All Contents in Lawn & Garden (A-Z)

Lawn & Garden Articles, Blog Posts and Slideshows

Lawn & Garden Videos

  • Laying Out and Framing the Deck
    Bob checks in with carpenter Bob Ryley as he lays out and begins to frame the deck.
  • Building a Redwood Deck and a Redwood-and-Cedar Fence
    Bob helps carpenter Bob Ryley build a redwood deck. Carpenter Danny Ruffini installs a custom-made redwood-and-cedar fence on the perimeter.
  • Beginning the Landscaping
    Bob meets with landscape architects Rick and Nancy Lamb to assess the back yard. Arborist Charley Cummings trims some Hemlock trees.
  • Reviewing the Front Porch, and Installing Interior Columns and a Vanity
    Bob reviews the Victorian design elements of his front-corner porch and the interior columns that echo the exterior ones, and then watches the turn-of-the-century plumbing installations for the powder room under the staircase.
  • Reviewing the Landscaping Plans
    Landscaping architects Rick and Nancy Lamb present their ideas to Bob for converting the landscape and creating urban spaces.
  • Installing a Retaining Wall
    Bob reviews the Allen Block retaining wall that is being installed in the backyard. This secondary terrace will serve to transition from the wood deck to the big terrace.
  • Installing Bluestone Pavers on the Terrace
    Bob meets with Mark Marini of Schumacher Landscaping to discuss the installation of the bluestone pavers on the lower terrace.
  • Planting a Tree in the Patio
    Bob meets with Mark Marini to discuss implementation of the landscaping plans and plant a thundercloud plum tree in the bluestone terrace.
  • Revising the Landscaping Plan
    Bob talks with landscape architect Rick Lamb about revisions to the plan. Bob points out the redesigned parking area and the plan for magically melting the snow.
  • Fixing a Rotted Deck and Columns on the Porch
    Carpenters replace a rotted deck, and a rotted porch column is reconstructed with concrete.
  • Building a Retaining Wall, Front Steps, and Backyard Patio With Stone
    Stone workers install a granite retaining wall, replace a front walkway, and build a backyard patio.
  • Removing a Hazardous Tree
    A large rotted tree is removed for safety reasons.
  • Installing a Fence on a Sloped Site
    Bob talks with a fencing expert about installing a white-cedar fence in sloped areas at the Melrose house.
  • Replacing the Gutters, Trimming a Tree, and Creating a Low-Maintenance Front Yard
    Old gutters are replaced and external landscaping continues with the trimming of a tree, installing a front garden, and creating steps from recycled granite.
  • Hardscaping, Selecting Plants, Installing Artificial Grass in the Backyard, and Preventing Weed Growth
    Backyard landscaping has progressed with the completion of stone work, new plantings, weed control, and the installation of artificial grass.
  • Installing a Porch Floor and Light and Constructing a Porch Trellis
    The front of the Melrose house gets finishing touches, including a new, insect-resistant porch deck, new trellises, and a porch light.
  • Installing Exterior Lighting
    Landscape lighting is installed in the front and back yards.
  • Creating Decorative Styrofoam Columns
    Bob works with Jesse Gonzalez to create Styrofoam columns for the decorative columns on the front of the house.
  • Building a Gunite Cement Swimming Pool
    Bob joins Tom McNealy to excavate and pour a gunite cement swimming pool.
  • Sustainable Landscaping in Florida
    Angela Polo and Ken Micklow shows Bob how to work with native plants, discuses fertilizers and pest control. They also discuss how to plant to protect from high winds.
  • Sustainable Planting for Florida Landscape
    Ken Micklow and Trent Culleny talk with Bob about native, storm-resistant gardening. Then Carm DiBella shows Bob an environmentally friendly termite protection system.
  • Natural Fertilizers and Non-Toxic Pesticides
    Angela Polo and Ken Micklow shows Bob dwarf planting ideas and install a raised vegetable garden which requires soil enhancement, Craig Harmer shows Bob natural pesticides.
  • Swimming Pool Filtration, Sanitation, and Lighting
    Bob watches as a pool cage is constructed. It is rated to withstand a wind load of 130 miles per hour
  • Removable Swimming Pool Safety Fencing
    Bill Jasper joins Bob for the installation of a removable Baby Barrier pool fence.
  • Custom Bamboo Garden
    Kalo joins Bob to create a Zen bamboo garden.
  • A Sustainable Yard and Landscape
    Bob does a walkthrough of the finished Punta Gorda home. He discusses sustainable gardening, water conservation and low-maintenance plants. Then he joins Leslie Chapman-Henderson from FLASH -- Federal Alliance for Safe Housing -- to review all the storm-resistant features of the house.
