At Garden In The Woods

Early spring is a good time to prune shrubs—and the New England Wild Flower Society is a good place to learn how.  On Saturday, April 5, Deb will be teaching Pruning Shrubs with the Pros at the Society’s headquarters, Garden In The Woods. Spend an enjoyable afternoon learning how to direct your shrubs’ natural growth, and how to shape these living space-makers with skill and confidence.

You can learn more and sign up here.


On the North Shore


One of our favorite residential projects is being featured in Northshore Magazine’s March issue.  The house, a comfortable 1950s ranch, rests among lawns and gardens on a rocky Swampscott cliff; in 2006 our clients hired Foley+Fiore Architecture to design a carport/sunroom addition off the kitchen. 

The second-story sunroom is a delightful aerie that looks out over the lawn, gardens, and ocean.  The owners, a couple of artists and art collectors, saw their entire property as an opportunity for making and displaying art, and as a work of art itself.  The article, titled “Well Rounded”, starts on page 56, here

Protecting Trees from Winter Moth

Winter moth damage.jpg

Last November the season's first hatch of winter moth fluttered into the chilly air. You likely saw the small beige moths; flying mostly at dusk and at night, they are attracted to lights—streetlights, your car headlights, even the glow from your house windows.

Come spring (usually mid-April, though the time varies with weather conditions), larvae of those moths emerge from tiny eggs, climb to the nearest bud, and feed on the tenderest foliar tissues as the bud opens. The result: leaves with large holes, chunks taken out of the edge, or entirely skeletonized. Susceptible trees include oaks, maples, linden, elm, crabapples, apple, and cherry. Repeated years of this stress can weaken a tree and lead to its untimely death.

Winter moth has been in this area only for the last ten or fifteen years. While UMass entomologists have been researching insects that might be natural predators for winter moth, they have not yet found predation remedies effective enough to prevent defoliation once an area is infested. Winter moth pesticide treatments are generally safe for vertebrates—that’s humans, dogs, cats, birds, chipmunks, etc.—though they may affect other invertebrates and insects beside winter moth. There is a great explanation of the winter moth life cycle and treatments here.

If you have noticed extensive leaf damage in the last couple of years but have never had your trees sprayed for winter moth, you may want to spray this year and limit the stress your trees are experiencing. If you have been spraying for this pest over the last several years, you may consider taking a year off, to allow other invertebrates a chance to repopulate the area.

Arborists often offer incentive discounts to customers who sign spring spray contracts in January-February. Now is the time to make arrangements with your arborist to protect your trees from winter moth in Spring 2014.

ELA Symposium and Conference

Toby is participating in two panels at upcoming ELA events:

On January 16th, he will discuss the management of semi-wild lands at "Managing Large-Scale Landscapes Sustainably," a symposium sponsored by ELA and Wellesley College. The symposium also includes sessions on sustainable maintenance, ecological approaches to lawns, and storm water management.  There's more information here.

On February 26th, he will moderate a panel on design and management for drought.  The panel includes Travis Beck of the Mount Cuba Center, Kate Venturini of the URI Outreach Center, Claudia West of North Creek Nurseries, and Tony Will of Read Custom soils.  Find out more, here.

In the Beacon Hill Times

Soon we'll be wrapping up our Pilot Project on The Public Garden's Boylston Street Border with the installation of benches.  Each is sited to have a view of the Lagoon as well as unmatched people-watching.  Read about it in the Beacon Hill Times, here.