Get Your Hands Dirty!

Summertime Blooms

Now that summer is in full bloom, we would like to share some of our favorite flowers for you to be looking out for from your local farmer’s market to your neighbor’s garden and everywhere in between! They can be large and bright like dahlias and digitalis, or elegant and graceful like the oakleaf hydrangea and perovskia.

Digitalis, is commonly known as foxglove and is a biennial. The scientific name means “finger-like” and refers to the ease with which a flower of Digitalis can be fitted over a human fingertip. The flowers, produced on a tall spike, are tubular, and vary in color with species, from purple to pink, white, and yellow. At JBL, we often use this ornamental plant in our designs for its vivid flowers. The flowers can also possess various marks and leopard-like spottings.



The dahlia is national flower of Mexico. The tubers were grown as a food crop by the Aztecs and were both gathered in the wild and cultivated. They used the long, hollow stems as water pipes


IMG_7243 IMG_5209


The oakleaf hydrangea is one of our favorite garden shrubs. Look for it in bloom around town now. The foliage has a beautiful oak leaf-shape and an elegant, white conical-shaped flower head.IMG_7415   IMG_7412






The Saga of Cambridge Clay

At a recent job in Cambridge, we found ourselves stuck in sitting water. The earth at this site is predominantly clay. This is all too often the case in Cambridge where we have an unbelievable amount of clay-based soil. The clay, in and of itself, DOES have nutrients. The problem is that it doesn’t drain. Plants need oxygen to grow and the heavily saturated, clay-based soil becomes compacted and doesn’t allow for that.

This is a classic example of the unforeseen circumstances that plague any construction plan or design deadline. At this particular site, the solution involves constructing and installing an intricate network of containers, dry-wells and pipes.