  • Roof Deck Construction
    Bob and Chris Vila meet with David and Jed Walentas of Two Trees Development on the top of a nearby building to get some ideas for the project building's roof deck.
  • Safety Railing Installation
    An ironworker secures the rooftop deck's safety railing to its footings. Then, Bob meets with the window installer who is putting frosted thermal glass walls on the head house (the structure surrounding the stairs that lead up from the penthouse). Bob points out that three separate building trades have worked to secure the fence: the roofers, ironworkers, and masons.
  • Composite Deck Installation
    Jim Precht from Advanced Environmental Recycling Technology (AERT) shows off a recycled deck material that uses no "first use" materials.
  • Composite Deck Railing Installation
    Bob watches the crew installing the deck railing. The composite railing product comes pre-milled to accept all the railing components.
  • Tour of the Gardens at The Mount
    Bob visits the Sunken Gardens at The Mount, where Stephanie Copeland, president of the Edith Wharton Restoration Foundation, serves as guide.
  • Laying Down a Cobblestone Driveway Apron
    Bob joins Jay Seminara (of Seminara Construction), who is in the process of laying down a new cobblestone apron at the edge of the driveway.
  • Recreating a Colonial Garden
    Bob and landscape designer Ruth Foster tour Mahoney's Garden Center to discuss landscape elements for the project house.
  • Designing an Elizabethan Garden and Naturalistic Landscaping
    Bob rejoins Ruth Foster to look over the landscape work in progress and to see how Foster's design has come to life.
  • Shrub Planting Techniques
    Landscape designer Ruth Foster offers a brief lesson about planting techniques
  • Garden Irrigation System Installation
    Jack Walters from Just Irrigation is on-site putting in a RainBird sprinkler system.
  • Picket Fence Installation
    Jay Triandafilou and a crew from Architectural Fence are on location to install the exterior fence.
  • Retaining Wall Construction
    Bob meets up with landscape mason Hector Santos, who is building a dried-laid stone retaining wall.
  • Splitting Granite for the Retaining Wall
    The mason on-site installing a retaining wall, Hector, shows Bob how to split a piece of granite that is too large and heavy to use as is.
  • Discussing the Landscape Design and Living Amenities
    Bob talks with landscape architect David Raphael of Landworks about his approach to designing the grounds surrounding the Vermont farmhouse. General contractor Ted Riley tells Bob about some of the amenities that come along with the house.
  • Trellis and Lattice Fencing & Workshop Tour
    Fred Goode (from Brattle Works) joins Bob to view the trellis and lattice fencing, and Bob visits the Brattle Works workshop to see how the fencing is manufactured.
  • Building the Backyard Deck
    Bob observes as general contractor Charlie Tomaszewski finishes up the picture framing for the mahogany deck.
  • Working With Unilock Tumbled Concrete Pavers
    Bob joins Brian Kallmeyer (from Unilock) to talk about concrete pavers. Unlike natural stone, these pavers are made in a mold, so they are easy to work with. In tight areas, there's handwork with mallets. In larger areas, it's done by machine.
  • Discussing the Plantings on the Property
    Bob, alongside architect Kristian Fenderson and Tom Strangfeld (from Weston Nurseries), walks the property, focusing on the planting selected for this home.
  • Building the Back Porch
    With the help of Herman Jaensch and his students from Saunders Technical High School in Yonkers, NY, Habitat constructs the back porch of the Blitz Build house.
  • Discussing the Home's Landscaping and Hardscaping
    Bob discusses the home's landscaping and hardscaping with general contractor Kevin Kalman and landscaper Josh Gavin.
  • Lamp Making and Landscaping
    Bob explores the practice of custom lamp making and learns more about the outdoor fireplace.
  • Reviewing the Landscape Design
    Bob and general contractor Sam Daniel discuss the landscaping of the Virginia governor's mansion.
  • Building a Porch Railing
    Carpenter Bob Ryley and George (from Crosswinds Enterprises) collaborate to build a porch railing for the accessible home. Looking on, Bob discusses the building codes that pertain to the rail and the materials used.
  • Planting Trees and Shrubs in the Front Yard
    Landscape contractor Janet Cox explains her approach to the plantings for Roxbury development homes.
  • Discussing the Northern White Cedar Picket Fence
    A Northern White Cedar picket fence is discussed and installed.
  • Hot Tub Installation
    Bob drops by the third Elmwood project house to watch as the deck is covered with rubber and the hot tub is installed.
  • Laying Down the Mahogany Deck and Final Tour of Third House
    The mahogany roof deck is complete, with the hot tub sturdily supported. Bob takes a final tour of the residence, the third Elmwood project house.
