Contributed by Jim Lynn
The colder temperatures are settling in and we are starting to see snow in our forecast as we head deeper into winter. Occasionally we are fortunate enough to have what New Englanders refer to as a dusting (anything under 6 inches), but it is becoming more commonplace to see greater snow accumulations or destructive ice storms with our winter weather. Last year we saw numerous landscape plants damaged by the weight of our heaviest snowfall on record in the Boston area.
Many times as we maintain the beauty of gardens we are working in the vicinity of service lines, especially when we are clearing downed or broken branches due to heavy ice and snow loads. To enable us to properly identify utilities, understand electrical hazards and conform with safety standards when working around electricity, Christie and the crew got together with the Tree Care Industry Association for Electrical Hazard Recognition & Compliance Training.
We were surprised to see just how many potential hazards there can be with electricity. It is hard to remember that we have to keep a good distance from service lines when we see squirrels and birds using them as an elevated walkway or a place to rest between flights. Unless you are a certified line worker, the closest anyone can safely work around service lines while conforming to electrical safety standards is 10 feet! Ten feet is the closest anything you are touching should be from any service line.
One thing is for certain: electrical safety is serious business and should not be taken lightly. Allow trained professionals to handle potentially unsafe situations for you. Properly maintaining trees and shrubs around service lines and selecting the right plant material for these areas can also help prevent unsafe situations. When working near electricity it is always better to work with extra caution rather than work with any questionable circumstances. As always, if you have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to have us evaluate the situation for you – we can safely perform what’s needed for your trees or plants, or we can put you in touch with professionals in the tree care industry that are qualified for more dangerous tasks.
The Stormwatch is BACK! Yes, this week, finally some slushy, mushy snow fell and I can officially declare landscaping season over.
For me, this recent should-have-been winter season was like a baby refusing to take a nap. You rock that baby, you do bouncy bounce squats, you sing softly and no go, the baby screams and is a warm humid squiggle. But today, the baby finally gets to take a nap. The world of gardening beds down and I get a rest. The finality of SNOW and COLD concludes the seemingly endless feats of the landscaping year. Once there is cold and snow, it is a built-in finale – hey, what can you do? – it’s winter out there.
With the refusal of winter to alight this year, we all kept working. We worked past our usual “end” dates and I was still consulting and answering questions and building patios right through Christmas. While I love the action, I also long for the ying to my year long yang. The rest after the work, the peace in my mind after the demanding creativity and simply some time to catch up on things.
Don’t get me wrong – I love landscaping as much as eating mint brownies and I love plants as much or more than some of my family – but I am ready for a rest. Feel free to stop thinking about your garden for a month too.
See you in January ~Christie
Submitted by Tim Wholey
It seems like just last week we were discussing changing out our summer containers, but that was over two months ago now! People are already starting to ask when we will be making the switch over to our winter arrangements. I am still trying to experience the fall we are having. It is hard to picture a scene of drifting snow and barren trees while we still have such a colorful display all around us. Perhaps this is where the challenge lies between the two seasons: in one we are competing with the exuberance of nature’s own palette and in the other we are adding color to where there is almost none.
Yes, we were all pretty fed up with the perpetual mountains of snow of last winter, but I have to admit there is nothing prettier at that time of year than a backdrop of fresh fallen snow against a colorful display of evergreen cuttings of Pine, Spruce, Blue Atlas Cedar, Arborvitae and red-berried Holly. Then of course there is that smell you get from freshly cut evergreens! It’s a lovely way to be greeted upon arriving home on a frigid evening, just before going inside to sit by the fireplace with a hot cup of tea. Keep color and texture in your life – let us spruce up your winter containers at home.
Please email us and we will send you our container questionnaire that helps us customize your arrangement.