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Local Articles in Boston

Fountains

Fountains can add a tranquil component to any backyard landscape or outdoor living space. Learn what styles are available and what it takes to have one installed in your yard.

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Contractors say homeowners with this trait are the most satisfied with home improvement projects.

Flowing water creates a welcoming entrance at a Hilton Head home. (Photo courtesy of Island Environments)
Landscaping, Fountains

The sound and movement of water is transforming, especially in the garden. Angie's List contractors discuss home water features that can liven up your yard, such as fountains, ponds and waterfalls.

©iStockphoto.com | Be sure to leave an open space in ponds and water gardens where fish can get oxygen.
Fountains, Landscaping

Jo Ellen Myers Sharp, the Hoosier Gardener, gives advice on how to winterize water features in the yard. Preparing features such as water gardens, ponds, waterfalls for winter helps avoid damage from freezing and thawing water.

Angie's Answers

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I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.


?

One of the more difficult issues facing you will be making sure you compare apples 'n apples while understanding the differences between apples 'n oranges.

Some things common to all:

How far from your (water) meter pit to the home?

Do you know what sort of water pressure you have?

Those two questions sortta drive the rest.  How many sprinklers you have is a piece of the puzzle but it is lower on the issues list than how much water pressure and gallons per minute of flow (gpm) you have.  Knowing the water pressure and gpm coming to the house is important because it is the info divided by the flow rate of the heads to tell you how many you can run at a time.

 That, plus the number of heads it takes to cover your yard will let them decide on how many zones to cut the yard into (each zone is X number of heads that run at the same time).

Will the different estimates be for systems that are all parts from a single manufaturer or will it be a collection of brands?  Some will tell you that the parts (controller, back-flow, heads and even specific heads) are better from different manufacturers while others will tell you that all from a single manufacturer will give you an optimized system.

And, are the contractors equally certified?  Not only education and experience but certifications from the various manufacturers who's parts they want to use.  And, will their installations be the same?  Will they open trenches all around your yard and be a week getting the stuff layed, connected and back-filled?  Or, will they pull the flexible pipe and be in 'n out in one day with water flowing to cover their intrussion before they leave that day?

Will your system need to be blown out with pressurized air at the end of the season to avoid winter freeze and bursts or will it drain automagically?

I know, I took your simple question and made it hard.

When I bought my system about 9 years ago, I had a variety of estimates and the differences sortta fell into the mess I listed above.  The low estimate was a person who seemed to be from the "get it in the ground and fix it later" school.

The highest estimate was from someone who seemed more concerned about my yard and the final result than I was.  The low person was using parts 'n pieces from a variety of manufacturers.  The high person was certified by the company that made all the parts he was wanting to use and he carried a fairly high rating from them for his past performance..  He would vary for me if I wanted but he had sound reasons from the controller to each of the heads as to why he preferred his "brand".

It doesn't look like you are a member of Angie's List.  Given the size of the investment you are looking at, this might be a great time to join and see how others in your community have rated the contractors you are considering or if there is one you should add to your list. 

My yard is between 12 and 15,000 square feet less the house, deck, two mini-barns and it is interrupted with a number of blocking (blocks the stream of water) evergreens and planting beds.

The low estimate I had was about $2,500 and would take three days to put in from the time they began to trench.  I don't recall how many heads he wanted to put in but if it was off, he'd be able to put another anyplace and tie it to the nearest zone to give me good coverage.  Uh, this was the get it in the ground 'n adjust later person.

The high estimate I had was around $4,500.  This proposal was for seven active zones each having 5 to 7 heads.  There was enough capacity (extra zone controllers and space within the system controller) built in to add drip irrigation at a later date for the planting beds without having to replace anything.  He drew the entire yard and gave me a copy with the heads marked showing the "throw" of each and the overlap he built in to avoid any missed areas.  And, they wanted to arrive in the morning and leave that evening with the system watering to cover their tracks throughout the yard.  One day and they would not leave until it was working as advertised!

I took the high estimate.  I have a neighbor who bought from the other folks.  Both of us are happy.  He is really happy because each time he calls his company for adjustments or corrections (yep, they got it in the ground and are still putzing with it) they are out within the week, they are really easy to do business with and their service calls' costs haven't gone up a whole bunch.

Sorry, you can't look at the price and divide by X number of heads and have a fair comparison.

?

