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Jim Douthit sits with Boston Voyager to highlight his path from Hawaii to Boston and recount the humble beginnings of a Blade of Grass. An innate love of gardens, a few key connections, a lot of hard work, and two-plus decades later, the company has designed Boston’s most beautiful properties. To read the entire interview visit Boston Voyager.
It’s wedding season and Boston Design Guide has a quick look at a few backyard options for the big day, including one of our properties. As designers we always consider it a high honor when our clients host an event as special as a wedding in their own gardens. If you’re in the throes of ceremony planning, or just want to be inspired, check out their gallery.
The writers at Houzz explore the many uses of gravel in the garden and throughout your property, with a few examples from our Boston-area clients. From permeable paths and driveways to water features and more, the “10 Clever Uses for Gravel in the Garden” article gives credit to this very versatile landscaping material. Take a look at these creative ways to put gravel to work in your landscape.
Just in time for Summer, Boston Magazine has featured our historic 1828 Federal property in Cambridge, MA in their “Five Outdoor Living Spaces to Celebrate Summer” article. A true transformation story, the home’s neglected grounds were reborn with lush redbud trees, shade-tolerant rhododendrons, garden steppers, climbing roses – accenting the 19th-century roots while retaining a low maintenance regimen for a 21st-century family.
It’s June and that means it’s garden tour season. On the 8th, join the Garden Club of Sudbury’s Simply Sudbury Garden Tour to explore eight local gardens of all sizes with many notable features, including traditional New England gardens, beautiful containers for small spaces, and even a “living landscape” farm with greenhouse, orchard and vineyard. Then, on June 10th, the Friends of Natick’s Bacon Free Library host their annual Blooming Books Garden Tour & Floral Design Raffle. This year’s tour will feature three beautiful gardens, where visitors can chat with owners about their garden designs and maintenance, followed by a cocktail reception and raffle.
This week the spotlight is on “Urban Edens” and Boston Design Guide has included one of our Boston South End rooftop gardens in their list of inspirational designs. Noted are the use and variety of colorful containers, creative screening, and “park-like” vibe. There are several of other great examples of city oases featured throughout the article, so be sure to read and add your thoughts in the comment section.
One of our recent projects, a beautiful Federal Style property, was in the spotlight at the May 15 Boston Home Magazine Summer Edition Launch held in Burlington, MA. The historic Cambridge property will also be featured in the magazine’s Summer publication. Blade’s Senior Designer, Tom Wilhelm, and interior designer Stephanie Rossi of Spazio Rosso, presented to an audience of Boston-area design industry insiders with proceeds from the event going to the nonprofit partner Rebuilding Together Boston. Photo by Person + Killian Photography.
Boston Design Guide has nice write-up of our recent backyard transformation in Weston, MA. Featuring bluestone paving, an outdoor kitchen, a fire pit and a sparkling pool and spa, they describe the property redo as an “elevated playground” – and we think that sums it up nicely. Check out the article and leave a comment if you like what you see.
A shout out to our friends at Concord Art. They’re hosting a week-long “SPRING INTO ART WEEK” celebration of Art & Artists. Lots of events to choose from including storytelling, yoga for artists, art in bloom, and a Great Big “Small Works” Art sale. Bring a friend and keep an eye out for a few planters we donated to this great cause.
New England Home sat with Blade’s Heather Lashbrook Jones to discuss design and maintenance strategies that will help you keep your garden looking great year round. From fertilizer to irrigation, planters to pruning, visit New England Home to see all of Heather’s garden care tips.
Join the Sudbury Historical Society and Sudbury Agricultural Commission on Saturday, May 5, 2018 to learn about Sudbury’s agricultural history and farm buildings and how today’s farm owners maintain their operations. Each ticket includes an informative tour booklet with a map of the 7 participating properties. The Tour is self-guided between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm and farms can be visited in any order. If you enjoy local history, agriculture, and farm buildings, don’t miss this event! Get your tickets here.
