10.19.19

Playground wood chips

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:30 AM by Administrator

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission – Public Playground Safety Handbook issued in 2008 (there may be a more current version or more authoritative source for current information, so do your own research). Table 2 of this handbook states that 9″ of wood chips is an acceptable surfacing material for a childrens’ playground. This information is informational only and you should rely on your own engineer or a person who is in a position to provide detailed information for your personal circumstances. Following this guidance or the guidance from someone else, does not guarantee that a person will not get hurt, or killed, if on a playground with this type of material.

Our clients are concerned with wood chips that may have been treated with chemicals thus we bought Certified Playground wood chips that are 100% virgin engineered wood fibers. The following picture shows the balance of the wood chips that we have for this year.

These certified playground wood chips are available in Rowley for a cost of $48 per yard. Delivery is available for an additional fee. Please call us at 978.948.2900 for more information or to request some wood chips before they are gone.

10.18.19

Winterization of Irrigation Systems

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:02 AM by Administrator

Here in New England most in-ground irrigation systems need to be winterized before the pipes freeze. We will be blowing out irrigation systems everyday for the next 10 days. Blowing out your irrigation system is accomplished by connecting a hose from our air compressor and forcing air through all of the buried pipes and the backflow preventer. We service all types of irrigation systems from Reading, MA up to Newburyport and out out to Rockport.

If you would like to be added to our schedule or get more information about winterizing your irrigation system, please call us at 978.948.2900 or send us an email through our website.

10.14.19

How are granite steps built?

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:22 AM by Administrator

We are often asked how we build granite steps as you may be able to see three sides of the steps and most people want to make sure that their new steps will look great from every angle. We normally build the steps by digging a footing that extends below the frost line as that ensures that the steps do not move. Once the footing is prepared then we install the granite steps.

We normally install the lowest step first then we install granite fillers from the back of this first step to the house or porch. The granite fillers are only 6″ wide so they provide stability without the cost of whole step. We don’t believe a whole step is needed to go back to the house or porch because most of the step would be covered by the granite steps that will be installed on top. In this instance, we have the lower step followed by a landing that is 4′ wide and 3′ deep. The landing is resting on the lower step and supported by the filler pieces. We believe this is an economical way to build steps that are structurally strong and look beautiful.

Granite Steps

For information about how Artistic Landscapes can help you with your steps or walkways, please stop by our Offices on Route One (111 Newburyport Turnpike) in Rowley, MA or call Tony at 978.948.2900.

10.09.19

Curb Appeal in Newburyport

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:49 AM by Administrator

This family wanted to transform the front of their house after adding the front porch. Artistic Landscapes was chosen to design the front of the house including the plantings and stonework. Our design included outlining the garden beds with cobblestones as this helps connect the walkway, steps and planting beds together. The cobblestones lining the garden beds will also help define the difference between the small front lawn and the planting beds.

The original landscape included a walkway that was part concrete and part asphalt and no plants by the new porch.
Plantings, walkway and patio designed and installed by Artistic Landscapes for a family in Newburyport

If you are considering ways to improve your curb appeal, please call Tony at 978.948.2900 or stop by our Offices on Route One (111 Newburyport Turnpike) in Rowley, MA.

10.07.19

Front Walkway in Newburyport

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:52 AM by Administrator

This Newburyport added a beautiful farmer’s porch to the front of their house over the last year. Once the porch was finished the carpenters installed a 12″ deep granite step as the step off of the new porch. The homeowner had difficulty with the step because it was too narrow to see it when they left their house and the height between the top of the granite and the porch left them feeling like they needed to jump to reach it.

We fixed their problems by adding a 3′ deep solid granite landing as the top step while using the existing granite step as the lower step. We set three rows of natural cobblestones in cement by the road before transitioning to Unilock’s Westport pavers for the walkway. The walkway is 4′ wide and is directly lined up with the front door making it a very inviting entrance way.

Front Walkway for a Newburyport family that starts with cobblestones by the road then Unilock’s Westport pavers before reaching the solid gray granite steps

For information about how Artistic Landscapes can help you with your landscaping needs, please call Tony at 978.948.2900 or stop by our offices on Route One (111 Newburyport Turnpike) in Rowley, MA.

10.04.19

Monthly Weeding and Garden Bed Maintenance

Posted in Plants, Pruning, Uncategorized at 6:48 AM by Administrator

We provide garden bed maintenance for many families in the Ipswich, Rowley and Newburyport areas. This service is performed on a monthly basis where we will focus on weeding and pruning. There are some months when we perform more pruning hours while other months may be more focused on weeding. The plan is determined by our conversations as we tailor our work to meet your goals and make sure that you smile when you come home as the plants look better than you expected.

This is a picture of the hillside in front of our own building after we performed extensive weeding. This area was not a focal point for us, so we did not perform any weeding in this garden bed over the last few months. Despite the recent lack of attention, we were able to bring the area back to being something that looks great.

