Cape Cod Garden Escapes: Adding Luxury Green Spaces To Your Home

Cape Cod is truly one of New England’s most beautiful spaces. If you’re lucky enough to live there and enjoy one of America’s premiere vacation destinations as your address, you want to make the most of it. Outdoor living in Cape Cod includes smart landscape design. Using hedges, ornamental fencing, and strategic plantings, it’s possible to create luxurious, private green retreats you’ll love enjoying with your family and friends.

Here are some things to think about as you plan to take your lawn to the next level:

Masonry features for the lawn are both on trend and surprisingly affordable. Want to have a designated area to enjoy a fire and drinks with your friends? Have your Cape Cod masonry contractor put in a patio with a firepit. It only has to be large enough to accommodate your favorite people. You can use this firepit as the centerpiece of regular weekend gatherings to unwind; it’s great fun for the kids and young at heart to toast marshmallows. Some of life’s greatest conversations can only happen as the flames die down and coals glow in the darkness.

If you like outdoor entertaining, one feature your Cape Cod masonry contractor can create for you is an outdoor kitchen. Some of these features are truly amazing, integrating cooktops, grills, refrigeration and even running water. Everything you need to create an amazing meal is all in one place. If your masonry contractor also happens to do landscape design work, you can rest assured your outdoor kitchen will be ideally placed to be both functional and complimentary to the look of your home.

Gazebos, swings, and other play structures are the favorite features of the family friendly Cape Cod home. Landscape design that creates play areas for children features hardy grass varieties ideal for high traffic areas as well as durable plantings that can stand up to accidental bicycle crashes and more.


Designing a Landscape for Entertaining

Yarmouth has a vibrant social scene, where members of the arts community, local service organizations, and other residents regularly gather to celebrate life’s finer things. For homeowners who love to host events, landscape design really matters. The choices you make when working with your landscape designer can influence the size, scope and type of parties you can succeed with.

Love to cook outdoors? Barbecue cooking has become a spectator sport. A top trend in the entertainment landscape arena is the elevated cooking platform, where grills and firepits are built-in masonry features surrounded by spaces where friends can observe the action. Some outdoor kitchens even include plumbing and refrigeration features, so everything you need to create a show stopping meal is right there for you. Plants can be strategically deployed to enhance the outdoor cooking feature: imagine what you can do with fresh chives and rosemary always available, or a container planted with a bay laurel tree – great for Italian food!

If you are entertaining lots of children and active young people it’s a good idea to have your Yarmouth landscape company plant hardy, drought-resistant grasses. These varieties can stand up to the heavy activity and dry conditions; to keep everything perpetually party ready have your lawn service mow on Wednesdays or Thursday for weekend events.

Landscape design can play a huge role in creating a desirable aesthetic in your yard. If you want to set a specific emotional tone for an event, choosing the right flowers can make all the difference. The use of annual plantings as well as container shrubs means you can vary your landscape year to year without having to do major changes; over the course of time, one Western MA family did their yard first in shades of yellow, then pinks, and finally vibrant reds. They’ve found it adds joy to their life as well as enjoyment to their guests’ experience.



Don’t Be Intimidated By Landscape Design

“I was telling my friend I just couldn’t figure out how to make our lawn look better,” Stacey said. “We’ve got this great house right in Bourne, but the yard is just meh. It’s boring, and the grass looks like it’s more than halfway dead. She told me I need to get a landscape designer. Honestly, that never occurred to me – we weren’t the type of family that had a landscape, never mind a landscape designer, when I was growing up. When I told her that, she laughed and said I was definitely overthinking it.”

A landscape designer’s role is to help you create a lawn you really enjoy and are proud of. Every family has a different view of what makes a great lawn. Some want lots of flowers and ornamental plants; others want a place for kids to play and space for a veggie garden. Some families want nothing but perfectly green grass for as far as the eye can see. There is no one right or wrong way to design a lawn: there’s only what works for your family and makes your yard enhance the look of your home.

