Fine Gardeners Blog

Fixing Damaged Rhododendrons

Paul Marini - Marini Fine Gardeners - Thursday, June 28, 2018


These rhododendrons were badly damaged during a construction project where the carpenters crudely tied the branches of the shrubs tightly resulting in many cracked and broken branches. Nearly fifty percent of the plant material had to be removed. In photos 1 and 3, we had finished pruning them and drove a few stakes in the ground to tie back certain branches to train them in order to expediate the recovery. We prune the shrubs at this property once per year by reducing, thinning and doing corrective pruning in order to encourage new growth and flower buds.

For more information on pruning rhododendrons, contact Paul Marini at Fine Gardeners.

Renovational Pruning of Rhododendrons

Paul Marini - Marini Fine Gardeners - Thursday, June 14, 2018


These two rhododendrons are out of scale for the size of this house and in dire need of reduction. There was also considerable dead wood to remove, corrective pruning and thinning to allow more light to penetrate the shrubs. Renovational pruning is a process that requires one to five years to accomplish the desired affect depending on the type of plant. Since rhododendrons are moderate growers, the next pruning session will occur in about two years. I will post the results in the near future after the next pruning session where I expect to reduce them again by nearly fifty percent.

For more information on pruning rhododendrons, contact Paul Marini at Fine Gardeners.

Pruning Hydrangeas

Paul Marini - Marini Fine Gardeners - Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Closeup at the base of a hydrangea serrata that had never been pruned in photo 1. Photo 2 shows the same view after removing nearly 70% of the canes, many of which were dead. This is the appropriate density for hydrangeas. Pruning was done mid-summer because it was the only visit of the season, however, the optimal time to do this type of pruning on most hydrangeas is early spring before the leaves form. We start by removing dead canes and then remove some of the older less productive canes and leaving the younger more productive canes.

Pruning Wisteria

Paul Marini - Marini Fine Gardeners - Thursday, May 03, 2018

This Wisteria is out of control and is about to devour the side of the client's house. Both the Chinese and Japanese form can grow 10 to 20 feet per year, so they often need to be pruned at least two or three times per season and even more often in some cases. It was necessary to cut the vine and pull it from the shutters, down spouts and windows in this case. We reduced the Wisteria to the confines of the supporting trellis.

For more information on pruning wisteria, contact Paul Marini at Fine Gardeners.

Brookline Garden - Before & After

Paul Marini - Marini Fine Gardeners - Friday, April 20, 2018
Fine Gardeners - Brookline Garden - Before & After
Fine Gardeners - Brookline Garden - Before & After
Fine Gardeners - Brookline Garden - Before & After

Photo 1 shows the area before any work was done. It is a shady area with filtered light and the soil is sometimes on the wet side so the clients wanted us to choose perennials that would thrive in these conditions. We needed to do a little pruning first because there were many branches extending out into the bed area, but the clients didn't want the shrubs reduced significantly. After removing some of the lower branches and thinning, there is now more room for planting as can be seen in Photo 2.

The bed has been planted with shade-tolerant perennials, Photo 3, including Solomon Seal, Astilbe, Brunnera, Bleeding Heart and some ferns.

For quality gardening services, contact Fine Gardeners.

Pruning Roses

Paul Marini - Marini Fine Gardeners - Friday, April 13, 2018
Fine Gardeners - Pruning Roses, Newton, Brookline, Needham, MA
Fine Gardeners - Pruning Roses, Newton, Brookline, Needham, MA
Fine
Fine Gardeners - Pruning Roses, Newton, Brookline, Needham, MA

Fine Gardeners - Pruning Roses, Newton, Brookline, Needham, MA
Fine Gardeners - Pruning Roses, Newton, Brookline, Needham, MA


Photo 1 shows a rose bush that has never been pruned properly, probably 10 years old. Photo 2 is a closeup of the same rose bush that has been lopped back to about 15" to allow for easier access in order to do drastic thinning. Note the density and congestion of stems throughout the bush. "Aah, I can breath!" Photo 3 shows the same bush after drastic thinning. The most desirable stems are preserved to allow for strong, healthy growth that will support clean foliage and flowering. Now there is appropriate spacing between stems to allow for good light penetration and air circulation. To the uninitiated, this looks like outright butchery. My client was concerned that I killed her roses, but as the next photo shows, her worries were soon relieved.

