Metamorphosis Landscape Design is honored to be awarded with the Long Island Pool and Spa Association (LIPSA) Gold Award in the Gunite Freeform category.

Set in the rolling wooded hills of the North Shore of Long Island, this home is of beautiful grandeur, built in classic brick and bluestone with large columns. A winding driveway leads you to a detailed entry court with hedging – a great sense of arrival and space. However grand in appearance in the front, it lacked that same grandeur and use in the rear. A simple bluestone patio and garden lawn space did not do the residence justice. The homeowners are an active family and the need for entertaining and recreation space was imperative.

The design team crafted a plan that afforded the homeowners the resort-style space they were looking for. A large pavilion houses a full outdoor kitchen with custom cabinetry and seating for 10.
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The new freeform gunite pool includes a beach entry, infinity edge, spa with spill over, slide and is completed with a grotto and fire bowls. The smaller pavilion combines a pool house with a bathroom along with a sheltered area which accommodates a lounge space and custom fireplace for warming up after a late night swim.

The pool patio is surrounded by a simple random pattern paver in earth tones to keep the natural feeling of the site. The rock work around the slide and grotto maintain a subtle hue of tans and grays like a natural stone. The softscape around the property is understated, just enough to soften the lines of the pavers and add a midlevel scale to the otherwise large surrounding hardwoods.

As with every resort, daytime enjoyment isn’t where the fun stops. This project has extensive nighttime appeal as well. A full lighting and audio program was implemented and lamp posts were installed around the bocce and pool table areas to allow for late
night games. But the real show belongs to the pool itself. Outfitted with fiber-optic, color changing pool lights, deck jets and fire bowls, the views of this landscape
at night are nothing short of spectacular.

Call us today at 631.673.META (6382) to schedule your free consultation.

Click here to download PDF.

Spring is just around the corner and this is the time of year to consider the planting and care of your flowerbeds, gardens and trees. In this article, we are specifically talking about the proper watering of your landscape.

Perennials

When a perennial is first planted, the root system is close to the soil surface. The roots do not spread too far to either side of the plant, which limits its ability to absorb water deep in the soil.

Water should be supplied to young plants when the soil is dry, to a depth of 2 inches. Deep watering is best, as opposed to a brief sprinkle. If the soil is sandy and drains quickly, water more often. In heavy clay soil, water less often. Early to mid-morning is a good time to water because plants will dry before evening, preventing the spread of some plant diseases.

 Trees

In general, water a tree once a day for the first 2 weeks after planting and after that, once a week for a year, as long as the tree is not dormant (without leaves). When thinking about how to water newly planted trees, you should keep in mind that the newly planted trees are not established until their roots start travelling beyond the root ball. By watering them later in the evening, or early in the morning, the water will not evaporate immediately and the roots get a good chance at absorbing some of that moisture.

Apply fertilizer once in the early spring with a basic 10-10-10 or 5-10-5 formula.

Sod 

The first two weeks after installation are critical, so water the sod long enough that the water gets down to the roots and the soil underneath them. Once all the new sod is in place, and you’ve given it its initial big dose of water, continue to water it regularly and well. We suggest 20 minutes per day, every day for the 2-3 weeks. Once the sod is rooted, you can reduce to twice a week for 30 minutes, followed by weekly for 45 minutes.  The best time to water your sod is between 10:00 pm and 2:00 am.

Never let the sod dry out completely.  If it’s not getting enough water, the sod will turn brown.  This does not mean it is past saving, but it does mean you need to irrigate more to protect your investment. Also, basic turf fertilization is suggested every 6-8 weeks.

 Plants & Shrubs

Shrubs that produce large leaves and showy flowers usually need more water than shrubs with smaller leaves and flowers.  The watering needs to shrubs change with the seasons, as well as with time.

Newly planted shrubs need extra water to establish strong roots and overcome transplant shock.  As the shrub matures, it tolerates drought and requires less water. Young shrubs benefit from frequent shallow watering. Water older plants less frequently, but more deeply.

Plants mulched with 2-3 inches of mulch need less water than those planted in bare soil, because the mulch conserves moisture.  Signs of shrub distress are wilted or yellowed leaves.

Schedule Your Free Landscape Consultation With Metamorphosis Landscape Design

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Patios are great additions to any backyard. Depending on your needs and the area available to you, your patio can be a place to sit and relax with a good book or your entertainment area where you can arrange outdoor furniture, a grill, container plants and accessories.

A truly great patio or back porch should be an extension of your living area as it can serve as the central location for your friends and family to gather.

