Meghan O'Connell2020/02/19

Transformations Take Time

The evolution of a small urban Somerville garden.
Meghan O'Connell2020/01/26

2019 Garden Project Highlights

The Green Urb Gardens team worked hard on this little urban garden project in Cambridge, MA last fall. This spot was totally overgrown by weed-trees almost as tall as the house, not to mention the unruly amounts of one of our most depised invasive weeds: black swallow wort. But we toiled diligently to remove all of these eye sores before we created a brand-new beautiful garden oasis. We can't wait to see it grow in! Enjoy the before and after photos below.

Meghan O'Connell2020/01/19

Supporting your Garden Ecosystem

It sure has been a strange winter here in Boston. We had a ton of snowfall early in December-- 12 to 24 inches (less in the city, more going into the suburbs) over the course of just 3 days. Then last weekend it was nearly 70 degrees!

As a gardener, I am keenly aware of the interconnectedness of the weather, plants, bugs, animals and our human selves. I worry about the erratic weather patterns that we have been seeing more of lately, and the greater impacts of climate change.

This is why we make natural and self-sustaining garden care our priority. It is so important to make sure all the components of your eco-system are working together so that your garden not only stays beautiful, but actually enhances the earth in which it grows.

Winter in New England naturally causes me to turn inward... to spend more time  reflecting. I'm going into my fourth year of business in 2020 and I am excited to learn more about sustainable gardening so that I can continue to put best practices into use for our clients! I am honing my vision for my business and for the team I will be putting together this year!

Stay tuned...

Besides wintertime reflecting, I also had fun being creative with these winter arrangements. I used branches that I had pruned from clients' plants at the end of fall: Red twig Dogwoods, and Boxwoods, as well as some Spruce branches from my Christmas tree to create these lovely holiday decorations. The branches still look quite nice almost 2 months later!

Meghan O'Connell2019/02/02

Working with What you Got

Although installing a garden with brand new plants is a joyful part of my work, I have to admit that I love repurposing plants even more. "Repurposing"-- better known in the gardening world as transplanting -- is simply digging up an existing plant in the garden and putting it in a different part of the garden. Easy peasy, right?

Not so fast... if you're moving little perennials (depending on the species), then transplanting isn't all that difficult. But if you're moving some shrubs (or trees) that have lived in the same spot for years, then get ready to break a sweat, and maybe ask your best friend for a hand. (You might want to bribe them with the promise of good food and drinks after).

Below is a series of photos in which two beautiful Amosonia hubrichtii "Blue Stars" had taken over a small garden, as well as three shrubby Caryopteris. You will see in the first couple photos these lovely soft Amsonias dominate the center of an urban front yard garden. I divided them into three smaller forms, moving two of them to flank the front steps, and the third to the backyard. I then moved a low growing Boxwood to the center, where it had previously been completely hidden behind the Amsonias. The following year, I moved two of the Caryopteris to either side of the Boxwood in order to fill in the gaps and allow these shrubs more room to grow.

Digging up all these shrubs was not an easy task, especially in the heat of a New England summer! As a general rule, it's best to transplant in spring and fall, when the weather is cooler and the rainfall is plenty. Thankfully, the client watered diligently and all the transplants thrived. Check out the transformation below!

And because I just love photos of flowers in full bloom so much... I'm including a few of those from this garden below, as well.

Meghan O'Connell2019/01/09

Winter is for Hibernating... and Updating my Blog

My blogs always seem to start with wonderful intentions of frequent updates on exciting new projects and lots of photos... and then the reality of life sets in and here I find myself 6 months later FINALLY getting around to giving you an update on my business.

We accomplished a lot in many gardens last year: 32 gardens to be exact! My favorite projects were the big renovations that we did in a day (or several) for new homeowners and for those getting ready to put their homes on the market. My other favorite gardens were those in which we integrated food crops into the landscape! Nothing beats homegrown tomato, green beans or herbs!

Since there is WAY too much to talk about since my last blog update in May, I'm going to make a few blog posts highlighting the progress of a few favorite garden projects.

This first series of photos shows the large garden project we completed in Belmont. We ended up installing almost 500 plants in total! It required a lot of watering and babysitting to ensure that the plants grew in properly. Thankfully, I was able to install a simple drip irrigation system on a water timer for the 3 foundation beds. The "woodland" bed was watered by a sprinkler, which I turned on 2-3 times a week as I made my regular maintenance visits. Enjoy the photos below, which shows the garden beds through the seasons from the first day of planting into summer and ending with a few autumn shots.

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