Plan your Landscape in Winter

Develop your landscape design now for a smoother transition into spring and summer installation. 

Courtyard Garden BeforeCourtyard Garden OverlayS:Client RelatedBid2013GrecoGreco Color Wall Plan.pres

Why wait until spring to begin thinking about landscape projects? When the leaves are turning and the garden is just beginning to hibernate, next summer seems so far away. Here are a few reasons you should develop your landscape plan now:
  • Spring and Early Summer is the busiest time of year for landscape contractors. Signing up with your contractor early is the best way to ensure your project is high on their list.
  • Working with a designer in the winter months means they will have more time to spend on your project. And you will have more time to make sure the design and budget is ideal for your needs.
  • Planning a swimming pool or implementing a project near a wetland will require special permitting, which takes some time! Get the paperwork out of the way so you are free to begin work when the weather is good.
  • Winter is a great time to visualize future landscape changes. The trees are bare, and many plants are below ground or in hibernation. It is often easier to see your property as a blank slate this time of year.
  • Looking at pictures of landscape and plants and dreaming of your new garden oasis is sure to brighten up the darker days of winter.

S:Client RelatedBid2012PolebaumPolebaum Color Rendering.pre

Craggy Ridge PlanGarden_Concept SketchLinear_Garden




Magnolia Daze

While springtime in Japan is characterized by Sakura, here on Cape Cod, the familiar site of the star magnolia, another Japanese bloom, is beginning to dot the landscape.

Magnolia stellata (1)

(Otherwise known as Magnolia stellata)

Blooming sooner than its magnolia counterparts, the star yields white flowers in April, with a delicate fragrance, reaching a mature height of 15-20 feet. Several cultivars also feature pink flowers. In addition to the buds, even the bark itself is pretty, with a rustic simplicity.

Magnolia stellata closeup (1)

The star magnolia works well in small spaces, and can be planted in sun or partial shade, in well-drained soil with a shelter from heavier winds. Therefore, it is ideal for a sheltered garden nook.

Although there is a downside – the propensity for magnolia scale – it is a common pest that is easily treatable with a horticultural oil, making it a wonderful addition to any Cape Cod garden.





A Cape Cod Rain Garden – Part I The Structure

We installed a rain garden and slope planting in November of 2011 on Cape Cod. Scroll down to see how the garden evolved over the course of 2 years.

Rain Garden Before 1

The problem area was at the bottom of a very steep slope and was in the middle of the property’s main view toward Cape Cod Bay. The client doesn’t use that area of lawn, and wanted to fill it with seasonal interest that would be visible from the deck and the upper stories of the house.

Rapoza Rain Garden SketchThe design concept was to add a a dry river bed topped with beach stones, and a few boulders for accent. The stone river bed catches water as it flows down the slope. The rest of the area was filled with native grasses, shrubs and wildflowers. We also under-planted the existing dogwoods on the slope with liriope muscari to give the trees more definition.

Installing the accent BouldersPaul, Daniel and Thomas installing the accent boulders.

Rain Garden Construction 1 This is what it looked like right after installation in November 2011.

Rain Garden first year's growth 2012By the following summer, the new plants were thriving.

Rapoza Cape Cod Garden 4After another full growing season, the area had filled in very well and had become a hotspot for birds, butterflies and bumblebees. This photo was taken in the summer of 2013.

Stay tuned for more about the rain garden plants we selected.

The Fairy Houses of Beebe Woods

The Ministry of Metamorphosis & Faerie Hatchery by Angela Tanner

The Ministry of Metamorphosis & Faerie Hatchery by Angela Tanner

The fairies of Beebe Woods have descended upon the gardens at Highfield Hall! Visit the historic estate this summer and see over 20 different creations by local artists and naturalists. Each fairy structure has a unique name, and is directly inspired by its location. Maps are available at Highfield Hall, identifying the location, name, and artist. Exhibit runs June 20-July 21.

Our landscape designer, Angela Tanner, has created a house for the exhibit, which can be seen at site #11 along the Beech Walk. Her structure is called “The Ministry of Metamorphosis and Faerie Hatchery” It features a house, a fairy ladder, and four fairy cocoons hidden in the lowest branch of the beech tree.

Children (and adults too) will have fun trying to find these enchanting little buildings throughout the gardens and walking paths. Caution, upon viewing them you may become inspired to build tiny houses in your own garden. Already, more tiny fairy shelters have spontaneously popped up in the gardens, alongside the exhibits.

Below, some shots of Angela’s Fairy Cocoons that can be seen at site #11:


Beech Fairy Cocoon

Fairy Cocoon

Magpie Fairy Cocoon

Hermit Fairy Cocoon

Hermit Fairy Cocoon

There are 23 houses in total, two of them are inside Highfield Hall and the rest are in the gardens. Here is a quick glimpse of some of the other fairy houses on display. The tiny details are remarkable so the best way to see them all  is in person!

From Left: "Texas Redbud Cottage" by Barbara Whitehead and  Bruce Safley; "Golden Dwelling" by Basia Goszczynska; "Pipsissewa Place" by Sheila Payne

Fairy Houses From Left: “Texas Redbud Cottage” by Barbara Whitehead and Bruce Safley; “Golden Dwelling” by Basia Goszczynska; “Pipsissewa Place” by Sheila Payne

Also currently on display inside Highfield Hall:

Enchanted: Through the Lens of Boston Photographers
May 24 – July 7, 2013

For this exhibition, curator Erica H. Adams presents Boston area photographers whose works weave together themes of mystery and enchantment. From photographs of clouds, to secret writing, to constructed scenes of “museums of memory” this show of both large and small scale photographs explores deep ideas through arresting visual beauty. Artists include David Akiba, Jesseca Ferguson and Linda Pagani. Enchanted is designed as a thoughtful companion exhibition to the concurrent outdoor fairy house display.

Fantastical Birds: Quietus in Flight
New paintings by Juan Travieso
May 24 – July 7, 2013
Fanciful, colorful and fabulous, Juan Travieso’s paintings of birds are irresistible.  His winged creatures are animated and articulated by vibrant colors and abstract designs without loosing the innate qualities of their breed. Owls, parrots, bluebirds, robins and other varieties abound.