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A
"From the beginning of the design work we as homeowners were aware of the technical issues that would develop from the complicated vision we had wanted to achieve" in the project. We were looking for a company that would have the patience and aesthetic skill to make reality the look we envisioned. We knew it was complicated and we knew an average company would not take the time to use the quality materials and extra detail work that we wanted. We did not want a cheap project but a quality project. We had used in the past for a smaller project (custom made trellises in the backyard garden along the property border) and decided that she had both the skill and temperament to tackle this more complex project with us. Initially we hired her just to design and spec out the complete project so we would have a master plan that could be installed in pieces as our budget would allow. We sat in our initial meeting and decided together what would most likely be the cost required for the master plan. At no time in the process were we given charges not initially discussed and made sure as the planning process went along that we stayed within budget. Once the plan was finished and the specs and pricing came in, worked with us to figure out ways to keep the overall costs of the project within our limits without comprising quality or style. At that time we decided to move forward with the construction of the project with as project manager even though we initially had only planned to purchase a plan. Of course issues came up along the way and adjustments and changes needed to be made on the spot. What we cared most about was that and her subcontractors worked with us to resolve these issues quickly and drama-free. For the most part, that was true. The team pulled together for our project were true craftsmen and the end result is proof of their skill as well as our shared concern for detail. Such a "high end" result does not happen without "headache moments," but handled these moments with professionalism, collaboration, and drama-free problem solving skills. We love the end result - and so do our neighbors who comment on it almost daily!

-Larry T.

A
" and his team did a great job! They were professional, respectful and prompt. They planted new shrubs in my front yard, installed a partial," fence and layed gravel in my backyard, which made a huge difference. also had some good ideas on certain plants and design ideas. Overall, great to work with!

-virginia F.

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Local Articles in Boston

How to find the right landscaper

There are several things to look for when hiring someone to work in your landscape.

Front yard landscaping

Landscapers and Landscape Designs

Landscaping your property adds beauty, value and curb appeal. Start with a clear plan of what you hope to achieve, then decide if want to do it yourself or hire a professional.

itemized or flat rate contract

Dear Angie: Should contractors itemize their bills? Is that the norm, or is flat rate becoming the norm? -- Roger E., Parker, Colo.

close up of grass lawn behind beige house

How do you find the best lawn service? Ask the right questions to compare lawn care companies and ensure proper all-year yard maintenance.

landscaping around septic system (Photo by Brandon Smith)

Don’t compromise your septic system while trying to spruce up your landscaping.

Fire hydrant in snow

If winter weather leaves you puzzled on how to safely remove snow and ice from your driveway, sidewalk or landscaping, follow these tips to prevent damage.

Inspiration & Ideas

covered outdoor walkway
garden with mulch
landscape with hemlock mulch and colorful shrubs
landscape with hemlock mulch
landscape with hemlock mulch

Angie's Answers

?
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.

Landscaping reviews in Boston

D

Rating
I have a small budget ($2k) and was interested in getting help landscaping our yard, because we have limited resources I mentioned the possibility of at the very least getting a design plan if it couldn't cover the build itself. The person that I spoke to very quickly said that they don't do landscape design (event though it's clearly ...More listed as one of their central offerings) and that I'd have to have a project with a minimum of $10,000 to get a design plan. I mentioned that my goal wasn't the plan it was the landscaping itself and after a few very frustrating minutes of back and forth she said the minimum project they work on is $3000. This was not mentioned anywhere and prior to asking for an estimate I read the reviews and saw several projects under that price point. While their work and website look very professional I would only call them if you have a significant budget since they seemed annoyed to deal with someone who didn't meet their minimum threshold. I'll take my business and what to me is a very significant budget (and my savings!) elsewhere.
- Celina B.
A

Rating
I had consulted in the past about installing a retaining wall to divide my property from my neighbors but due to my finances at the time, I was not able to pursue that option. Not knowing that installed fences, I decided to get estimates from Home Depot and other local fencing companies and sadly ended ...More up going with a general contractor who installed a fence that ended up leaning from its posts within a month and in of coming completely down.

In panic, I decided to call , the superman and proprietor of , who came out to survey the job and gave me a reasonable estimate on reinstalling a stockade privacy fence, despite his busy fall landscaping season. Within a week, and a crew of 3 came out and had the poorly installed fence taken down within an hour and were able to re-install it the proper way, both securely and safely. event took great care in leveling out some of the land near the fence so that I can add trees and additional landscaping in the spring. 's crew were neat, very professional and knowledgeable of the job - and the day went smoothly. even went above and beyond and helped me return some of the unused fence panels to Home Depot that had been sitting in my shed !

