A black and white palette is a classic, with endless design possibilities from subdued to striking. Some may think that monochrome is boring or plain, but black, white and gray—when used the right way—can bring a space to life. A hardscape project in Laconia, New Hampshire shows what can be done with monochrome design—and with granite from Swenson Granite Works.
The fall season — with its cooler air and summer-warmed soil — is the perfect time for planting a garden in New England. If you are busy in the planning stages, consider adding elements to increase it’s sustainability by making it a little more earth friendly.
We’ve put together a few ideas for creating a sustainable garden that not only helps support the local ecosystem, but also avoids using toxic chemicals.
For the complete renovation of her mid-19th Century home in Westport, Connecticut, actress, entrepreneur and lifestyle blogger Eva Amurri wanted to stay true to its simple New England roots — both inside and out. So, just as the mom of three retained most of the original doors and hardware inside the home to blend old and new elements, the hardscape design incorporated natural stone details using granite that was quarried nearby, which seamlessly blends into the historic neighborhood’s landscape.
From its uppermost reaches in Maine down to Connecticut’s southern shores, New England’s coastline features a topography ranging from rugged cliff faces, rocky shorelines and sandy beaches. While varied, the length of the northeast seaboard shares one common variable: the occasional wrath of Mother Nature.
Year after year, the coastline takes batterings from seasonal hurricanes and nor’easters — not to mention winter’s damaging cold temperatures and winds — all while being pounded by the waves of the salty Atlantic Ocean. It stands to reason that anything built along the coast calls for only the most durable building materials to weather New England’s seasonal swings and ocean tides.
For many, granite is the natural choice for projects that must contend with the harsh ocean elements and withstand the constant freeze-thaw cycle.
Crisscrossing the landscape long before the Revolutionary War, stone walls are as classic to New England as church steeples and lighthouses, with a legacy that continues to this day.
Hundreds of years after the nation gained its independence, walls crafted from native stone are still a traditional element in hardscape design not only in a nod to the region’s history but also as a more modern approach to sustainability.
Friendly. Family and community oriented. Up and coming.
Those are just a few of the things that come to mind for John Proulx when he thinks of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, where he manages one of Swenson Granite Works’ newest retail stores.
From the moment she saw the historic Greek Revival home, built in the mid-1800s and set on an acre of property in charming Westport, Connecticut, actress, entrepreneur and lifestyle blogger Eva Amurri could see the potential. “We loved it from the second we saw it,” explained the mom of two young children with a third on the way, “but felt like its space was not utilized well and it lacked the grandness it deserved, given its historic location in town.
South Hadley native Dan Richard has come full circle. He grew up in this small town, not far from Springfield, and after working at the Medway Swenson Granite Works store in eastern Massachusetts, found his way back home in 2018 to manage the newest retail store.
The Swenson Granite Works South Hadley store, located on Granby Road on the site of an abandoned restaurant that had become “an eyesore,” brings locally-sourced, natural stone products to Western Massachusetts as a heartier — and more beautiful — alternative to wood and concrete products.
Attendees and exhibitors from across the Northeast will be attending the Boston Flower and Garden Show, one of the largest horticultural events in New England, from March 13-17, 2019 at Boston’s Seaport World Trade Center.
The show will feature brilliant indoor garden displays and vibrant floral designs from dozens of the region’s leading nurseries, landscapers, and florists.
Whether rustic or contemporary, minimal or intricate, all beautiful landscape designs have one thing in common: a well-balanced combination of hardscape and softscape.
Hardscape consists of the solid, heavy, unchanging parts of a landscape, such as stone paths, retaining walls, gravel and patios, while softscape describes the living, botanical elements of a landscape, including plants, soil, shrubs, and flowers Unlike hardscape, softscape is moveable and changes frequently—sometimes as often as several times per season. Your local Swenson Granite Works store can help with any hardscape design by supplying you with the natural stone and granite needed for your project.