We’re thrilled to announce that a Blade of Grass has won APLD’s 2018 Silver Award for Residential Design for the design and installation of our “Westwood Backyard” property. This project was a full transformation and noted by the APLD judges for it’s detailed hardscaping and excellent use of space. We love creating these outdoor living spaces for our clients, and very honored to be recognized for our work.
Well look at that, Jim’s Wayland “farmstead” is featured in this month’s Country Gardens magazine. Bees, chickens, flowers, and a gorgeous edible garden – talk about a passion project! We’re thrilled and so proud. Download the article (pdf).
There’s no denying Instagram is the place to be for sharing a story. So we’ve (finally) created our very own account and hope you’ll add us to yours. You can check out daily shots of our crew, office antics, and of course, the properties we’re transforming throughout the Boston area. We’d love to hear your comments and wouldn’t mind a few likes too. Add us @ instagram.com/abladeofgrass_llc.
Each year a Blade of Grass makes a year-end donation to Heifer International – a charitable organization that supplies livestock and training to struggling communities throughout the world. We base our contribution on the number of word-of-mouth referrals we receive. For 2017 our contribution is: 22 flocks of chickens and 4 goats. If you aren’t familiar with Heifer, please visit their website to learn more. Obviously, we’re big fans.
We’re excited to announce that a Blade of Grass has been awarded “Best Of Client Satisfaction 2018” from Houzz, a leading platform for home remodeling and design. This award holds special meaning for us as we take great pride in the close relationships we form with our clients – many have been with us since our start almost 25 years ago! If you haven’t already, be sure to see our portfolios and featured articles on Houzz and leave your feedback. Be sure to also see our other awards.
Every year our team gets bigger and better. And so it is again – we’re looking for talented (and fun) people to make a Blade of Grass even more amazing. If you’re an experienced account or project manager, fine gardener, mason, crew leader, irrigation technician, or just have a passion for landscape design, check out our latest job postings. If you’re ready to make a great career move, apply today or call us to learn more.
a Blade of Grass is proud to be a “Community Friend” for Lamson Park in Weston, a new playground in the town center. This project is the result of hard work and contributions from throughout the community, and one that will continue to give back for generations to come. Be sure to stop by if you’re in the neighborhood and enjoy the new playground.
The Wellesley Hills Junior Women’s Club (WHJWC) is hosting their 41st Annual Wellesley Marketplace on Saturday, November 11th at the Wellesley High School. It’s a great place to find those unique holiday gifts and proceeds from the event help fund need-based scholarships for high school students and grants to Wellesley-based community groups. Available wares include gourmet foods, handmade jewelry, artwork, crafts, and clothing from over 200 vendors and artisans. You can buy tickets now and also enter to win several awesome prizes donated by local businesses (that’s us!).
Boston’s WCVB’s “5 for Good” focuses it’s camera on Hope in Bloom, the Dedham-based non-profit that builds and maintains gardens throughout Massachusetts at the homes of patients undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Blade’s Heather Lashbrook Jones volunteered her time for this Lexington project and speaks with reporter/anchor Erika Tarantal about the design process (video). We’ve mentioned Hope in Bloom in previous posts and look forward to working with their amazing team on many gardens to come. Please take moment to learn more about there mission and consider donating your time or resources to help those in need.
We absolutely love hostas! With so many shapes, textures and hues, they’re truly the workhorse of gardens around the world. Check out our featured properties and you’ll see them put to use in almost every design. Houzz thinks they’re pretty awesome too and have included one of our properties in their latest “all about hostas” blog post. Read more to discover why so many gardeners keep these amazing plants in their design toolbox.
Another call-out for Jim’s showcase Wayland Farmhouse – from Boston Design Guide. In celebration of “summer’s lush greenscapes and bountiful blooms”, the Guide’s Sandy Giardi highlights seven of Boston’s most notable properties, walking us through each while paying special attention to what makes them so special to their owners.
