Artistic Landscapes Walkway and Plant Design


Whether you are already a client of or a homeowner looking for suggestions on landscape design and planning, we hope the information here in our FAQs will be helpful to you.

The Artistic Landscapes Experience

What services does Artistic Landscapes provide?

We provide landscape design services that range from the addition of one small garden bed area to creating an entire new landscape for your property. Our comprehensive landscape design process takes into account your goals and will reflect the gardens, walkways, patios, irrigation systems and low voltage landscape lighting that provide your property with the look that you desire. You will work with a Massachusetts Certified Landscape Professional (MCLP) throughout the design and installation process. When we build your new patio or walkway, you have the added comfort knowing we are ICPI certified concrete paver installers. When building a retaining wall, planter or firepit you know that we follow the proper techniques and have been certified by the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA). In addition, leading manufacturers of pavers have recognized our abilities and knowledge by certifying us. We are also certified in landscape lighting and earned our Master Gardner designation in 2004.

Once you have the landscape that you want, we are available to maintain it. Our maintenance services include weeding, pruning, edging and mulching your garden beds. We also offer spring and fall clean-ups.

In addition to installing new irrigation systems, we are available to upgrade your controller to make your irrigation system more water efficient, open and adjust your system each spring, winterize your system in the fall and provide repairs, as required.

Lastly, we offer snow removal in Byfield, Georgetown, Ipswich, Rowley and parts of Topsfield, MA.

The Artistic Landscapes Experience

What is the process that Artistic Landscapes uses in designing and installing a landscape?

The process begins with an introductory meeting, where we listen to your preferences and what you want in your new landscape. During this initial meeting, we gain an understanding of your immediate and long-term goals. We use this information to prepare a custom designed landscape plan that meets your goals. We return to your home to present and explain this initial draft of the design and make modifications based on your feedback. Then we agree to a written contract and provide you an estimated start date.

During the installation phase, we begin by excavating all applicable areas and then construct the hardscape surfaces. After the hardscape surfaces are completed, we spread loam and plant your new trees, followed by shrubs, and finally perennials and annuals. We will install a drip irrigation system, if appropriate, and landscape lights before we apply a layer of mulch. Approximately two weeks after the installation is complete, we will return to inspect the plantings to ensure they are adapting to their new home.

The Artistic Landscapes Experience

How long will the introductory meeting last and why do I, as the client, have to answer so many questions?

This initial meeting may last up to two hours. We think this meeting is critical, because we want to give you a landscape that will make you happy. We will ask you many questions simply to ensure that we design a hardscape, lighting and/or garden that meets your goals. The information we learn will help us inform you on the plant materials that are most likely to thrive in your particular setting.

The Artistic Landscapes Experience

What are some of the questions that Artistic Landscapes will ask me during our introductory meeting?

Our goal is to provide you a landscape that is appealing, enjoyable and that meets your particular needs. We will ask many questions, including:

  • what are your goals for improving your landscape,
  • how do you expect to use your new landscape,
  • your personal preferences,
  • your approximate budget,
  • if you know where your septic system is located, if applicable, as well as any other in-ground items, and
  • for you to provide us with a copy of your official plot plan.

Selecting Appropriate Plantings

Are there limitations on which plants I can have in my garden design?

All plant materials receive USDA hardiness zone ratings. The plants selected for your property will need ratings that help guarantee your plants will survive our harsh New England winters. Most of the North Shore of Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire is rated at either a zone 5 or 6, but there may be micro-climates in specific areas that differ slightly.

In addition to climate, your garden design may be influenced by a Shoreline Protection Act or similar government restrictions (such as proximity to wetlands or conservation land). If applicable, those restrictions will be factored into your design. If your town has regular outdoor water bans, let us know so we can be sure that the plant materials we choose are more drought-tolerant.

Selecting Appropriate Plantings

I have a limited budget and want to limit the cost of my landscape. Will Artistic Landscapes install a landscape that works with my limited budget?

Regardless of your budget, we will take the time to determine which plants are most appropriate to meet your goals and growing conditions. We will design a quality landscape with a multi-year installation schedule. There are often similar plants that can serve a certain purpose and we will consider those alternative plants in your design. The installation process can occur in stages, thereby limiting up-front cost, while allowing you to make strides towards getting the landscape you want. By selecting the right plant for the right place, your costs will not increase in future years for replacing these plants.

Selecting Appropriate Plantings

What precautions does Artistic Landscapes take to ensure a safe installation of my gardens and hardscapes?

Artistic Landscapes notifies Dig Safe of pending work, and marks the future work area before Dig Safe visits the site. We clean all of the areas impacted by the renovation and leave your property clean at the end of each day. In addition, we use caution tape around any uneven surfaces. If the project requires building inspector approvals, we will attend those meetings with you, if you like.

Most importantly we have proven that we know and understand how to implement the industry best practices and the best procedures for each task. This knowledge is demonstrated by us being certified by leading industry trade groups such as ICPI, MLP and NCMA.

