Garden Care

Sweetgum Horticulture is proud of its professional team of hard workers who are detailed, knowledgeable, and willing to translate your priorities and style into a comprehensive garden maintenance program. We use sustainable practices, certified organic products, and quiet hand tools.

 

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During our weekly visits from mid-March through early December, we:

  • Carefully weed garden beds
  • Hand-water new plantings
  • Plant, groom, divide, and rearrange perennials
  • Care for ornamental container gardens that we update several times a year
  • Plant and maintain organic kitchen gardens and planters filled with vegetables, herbs and edible flowers
  • Prune shrubs with hand clippers
  • Install colorful plantings of annuals in carefully sited spots, to nourish hummingbirds, butterflies and pollinators
  • Protect certain shrubs against snow and animal damage in winter with twine, netting, caging and burlap
  • Adjust irrigation systems, in order to reduce water use as much as possible while ensuring that plants thrive

 

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  • Use our constantly updated knowledge of plant health care to:

    • Scout for pests, diseases and invasive plants
    • Submit samples to university labs
    • Apply organic treatments
    • Work with a pest control company in the rare case that a non-organic control is warranted
  • Perform soil tests for:

    • Nutrients and pH, followed by an application of nature-friendly fertilizers or lime if necessary
    • Lead and other contaminants

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  • Take care of houseplants:

    • Move them in and out of the house seasonally
    • Repotting
    • Pest control
    • Fertilizing
  • Landscape management—schedule work with other landscape professionals:

    • Pest control companies
    • Arborists
    • Lawn care specialists

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Meg S., Newton

I hope you will share this with your wonderful team: we are so grateful for the work you have done and for the art you have achieved. We absolutely love our yard and enjoy every minute we get to be out there. My husband and I both have the tough combination of black thumbs but a love of lush green space. As he said yesterday when we walked up the driveway, it feels like we get to live in a park. Thank you!

Meg S., Newton

Rebecca R, Framingham

We are so happy with the work of Sweetgum in our yard. Catherine's designs are amazing for creating a real space for our family to live in and use, and the whole team helps keep our yard looking great all year long. I especially love the attention to what we need from each space, whether it's a running area for our kids, or less lawn to mow, we have gotten so much beauty and joy out of the changes in our yard. Most recently, there have been several new paths put in our front yard and both of our kids (and us adults, too) have been having so much fun following the paths around and around in the space that once was a boring place to be. I highly recommend Catherine as a wonderfully mindful architect of outdoor spaces, and am grateful to her direct team and all of the wonderful companies she works with for making our yard a really pleasant place to spend time in.

Rebecca R, Framingham

Barbara W., Natick

Catherine and her team from Sweetgum have turned my backyard into a lush green sanctuary . I have lived in my house for 38yrs and my yard has never looked so good.
Her team comes weekly and cares for all my perennials, they plant seasonal annuals, and they monitor the shrubs, grass and trees for signs of insects or poor growth.
The events of the past years have forced us all outside more and I have been so grateful to her and her team for creating a beautiful space that I share with friends and family.

Barbara W., Natick

A very satisfied customer, West Newton

Catherine and her team have been doing outstanding work on my property for about 8 years now. The garden has expanded in ways that make me a garden lover. The Sweetgum team is on hand weekly to prune and tend to the flowers, watching for over- or underwatering; and defend against floral predators, such as bunnies (dealt with humanely; we convince them to leave).

Catherine’s team members are all well informed; observant as to the needs of the garden; and very friendly. I do not know what I would do without Catherine and her team.

A very satisfied customer, West Newton

Rob S., Dover

The team from Sweetgum Horticulture does a phenomenal job maintaining our plantings, sprucing up with annuals and designing beautiful window boxes. Just having them with us for a couple of hours a week has made such a difference! And they are some of the nicest people you'll meet.

Rob S., Dover

Adam K., Newton

The house looks great! Best spring bloom we’ve had. Everything looks so good and I know more to come as it fills out. Thank you!

Adam K., Newton

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An Ecological Approach to Garden Care

For the past several years, we have been encouraging our clients to think about fall leaf removal and perennial cut-downs with a bit more intention. In addition to numerous ecological benefits, our clients have appreciated the significant cost savings that can result from leaving natural leaf and perennial cover, due to reduced labor and materials related to blowing leaves, mulching, weeding, and fertilizing.

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Our goal is to make you feel comfortable in your landscape and pleased with its appearance. At the same time, we strive to ensure that it appears tidy enough to pass the scrutiny of neighbors, while maximizing the environmental value of your property. A phrase often used by ecological garden managers is “cues to care”, which can mean management techniques like making sure the beds are neatly edged, leaves are relegated to defined areas, perennial stems are trimmed in a way that looks tidy but also provides nesting habitat for pollinators, etc.

In addition to aesthetics, we consider practical issues like tick control by keeping moist, leafy areas and tall vegetation away from where you will be sitting or walking, or where children will be playing.

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What about chemicals?

Through my professional background, I understand why synthetic (non-organic) pesticides are used in commercial horticulture and agriculture, but I feel that they are rarely justified in the average home garden. The chance of exposure to children or pets, as well as negative effects on the environment, are too great. Although I have first-hand experience using many common horticultural chemicals, I would likely recommend non-organic chemicals only if important shade trees were at risk, or to control certain invasive plants. As for fertilizers, I believe the nutritional needs of home garden plants can be met with primarily organic sources, combined with the liberal use of compost and enriching mulches.

 

 

Sweetgum Horticulture is accepting a limited number of new Garden Care Clients who share our ecological gardening vision.

Area of Service

Sweetgum Horticulture is serving clients in the Metro West communities of Boston, MA, including Wellesley, Weston, Newton, Needham, Natick, Wayland, Lincoln, Dover, Sherborn, Sudbury, and Framingham.

Gift Certificates

Gift certificates are available for all of Sweetgum Horticulture's services. These make great birthday, thank-you or Mother’s Day gifts.

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