1) IF you are talking the root crown - the portion where it is not one solid truck or "bole", but still a solid or near-solid mass of roots coming off the base of the trunk, then that has to come out on way or another. Typically, once you get beyond about a 3 foot circle then you are in the radial portion of the roots where they spread out laterally, and are a foot or more apart, and new roots can grow in that area fro the new tree OK. Of course, be prepared to have to trim some volunteers so the old tree can't come back, and be sure to fertilize the new tree per recommendations because the old roots will still be trying to extract water and food from the soil to support the tree that they do not yet realize is gone. Do NOT put stump killer or poison in the old tree - will kill new one too.

2) The proper commercial way to do this is to have the entire root crown and larger roots removed with a stump grinder - looks like this -

http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/attachments/build-yourself/117273d1230307978-stump-grinder-questions-stumpgrinderred.jpg

You need a tree service that can grind down at least two feet below ground level and remove the root crown and larger root segments. If you hve large roots running laterally quite a ways, he can grind them up too - ditto to "trippers" sticking up above ground. Just be sure to have it clear (spray painted) upfront how far he is going for what he quoted - typically about $150 for tree up to 1-2 feet in diameter, up to $500 for a massive sycamore or walnut or cottonwood or redwood with 6 foot diameter crown. While you can rent stump grinders at tooll rental places, I REALLY do not recommend it - the rental ones you can afford to rent for one use are pretty light duty, and they can chew a person up in no time flat if you lose control when it snags in the wood or hits a rock.

3) Another way is to go out to where the massive roots taper off to something you can reasonable cut - say 4-6 inches in diameter, and cut them all in a circle around the stump, then with a come-along or CAREFULLY (not more than a few hundred pounds) with a vehicle with a trailer hitch, put a steady pull on a good rope or strap or chain in a shallow notch cut around the top of the stump (so it does not pop off easy), then while it is being rotated up out of the ground walk around and cut any root you see still attached or trying to lift out of the ground. This works much better if the stump is left about 4-6 feet high so you get some real leverage on it with the pull, but if already cut down short run chain or strap over the top of it and around a large root on the far side of the stump. I use a Sawzall with foot long coarse tooth wood cutting blade for this - goes through roots really fast, and blade is only $1 or so apiece so ruining one or two hitting rocks is no big thing, and also reaches in under the stump better and safer than an axe. I helped a neighbor take out a back yard full of birches this way - took us about half a day to remove about 15 trees with about 6 foot diameter circle of crown and roots, leaving holes about 1-2 feet deep where each tree was. Remember this - whichever way you use to take it out, you will need maybe 1-5 wheelbarrow loads of good growth medium to replace the divot. 

4) Cheaper route - cut off flush with ground level (or leave some stickup as a planter or stool or feeder base or whatever), and plant new tree at least 4 feet away from old crown, in a spot between the old roots.

?
'Reasonable' is one of those words that means wildly divergent things to different people.  Check with your local high school to see if they have  any sort of agricultural program.  If yes, perhaps someone in that program could help you.  Being a landscaper myself, I must say it sounds like you want something that is - first and foremost - cheap.   This is NOT the best way to look for any service.  You would be better served looking for 'competant' than with 'cheap'.  The nicer you want your flowerbed to look, the more important it is to find someone who REALLY knows what they are doing.
?

Natural stones will have some degree of variance given the lack of pre-made consistency.

 

1/2" is too much from stone to stone and should be able to be fixed with additional leveling sand. 

 

 

?

All Fountain Installers in Boston

Companies below are listed in alphabetical order. To view top rated service providers along with reviews and ratings, Join Angie's List Now!

3D Landscaping

PO Box 692063
Quincy

ABIRDSWORLD.COM

704 228TH AVE NE

Affordable Landscaping

61 Crimson Rd
Billerica

Antimone Landscaping

25 Palmer Ave
Saugus

Artistic Landscapes

1 Sawmill Way
Georgetown

Ashley Property Management

326 South Rd
Bedford

Ask Us Home

150 Elm St
Hanover

Besthands Landscape Construction & Design Inc

22 Colleen Mary Way
South Easton

Boa Construction Corp

15 Stevenson ave

BROOK BOUND NURSERY

170 STATE RD E
Westminster

C J Doherty Inc

41 Locust
Medford

Carlino Landscaping

39 Locust St
Uxbridge

Castiello Construction

160 Liverpool Street

Charles River Landesign, Inc.