Selecting Appropriate Plantings

Can I have flowers that bloom in my yard even though my yard is very shady?

Yes, there are many flowers that bloom in shady areas. After visiting your property and getting a sense of your goals and needs in our initial meeting, we will design a shade garden that has visual interest and impressive blooms.

Maintaining a Garden

Should I postpone having a garden because I do not have a significant amount of time to care for it?

Some plant materials require more care than others. Your garden can be designed to require little regular maintenance, or Artistic Landscapes can be hired to maintain the garden for you. Artistic Landscapes can maintain your gardens on a monthly basis or less often if you prefer.

Maintaining a Garden

Should I still improve my landscape even though I might move in the next couple of years?

Yes, studies show that well-designed and maintained landscapes can add considerable value to your home - as much as 15%. Given the cost of an average garden installation, this could mean a return on investment of as much as 100 to 200 percent.

All About Pavers

How do I choose what material to use in my hardscape? Does it matter what I use for my walkway, patio or retaining wall?

We can help you make the best choice for your landscape.

The following list summarizes a few of the materials available.

  • Brick
  • Concrete
  • Natural Stone
  • Patio Block
  • Pavers
  • Pea-stone / Gravel
  • Natural Stone
  • Granite
  • Flagstone
  • Bluestone
  • Porcelain Tiles

All About Pavers

If I decide to have a walkway or patio constructed of concrete pavers, does it matter who I hire to install the pavers?

You should ask if the person is a certified concrete paver installer through ICPI (Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute). ICPI is a standards-setting organization for concrete pavers. Artistic Landscapes is a member and is certified. The company you hire should be able to explain the base materials that they plan to install because all walkways and patios need to be built on a solid base for them to survive for many years.

All About Pavers

Do pavers chip or become structurally weak with frequent/heavy use?

The color in pavers is baked into the concrete, so even if a paver chips there is no noticeable discoloration. Since concrete pavers interlock when installed, they stiffen and increase their structural capacity over time.

When Your Project Is Complete

After my new gardens are installed, what do I need to do to ensure that the plants thrive?

Almost all plants thrive if you follow routine maintenance:

  • Pruning (or deadheading) flowering plant materials will help the remaining buds maintain their energy and continue blooming. Pruning enhances the structure and shape of plants.
  • Fertilizing most plants, especially during the first few years, will help them grow. However, over-fertilization may be harmful so follow the directions on the package.
  • Mulch spread on the soil of your garden beds will preserve moisture in the soil and protect plant roots from the hot sun. Mulch also serves as a layer of insulation that protects plant roots from fluctuations in temperature.
  • Edging your garden beds at least annually separates the roots for the bed from the roots in adjoining areas.
  • Watering your plants. Watering during drought conditions and bloom periods is especially important for the overall health of the plant. You may water the plants with a garden hose or an irrigation system.

When Your Project Is Complete

Will I get tired of looking at the same landscape all year?

Luckily for all of us, gardens are constantly evolving and look different from season to season and year to year. The plants in your garden will offer different visual interest as they mature and grow larger. The shapes of your plants will change over time as well. As the plants grow larger, they will also grow closer together. The blooming rhythm of the plants may fluctuate from one year to the next depending on the weather.

When Your Project Is Complete

Does it matter when I water my lawn and plant materials?

Yes. It is most effective to water your lawn and plant materials in the early morning because evaporation is at its lowest level. Another benefit from morning watering is that any excess water will dry during the day. This is important because standing water may encourage fungus growth. You may want to consider an irrigation system that is set to turn on and off automatically to assist you in practicing effective water management.

When Your Project Is Complete

How does Artistic Landscapes determine if they did a great job?

We believe that listening to our clients and forming a collaborative partnership on your project is critical. The result is providing you a landscape that meets your goals, offering you creative solutions to your individual needs, being consistently responsive and eliminating surprises. When these aspects are met, you will be completely satisfied with your relationship with Artistic Landscapes and we are proud of the opportunity entrusted in us to improve your property for your enjoyment.

When Your Project Is Complete

Where can I get more landscaping ideas and information?

It is our pleasure to help you locate meaningful information as you consider your landscape plans. We've listed below some of the websites that we believe you may find useful.

I hired Artistic Landscapes for a brick and cobble walkway with granite steps. I hired them again to design and add landscape plantings to the front and back landscapes. Both times they did a fabulous job and always went the extra mile to make sure the work was done as I wanted. Recommend them without hesitation.

Florrie J.

Artistic Landscape Client

Tony at Artistic Landscapes just finished night lighting for our yard and it’s fabulous! He has such a good eye with his recommendations - so go with it! Love the different color hues.

Mary M. of Ipswich

Artistic Landscape Client

Artistic Landscapes is the best (in our opinion) at seeing and executing the customers vision! Tony's vision and design for the patio was PERFECT! Tony communicated well, showed us a sample, and made sure we understood what the final install would look like. Their work was excellent.

Zeus T.

Artistic Landscape Client
Artistic Landscapes - Blue Lights Pool

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