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We’ve Gone Green!

At Masterpiece Gardens we have made the move to GREEN landscaping in every aspect.

1) Design:

Our first process is design, in which work with our clients to design a garden that is functional and beautiful. We are able to recommend a more organic garden,  which includes organic and recyclable materials as well as a more water conscious garden.

2) Installation:

We are now much more conscientious in our use of organic and recyclable building materials.

Examples:

Carpentry:

– We are now using more composite material instead of wood.  This is recycled plastic that not only lasts longer it is easy to maintain.

– We do use wood on certain projects in which the wood comes from forested areas and not from virgin forests.

–  For framing we stay away from pressure treated wood that is treated with arsenic.  We use pine that is treated with a fungicide to prevent termite damage.  The pressure treated arsenic wood is no longer allowed in our landfills and is taken to a special dumpsite where the wood is disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner similar to asbestos and old paint disposal methods.

– We have also gone to steel framing instead of wood.  Not only do we increase the strength of our structures but also the lifespan of steel is more than wood and there are not the maintenance and deterioration concerns.

Irrigation:

– The irrigation products we use are now almost all recyclable plastics, everything from the pipe, fittings, sprinklers and valves.

– With the advances in solar we look forward to being able to install solar powered irrigation controllers in the very near future.

Plant Material:

– Our plants are grown locally in the Bay Area and San Joaquin Valley. The plastic pots our plants come in are from recycled plastics and all of the pots at the end of each job are returned to our nurseries to be used again for future plants.

Soil:

– The soil we use is from local horse ranches here on the Peninsula.  The soil is heat sterilized so your garden does not smell like a stable but your planting beds get the benefits of rich organic soil with loads of beneficial microbes.

Mulches:

–  All of the mulches used come from Bay Area Tree companies; the trees the arborist companies prune and remove are chipped and delivered to our gardens to be spread throughout our planting beds.  This offers several benefits for all of us:

  • It keeps the chipped wood out of our landfills
  • Mulch helps promote microbial activity in our soils that are robbed on a weekly basis by gardeners blowing all the leaves away.
  • Mulch breaks down and starts to create needed food for our plants so inorganic fertilizer is no longer required to sustain our trees and shrubs.
  • Mulching helps keep the soil moist and in turn reduces water consumption.
  • Mulch helps aerate our compacted clay soils here in the Bay Area.
  • Mulch prevents soil erosion and stabilizes hillsides.
  • Mulch also helps prevent water run-off into our streets and gutters.

3) Maintenance:

– Each week collected compostable debris is recycled and kept out of our landfills.  All limbs and branches are chipped and in turn placed back into our gardens as mulch. Lawn clippings and leaves are composted to create soil and mulch to use in our gardens for new plantings or just as mulch in a barren planting beds

Pest Control:

Insects and diseases are controlled with organic methods instead of commercial pesticides.  Our goal is to promote healthy plants that can ward off diseases and insects. Once again regular mulching helps prevent weed germination and makes manual removal more economical without the use of commercial herbicides.

Organic Fertilizers:

We test our garden soils on a annual basis to see what, if anything is missing.  Organic nutrients can be added to make up for any deficiencies in the soil without the use of inorganic fertilizers.

Water Conservation:

We monitor on a regular basis our irrigation systems.  The slightest adjustments and changes can save gallons of water with each cycle.  Our goal is proper coverage with little to no over-spray and no “run-off”.

Checking soil moisture levels is key to knowing what the plants’ water requirements are.  This is done digging down into the soil where the roots are and not just a topical visual check.  Regular checks helps save water throughout the spring/summer and fall months.

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