With the birth of our second son this year, we decided to opt out of any winter flower shows. Instead, we thought we would reminisce about what it took to put past shows together. Wow, it's been a ton of work. Notice how much older Samantha and Neil look each year! These shows certainly added to their gray hair count. Join us for our trip down memory lane!
After what we hope is the final "dig out," we've managed to start going vertical. Our lumber has arrived and it's time to start seeing some results from all the "underground preparation." We are using rough sawn lumber for most of the woodwork. This will give the cottage a rustic look, especially since some of that lumber will be exposed. With the lower posts up, the sub-floor installed, and the upper corner posts attached,… Read All
Another 15" of snow. Enough is enough! Here's a lovely picture of our "cottage" job site at the moment. Don't get me wrong, if we were hiking outside with snow shoes or cross country skiing, this site would be lovely. But, we're not. What we are trying to do is build a project that we've had our hearts set on for a year. Add to that digging out stone and materials for the flower show, and you've got yourself a couple… Read All
After removing many buried boulders, the foundation for the upper part of the cottage has been excavated and poured. In order to preserve an existing stone wall, the structure is being built over the wall, similiar to a deck. It will sit on posts, thereby giving the homeowner a place for storage beneath the structure. Thankfully, we've also beaten the weather in order to get the concrete poured for these posts. These… Read All
While we were building the focal point of last year's Rhode Island Flower show display, the stone cottage, we kept our fingers crossed that someone would want us to build a real one. Miraculously, at the end of the show, a new client approached us to build a small stone cottage on their property, similiar to our garden display (click HERE to see that display). So, you could say, this project is a "dream come true." After… Read All
After viewing photos by Magma Design Group, Inc. on their website, I was immediately drawn to their unique landscape design and custom stone work. I was living in a new development at the time and had decided that my cookie-cutter yard needed an attention-grabbing makeover. After spending time with me and getting a sense of my personal vision, owners Neil and Samantha Best presented and implemented a beautiful, colorful design complete with a bubbling water feature and patio created with hand-cut bluestone flagging. In a separate project they designed a stunning stone garden in a low, wet area of my property that was underwater with every torrential downpour. The rain garden collects and holds rainfall during these events, allowing it to seep into the ground gradually without flooding the area. I couldn't be happier with the result or with this couple who is incredibly talented and passionate about the work that they do.
After almost a year of preparation, this DEM permitted plan is finally being built! And what a transformation! Located on one of the most beautiful pieces of property that we have had the pleasure to work on, it is quite the challenge. A 15’ grade change, invasive plants galore, and lots of planning and filling out paperwork to get the approvals we needed. This project consists of terracing the slope using boulders… Read All
Back in the spring, we were pleased to be asked by Tranquil Water Gardens to join in their effort to fundraise for the organization called Alex’s Lemonade by opening up one of our client’s gardens to their garden tour. This was such a great day. It was filled with fantasic food (thanks to Ann Deffley of Traveling Gourmet), great music (thanks Colin), and an enthusiastic crowd. Aside from knowing that we
This is our first project of the season. It is literally located in what I am convinced is the rockiest place on earth. This first image is only the beginning of what we have been digging up. 18” diameter holes that are being dug for sonotube placement have turned into 3’ diameter holes because we keep needing to remove giant boulders. This is a test of patience! Nonetheless, this is a very fun project to… Read All
...and I'll take your house down because you built it for the Flower Show! I guess all good things have to come to an end. So now we begin the breakdown process. This is always bittersweet. On the one hand, we'll finally get some sleep, on the other hand we put a tremendous amount of energy into this only to have it dissolve before our eyes. However, we're confident the stone cottage will find a good… Read All