Landscape Design, Installation, Maintenance and Masonry

Why aren’t my Hydrangeas the Color Blue?

May 13, 2019

Hydrangeas, always a favorite for garden enthusiasts, are unique in that the color of their flowers change dramatically.  First, let’s clarify that the hydrangea in question are the hydrangea macrophylia, often called Mophead due to their large rounded blooms.  These are the “bush form” hydrangea, as opposed to tree form, which typically have white to light green blooms.  The most common variety of Mophead hydrangea, Endless Summer, is easily found in local nurseries and is the most popular due to the claim that the plant will continuously bloom all season.  There is a second hydrangea macrophylia, Lacecaps that stay white.   The color question is likely the most frequent query addressed to the gardeners from Terrapin Landscapes.  The question typically revolves around the fact that the blooms are a vibrant blue upon purchase, but it’s often noted that they start to turn pink as the plant gets older.  So why the color change, and what can be done about it? Hardy in zones 6 through 10, hydrangeas tend to be a bit fussy about where they live.  The color is in the soil.  So, what is it that allows us, as gardeners, to alter the color of our Hydrangea...

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Terrapin Sets Maine Flower Show Award Record

May 22, 2018

The 2018 Maine Flower Show Last month, we participated in the Maine Flower Show on Thompson’s Point. We really enjoy showing off our landscape expertise to many Mainer’s who are itching to see green grass and blossomed flowers. This year the theme was “Rooted in Maine.” A concept that evoked our desire to showcase the pride we have in our craftsmanship and horticulture activity. Our goal was to create a dining space that transported the visitor to a bouldered oasis at the base of their favorite Maine mountain, whether that be Cadillac or Bradberry. The stonework provided the framework for a landscape engulfed innative plants and trees, while the hand-carved bird bath boulder allowed the bystander to envision a place of respite for animals and avium, alike. At the end of the weekend, Terrapin Landscapes and partners walked away with six awards which set a new Maine Flower Show record! If you were at the show, you were able to read the description of the display, if you missed it, here is what the display read; “Maine is a unique place that is defined by rugged beauty and the character of its people and their traditions. The tools of...

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Fall Garden Clean Up – WINTER IS COMING!!!

July 12, 2017

I know it’s overused at this point, but it’s a phrase that jangles around in my head every morning as I watch the weather forecast and plant my day.   As a gardener, weather rules my day to day life and this fall it has been a little difficult to get all of my fall tasks planned and then executed with all the rain.   But rain or no, it’s time to put our summer gardens to bed for the season, assess what we have (and what we’d like to add) and set ourselves up for happy healthy gardens next spring.  In my opinion, fall is arguable the most important gardening season we people in New England have.  Good preparation now can save us loads of time and effort in the spring.  Here’s a basic checklist of what I look for and do in fall gardens.  As I cut back all my soft perennials, I’m mindful of how the plant will regrow next year and I cut the stems to a length I know won’t interfere with next year’s growth or leave me with a mess at the base of the plants that come up.  It’s much more time consuming to...

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Terrapin Wins Best in Show!

April 4, 2017

The 2017 Maine Flower Show was a success for Terrapin. When Terrapin Landscapes was asked to build a display at The Maine Flower Show, there was no hesitation. It sounded like a lot of fun to do what you love and showcase it. The time and effort that went into this by our staff was immeasurable, but we were right… they truly enjoyed it! We are thankful for each of them and are proud of what they accomplished. As a result, Terrapin Landscapes took home 3 awards from the judges: Best Use of Native Plants, Best Theme and Best in Show! The display was titled ‘Somewhere in Maine’ and the description below says it perfectly because it truly felt like you could have been anywhere in our beautiful state of Maine…  “Maine is known for its jagged, rocky coastline, low rolling mountains, heavily forested interior, and picturesque granite and spruce covered islands. This garden design was meant to encourage the sustainable utilization of the unique characteristics of Maine. The use of native plants and natural occurring stone is intended to create a landscape that works in harmony with Maine’s natural richness to not only provide relaxation, but also encourage long...

