Inspirational Gardens
Inspirational Gardens
Inspirational Gardens
Inspirational Gardens

Fall 2019

March 11th, 2020 | Posted by John Rice in Uncategorized

Hi Everyone,

I hope you enjoyed your summer and now the beginning of fall.  This summer we had good moisture (119% of average).  Temperatures were slightly cooler than average in June, and then it really warmed up in July and August.  We finished the summer 2.5 degrees per day above average. September averaged 1.5 degrees per day above average and rain was 55% of average. October will come in a bit above average in temperatures and way above average in rain. The adequate soil moisture has made this fall a great time to be planting. We have had some light frost but no freezes yet, the growing season has not ended in my garden.

The winter forecast calls for average precipitation and slightly above normal temperatures.  After a low count through the summer, the tick counts the last 3 weeks have been high. The white and red oak families are all dropping acorns this year. A large oak can drop as many as 10,000 acorns on a good season, it’s called a mast year.  Acorns are deer’s favorite food. I like to collect some acorns now and then put the collected acorns out when there is snow on the ground so the deer keep eating the acorns rather than my plants.

As winter approaches, here are some things to consider for your property:

  • Don’t put your pots away!!!!  Have your entryway look spectacular this holiday season (winterberry, variegated boxwood, magnolia, birchwood, holly, incensed cedar, eucalyptus, juniper and other branches etc).  You can have them look great for the whole holiday season and beyond. Many of last years containers still looked great when we did the spring clean up this year.  Doing containers is how I started in the industry and I love doing them for you!
  • Planting bulbs for next spring. Plant now so they will be there in the spring! You can plant them till the ground freezes. Using the right bulbs can also be a great way to keep critters out of your garden.
  • Planting of trees & shrubs. November is a great month to plant shrubs and trees in our cooler weather.
  • Protect evergreen shrubs and conifers from being eaten by deer, using sprays or netting.
  • Have your house be festive all winter long with outside holiday decorations.
  • Mulch to protect the roots of trees and shrubs from cold, and or dry weather.
  • Tie branches (i.e. arborvitae, boxwood) to prevent branches from breaking under snow weight.
  • Spray an anti-desiccant on your evergreens to prevent winter-kill of their branches.
  • Fertilize your spring bulbs so they all come up beautiful next year.
  • Have the final cut of your lawn be short (1.5-2”) this will lessen the chance of snow mold in the lawn in the early spring.
  • Clean up of leaves and debris, gutters too. Put critter repellant where necessary, especially for voles and rabbits.
  • Cut down invasives or bramble (i.e. bittersweet) off trees and shrubs to prevent snow & ice load damage, and for invasive control.
  • Stake young or vulnerable trees so they do not fall over.


Policy Notes: When we do your fall leaf cleanup, our practice is to not blow mulch out of your beds so it is there to protect plant material roots from freezing.  That means that we may leave some leaves in those areas until spring when we do a full clean up.  Near high profile areas, entrances etc., we will do a more thorough round up of leaves.  If you have any questions or adjustments you would like to make, please let me know.

To lower our emissions, we now have battery-operated blowers and weed trimmers to go along with our gas-powered machines. Depending on the size of the job, we use what we think will give you the best value. As of now the battery powered machines are about 70-80% as powerful as the gas machines. If you have a particular request as to which to use, please let us know.

Please contact me if you have any questions or if you are interested in using my services at 978.274.5633.

Thank you for your business and for your trust.


Sophia Update: 2 Major changes for our girl.  She has her first steady boyfriend, (3 months).  Dylan is his name and he is a soccer player on BB&N.  She also has her own dog, his name is Bear, a tea cup Maltese who is also white like Bodhi.


Some Poems for the Soul and the Season.



I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the

house.  So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air.

Nathaniel Hawthorne


the black oaks

fling their bronze fruit

into all the pockets of the earth

pock pock

they knock against the thresholds

the roof the sidewalk

fill the eaves

the bottom line

of the old gold song

of the almost finished year

what is spring all that tender

green stuff

compared to this

falling of tiny oak trees

out of the oak trees

then the clouds

gathering thick along the west

then advancing

then closing over

breaking open

the silence

then the rain

dashing its silver seeds

against the house

Mary Oliver


A Blade of Grass

Said a blade of grass to an autumn leaf, You make such a noise falling! “You scatter all my winter dreams”

Said the leaf indignant, “low-born and low dwelling! Songless, peevish thing! You live not in the upper air and you cannot tell the sound of singing.”

Then the autumn leaf lay down upon the earth and slept. And when spring came she waked again – and she was a blade of grass.

And when it was autumn and her winter sleep upon her, and above her through all the air the leaves were falling, she muttered to herself, “O these autumn leaves! They make such a noise! They scatter all my winter dreams.”



Fall Song

Another year gone, leaving everywhere
its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves,

the uneaten fruits crumbling damply
in the shadows, unmattering back

from the particular island
of this summer, this NOW, that now is nowhere

except underfoot, moldering
in that black subterranean castle

of unobservable mysteries – – – roots and sealed seeds
and the wanderings of water. This

I try to remember when time’s measure
painfully chafes, for instance when autumn

Flares out at last, boisterous and like us longing
to stay — how everything lives, shifting

From one bright vision to another, forever

In these momentary pastures.

Mary Oliver

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