When is the best time fo the year to landscape? It's a question we're often asked and there is no simple answer. Everyone wants their yard to pop once springtime arrives and the birds start chirping. Over time, that's achievable. In the interim, it takes a little bit of work throughout each season. Spring Many of us have the urge to start planting right when the ground thaws in spring. Resist that temptation. As we know from past New England springs, the weather fluctuates and a 70 degree day can be followed by a snowstorm or monsoon. Variations in weather can place undue stress on newly installed plants, flowers, and shrubs. Frost is a major factor and can prematurely kill new plantings. Use the early spring to turn your flower beds and garden beds. Amend the soil with compost. And put together a plan for what you'd like to plant. As spring turns...

Winter is the ideal time to start planning your spring yard projects. With leaves and snow falling outside, dream about your perfect yard, new driveway, or firepit and have your design ready so when spring time comes you can get to work and enjoy your outdoor space. Hardscapes As you're out Trick or Treating with your kids this year and admiring the perfectly built driveways, well appointed walkways, and retaining walls filled with bright mums of your neighbors, now is the time to picture your home with those features. Curb appeal is a real; not only will it make your home beautiful for you to enjoy, but ultimately when you decide to sell your home it will increase its value by 5 to 11%. Whether it's adding detail to your driveway, creating a walkway to your front door surrounded by flower beds, or totally redesigning the front or backyard, now is the time...

When we discuss our services with clients, one service that most people are unaware of is LIGHTING. Lighting really completes the package. It provides emphasis on the beauty of the plants and landscape materials in their nighttime environment. Probably one of the most underrated features of landscape lighting, however, is that it maximizes the quality time spent in your outdoor living space. And given that we ALL are desperately awaiting the warmer weather, planning now for a little landscape lighting will be a good way to stay outside longer during the best months of the year. For a good write up on expanding your nighttime living space visit FX Luminaire's page at: http:// www.fxl.com/lighting-basics/benefits-landscape-lighting When creating a landscape planting and lighting plan, we like to focus on the uniqueness of particular plants. For instance, a Hamamelis × intermedia 'Diane'/Diane Witch Hazel has a naturally beautiful form. Adding an up-light beneath this shrub...

A homeowner’s guide to making the right investments when planning for a backyard pool You’ve given thought to the pre-installation variables of your pool project; now let’s talk about hiring a pool company. Research is undoubtedly an essential part in starting the process; therefore the decision to pull the trigger is often time consuming.  After all, the company and the team that installs your pool will play a large role in the success and longevity of your dream project. To simplify the process, Design Works can offer you a reference to a pool contractor that will fit the specific needs of your project.  We understand that each project has unique components, budget and goals.  We have created professional relationships with some of the most reputable pool companies in the area, so it is our objective to help you find the perfect fit up front and start the construction project off right. Here are...

What’s the buzz about “Going Green?” More than likely, you’ve seen the TV commercials about eco-friendly products, heard a speech from the President about climate change, etc. It’s everywhere! Whether you’re a skeptic or not some of the green trends can be fascinating at the very least. Being a firm that specializes in Landscape Architecture and Construction, we proudly join the Landscape Architecture profession in designing for the future by developing healthy and innovative landscape garden spaces that enhance the environment and can save our clients some “green” simultaneously. The following are a number of ways that we, as landscape professionals and home owners, can contribute to the green movement: LEED The United States Green Building Council’s (www.usgbc.org) LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system provides a way to verify that projects are achieving energy savings, water efficiency, stewardship of resources, etc. Although a LEED project is somewhat complex and typically found...

Getting excited for spring As the end of February nears, spring lies just ahead. We “Green Thumbers” soon emerge from a seemingly eternal hibernation to get outside and get our hands dirty. As the weather warms, we remember how landscape gardening offers a real sense of rejuvenation and excitement. To help you catch that spirit, here are a few inspirational thoughts and landscaping ideas. Ask Yourself Critical Questions These questions represent common goals we all have for our NH homes, but sometimes forget to re-examine periodically. As you man your shovels and rakes for spring cleanup, do you notice anything that you would like to change in your garden landscape? Do your trees and shrubs look overgrown and in need of pruning, or tired and in need in of replacements? Ask yourself, do certain Holly's, Rhododendrons, or Cedars survive in southern NH plant hardiness zone? Do you need privacy and/or screening from your...