The landscape designer’s role is to create a plan, based on their knowledge of plants and your home’s growing conditions, to put in and maintain plantings that will accomplish your goals. This can mean planting and mowing grass, adding trees and shrubs to the landscape, and more. If you want hedges, an arbor, or other features added to your yard, a landscape designer can help make that happen. Because a landscape designer is a plant expert, they’ll help you choose plants that will actually live in your yard – even given our recent drought conditions.

“When I met our Bourne landscape designer, they turned out to be the nicest, most down to Earth people you could ever hope to know,” Stacey said. “I was intimidated for absolutely no reason. Now we have a plan to transform our yard; some things are being planted now so they can really start growing in the spring. I can’t wait to see what our new lawn looks like!”

Leaves & Your Lawn: Fall Landscaping Tips

New England is famous for autumn color, and Mashpee is certainly no exception. The leaves look radiant while they’re colorful and on the tree. After they fall to the ground, not so much. What can you do with all the leaves on your lawn?

As landscape contractors, we love a healthy, well-fed lawn. Regular fertilization is essential for vibrant green grass. One of the best fertilizers is compost, which is decayed organic matter that nourishes and enriches the soil. You can buy compost, but if Mother Nature is dropping leaves all over your lawn, you have one source of compost available to you for free.

If you already have a composting system in place at your home, it’s the ideal way to dispose of some of those leaves. However, most home composting systems have a limited capacity, and you may find you have too many leaves! Another quick way to handle the leaves is to gather them over your garden and chop them up using your lawn mower: add a layer of grass clippings on top of this, and your garden will be absorbing valuable nutrients all winter long.

If this sounds like a lot of work, remember that the leaves of one shade tree are valuable – experts say they’re equivalent to more than $50 worth of plant food and humus. There’s more minerals in tree leaves than there are in manure! Let your Mashpee landscape contractor know you want to make use of your leaves, and they’ll happily accommodate your plans. All natural fertilizer is too good to miss out on – especially this year, when drought conditions have stressed trees, shrubs, and lawns throughout the region.

Of course, your Mashpee landscape contractor can also rake up and dispose of fallen leaves as part of the regular yard care maintenance routine. Keep your home looking great, boost curb appeal, and never worry about all of your leaves blowing into the neighbor’s yard when you have your lawn crew taking care of things!

The Sandwich Home: Should I Fertilize My Lawn Right Now?

The grass in Sandwich and other Western Massachusetts towns has definitely been showing the effects of the prolonged drought we’re experiencing. When you walk around some yards, you can hear the crispy crunch of brown grass snapping under your feet. With that in mind, we’ve had homeowners asking what they can do now to get their lawns in better shape for next year. One question we’re hearing about is fertilization.

Now, your Sandwich lawn service may already have a fertilizing routine planned out based on their experience with your lawn. While they may adjust it a week or two one way or the other based on local rainfall, the odds are good that your fertilizer application is already timed appropriately. If you’re not regularly fertilizing your lawn, here’s what you want to know:

Time release fertilizer is your friend. One application of fertilizer will nourish your lawn for weeks, even months. Time release fertilizer requires some rainfall or irrigation to work; over a prolonged dry stretch, the time release fertilizer previously applied may still be in place. You don’t want to over fertilize, but if you haven’t been fertilizing your Sandwich lawn, plan on doing so early this fall.

Fall is the best time to fertilize as the grass knows its the time of year to gather as many nutrients as possible, storing them up for the coming winter months. This summer’s drawn deeply on the lawn’s reserves, meaning most area yards are greatly in need of added nutrition. There are many, many different types of fertilizer, so you’ll want to choose one that’s balanced for the type of plants you have in your yard. If you’re not sure what type of plants you have in your yard, talk to your Sandwich lawn service. They can tell you what you’ve got and make personalized recommendations so you fertilize appropriately.


Talking Landscaping in Barnstable: What About This Drought

If you want to make a gardener happy, give them some rain. This summer’s been both dry and hot, which is hard on Barnstable lawns and landscapes. Western Massachusetts is officially in a drought and some towns are even in danger of running out of water. The impact on the land is easy to see. Drought stress reduces normally green vibrant grass to a crunchy brown state. You may see bare patches forming in your yard. Trees and shrubs are particularly vulnerable to low water conditions, especially if they’re shallow rooted varieties. Evergreens are by and large very tough plants but when you see needles turning orange, then brown, then falling off the tree, you know they’re in trouble.

