape While Complying with Local By-Laws

If your property is in an environmentally-sensitive area, especially one that abuts a watershed resource, getting a landscaping project approved can be tricky. As we discussed in our previous blog posts about Mass DEP and local conservation commissions, there are a number of rules and regulations in place to protect the environment and community natural resources. In fact, local conservation commission by-laws can be stricter than state conservation guidelines. So what can you do to get your landscape project designed and approved with minimal hassle?

Topics: Sustainable Design Landscape Site Analysis Understand DEP Regulations Environmental Landscape

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

3 Secret Confessions of a Landscape Professional

When you have worked for a number of years in any profession, there are stories you could tell, mistakes you've made and, yes, even some things to confess. With all of them comes hard-won knowledge and experience that can serve you well if you pay attention.

Topics: design Sustainable Design landscape

Getting Smart with Your Commercial Landscape: Why It’s an Essential Part of Your Building

The business market can be a tough place to find a competitive edge against similar properties and businesses with similar pricing. If you’re a business or property manager trying to convince upper management of the value of investing more in the building landscape, here are three tips to help plead your case:

Topics: Sustainable Design Commercial Landscapes

3 Things You Don’t Think About When Designing a Lawn Space

For almost two centuries the “lawn” has been a standard fixture in the American Landscape. Today everyone simply expects a lawn to be part of their landscape, but the interesting thing about them is they are neither native nor sustainable. If you’ve ever struggled with maintaining a lawn, you know first-hand what a resource drain they can be. Often lawns are a kneejerk reaction to empty space – if contractors or homeowners don’t know what to do with an open piece of ground, they make it a lawn.  So how can you design a lawn space into your landscape without all the negative aspects?

Topics: Sustainable Design landscape Lawn

Landscape Marketing - How to make sense of all those BUZZWORDS!

Organic - Natural – Local - Conservation – Preservation - Sustainability
What do all these words mean for your landscape?

Clever, high-powered marketing is a big part of how the landscape industry entices consumers to buy products. The buzzwords in these marketing campaigns fuel our motivation to buy, buy, buy; but do we really know what we are buying; do we even know if those products are right for our very personal use?

Let’s start with appealing descriptive words like “organic” and/or “natural.” These seemingly simple words get plastered across product packaging and are supposed to appeal to our sense of health consciousness and/or our environmental sophistication. Do you know the difference? Is natural better than organic or vice versa?

Topics: Eco Friendly Landscape Sustainable Design

Is Your Landscape Full of DIRT?

Is Your Landscape Full of DIRT?

We all strive to be resilient in our lives by working toward improving our survival skills. That may come in the form of eating well, fitness training, or even gaining new employable skills. All living beings want to survive, plants are no different. So why do you think your plants suffer so much through dry spells?

Topics: Eco Friendly Landscape sustainability Horticulture Garden Tips Sustainable Design

7 Reasons to Hire a Professional Landscape Designer

Opting for the best outcome in your garden

As humans we are driven by design in all aspects of our lives. The complexities that arise in designing a garden or a landscape come from the necessary intersection of multiple disciplines in order to address all the layers that abound in nature. To succeed you need to have some proficiency with numerous fields of study: horticulture, soil biology, engineering, and art to name a few.

Most humans have an innate draw, and some a natural ability, to work on the land - to build things, to plant things and to imagine beauty. This has given rise to the booming Do It Yourself  (DIY) market and is a wonderful aspect of our culture that professionals should embrace and nurture especially in this difficult economy. Often the mistake is for the professional and the amateur to stay separated when their cooperation would improve outcomes all around.

Topics: Garden Design landscape renovation Sustainable Design Local Landscape

Food Inc & Your Garden

It was finally time and I felt ready to watch the movie that has been on my NetFlix list for months, yet never made it to my doorstep (because I kept pushing it down the list). Food, Inc.

Topics: Eco Friendly Landscape Sustainable Design Local Landscape