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Closeup of the center and partial petals of a deep yellow sunflower.
Adirondack chairs in front of a firepit with a beautiful mountain view

Backyard Improvement Ideas for Comfort, Beauty & Health

We strive to bring comfort and inspiration to you and offer backyard improvement ideas for beauty and health as a few minutes of respite from the cares of the world. Many of our clients have found our green care experts’ property visits reassuring during these last months: “it’s like you’re ambassadors of normalcy!” Below we’ve compiled a few ideas and resources below to help bring tranquility to your green and growing world in New Hampshire and Vermont.

Garden Delights 

This beautiful flower animation will make all you gardeners and horticulturalists out there smile, and we all need more of those.

Virtual garden tours are truly inspiring. Though not quite the same as being there, I found my jaw gaping several times while touring Monet’s garden on a large screen, making it seem like I was almost there, at least visually. Nothing can replace the other sensory experiences of visiting a spectacular garden, but right now I’ll take it!

Oliver Sacks wrote about the therapeutic benefits of gardening before the pandemic, as did Psychology Today. Oh my, how that resonates for so many of us now! Despite my sore thumbs and wrists, being in the garden daily this spring has certainly boosted my mental health….

Outdoor Room Inspiration

‘Staycations’ are what many of us will be doing this summer. There are some pretty interesting ideas out there for making the most of it.

Ongoing inspiration from Gardenista is one email marketing campaign not relegated to my spam folder. I find a golden nugget every time I read one of their newsletters about living more fully in our outdoor spaces.

Sun and Fire

Tree Gifts & Backyard Improvement Ideas

Celebrate a special occasion or milestone event by planting trees, either in an American Forests wildland restoration project, or in your own backyard.

Either way, these trees will stand as vital reminders of the special moments worth commemorating in our lives. Since Plant Something Weekend is June 6-7 in New Hampshire, there is no better time than now!

Questions about tree care? Find probably more than any homeowner ever wanted to know at Tree Care Tips, information thoroughly vetted by our accrediting industry association.

Our ash trees are under siege from emerald ash borer (EAB) in both Vermont and New Hampshire. There is still time to protect important trees in your landscape, contact us for more information.

Please help control the spread of EAB by NOT moving firewood, this destructive invasive insect may indeed spread more slowly this year when many folks are sticking closer to home for their summer vacations.

Ticks Making Your Outside Living Space Unfriendly?  

Tick-Free New Hampshire has some great tips and resources, this especially helpful page visualizes how to create a tick-free yard.

Vermont has produced a nice educational booklet called Be Tick Smart.

Tick Report is a service through UMASS Amherst that will provide pathogen testing of the tick that has bitten you.

Lawn Shorts

Please remember your lawn doesn’t like heat and short haircuts. This printable Turf Tips on mowing has all the details on why-what-when-how.

Quiet, battery-charged robotic auto mowers are an alternative to traditional approaches for the right property and free up the time you spend mowing the lawn. We are a certified dealer and installer for Husqvarna USA, contact us for more information about next generation of backyard improvement ideas and tools.

When it’s hot, judicious watering of your lawn and landscape is a must. For conservation purposes we recommend timers and rain gauges if you don’t have irrigation, here’s another printable Turf Tips on watering.

Beautiful tree, lawn and landscape

Land & Forest Musings

Healthy soil makes your plants resilient to summer heat, pests and diseases.

Learn more about forest therapy, or Shinrin-Yoku, the Japanese practice of spending time in forested areas for the purpose of enhancing health, wellness, and happiness.

UNH Extension named five helpful native plants for those spots where taller herbaceous plants won’t work well as groundcovers.  

Kidding Around

Tree coloring sheets (for kids of all ages).

Terrific game and activity resources for the summer months are found at Arbor Day, to help young people learn about trees.

As a family watch this video as a family about how trees talk to each other.

Green Care Bookshelf

Dream Plants for the Natural Garden by Piet Oudolf and Henk Gerrtsen. I saw a virtual Oudolf garden tour in early May and then had to have this guide to 1200+ plants. An unexpected surprise is the wonderful and humorous writing throughout [those troublesome, capricious plants], who giggles through a plant guide? Me now.

The Tree Book: Superior Selections for Landscapes, Streetscapes and Gardens by Michael A. Dirr and Keith S. Warren. Written by people who love trees for people who love trees, need I say more?

Gardentopia: Design Basics for Creating Beautiful Outdoor Spaces by Jan Johnsen (Published locally by Countryman Press). I attended a webinar Jan gave earlier this month through the Montshire Museum series and felt compelled to buy her book after filling several legal pad pages with notes.

A Few Reminders for Our Current Clients

Lawn Signs In Lieu of Door Hangers

In keeping with social distancing guidelines, our turf and plant health care technicians are leaving information about their visit (what was treated, product(s) used and any notes or instructions) attached to the lawn sign staked in a conspicuous location on your property. At this time, we feel using our customary door hanger is crossing into your personal domain.

Turf and PHC service notices will be left in a conspicuous place in your yard rather than on your door

Prepaid Invoices

We hold the monthly prepaid/$0 balance ‘invoices’ until the end of each month and mail them all together early the next month. This was implemented years ago to address client concerns about receiving too much ‘no action required’ mail from Chippers.

Your Mowing Company & Gardeners

If our technicians arrive at your property for a turf or plant health care application that involves spraying, we will not be able to proceed with service if gardeners or landscapers are working in the treatment area. This is for their protection. If your mowing company or gardener typically visits on a particular day of the week, just let us know and we will be happy to schedule around them.

Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.
~Hans Christian Anderson


We hope at least one of these backyard improvement ideas adds some ‘sunshine, freedom and a little flower’ to your outdoor living experience. The seasons will keep arriving in all their glory…and we will still be here for you and our communities. Be well, get outside and let us know if there’s anything we can do to help you.