04.30.20

Local restaurants

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:27 AM by Administrator

As most everyone knows, I like good food and nice wine. Since restaurants are no longer allowed to serve customers in their restaurants, we have been ordering take-out once per week and having some of the bottles of wine which we bought on one of our California trips. I still think some of the best food from a sub shop type place is the Rowley Pizza Factory. The food is always fresh and the owners are just terrific. I look forward to picking up the food and talking with them.

We have been having nice italian food from the North End because Ristorante Massiminos has been delivering to different towns each day. We have had their food three times already as we just enjoy the fresh food, large portions and some of the Italian wine that we bought when we visited Tuscany.

I had a nice burger (actually just half of a burger because a co-worker saw the burger and said that it looked so good – I offered him half the burger and he took it…) from Sea Level Restaurant. We have also enjoyed meals from The Spot in Georgetown, Sylvan St Grille in Salisbury. I am sure there are many other restaurants serving great food but these are the places where we have been ordering from.

In addition to knowing how to order good meals and drink nice wine as well as local craft beers, we love landscaping and improving properties. If you need any help with your yard, please give us a call (978.948.2900) and we can meet to discuss your landscaping needs and talk about good food.

04.29.20

Covid-19 Policy

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:27 AM by Administrator

We thank everyone for allowing us to continue working over this Spring. We are all impacted by the precautions being taken to slow the spread of Covid-19 and we have been diligent with our efforts. The following highlights our Covid-19 policy that has been shared with all of our employees and is something that we strive to maintain these high standards.

As we all know, the U.S. Government and the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that a coronavirus outbreak had been identified and it was spreading across a number of countries, including the United States. Since that announcement on January 31, 2020, the virus has continued to spread and is a risk to all of us. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that the risk to individuals is dependent on exposure. Because of the proximity to infected individuals, workers in certain industries are at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) was enacted to regulate workplace safety and health. OSHA has provided guidance on COVID-19 and in summary it is as follows:

  • Consider whether we will encounter someone infected with Covid-19 in the course of our work.
  • Train employees about virus exposure, hazard recognition and appropriate protocols for preventing or reducing the likelihood of exposure.
  • This virus might impact use of PPE, general duty clause, bloodborne pathogens, exposure to hazardous chemicals used for cleaning and disinfection.
  • Increased record keeping and reporting.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker reaffirmed that landscaping is an Essential Service again on March 31st. Because of this ruling and our ability to help maintain healthy landscapes (which often leads to healthier environments around each home), we are allowed to work and must do so with great diligence. Some of the changes that we have made at Artistic Landscapes LLC include:

  • NOT shaking hands with any client or potential client,
  • Maintain Social Distancing (minimum 6’ between each person) when talking/working with fellow employees as well as members of the public,
  • Use an overabundance of caution as I do not go into anyone’s home when meeting to discuss a project,
  • Our office building is closed to the public and we do not allow anyone inside.
  • Mandate that all employees maintain or exceed the CDC recommended distance at all times,
  • Sanitize all tools, work areas inside the office, trucks and vehicles.

As a result of this guidance from Governor Baker, OSHA & other organizations, Artistic Landscapes has made the following enhancements to our safety protocols and continues to discuss this situation with all employees on a daily basis. Some of the enhancements include:

  • Tony asks clients if anyone has been tested for COVID-19 or is showing any symptoms of the virus prior to us showing up to work at the property (this is one reason that we have deferred the work for one client until after April 14th).
  • No more than 1 employee is allowed in a truck.
  • Work has been distributed amongst us so that we are all working at least six (6) feet apart from each other (weeding beds at a different time than the edging is being done, the spreading of mulch is done after the entire bed has already received mulch piles rather than spreading it while the mulch is being delivered).
  • Each employee has been provided with his/her own ear protection and had that person’s name written on the ear protection.
  • Each employee will not share tools with another employee without disinfecting the tool first.
  • Social distancing has been instituted and this has resulted in us sitting at least six feet apart from each other when having lunch or talking. Also, all meetings are done standing up so that we can space out even more while administrative focused meetings have been delayed until after the virus has subsided.
  • At the end of every day, at a minimum, all door handles within the building and each vehicle is sprayed with disinfectant spray or wiped down. The inside of each vehicle’s cab (the seat areas) are disinfected with a disinfectant spray every day.
  • The bathrooms are being cleaned more frequently as well.
  • We are not working on days that are rainy and cold as a way to potentially help us all stay healthy.
  • Any and all cleaning or sanitizing product that an employee may want is provided, to the best of our ability to obtain those products.
  • Every employee has been told that if he/she becomes aware that they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 then they must immediately communicate that to Tony.
  • Every employee has been told that if he/she is not feeling well that we support and require them to stay home.