The beginning of the weeding and garden bed maintenance of the hillside in Rowley

For information about how Artistic Landscapes can help you with your landscaping needs including redesigning garden bed areas, pruning or monthly garden bed maintenance, please stop by our office at 111 Newburyport Turnpike {Route One} in Rowley, MA or call us at 978.948.2900.

09.30.19

Can anyone fix my granite steps as they are starting to fall?

Posted in Masonry, Pavers, Uncategorized at 6:36 AM by Administrator

This West Newbury, MA family had granite steps installed years ago by someone other than Artistic Landscapes. Over the years, the base material beneath the steps washed out or was not compacted properly on the day that the steps were installed, so the granite started to sink. Once the granite steps started moving and sinking then the steps became worse by the month.

Artistic Landscapes was able to remove the granite, fix the base materials beneath each step and then reinstall each step. By rebuilding the base and reusing the granite, we were able to fix these steps without the added cost of new granite steps. We were able to fully repair both sets of steps without much of an impact to the homeowners and we reset the pavers that were adjacent to the granite steps.

The following pictures show the before and after of the granite steps.

We were able to reset the steps and provide the homeowner with the full space on each step exposed (you can see the dirt outline from where the granite had slid on top of the lower step).

Our client was so happy that they sent us a note stating that the steps look better today than they did on the day that they were originally installed. For information about how Artistic Landscapes LLC can help fix your steps, walkway or stone wall, please stop by our office at 111 Newburyport Turnpike {Route One} in Rowley, MA or call us at 978.948.2900.

09.27.19

Planting in Newburyport

Posted in Plants, Pruning, Uncategorized at 6:51 AM by Administrator

This Newburyport family wanted to transform their small front yard from an area that had a variety of plants growing into each other into a more defined garden area. We designed the new area to include some evergreens that will have red berries during the winter months, ornamental grasses that are great for dried flower arrangements while not impacting the beautiful, mature Japanese Maple that was existing.

This is what the front of this beautiful home had for their landscaping.

Prior landscaping in the front of this Newburyport home

The new landscape includes few plants while keeping a mix of loose, flowing plants (the Liriope and ornamental grasses) with flowering shrubs (the hydrangeas) and a couple of accent evergreens (hollies that will have red berries for the winter).

For information about how Artistic Landscapes can help you with your landscaping needs including redesigning garden bed areas, please stop by our office at 111 Newburyport Turnpike {Route One} in Rowley, MA or call us at 978.948.2900.

09.25.19

Walkways to match bluestone steps in Ipswich

Posted in Masonry, Pavers, Uncategorized at 6:37 AM by Administrator

This Ipswich family wanted to replace their old brick walkways with a more modern look that will match their bluestone steps. We showed them Unilock’s Westport pavers in Steel Mountain color and they loved the pavers. These pavers blend in with the bluestone that was used on the steps perfectly. We installed the pavers with a laying pattern that was similar to the pattern used to lay the bluestone on the top step.

The following pictures show the walkways as viewed from the driveway as well as from the house.

The front walkway in Ipswich built with Unilock’s Westport pavers
The front walkway in Ipswich as seen from the house
The side walkway in Ipswich also with Unilock’s Westport pavers
The side entrance walkway in Ipswich as seen from the house

For information about how Artistic Landscapes can help you with your landscaping needs, please call us at 978.948.2900 or stop by our office on Route One (111 Newburyport Turnpike) in Rowley, MA.

09.23.19

A walkway that has many tripping hazards in it

Posted in Masonry, Pavers, Uncategorized at 6:37 AM by Administrator

This Groveland, MA family wanted to replace their front walkway as the old walkway had failed and contained many tripping hazards. The tripping hazards were due to the old bricks sinking. The following picture shows some of the unevenness of the bricks.

Original uneven (some of the bricks sank) walkway in Groveland, MA

We addressed the tripping hazards by removing the bricks (we left them neatly stacked next to the house as the client wanted to keep them for a future use) prior to removing the old base materials. The base materials were almost all sand. There was some crushed stone as base materials in some areas of the walkway but the crushed stone was not consistently applied throughout the walkway.

We installed and compacted ¾” crushed stone before screeding a layer of 3/8” crushed stone. Once we had the base built then we installed Unilock’s Westport pavers in Bavarian as the main area of the walkway. The perimeter of the walkway is accented with two rows of Copthorne pavers in Basalt color. We believe the contrast between the perimeter and the main area of the walkway looks great and it is exactly what these homeowners’ wanted.

Unilock's Westport pavers in Bavarian color with an accent along the perimeter with Copthorne pavers in Basalt color
Front Walkway for a Groveland family built with Unilock’s Westport pavers in Bavarian color and Copthorne accent in Basalt color
Closeup of the Westport pavers with the double row of contrasting Copthorne pavers along the perimeter

For information about how Artistic Landscapes LLC can help with your patio or walkway design please stop by our office at 111 Newburyport Turnpike {Route One} in Rowley, MA or call us at 978.948.2900. Although we have many Unilock pavers on display, there are many colors that we have as options eventhough they are not displayed. So, please talk with us as we can show you paver options that will meet your goals.

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