6 Naumkeag St
Medway

Classic Concrete

151 Sycamore Dr
Holden

Cryan Landscape Contracting

41 Walton St
Attleboro

Dale Design, Inc. Landscape Architecture

147 Cambridge St
Winchester

Dave Muir llc

271 Sewall Rd

DiMeco's Nursery & Landscape

374 Sterling St
Lancaster

Dumont Landscape Construction

302 Union Ave
Framingham

Earth Stone & Water LLC

PO Box 3010
Wakefield

Elicone Landscaping Co., Inc.

25 Elson Road
Waltham

Fireplace Mantels Etc

112 Maple St
Douglas

Frank McGurk Jr GC

370 Riverdale Rd

Greencastle Gardens LLC

281 Waverley St
Belmont

Halliday Construction

1408 Centre St
Roslindale

HANCOCK BUILDING ASSOCIATES INC.

248 MILL RD
Chelmsford

Hawkeye Landscape Corp

PO Box 3338
Framingham

Hemenhalt Construction

PO Box 332
North Easton

HydroTech

121 Hancock St
Braintree

Iantosca Construction Inc.

23 Lewis St
Saugus

J and R Fine Landscaping

23 Vine St
Andover

J L M Construction, Inc

41 Winter Street

J Martin Landscaping

34 Bartherick Rd
Westminster

J&J Hand Man

128 Cambridge St
Charlestown

Jm Construction

Pioneer trail
Marlborough

Krefta Landscaping Inc

331 Concord Ave
Lexington

Larchmont Engineering & Irrigation

11 Larchmont Ln
Lexington

LaRose Plumbing And Heating

500A MAIN STREET
Boylston

M&J One Call Do All Inc.

39C Myrtle St.
Waltham

Macauley Brothers Inc

528 Columbian Street
South Weymouth

Massad and Son's Paving and Excavation

20 Barbara Jean St
Grafton

MATT'S LANDSCAPING

120 POND ST
Seekonk

Meditation Gardens

1231 Broadway
Haverhill

MF Construction USA

15 Hines Ct
Marblehead

Modern Landscaping Inc

328 Main St
North Easton

New England Nurseries Inc

216 Concord Rd
Bedford

New England Water Gardens

185 Centre St
Danvers

Nickerson Masonry

108 Raymond Rd
Plymouth

northeast excavating

5224 r washington st
West Roxbury

Northern Lawn Sprinkler LLC

20 Fordham Dr.
Norton

Old Village Landscape

2352 Main St
Concord

P K LANDSCAPING

PO BOX 128
Rockport

Patel Landscaping

P.O. Box 556
Medfield

Ponch Excavation LLC

3841
Roslindale

Quinn Bros Construction

17 Parkview terrace

Regal Structures Inc

128 Harris Rd
Ashburnham

ReNu Home Services

26 Blueberry Ln
Hudson

Ricciarelli Masonry

27 Stetson ave.
Pembroke

Richard Ivers Landscaping

82 Westminster Ave
Arlington

Rickman Maintenance

1078 W Boylston Street
Worcester

RJ Services Inc.

660 Main Street
Shrewsbury

Roman Roads Masonry

125 Church St.
Pembroke

ROSADO & SONS INC

217B Turnpike Road
Westborough

RT Lake,Inc

110 Pearson Hill Rd

Silvestri Industries Inc

401 Wareham St # B
Middleboro

Skys The Limit

344 W Main St
Groton

South Shore Gunite Pools & Spas, Inc.

12 Esquire Road
North Billerica

SPENCER CONTRACTING CORP

23 Upton St
Peabody

ST CYR'S POOL & SPA

263 S MAIN ST
Middleton

StoneAge Masonry

75 Mystic St
Methuen

Terra Stone

Po Box 143
Marlborough

The Productive Earth

73 Saunders St
Medford

Topping Landscaping

20 Albion Rd
Billerica

Troymade

1 summerhill ave
Worcester

Unique Landscapes

100 Francestown Tpke

VOZZELLA & SON INC

17 KIERNAN RD
West Roxbury

Weston Nurseries Inc

93 E Main St
Hopkinton

WikWorksInc

394 Lowell Street
Lexington

WISHIHADTHAT.COM

3624 BUCK OWENS BLVD

WJC Services

320 Central St
Rowley

WOLF HILL GARDEN CENTER

60 TURNPIKE RD
Ipswich

WOOD'S LANSCAPING & IRRIGATION

4 OLD THOMAS ST
Middleboro

WSC Landscape Construction

P O BOX 2693
Framingham

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