It’s enjoyable to have a nice dinner on the patio on a beautiful evening, out of the hot stuffy kitchen. They’re great for a peaceful Sunday morning when you want to be outside reading the paper and enjoying a cup of coffee. They’re fantastic for throwing a party for all of the entertaining you love to do. And patios are a great place for a romantic slow dance with your significant other. Dim the lights, light some candles or soft mood lighting and have a wonderful evening.

And getting the kids outside to play, study and visit on the patio is so much better for their health than sitting in front of a TV or computer monitor.

Patios really are an extension of your home. Decorate and adorn them as such. Birdhouses, planters, and whimsical pieces can all be placed to illustrate your taste and personality.

The addition of a well-designed patio brings value, expands your outdoor living space and enhances your property.  Contact the professionals at Metamorphosis Landscape Design of Long Island to help you design an outdoor patio that fits your needs and budget!

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Winter in the Northeast comes with the inevitable snow events. Sometimes accumulations are minor, and sometimes they are flat-out colossal. This list should help keep you safe and sane by making sure you have all of your bases covered and ready.

Base # 1: The Great White Outdoors

If you have a snowblower, make sure it is gassed up and easily accessible. You don’t want to have to unpack the entire garage or storage shed to get to it. Have your shovels ready to go. Get a bag or two or rock salt, and remember kitty litter well do in a pinch for some traction.

Temperatures below freezing (32°F or 0 C) and slightly higher temperatures accompanied by wind chill effects are risk factors for hypothermia and frostbite. As well as dressing in multiple layers, be sure to have a pair of gloves and a hat on before you venture outside. The body loses a lot of heat through your head!

Dehydration can contribute to hypothermia. Drink plenty of water and drinks with electrolytes if you will be active for a long period of time. Avoid drinks with alcohol and caffeine.

And finally, take breaks as needed to warm yourself and rest. Fatigue can contribute to hypothermia, so be aware of your energy level.

And finally, if you think you will be outside for any extended period of time, try to have a buddy with you to help cut the work in half and to keep you safe.

Base #2: The Heart of Your Home – The Kitchen!

Besides the basics; bread, milk and eggs, make sure you have easy to eat foods in case of a power outage, such as canned soups, tuna, lunch meat, cereal, and fruit. If you’re lucky enough to still have power during a major storm, have some fun in the kitchen with your family. It’s a great time to experiment with cookie recipes! And who would say no to some homemade hot chocolate?

And if you are a hearty eater, whip up a nice lasagna or cheesy, meaty casserole. This will be warm and comforting when coming in from the cold.

And don’t forget the pets when stocking up!

Base #3: Entertainment

If you do lose your power, and can’t binge watch your favorite Netflix shows, pick up that book you have been meaning to read. Make a nest of blankets on the couch and get comfortable. Be sure to have flashlights and candles nearby though in case you become so engrossed in what you are reading that you don’t notice when the natural light begins to turn to dark.

If you’re feeling ambitious, this would be a great time to clean out a closet or reorganize a room that you have been putting off. If you have children at home that are suffering withdrawal from their electronics, pull out those board games that have been gathering dust and have quality bonding time.  Maybe their eyes will light up without having to be “plugged in”!

Base #4: Staying Safe

With the uncertainty of how long any storm event may last, preparation is key to safety. Don’t wait until dark to have any items you may need available to you. If you keep extra items in your shed or an unattached garage, bring them into your home before you need them.

You will need:

  • Lighting: Flashlights, batteries, candles, lanterns, matches and lighters.
  • Communication: Be sure to have all cell phones and tablets fully charged, but turn off as many of them as you can until they need to be pressed into service as needed. Without power, they should be reserved for emergency communication or to find local information about what is going on in your area. You should also have a portable radio, again with fresh batteries, handy.
  • Warmth: Have extra blankets, comforters and throws within reach. It is also a great time to dig out those sleeping bags.
  • Water: If your pipes are likely to freeze you will need plenty of bottled water on hand, for you and your pets.

And let’s not forget to bring the family pets in or to create a warm and dry place for them to shelter in the storm if that is not possible.

Stay safe!

Summer will officially arrive soon and with the season comes pests. Specifically mosquitoes. And they can make life miserable. You want to spend time outdoors in your pool, your beautiful outdoor living areas but your recreational activities can be ruined by the constant annoyance and irritation caused by mosquitoes hovering around you.

And then there is the fact that some species can cause transmits serious diseases. Unfortunately, there is no easy solution for managing mosquitoes. Countless products on the market claim to be effective and easy to use but few have appreciable value in lessening the annoyance and incidence of bites. Unlike most insects found around homes, mosquitoes are pervasive outdoor pests and there are limits to what can be done to minimize their abundance, nonetheless, there are measures that can afford some relief.