The World Health Organization and local governments have provided a list of best practices on what to do so that you do not get or spread this virus. These best practices include:

  • Wash your hands regularly with alcohol based sanitizer or soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time,
  • Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet between people,
  • If you are to be in a group then keep the number of group members to less than 10,
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth,
  • Practice respiratory hygiene (sneeze into a tissue or your bent elbow) and throw away any used tissues immediately,
  • If you get a fever or have trouble breathing then get medical attention quickly,
  • Stay informed of the latest news regarding this virus.

We have also reminded our employees that they will not loser their job if they decide that they do not feel safe to work during this time as we also shared the following: As a reminder, OSHA prohibits employers from retaliating against workers for raising concerns about safety and health conditions. Consistent with our conversations, if you do not feel safe to work or are concerned about your health then you are allowed not to work during this crisis. You will be eligible to be rehired after the crisis is over.

02.26.20

Patio and concrete wall repair in Melrose

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:54 AM by Administrator

Thanks to this great weather, we have started construction again. We are in the process of building a patio with firepit next to an in-ground pool. This family wanted some extra space around the pool and we have been able to accomplish that goal by adding a paver patio next to the pool deck. We are in the early stages of this project but this is what the prep work looks like and the current condition of the old, leaning concrete wall.

Permeable paver base for a patio in Melrose
A patio in Melrose prepared with a crushed stone base so that the patio will be permeable
An old concrete wall that is leaning and failing

For information about how Artistic Landscapes can help you with your landscaping needs or help you create space and an inviting backyard, please call us at 978.948.2900.

02.18.20

Landscaping Trends for 2020

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:16 AM by Administrator

One of the leading natural stone suppliers asked us for landscaping trends that we are seeing and expect to continue in 2020. Artistic Landscapes is quoted along with two Los Angeles, California companies, a Larchmont, NY company and a company that designs homes as well as an online company that provides guidance related to home remodeling projects.

We continue talking with clients who want sitting walls especially around the firepits that we build for them. To read the whole article on landscaping trends, please see the attached. https://www.delgadostone.com/blog/industry-experts-exterior-design-trends

When you would like to start discussing your landscaping goals, please feel free to call us at 978.948.2900 to setup an appointment where we meet you at your house and start learning about what you have for current goals. You can see some of our displays outside of our Offices on Route One (111 Newburyport Turnpike) in Rowley, MA.

02.14.20

Lazy Susan for Granite Table

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:28 AM by Administrator

As many of you know, I enjoy entertaining, spending time at the granite table that we installed at my house as a prototype and drinking nice wine. We have found that some people can not reach the center of this granite table that seats 8 people comfortably, so we had HedgeHog Designs in Amesbury, MA create this masterpiece for us.

We provided them with the list of wine regions that we have visited and explained to them what we wanted (an actual wine barrel that was used to age red wine). HedgeHog did the rest. They built and sealed the lazy susan that is made from an old wine barrel with automobile quality paint and sealer. By using such high quality paint and sealer, we will be able to use this outside all summer long.

I am so impressed that I wanted to share this customized wine barrel that will serve as our lazy susan this summer.

Our lazy susan made from a wine barrel showcasing the wine regions that I have visited
The lazy susan still allows plenty of space for plates and food on the granite table that we built to seat 8.

