Landscape design

I recently received a postcard in the mail from a competitor offering a $50 landscape design.  It made me think. While I admire the drive to get more work and there are many great programs on the market today that will produce high quality displays, a design is something that should evolve with time and effort. There are times when one would be foolish to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for a landscape design. Simple foundation plantings where you are simply looking for a row of plants in front of your house or you have a bed or two off to the side of your driveway that just needs to be conceptualized you could get away with a cheap design or really no design at all.

The catch is that those designs are seldom exceptional, they sort of look generic or they are heavy with what is in the nursery at the time of year that you do your project. Again, there is nothing wrong with this,  but if you are looking to have an interesting, unique, seasonal garden or landscape it takes planning. What is your soil like? What are your lighting conditions? Are there acidic trees nearby? Does the wind blow particularly hard in the winter because you are so exposed? These are questions that can be asked, but a professional landscape designer or architect will want to see and feel the conditions. Designing landscapes is both an art and a science. When done well people notice.

It is much like buying a cheap production seashore painting at the mall or buying a unique one at a local art show. Yes they may both be paintings of the seashore, but they certainly are not the same. One is $5o and meant to hang in an office building or dorm room, the other may cost hundreds or thousands, but would hang in your home.

Time to build the patio!

Well another summer is racing bye. As we get back from our vacations, camps and general summer activities, it is a great time to focus on our landscapes. There is nothing like sitting around on a patio on a beautiful summer or autumn day! Whether the patio is constructed of Bluestone, Goshen-stone, brick paver, or any one of the great concrete pavers out there. A good patio installation contractor can also help you enhance your patio by adding features such as fire pits, outdoor fireplaces, water features, seat walls (whether stone or concrete segment), out door lighting, etc. There are many landscapers out there, we believe we are one of the best and our Angie’s List A rating is only one of the many referrals that we can produce to prove it.

So if you are in search or a landscape patio installation contractor, give us a call! And also, check out our website for pictures and ideas. The phone number or a contact page is on there as well.

Drought and your lawn- Massachusetts

This year has been incredibly tough in terms of the weather and your plants and your turf. From the start of the year until Mid April in Massachusetts we had over a 6 inch deficit in terms of rain fall and the temperatures were well above average. The winter snows and subsequent melting are essential to healthy plants and lawns. We did have a 2 month period of average rainfall and temperatures, which was nice, but not enough to fully recharge the water table or the plants root zones.

In this period of extended heat and drought the landscape is in serious trouble. In terms of your lawns, if you have a sprinkler system use it, but use it regularly. The plants will not react well to intermittent watering at this point. The best time to water the lawn is early in the morning, never water at night as it will encourage disease and fungus to grow in your lawn.

Established shrubs and ornamentals should be able to survive this, but if you notice wilt and feel it essential to water. Water deeply- let a hose drip at the base of the tree long enough for the water to thoroughly soak deep into the root zone.

Snow, yup snow

As I sit here the day after Labor Day, I am thinking of snow.  I realize there is still time to enjoy our back yards, cookouts the beach etc but the winter season is not all that terribly far away. 

I love the seasons, they are a time to enjoy, but also a time to plan.  In the winter we strategize how best to get spring clean ups done efficiently as well as how to deal with building stone walls and patios in the mud.  When springtime comes we turn our attention to thinking about the dry season and how that will affect the plants and lawns. When summer comes we look ahead to autumn and leaves falling. We think out how many more weeks we have to get our work done efficiently.  And as soon as Labor day passes we are working on snow. Now is the time to sign up for snow plowing, snow services, ice and snow melting, pushing, shoveling, removal or whatever form of winter weather services that you need.  We order our salt, fix up our sanders, our plows, our trucks and snowblowers. 
So if you are a commercial property manager and are in need of a profesional snow company, please consider us. You can go to our web site and sign up on line for a quote or request a meeting. 

While there are many good snow companies out there,

The summer season is slipping away, soon the children will be back in school and we will be planting fall chrysanthemums to replace the summer annual colors in our clients gardens.  Now is a great time for many things in your landscape-start a lawn, get a project complete before winter so that next year you can enjoy your new garden/ fire-pit/ patio/ waterfall/ stonewall or all of the above.  Believe it or not, we are starting the process of lining up our commercial snow plow service contracts for this year. But there is still plenty of time to work in your yards and fall is a great time to do it!

landscape design and landscape architects

Did you know that a landscape designer is not automatically a landscape architect? Anyone can call themselves a landscape designer. And some of them are very talented, but just because someone has a landscape design graphics program does not mean they are good at design work. A well crafted landscape design takes shape in your yard. A landscape Architect goes through years of study and apprenticeship before they take a rigorous state exam.
Out landscape architects are exceptional at taking your thoughts and dreams creating a design that matches your site. But it does not end there, the design has to be properly installed by a reputable landscape contractor. again anyone can be a landscaper, but you need to look at their reputation and expertise before you choose someone for your project.
We can help you build a landscape to meet your dreams and needs. Whether it’s a stonewall, a bluestone patio or a beautiful planting, we have the experience and the reputation to exceed your expectations while building your dream landscape.