Natural Mosquito Control Methods

The most effective way to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home is to find and eliminate their breeding sites – standing water. Regardless of recent weather patterns – wet, dry, warm, or cool – there are plenty of potential places in which mosquitoes can develop. A neglected bird bath, swimming pool, or clogged rain gutter can produce hundreds of new mosquitoes in a just a few days. Trees uprooted by storms leave soil depressions that collect seepage and rainwater.

There are some steps that you can take now, at the beginning of summer to minimize mosquito breeding on your property.

  1. Look around your yard and eliminate or clean out anything that could be holding water such as trash cans, boats, wheel barrows, pet dishes (these should be cleaned daily), flower pot saucers or even clogged potted plants that are not draining properly. Not only are you providing an incubator for mosquitos but your plant will likely drown as well.
  2. If you have bird baths, fountains or wading pools be sure to change the water at least once a week and keep your swimming pool clean and chlorinated.
  3. Clean debris from rain gutters and unclog obstructed downspouts.

This article by Mother Earth Living offers some ideas about how to protect yourself from mosquitoes with chemical-free, natural methods.

And if that doesn’t appeal to you, once you have done everything you can to minimize breeding zones in your outdoor living space you can then call in the enforcers by calling your local mosquito control services.

Enjoy your outdoor time!

Everyone knows gardening is therapeutic. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul. Gardening Exercise Day gives us an opportunity to go out and burn off calories and have fun doing it. National Gardening Exercise Day is intended to recognize the important physical health benefits of gardening.

In reality, gardening is exercise. Experts say the various activities and tasks of gardening ultimately uses all of the major muscle groups. In addition, strenuous gardening activities such as raking, hoeing, and digging is both aerobic and muscle strengthening.

Take time today to celebrate one of America’s favorite hobbies. Go out and exercise with, and among, your plants.

Grilled Corn on the Cob Recipe

Fresh corn on the cob is a real summertime treat. And, it is extra special when it is grilled, adding a bit of a smoky taste. In addition to a great taste, grilled corn on the cob, keeps the heat outdoors (versus boiling it indoors) on hot, late summer days.

Tip: The fresher the corn, the sweeter it is. Pick the sweet corn in your garden just before eating it. Once picked, the sugar in the sweet corn begins to convert to starch, and gradually loses it’s sweetness.

Grilled Corn on the Cob Recipe

Ingredients:

Plan on 1 to 2 ears per person

Preparation Directions:

  • Soak ears, husk and all, in a bucket of water for 10 – 30 minutes.
  • Turn the grill on to a medium heat setting.
  • Remove ears from water. (Do not husk them). Place the ears on the grill.
  • Cook for ten to twelve minutes, turning every two minutes.
  • Allow to cool for a couple minutes, just enough so you can pull off the husk without burning your fingers.
  • Serve with butter and salt.

Tip: For an even smokier flavor, remove a few of the husks and loosen those remaining a little.

Landscaping and maintaining your property makes your land more visually appealing, and is a way to stamp your personality on the exterior of your home or business. A competent landscape company will have designers that work with you to get the most out of your property. They will listen to your ideas and endeavor to make them a reality. Experience, talent, cutting edge technology, proper tools, and a specific knowledge of land in the local area are all key to a landscape designers success. Expertise is important as there can be landscaping difficulties that someone without legitimate know how can fall into. An improperly installed drainage system is one of the predicaments that can occur.

Landscape Drainage Pitfalls

Flat land, high water tables, dense soils or any combination thereof, necessitates a drainage system that works well. If a drainage system isn’t in place or is installed improperly, water can start to collect in large or small areas. This can affect structures and plants negatively. New or existing landscape could have swampy areas that are unattractive and inaccessible. Drainage is an extremely important issue and properties need to be looked at carefully and designed accordingly so that drainage problems do not occur.

Landscape Drainage Options

An experienced landscape designer will carefully assess each piece of property that work will be done on. Potential problem areas will be identified and dealt with thru landscape design. Depending on the type of soil that exists on your property, a landscape designer may decide to use surface drainage or underground drainage as a way to prevent marshy and muddy areas. If the water table is high enough, raised beds and water loving plants may be employed.

Landscaping and ongoing maintenance is a wonderful way to enhance a piece of property. Our company insures that the time and effort that goes into beautifying a piece of land is backed by our landscape designers who have immense skill and judgement. You can feel good about a piece of property designed, landscaped, and maintained by Metamorphosis Landscape Design because our work is skillful and precise. We proudly stand behind any work that we do. We treat each piece of property owned by a client like we treat property that is owned by us and our employees.

Call us today for your free landscaping consultation at 631-637-6382. We look forward to speaking with you.