  • Installing a Brick Walkway and Porch Lighting, and Milling the Railings and Balusters
    Contractors put in the brick walkway. Forester Moulding and Lumber replicates the porch railings and balusters. Also, new security and sprinkler systems are installed, and lighting is added to the porch.
  • Landscaping Plan
    Bob reviews the existing landscape with landscape architect Juan Capote, and the two discuss Juan's plans to improve it.
  • Patio Plan and Demolition
    Bob meets with the contractor to take down the old patio slab and lay out the new one.
  • Installing the Hot Tub
    Bob joins contractors Ed Weller and Laez Wilent to observe the installion of a custom-made hot tub.
  • Tiling the Patio
    Bob joins contractor Ed Weller on the patio, where the crew from Agreda Brothers Tile and Marble is setting cement-based tile over sanded white thin-set mortar. Where the tile bends around the spa, the squares must be custom-cut.
  • Creating a Tropical Sinkhole Garden
    Bob meets with landscape architect Juan Capote to discuss planting a feature garden.
  • Installing an Electric Outdoor Grill
    Bob and contractor Ed Weller look at the outside electric grill.
  • Installing a Sod Lawn
    Bob meets with landscape architect Juan Capote to discuss the installation of a sod lawn. Juan talks about the types and grading of sod used in this project.
  • Constructing a Patio Lanai
    Bob meets with Ana Bolanos to watch the lanai built. Ana reviews the construction process and Bob joins in to help raise the walls.
  • Framing the Back Porch
    Bob reviews progress on the joist system being constructed for the new back porch. The concrete has been poured and framing has begun.
  • Swimming Pool Construction
    Larry Long (from Anthony & Sylvan Pools) explains the excavation and preliminary work of building a new pool. Reinforcing rods are used to help the concrete hold its shape, and to form the outer steps. And Larry shows off the filtering system.
  • Installing Indian Slate Tiles on Back Porch and Pool Deck
    Bob and contractor Cortney Lofton discuss the Indian slate tile being installed on the pool deck and back porch.
  • Laying Redwood Decking
    Bob confers with carpenter Cortney Lofton, as he lays the redwood decking for the back porch.
  • Plastering the Swimming Pool
    In the final step of the pool's contruction, the basin is washed and vacuumed before plastering begins. Bob discusses the materials and the mixing ratio used in the plaster, and watches as the plaster is applied.
  • Discussing the Zen Garden Design
    Bob meets with Donald Young for a tour of the home's Zen garden. Donald discusses the plant choices and lighting requirements in a garden of this size. Slate tiles are also added to create a rock garden.
  • Deck Demolition
    Bob and carpenter Bob Ryley begin demolition work on the deck. The supporting beams are cut and the deck parts are carried away, and Bob notes the flaws found in the existing footings, a result of frost heaves.
  • Budget Landscaping
    Landscape designer Ruth Foster explains her choices for the foundation plantings and her cost-saving measures.
  • Landscaping for Energy Efficiency
    Landscape designer Ruth Foster explains her selection of plant material and flowering shrubs for the backyard and directs the planting of a Sephora Japonica shade tree.
  • Plant Shopping With Martha Stewart
    When shopping for plants at Haskell's Nursery, the homeowner gets some professional help from Martha Stewart, who transforms the greenhouse into an elegant setting for "tea for three".
  • Stone Patio, Landscaping, and Outdoor Lighting
    Bob joins landscape designer Ruth Foster to discuss her plan for a stone patio and hot tub. Low-voltage outdoor lighting will also be installed.
  • Installing the Outdoor Speakers
    Bob talks over the installation of the outdoor speakers with Daryl Foster. The Bose speakers in question are made specifically for outdoor use-- they can stand up to the elements and still sound good.
  • Planting Palm Trees in the Courtyard
    Bob and the landscaper discuss planting five fully grown Queen Palm trees in the courtyard, partly in order to hide unsightly features of a neighbor's home.
  • Landscaping Plans
    Landscape designer Ruth Foster explains a few techniques for promoting drainage and keeping weeds under control, respectively. She also discusses the plants she has chosen for the garage property, all of which are expected to thrive in Cape Cod.
  • Removing Trees from the Project Site
    Bob joins contractor Bob Ryley and the tree removal specialist to discuss clearing the site. Special tips on chainsaw use and safety are provided.
  • Victorian House Landscaping
    Landscape designer Ruth Foster visits the project site to explain her choice of plantings for the formal courtyard garden.
  • Constructing the Concrete Walkway
    Bob and the contractor discuss the concrete walkway, with the contractor giving Bob tips on how to make concrete cure harder and have less cracks. Also discussed is the crushed, aggregate granite that will be added to the standard concrete.
