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2013 News from the OL Studio

2013 was a year working with long term clients and fifteen new projects came to our design firm. We are thankful for our clients and their returning to us for design advice and implementation of projects. We love serving our local area, but sadly can only work within such means. If you’re looking for Residential landscaping near me and are not nearby, we suggest you research the market in your area.

Landscaping projects are a great way to increase the value of your property. Selling a home is not always easy, but there are steps you can take to make the entire process smoother. For example, working closely with a real estate agent like Reali can help you to sell your home for a great price. Ultimately, doing as much research into the market as possible is fundamental, and a real estate expert can assist you with this.

In the meantime, some of our projects are highlighted below:

Private Residence, Egremont, MA

We completed a master plan in 2010 and oversaw the construction of the site and landscape work for this new home in 2011. The house sits at the end of a long curving driveway nestled in mature woodlands. We carefully considered which material to use for the driveway, as it is quite long and we didn’t want it to be too challenging to maintain. Also, there are dramatic western views of adjacent farm fields and the Berkshire Mountains that are framed by existing large native trees.

On the subject of trees, it’s always worth considering whether bringing down a nearby tree could improve the probability of selling your home – sometimes home insurance companies take into account whether there’s a possibility of a tree falling on the home in bad weather or coming down if any work is done on or around it. Get a specialist tree surgeon in to get the job done properly and safely, if you decide that it lowers the risk and opens it up to more buyers.

Versus foundation plantings and mowed lawn we designed a garden of mass plantings using dwarf ornamental grasses, flowering perennial accents and summer flowering shrubs. A handsome from walkway is built with South Bay Quartzite.

We revisited the property in late 2012 thru the lens of Michael Lavin Flower, Professional Photographer, and liked how the plantings filled out and framed the house.

Architectural Design: David Potter, Green River Design

Builder: Gregg Wellencamp

Landscape Architect: Okerstrom Lang Ltd, Landscape Architects

Masonry & Landscaping: New England Landscape & Aquatic LLC



Private Residence, Great Barrington, MA

We completed a master plan in 2012 and oversaw the construction of the site and landscape work for this new home on 9 acres in 2012.

The short driveway winds to an oil and stone parking court with dense woodlands hard on one side. The houses faces northeast with a new open rolling meadow containing the septic field and a mature Apple Tree orchard. Four additional Apple Trees were added to fill the grid. Huge White Pine trees blocked the east views of Beartown State Forests and “windows” were cut to provide views from the house while still providing screening to the adjacent Town road.
Our clients asked for a low maintenance approach to their landscaping. From the house excavation it was obvious this was a treasure trove of rounded native boulders. We collaborated together on a theme using various boulders and river stones set in flowing beds around the house foundation. Within these “beds” interesting singular shrubs and perennials were placed.

These include River Birch clumps and “Pinky Winky” Hydrangea shrubs (shrubs to be pruned tight in early spring). Perennials amongst the river stone include Creeping Thyme, ‘Red Will’; Echinacea, ‘Pow Wow Wild Berry’; Lamium ‘Purple Dragon’ and Sedum ‘Red Rubin’.

Our clients call their property “Rock On” and it totally fits their landscape and their personalities!

We revisited the property in summer 2013 thru the lens of Michael Lavin Flower, Professional Photographer, in which many of the plantings were blooming.

Architectural Design: Avery Hamilton, Architect, Connor Homes

Builder: Chris Walsh, Walsh Builders

Site & Masonry: Scott McKnight Landscape & Excavation Inc

Landscape Architect & Landscaping: Okerstrom Lang Ltd, Landscape Architects





Private Residence, Stockbridge, MA

This new home sits on a 1/3 acre lot on Stockbridge Bowl. The previous site conditions consisted of a run down, overgrown lakeside cottage. It was surrounded by dense woodlands of dying Ash trees (from “tip blight”) and invasive shrubs and vines (Honeysuckle, Burning Bush and Bittersweet).

We completed a landscape plan in 2011 that proposed removing plant material and stumps from the site except for a 30′ buffer along the Lake. This plan and narrative was submitted with a Notice of Intent Permit by Foresight Land Services to the Stockbridge Conservation Commission which a permit was granted.

We provided construction management services for the construction of the site and landscape design-build work for this new home which was completed in 2012.

Photography by Craig Okerstrom-Lang, RLA, ASLA

Architectural Design: David Potter, Green River Design

Builder: Gregg Wellencamp

Stone Terrace: Ingersoll Webster

Landscape Architect & Landscaping: Okerstrom Lang Ltd, Landscape Architects




Salisbury Market Place, Salisbury, CT

Our firm won a design competition in December 2012 to renovate this 32 year old privately owned pedestrian oriented shopping district in the middle of town center of Salisbury. The town is a popular stop off point for Appalachian Trail hikers during spring, summer and fall as well as the Town Center for Lakeville/Salisbury, CT. In the winter it hosts its famous JumpFest Winter Festival.

LaBonne’s Market, anchoring the east end of this project, is the only main grocery store in the area and is one of the main attractions for the local residents. An existing walkway, some landscaping and mature trees were in place. Through the years the accent sections of the paving deteriorated and had become tripping hazards and unsightly. The trees and shrubs were overgrown. There was a lack of outdoor seating.

Our firm proposed an approach that:

Illustrated improvements, both short term and long term, which could be implemented in Phases.
Created “Place Making” with improvements to attract pedestrians to interact within these spaces tucked behind the Main Street buildings.
Linkages from Main Street though the site to LaBonne’s Market were strengthened.
Limbed up trees, removed some overgrown shrubs and pruned other shrubs to open up views of architecture and thru the spaces.
Create a central courtyard that has moveable furniture, dining table, GFI outlets for charging phones and computers under the mature shade trees.
Electrical boxes which will have at least four-grounded plugs to operate a sound stage, food carts, etc for special events.
Determined the existing exposed aggregate paving could stay in place and be cleaned versus replacing, saved substantial funds. The accent panels between each of the aggregate panels were replaced with unit pavers by CST/Versa-Lok

This project moved quickly starting in January 2013 when a proposed design and estimate was presented to and approved by the Board of Directors. February 2013 a scope of work and bid documents were issued for bids. March 2013 bid awarded. April 2013 work began. June 2013 Phase I work completed.

The phase I project was spearheaded by a Marketplace Board of Directors Project Committee of Peter Kent, Project Manager, Peter Feen and Sue Vreeland. Judy Swanson provided design advice and sketch ideas.

Photography by Craig Okerstrom-Lang, RLA, ASLA


Landscape Architect: Okerstrom Lang Ltd, Landscape Architects

General Contractor: New England Landscape & Aquatics, LLC

Arborist & Root Aeration: Race Mountain Tree Services, Inc

Stone Wall Mason: Stephen Fitch, Fitch Landscaping LLC

Electrical: C&M Electric Inc

Landscape Contractor: Salisbury Garden Center

Seasonal Displays & Perennials: Sweethaven Farm, Noreen Driscoll