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Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

March 21, 2017

The old expression still rings true, but it’s only half the story. A fence is not strictly a perimeter that surrounds a property or divides one back yard from another. This may be true in tight spaces where separation or buffering is not possible with planting making a fence the only option.  The full story is that in creative landscape design, fences play a more diverse role. They can create a dramatic backdrop for plantings or provide a structure for plants to climb on. Used in this way, the fence becomes a “Vertical Garden” which can be used in areas where a traditional garden is not possible. Fences are often used to keep children and pets safe, but they are a perfect example of a functional element that can become fashionable through good design. Here in Maine, we can have Mother Nature play a role in the usefulness of a fence. It can become barely visible in some seasons or a highlighted design element in others. Fencing can be constructed to compliment any design theme or home improvement trend. Pergolas, arbors, and trellises also provide artistic and functional elements to your yard or garden. These garden structures accent entrances,...

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Terrapin Landscapes of Kennebunkport, ME Awarded Best Of Houzz 2017

January 28, 2017

The 16-year old landscape design, installation and masonry company was chosen by the more than 35 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals. Terrapin Landscapes of Kennebunkport, Maine has won “Best Of Customer Service,” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 35 million monthly users on Houzz. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2016. A “Best Of Houzz 2017” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz. Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are...

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Early Spring Lawn Care and Gardening Tips

March 15, 2016

March is here and this month is known for very unpredictable weather here in Maine.  One day, your lawn and gardens can be covered with several inches of unexpected snow and then, a couple of days later, temperatures can warm up enough for flower and leaf buds to start to come to life.  Still, there are several early Spring tasks that we can do to get a jump start on getting your property ready for summer.  Pruning: Remove burlap from trees and shrubs as the weather warms.  Prune away winter-killed branches to make room for new growth.  Any branches damaged by snow and ice can be pruned back to live wood.  Make sure your pruners are very sharp be careful to make clean cuts that do not tear the bark.  Summer flowering shrubs can be pruned to promote better blooms, but don’t prune too aggressively on spring flowing shrubs like Forsythia and Rhododendron or you will remove this year’s flower buds.  Remove old, woody canes from roses to promote new growth.  Look for an up coming blog post about pruning Hydrangeas, a topic I am asked about very often.   Transplanting: Early Spring is the time to transplant and divide perennials...

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Terrapin Landscapes of Kennebunkport, ME Awarded Best Of Houzz 2016

February 8, 2016

The 15-year old landscape design, installation and masonry company was chosen by the more than 35 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals. Terrapin Landscapes of Kennebunkport, Maine has won “Best Of Customer Service,” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 35 million monthly users on Houzz. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2015. A “Best Of Houzz 2016” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz. Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are...

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Ice Melt… What’s best?

February 4, 2016

Although we have not had much for snow here in Kennebunkport, thanks El Nino, freezing conditions and ice control has still been an issue this winter for homeowners and contractors alike.  I am often asked by my clients, friends and family, “What is the best ice melter to use?”  The first thing that comes to my mind is, what type of surface will the product be applied to?  When you have a new stone driveway or walkway, the mere thought of having to lay harsh chemicals on it is difficult.  The con being visual and structural damage and the pro outweighing the con is of course, safety.   Things to consider when choosing what’s best for you are the type of stone, pets, traffic flow, surrounding plants, and environmental impact.  Remember, for whatever type of ice melt you choose, application is important.  Before laying any deicing agent, remove all the snow you can.  Spreading a thin, even layer is best.  Excessive application is what damages stone most when using any type of melting agent, even the most gentle.  Avoid spreading it near plants or grass.  In the Spring, melting agents are still there and if they get in your turf or...

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Design Your Dream

August 5, 2015

Terrapin Landscapes is featured in the July issue of Lawn & Landscape Magazine.  A new logo, tweak to the company name and new website help re-position a lawncare company to a broader market in Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Southern Maine.  Walkways, patios, stonework and landscape design and installation projects are now the company’s primary focus.  Click the link below to read the article.   Lawn and Landscape...

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