  • Landscape Design
    Bob talks with landscape architect Clara Bachelor about the condition of the yard and the final landscape design.
  • Garden Nursery Visit
    Bob visits Weston Wholesale Nursery with landscape architect Clara Bachelor.
  • Planting a Shrub
    Bob, landscape architect Clara Bachelor, and contractor Bob Marzilli review how to plant a balled and burlapped shrub.
  • Touring the Exterior and Entry
    Bob tours the exterior of the project home, focusing on the architectural detail and final landscape design. He then moves inside to review the custom stair railing in the entry area.
  • Reviewing the Landscape
    Bob meets with a landscaper to discuss the existing plantings, some of which will be removed or cut back to maximize the amount of interior light. Trees, shrubs, and a trellis are recommended to create a barrier between the yard and the road.
  • Building a Trellis
    A trellis-- the frame and lattice of which have been built in the workshop-- is installed in the front yard.
  • Altering Landscape Plans
    With Bob having decided to alter the landscape design, shrubs are transplanted and perennials are planted. Plus, sodding goes down to create a grass lawn.
  • Landscaping the Property
    Bob meets with landscape contractor John Wall to talk over removing existing plant material.
  • Discussing Swimming Pool Design
    Bob discusses the addition of a swimming pool with the project architect.
  • Plans and Preparations for Landscaping
    Bob visits Joanne, a landscape designer, at a local nursery to find plants for the project house's outdoor space.
  • Building a Free-Floating Deck
    Due to flood plain regulations, the deck cannot be attached to the house-- it has to be free-floating. Bob helps the contractors set up the posts and joists, and assists in laying down the tongue-and-groove pine floor material.
  • Plans for the Swimming Pool
    Bob and Pete, the foreman of the swimming pool construction crew, survey the property and review the installation plans.
  • Gunite Cement in Swimming Pool Construction
    Bob observes as gunite is poured over rebar to form the bottom and sides of the swimming pool cavity.
  • Tiling the Swimming Pool
    Bob discusses tile and its process of application with the foreman of the pool installation contracting crew.
  • Landscape Design With a New Fence
    Bob has a discussion the landscape architect, Joanne Smallwood, and new wooden fence is installed.
  • Landscape Tour of the Cracker Cottage
    Remodeling of the cracker cottage is complete. Bob tours the home, starting with the exterior and the landscape.
  • Clearing Trees and Stumping
    Bob surveys the lot and oversees the preliminary work for building a new Cape Cod-style house.
  • Discussing the Landscaping
    Bob discusses landscaping with specialist Susan Hofer. Topics include sod, a gravel driveway, brickwork, fences, and perennials.
  • Installing an Authentic Iron Fence
    Bob finds an authentic iron fence for the front yard and watches as the welder installs it using the arc welding process. Next, Bob heads inside to join general contractor Ron Gan, who demonstrates how to install kitchen cabinets correctly.
  • Landscaping the Front Garden
    Gardener John Rasthenis landscapes the front garden.
  • Landscaping the Coach House
    Bob goes outside to observe a tree being planted and to see the little garden beyond the entryway landscaped.
  • Expanded Outdoor Living
    The expansive new outdoor deck brings indoor living outside. Meg Tarvin (from FrontGate) joins to describe the furnishings that create this outdoor living room, and Bob looks over the new barbecue station.
  • Landscape Design on a Sloping Bank
    A sloping bank descends from deck level to the yard. Landscape designer Ruth Foster explains her choice of plantings for this garden: It will be green, with junipers and yews for low maintenance, varying height, and good coverage. Also, Foster shows Bob the batch composter, used for making rich mulch.
  • Planting Bulbs and Seeding the Lawn
    Bob meets with landscape designer Ruth Foster, who explains the correct method of planting bulbs. For turf, Foster suggests a relaxed approach, with perennial rye and fescue planted, mown high, and over-seeded, both in the fall and at the tail end of winter.
  • Landscaping with Hedges, Trees, and Perennials
    Landscape designer Ruth Foster joins Bob to review the landscaping plan. Foster has selected a hedge and evergreens to screen the yard from street traffic and neighbors. Closer to the deck, she has created a flowering border.
  • Facing the Retaining Walls with Cultured Stone
    Retaining walls, foundation work, and curving stairways are faced with Cultured Stone from Owens Corning. These cast cement, pumice, and iron oxide products are made in molds taken from real field stones to look like regional stones, in both shape and color.
  • Building a Western Red Cedar Deck
    Bob reviews the structure for the new deck. Paul Mackie (of the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association) joins to discuss the benefits of building with western red cedar, a sustainable product. The wood is naturally stable-- it will not warp, crack, check, or chip-- and it's insect-resistant. General contractor Tim Berky is busy nailing down the decking planks.