Jim discusses with Wellesley Weston Magazine‘s Patty Lenz Bovie the ins and outs of creating the perfect outdoor living space. Among his suggestions are an awareness of the room’s accessibility, incorporating multiple levels in order to define the area, mixing it up when it comes to visual elements, and finding the right mix of plantings and hardscaping. Read the entire article to see what Jim, and several other local designers, offer as their landscaping advice.
Noted Garden Design Online blogger, Jane Berger highlights Jim’s Wayland Farmhouse – APLD’s 2017 Gold Award winner for Residential Design. With a designer’s eye, Jane describes the property’s unique challenges and amazing transformation. Be sure to check out the story and the rest of the website for some great reading.
That’s right, we’ve moved from our Boston Post Road location in Wayland to a brand new building just a few miles down route 20 in beautiful Sudbury. It’s a big deal for us as our team has been growing (a lot) and space was rather limited. A new conference room, several design studios, and lots of natural light are just a few of the perks in our new Sudbury location. We’ll be sure to post a few photos of the offices and property on facebook soon, but if you’re in the area, please feel free to stop in and say “hi” and see our new home for yourself.
We can’t imagine a more rewarding way to apply our landscaping skills than on behalf of the Hope in Bloom organization. Based in Dedham, this wonderful non-profit provides gardens to local women and men who are being treated for breast cancer. Free of charge, each garden is tailored to the recipient’s property and tastes, with the goal of improving the quality of life for the patients and their families. If you would like to volunteer your gardening talent, materials, or simply make a donation, please visit their website to support this very worthy cause.
Jim Douthit speaks with New England Home‘s Kaitlin Madden regarding the strategy and impact of a great property makeover. Examples of our projects in Brookline, Wellesley, Dover, Boston, and Weston are examined as Jim explains his perspective on “outdoor rooms.” As they say – seeing is believeing. Check out these amazing transformations and learn more about challenges and successes of each.
The 2017 winner of APLD‘s Gold Award for Residential Design goes to Blade designer and owner, Jim Douthit, for his “Farmhouse” project in Wayland, MA. To be sure, this property offered a unique opportunity for Jim to flex his extraordinary creativity and design vision, and we’re so proud that his hard work was recognized by this very prestigous organization. Be sure to see the results of this amazing transformation for yourself.
It’s a quick mention, but always an honor to be included in such a popular publication. In this design tip, HGTV asks our designer Heather Lashbrook Jones her thoughts on prioritizing a patio in terms of focus and materials.
For the past several years, a Blade of Grass has been donating to Heifer International – an amazing organization that is “working to end hunger and poverty around the world by providing livestock and training to struggling communities.” In an effort to include our clients in this charity, we also make contributions for each word-of-mouth referral they generate (they really add up!). The tally is in and our contribution for 2016 is: 24 flocks of chickens, 7 goats, 3 alpacas, and 3 llamas. Congrats to all – it really feels great to be a small part of this effort.
Check out our work in the February/March issue of Traditional Home magazine (pdf). Kudos to designer Tom Wilhelm for creating a “lawnless” (and low maintenance) outdoor space that fits the family’s lifestyle perfectly.
Be sure to stop by the Wellesley Marketplace on November 19 and support a great cause. Keep an eye out for a few of our planters that are being raffled off for the Wellesley Gardeners’ Guild.
Nothing is more quintisentially New England Fall than relaxing by a beautiful outdoor fireplace on a cool evening. In honor of the season, Boston Design Guide has featured one of our favorite properties in their recent 10 Outdoor Fireplace and Firepit Designs for Fall article. Be sure to see all the great ideas and examples in their post.
Boston Design Guide likes our graduated terrace in Boston’s charming South End. This has always been one of our favorite projects for it’s simple yet elegant intimacy. Perfect for a quiet evening by the grill, or entertaining friends before a night out.
