What is hardscaping?

When we talk to our prospective clients about their yards, we often use the term “hardscape” and most times we are presented with a look that says something like “say, what!?”

So we decided it was time to give a better breakdown of the term as it’s often not used often enough outside the landscape industry to be recognizable to many people.

First of all, don’t overthink it – the term hardscaping actually implies what it means – hard materials used to create/enhance parts of your yard.  Some examples include:  brick, stone, pavers (landscape style “bricks”, generally made of various colored concrete, that are used for external applications/flooring), metal, even wood!

Some ideas of the projects included under the term hardscaping are:  patios, walkways, fire pits, stone walls, wooden fencing, gravel or stepping stone pathways, and you get the idea. If you’re a visual person, here’s an idea, in pictures, of what hardscape projects look like:  http://www.ambi-inc.com/hardscape.html 


In a nutshell, your yard projects can be broken into two categories:  hardscape and softscape.  Hardscape is anything that uses hard materials as part of the installation, while softscaping uses plant materials, and refers more to the maintenance of your lawn and yard.  A lot of value can be added to your home with enhanced hardscape projects, simple or elaborate, especially if you’re thinking of selling your home.  For more ideas on projects check out our Pinterest page!

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National Lawn Care Month…wait, that’s a thing!?

YES, it is, in fact, a “thing.”  The entire month of April is dedicated to National Lawn Care Month!  And why shouldn’t it be!?  It’s the beginning of the Spring season, which is a perfect time to think about what your lawn and landscape do for you and an optimal time to put some serious thought into how to capitalize on the yard you have so you can enjoy it on those beautiful summer days/nights.

After all, the great American lawn is still truly an idyllic symbol of home ownership. A place for children to play, pets to explore and friends and families to gather. Most of us desire a lush, healthy lawn that invites regular enjoyment and bare-footed fun.

Not only are yards places where memories are made, they offer tremendous environmental benefits as well. Check out this info-graphic below to showcase some of the best things our lawns do for us:

But, bear in mind, all the benefits of a healthy lawn are best experienced with the investment of proper care and maintenance. So, while we are all dreaming about those summer days and nights that make living in New England all winter truly worth it, spend a little time thinking about how to make the most of your yard this year – now’s the time!

For a few pointers on Spring lawncare tips check out this article.

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Why do some leaves stay on the trees so much longer than others?

Image by Chris Murphy via flickr.com

It’s mid-November and we have all started the process (or at least starting thinking about the process) of raking the leaves that have fallen in our yards.  In the interest of saving time it would, of course, be optimal to wait until all the leaves have fallen so we only have to do it one time, as it’s tedious, exhausting work.  So you keep waiting…and waiting…but those last few trees just don’t seem to want to shed their leaves.  How come?

First, it’s important to recognize why trees shed their leaves in the first place.  Well, trees are smart!  As the days get shorter and colder in the Northeast regions, deciduous trees (maple, oak, aspen, birch…to name a few) take note and “shedding leaves helps trees to conserve water and energy. As unfavorable weather approaches, hormones in the trees trigger the process of abscission whereby the leaves are actively cut-off of the tree by specialized cells. The word abscission shares the same Latin root word as that in scissors, scindere, which means “to cut.” At the start of the abscission process, trees reabsorb valuable nutrients from their leaves and store them for later use in their roots,” says Deanna Conners in Earth.  

Scarlet Oak Leaves. Photo by Jason Hollinger via flickr.com

However, in some trees (oak and beech, to name a few), the abscission layer forms later and the leaves hang on much longer, in some even until the Spring. There are several theories that suggest why this is so, “some believe that one reason might be to ward off foraging moose, deer and other animals. Animals will eat the bud bearing twigs from the lower parts of older trees and from nearly all parts of younger trees. One theory says that they don’t like the taste or texture of the dead leaves so they stay away from the trees, which means the buds stay safe and can grow on.  Another theory says that dead leaves clinging to the lower branches trap snow and ensure that the trees get plenty of water in the spring when it melts,” says New Hampshire Garden Solutions.

I guess the bottom line is not to wait until the last leaves come off the trees – the idea is to get the majority of leaves off your lawn, not every last one, before the snow flies.  Additionally, there are many important reasons to rake those leaves each year, and the importance of why we do this each Fall is discussed more in our blog here.  Not mentioned in that article, though, are two other important factors to get out there and rake those leaves:

  1.  It’s GREAT exercise!
  2. Everyone wants to feel like a kid again, and what better way to do it than to rake those leaves into a pile and JUMP IN (like my niece in the photo below)!


Want to learn more about Fall Cleanups and services we offer?  Contact us today!


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