As a landscape contractor, you learn it is always better to work with the growing conditions you actually have, rather than the ones you wish you had. This applies to everything. Let’s talk lawns. If you’re in the position of many Barnstable homeowners, you may be thinking about reseeding your lawn in hopes of a greener yard next year. Knowing what kind of summer we’ve had, it’s a good idea to select grass varieties that are hardy and drought resistant. Deep root systems can find water that’s buried beneath the reach of more shallow rooted grasses. Bermuda grass is especially durable, although the look’s just not for everyone.

With some TLC and intense irrigation, it is possible that trees and shrubs that have suffered due to drought stress may be saved. In other instances, they may need to be let go and replaced. Your Barnstable landscape contractor will work with you based on what’s happening in your lawn and how attached you are to the particular tree or shrub. If replacement is required, it’s a good idea to select tree and shrubs based on drought hardiness.

The Colorful Yard: Falmouth Landscape Design

“I love color,” Brenda said with a laugh. “You can probably guess that from my wardrobe.” The flamboyantly dressed Brenda lives in the Falmouth area, where she recently purchased a property. “Inside, all my furniture, the carpeting, the artwork on the walls – all very colorful. But you get out here, into the yard…” she waved her hand and sighed. “It’s just so blah. I mean, it all looks healthy and green, but nothing pops out and delights the eye. Nothing captures my imagination.”

“I know flowers would help, but I really don’t have a green thumb,” Brenda said. “I can paint flowers. I can’t grow them. That’s why I called in a landscape contractor.” Working together with her contractor, Brenda created a plan that included colorful, hardy plantings that require very little maintenance. “We also did some masonry pieces,” Brenda said. “People hear masonry and think all this grey concrete, but it’s so much more than that. There are really colorful building stones available, and we worked those into a seating area and my amazing outdoor kitchen.”

Working with a landscape contractor can transform your yard from blah to beautiful very quickly. “I am not the most patient person you ever met,” Brenda confessed. “I don’t like waiting for anything. But this experience was very quick. We spent some time creating the plan, but then it was one-two-three, here you go! There’s colors everywhere I look, and the trees have been selected to ensure we’ll have something vibrant to look at even after the snow starts flying. I’m really  happy with the whole look now!”

It’s Never Too Late For Landscape Design

“We inherited this house in Cape Cod – great, right?” Steven asked. “Cape Cod homes are known for their charm. But this Cape Cod home isn’t particularly charming. You look at it from the street and you think what kind of sad-sack sorry individuals live there?” He shook his head. “I want to do something to freshen the place up, but it’s probably too late.”

It’s never too late for landscape design. Whether you’re building a home for the very first time ever, or you’ve got a property that’s been in the family for generations, there’s always something that can be done with the outdoor spaces to make a home more appealing.

“We wanted to have a home with flair and character,” Steven said. “But what we had was flat and dull and boring. We worked with a landscape designer to create a yard that was more interesting, and reflects who we are as a family.” That landscape design includes a freshly reseeded yard, with grass varieties selected to stand up to the salty ocean air, as well as new shrubs and a bench that, in Steven’s words, ‘just invites everyone to come sit and visit for a while’.

“Landscape design is like a wardrobe for your home,” Steven said. “You know when you’re going out, and you want to make a positive impression on people, you choose your clothes carefully. You make sure they’re stylish and look good on you. Think of your landscape the same way. You don’t actually have to know anything about plants to work with a landscape designer: tell them the type of impression you want to make, and they’ll help you pick plants that will deliver that in the growing conditions that are present in your area.”

“Your home is a way to communicate who you are and what’s important to you,” Steven concluded. “Your landscape designer can make it happen. And now, when people go past this place, they say, “What type of interesting people live in that house?” He smiled. “I like that much better.”

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