Our very own senior landscape designer, Tom Wilhelm, was awarded the Association of Professional Landscape Designers 2016 Designer of the Year at the annual APLD International Design Conference in Santa Fe, NM. Tom also received a 2016 Chapter Service Award. Congratualtions Tom, we’re so proud.
Fireplaces vs. fire pits – the debate continues. Tom Wilhelm gives his advice on choosing which is right for your outdoor space, and the pros/cons of gas and wood options, in this Boston Globe article.
Another exciting spotlight on a Blade of Grass and our work, this one from the May/June issue of New England Home (pdf). Jim speaks with Lisa Harrison about his passion for design, the success of a Blade of Grass, and the amazing work he’s done with his very own property in Wayland, MA. Also included is a photo gallery highlighting Jim’s circa-1811 farmhouse and barn and their surrounding gardens, patio, and entryway.
Nothing beats a seaside view. New England Home (pdf) apparently agrees and has featured yet another of our properties in their Special Focus: Landscape Design 2016 issue. The waterfront residence in Duxbury is busy poolside gatherings and family entertainment. Writer Paula M. Bodah notes the combination of hydrangeas, dogwoods, and arborvitaes allow for full blooms throughout the summer and the hardscaping protects from the ocean winds.
Our Brookline Brownstone property gets the spotlight in this month’s Traditional Home (pdf). Walk through the iron gate to a Checkerboard Garden, where patterned pavers lead past a circular flower bed.
Blade designer, Heather Lashbrook Jones reviewed a few essential tasks every New England homeowner should take when preparing their homes (and gardens) for winter. Tips include cutting perennials, properly tying shrubs and boxwoods, servicing your irrigation systems and more. It’s quick read, but worth the effort if you’re serious about protecting one of your most valuable investments. Check out the entire post at Boston Design Guide.
Gardens are not only good for the soul, they can also be (growing) mind. Pith + Vigor blog highlights one of our Newton designs, with an educational perspective.
Old House Online tells the story of how an avid gardener and a Blade of Grass reworked a streetside urban plot in Brookline to create private “rooms” along with lawns and perennial beds—while honoring the scale of the big old house.
Our very own Jim Douthit reveals his Wayland farmhouse makeover, with special attention to the driveway and four-season plantings. Special thanks to the author, Rochelle Greayer for this amazing feature on Martha Stewart’s website.
We share a few tips with Boston Design Guide for making the most of landscape lighting. When done well, landscape lighting can transform your outdoor space, and allow you to enjoy your garden throughout the evening, especially in the months where daylight is short. Check out the quick blog they posted that highlights our work.
Our “urban secret” APLD Gold Award winner is featured in this month’s Design New England (pdf).This long term project, spanning over three years, turned a neglected Brookline corner property into a formal English country estate garden, or at least, the illusion of one.
Every space, large or small, has the potential to delight. Garden Design Online posted a nice write up featuring one of our recent “mosdest” designs in Boston’s South End. An outdoor fireplace allows the townhouse owners to enjoy the space well into the New England evenings, and a relaxing water feature masks the sounds of the busy neighborhood. View the entire post to read more about this hidden urban treasure.
It’s always nice to be recognized by our local publications. This month Kyle Hoepner, of New England Home, noted a container arrangement we had posted on Houzz. Thanks Kyle. If you haven’t explored both of these online resources we highly recommend. There’s no shortage of inspiration, and both make it far too easy to spend hours collecting ideas and admiring the work of so many talented designers. Enjoy!
a Blade of Grass designer Heather Lashbrook Jones and a Wellesley property are featured in this month’s Wellesley Weston Magazine. The topic – the Hills Garden Club of Wellesley Garden Tour. Heather discusses her strategy for a identifying the right design perspective and notes the need to understand how the owners plan to engage with their property. Read more about the tour and be sure to attend – there’s so much to see and enjoy.