Photo 4 shows the same rose bush taken at the end of July, whereas, the first 3 photos were taken in early May. As you can see from photo 4, roses are extremely resilient and respond well to hard pruning and thinning. From the same property photo 5, taken early April, shows two roses side by side after reduction and thinning. Photo 6 shows the same roses taken in early September, happy and healthy with loads of flower buds to continue flowering well into the fall.

For more information on pruning roses, contact Paul Marini at Fine Gardeners.

Kingston Perennial Garden

Paul Marini - Marini Fine Gardeners - Friday, April 13, 2018


This client had an existing perennial garden that she was unhappy with. Many of the plants were low-growing, spring-blooming plants that were not very showy so she wanted to revamp the garden. Photo 1 shows the garden area after most of the plants were removed. We salvaged a few of the original plants to use in the new garden. Choosing superior varieties of perennials makes a huge difference in the long-term results. The original planting used varieties that never flourished and were lacking good structure and flower display. So we chose strong varieties that will perform well and positioned them to complement each other throughout the season. The bed was reshaped and widened to allow more room for the plantings. We also amended the soil with compost before planting.

Photos 2 and 3 were taken right after the plants were installed. A mixture of evergreens and perennials were planted for seasonal interest throughout the year. Since the garden was planted in September, the plants did not have much time to flower and some of them are showing their autumn color.

Photos 4, 5 and 6 were taken the following summer as you can see the plants are much more mature and the garden is lush and colorful. Tall plants were placed against the stone wall in order to create a colorful view from the street as can be seen in photo 7.

For more information on perennial garden, contact Paul Marini at Fine Gardeners.

Cohasset Garden Renovation Before and After

Paul Marini - Marini Fine Gardeners - Friday, March 30, 2018

This is an ocean front property with very harsh winter winds. Some of the plants were in poor condition and overcrowded so we removed the majority of them and pruned the remaining shrubs as needed. The client wanted more of a cottage-style garden with color and interest each season. The first two photos show the front yard and beds before doing any work. The third photo shows a similar view of the completed job for comparison. The following photos will show more details.

For more information about cottage-style garden, contact Paul Marini at Fine Gardeners.

 

Recreating a Poolside Garden

Paul Marini - Marini Fine Gardeners - Tuesday, March 27, 2018


This is a tiny garden bed next to a swimming pool that had an existing planting of Gold Thread Cypress as seen in Photo 1. The shrubs were no longer very attractive so it was time for a change. The client really liked ornamental grasses so that is primarily what he wanted. Photo 2 shows the empty bed with everything removed with the exception of two large stones.

After the plants are installed in Photo 3, the new garden is much more interesting with a combination of dwarf, mounding grasses and tall, upright varieties that will develop plumes at different times of the year. These blend in nicely with the rest of the existing grasses in the pool area. From the other side of the bed, Photo 4 shows a grouping of dwarf leucothoe 'Scarletta' which will provide 4 seasons of interest especially in the Fall and Winter when it takes on cranberry hues contrasting against the grasses. Photo 5 is from a different view.

For more information on pool side gardens, contact Paul Marini at Fine Gardeners.

Window Boxes and Outdoor Container Gardens for the Holidays

Paul Marini - Marini Fine Gardeners - Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Fine Gardeners, Brookline, Newton, Needham, MADid you think outdoor garden season is over? It's not. You can still make your home more beautiful for the holidays or just for the barren winter season with a gorgeous, but smaller garden. Seasonal window boxes and outdoor container gardens make a home stand out.. Paul Marini, owner of Fine Gardeners, is "making the world a more beautiful place, one garden at a time."

Fine Gardeners specializes in garden design and installation; ornamental pruning of trees and shrubs; seasonal containers; and lawn and garden maintenance. We have been very busy installing winter container gardens for our clients this week. The materials we use include evergreen boughs, colorful twigs, pine cones and red winter-berries to name a few. No artificial products are used!

We bring the materials to you and install them on site in your containers. Our goal is to create festive, colorful arrangements with contrasting textures for a natural look. Special requests are welcome and some of our clients don't celebrate Christmas, so they prefer to avoid a red and green theme.

Seasonal flowers for container gardens placed on your front steps, main entrance or in your window box will not only enhance your property, but will create a welcoming effect for visitors. We are looking for homeowners, restaurants and shop owners in the Needham/Newton/Brookline areas who want to stand out and make their space beautiful.

For more information on container gardens and window boxes, contact Paul Marini at Fine Gardeners.


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