What type of Landscape Company are you looking for?

Summer Time!!

There are many types of landscape companies out there.  There are people who operate like a one man band. There are landscape companies who concentrate solely on maintenance, lawn care or design build.  There are national firms (the Walmarts of Landscapers) who can seemingly do it all.

Then there companies like ours who are small enough to understand you individually, yet big enough to be able to handle whatever your needs.  We have professionals (yes professionals) dedicated to  building and caring for landscapes.  Our mission is to provide you with peace of mind while creating and caring for your property.  Our staff consists of Licensed Landscape Architects, Certified Mass Horticulturists, Certified Mass Arborists, Licensed Lawn Care technicians. 

We have these designations because this is a profession to us, not just a job until the economy turns around.  You would be hard pressed to find a more talented caring Landscape Architect than ours.  She can turn a pile of rubble (if you look on our site at the lake house) into an exquisite, interesting place to enjoy the serenity of lake living.   

Likewise our certified horticulturists love tending and caring for plants.  We care for many of the areas finest perennial gardens and our annual displays are awe inspiring.  We cultivate and tend an organinic vegetable garden for The Harrington Farm Restaurant and event facility.   

The picture for the heading of this blog is a lawn that we have taken care of for over 10 years.  When we took over the lawn it was more weeds than grass and went dormant annually.  With our stewardship this lawn clearly thrives! Believe it or not this lawn is not irrigated or over treated with chemicals.  Drop us a line and we can tell you how.

I have yet to mention our crews who actually build our landscape projects.  They consist of people who have years of experience in grading, masonry, planting as well as just being great people to be around.  Many of our clients tell us they wish the project could go longer as they will miss having the contact with our staff.  I think that speaks as much to the quality of our team as the pictures on our site speak to the quality of our work.

There are many great landscape companies to choose from.  I obviously think ours is the best!  So if you are in the need of landscape services this year, give us a call so that we can provide you with the peace of mind that comes with hiring a group of caring professionals to be in your yard building, enhancing or caring for it.

What makes a GREAT Landscape Company?

I’ve been thinking an awful lot about what it takes to set a landscape company apart from the competition. Having been in business for 18 years some of the parameters have changed, but I believe there are still basic tenants that will always apply.
First the organization has to love what they do. From the owner to the managers to the technicians, it shows if any of them don’t LOVE their jobs.
Second there must be honesty and accountability. Not just a slogan, but real honesty. For instance if we are asked to price a job with ten components, the job will be priced with ten components. The only caveat would be that if one of the ten components does not make sense for the prospective client we will always tell that person, even if it means not getting as big of a project as initially thought. Real accountability in that we will always address our clients concerns, with their interest in mind.
There are many levels of quality/ ability in the landscape industry. This is due to relatively easy entry, if you have a pick up and a lawn mower you can call yourself a landscaper. Anther area where a great landscape companies set themselves apart is with expertise. We have Certified horticulturists, licensed lawn care technicians, Registered Landscape Architects, and certified horticulturists on our staff. While you may not need all of that to mow someones lawn. It certainly comes into play when said lawn has a fungus that is hard to detect that left unchecked will kill the entire lawn. Or when a client has native hemlocks up to 80 feet tall and they are infested with Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. A great company will be able to diagnose and take corrective action. A guy claiming to be a landscaper will not.

So if you have a postage stamp of a lawn and just need it mowed, the guy with the pick up is who you want. If you have a landscape that you truly appreciate and take pride in your property, a great landscape company is what you should be looking for. As you can imagine the guy with the pick up is going to be MUCH less expensive. But really who is a better value? Hands down the landscape company that is trained, educated, certified and working in the field because that is their passion.

That is Princeton Scapes and our employees. If you want a great landscape experience call us. If you just want to get it done because you don’t like mowing the lawn and would rather not think of you landscape as an integral/ valuable part of your home- please call the guy with the pick up truck.