02.10.20

Job Fair – February 18th

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:31 AM by Administrator

We are looking to continue growing our company thus we are looking to hire quality people who will treat our clients and fellow employees with the utmost respect and be able and willing to work hard for each other. Our goal is to provide STAR qualities to our clients. We provide Seamless and Trustworthy service to all of our clients and we are Attentive to their needs and as a result we become a Resource for our clients by providing them with plumbers, electricians, painters, etc. who can help them with their other household needs.

If you are a motivated person who wants to work in this environment, please call us at 978.948.2900 to setup an appointment or stop by our Offices on Route One (111 Newburyport Turnpike) in Rowley, MA anytime between Noon and 6:00 pm on Tuesday, February 18th.

02.05.20

Natural Goshen Stone Patio

Posted in Masonry, Pavers, Uncategorized at 6:16 AM by Administrator

After we finished compacting the base of 3/4″ crushed stone for this Newburyport family’s natural stone patio, we started cutting the natural stone (Goshen Stone). These stones range in size from about 1′ x 1′ to 6′ x 7′ with a whole variety of other sizes. We maintained a ‘live edge’ for a stone that is about 3′ x 8′ so that the live edge will create a less formal edge where the planters will be located. The sides of the stones that are within the patio were cut by us.

Natural Goshen Stone patio being built
An early look at natural Goshen Stone patio being built in Newburyport. The area to the left is going to be finished with a hot tub.

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

02.03.20

Preparation for a natural stone patio in Newburyport

Posted in Masonry, Pavers, Uncategorized at 7:02 AM by Administrator

This Newburyport family has a fairly small backyard that they want to make better use of. The existing brick patio was uneven and would flood for a couple of days after each rain storm. In addition to wanting a new patio that fit into the characteristics of downtown Newburyport they wanted to have an outdoor shower, a hot tub and a vegetable garden.

We worked with the family in determining the size of the vegetable garden in the sunniest corner of the yard as well as the location of the hot tub and outdoor shower. The location of the outdoor shower was a little tricky as this area can be seen from some neighbors but we agreed that by locating the shower in the corner of the yard closest to the house then the hot tub would gain a little additional screening and the shower would not be directly below a kitchen windown.

Once we had all of these design factors determined then we connected the downspout into a 4″ pipe and brought the water from the gutter system into a large dry well that we built. The base of the new patio is permeable as the base consists of 3/4″ crushed stone and geotextile but no stonedust. Here are a few early pictures.

Existing brick patio that was replaced
Existing brick patio that was replaced

The drywell will receive rain water from the downspout that will be moved to the front right corner of the addition as we installed a 4″ solid pipe between the downspout and the center of the drywell. This drywell is deeper than normal because we were only able to fit one drywell in eventhough we will be collecting all the roof runoff in one place. The drywell is wrapped in landscape fabric so that soil does not clog the drainage system.

The drywell is approximately 5′ deep and 5′ wide

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

01.29.20

Granite Mailbox Post

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:55 AM by Administrator

We are being spoiled with this above average weather as we continue working on landscape projects. So far this week, we have installed a new granite mailbox post, that is engraved with the house number on both sides of the granite, as well as continued our winter pruning. It is nice to prune without walking in snow.

Granite mailbox post in Rowley, MA
Granite Mailbox Post in Rowley

If your mailbox post gets knocked over by a plow or damaged in any other way, please call us at 978.948.2900 as we can install a new granite mailbox post for you in the Spring. If you see us at our Office on Route One (111 Newburyport Turnpike) in Rowley, please stop by and we can show you some of the options that you have to select from.

01.22.20

Steps built in 2005

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:50 AM by Administrator

I built these steps in 2005 for a family in North Andover. They wanted steps which would allow them to go straight to the driveway or the backyard or towards the front gardens thus I designed and built the half circle bottom step. As you can see from the following pictures, the door is set back from the corner of the house so I included two ‘wings’ with the top step. By including the wings, I was able to wrap the step around the corner of the house and provide a wider half circle bottom step.

These steps were built with segmental wall stones and pavers.

Built segmental stone steps for a North Andover family in 2005
Stone steps built in North Andover in 2005

For information about how Artistic Landscapes can help you with the design or installation of a set of steps, please call us at 978.948.2900 or stop by our Offices on Route One (111 Newburyport Turnpike) in Rowley.

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