Hooray for superman and !! The "plus" definitely represents the professionalism and the range of his services ( , landscaping, masonry, fencing, gutters, snow removal, etc). I will definitely use and his crew again soon for landscaping and gutter cleaning , plus more !!

- Malakia S.
A

Rating
was incredibly helpful throughout the process. He was able to consult on the project and give us some good design ideas. He showed us his work from other projects and helped us generate some ideas as to what might work with our project. He was never pushy. He and his team were punctual, respectful and efficient. They did ...More really nice work at a very reasonable price. They worked cleanly and delivered on everything that we planned. We would absolutely use them again for a future project.
- Brendan K.
A

Rating
was very punctual and did the work efficiently. The work was done with speed and precision. In the weeks following our yard looks MUCH better and is quite vibrant. WE ARE EXTREMELY PLEASED!
- Sarah B.
D

Rating
It was my family's property
sorry to say was not on site ( my fault as trusted them)
needed to clear around th house of over grown trees
they cut all the trees in the whole yard resulting
in a worse situation of weeds all over the property
l
would not wish them on any body I shouyd have been ther ...More bu was unable
live 75 miles away

- Marilyn H.
A

Rating
They showed up on time and always responded quickly to emails and phone calls. Workers did a thorough job explaining what was going to be done. Patio looks great.
- Elaine P.
A

Rating
This nursery is top notch and best in the area. The prices are great and the people that work there are very knowledgeable. don't go anywhere else to buy stuff for your landscaping!!
- Phillip T.
A

Rating
Communication was good, kept on top of the potential work. He called and followed up with me, he even came to my yard when I wasn't there to give me a rough estimate. We met in person, I changed a few things, and he came back with a new quote within a few hours.
I hired him and he began work about 2 - 3 weeks later. ...More The work was fantastic because we had a pretty bad situation. He planted all of the plants that he had listed on his quote, and to be honest I think the planted more than what's listed.
Overall I am satisfied but the pessimist in me is worried about the durability of the project.
I emailed and asked for advice and how much it would cost for him to come out to maintain it once in awhile. He emailed me back and gave me some solid advice and told me how much it would cost for him to come out once a month.
I have attached some before and after pictures.
I would hire again, but this time in the backyard.
- Michael F.

Landscaping Companies 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!

Terra Stone

Po Box 143
Marlborough

THAYER NURSERY

270 HILLSIDE ST
Milton

The Canton Corp

354 Turnpike Street, Bldg. A
Canton

The Grateful Garden

965 Washington Street
Hanover

The heat guy on call 24 hrs.

Essex street
Beverly

The House Doctors

349 Marlborough St
Boston

The Pickard Farm

155 Great Rd
Littleton

The Veron Company

112 FOREST ST
Marlborough

Third Pig Construction

231 Old Littleton Road
Harvard

TM Landscaping, LLC

PO Box 2412
South Hamilton

tom gaudet

378 tremont st
Rehoboth

Top Notch Transitional Services

3 Boulevard St
Milton

Tree Advocate

464 Common St
Belmont

Triple E Paving and Landscaping

50 Harvard Street
Newtonville

True Green Landscape

267 Tiogue Ave.

True North Land Design

8 Linehan Lane
Beverly

tuckerlandscape

88 Middlesex Ave
Natick

Turf Prep

Winchester

TVA Studio

Boston

Twins construction

104 waterhill st

Unique Home Improvement

655 boston post rd apt 1203
Sudbury

United Remodeling

PO Box 35466
Brighton

urbgardens, llc

4 Rutland Sq
Boston

Virginia Steward Design

119 BRAINTREE ST
Allston

vjs Fencing

18 Wrenthan Road
Worcester

W R Scanlon Inc

78 Fremont St
Needham Heights

WALKER KLUESING DESIGN GROUP

144 LINCOLN ST
Boston

WamBam Fence

10616 Baily Rd

Warren Landscaping

87 Grace Ave
Shrewsbury

Waterscapes of New England

PO Box 112
Groveland

We Do That LLC

71 Grovers Avenue
Winthrop

We Show Up

336 Cornell St
Roslindale

WSC Landscape Construction

P O BOX 2693
Framingham

Your Garden Curator

176 Albion Street
Somerville

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