Thursday, December 20, 2012

Rainwater Harvesting in Massachusetts

Rainwater Harvesting

I have always been captivated by the idea of harvesting rainwater to ultimately be used to irrigate ones property. Irrigation clients come to me every year looking for ways to not only keep their lawn and plants lush but also save on their water bill. Many of our local towns, such as Lexington, Winchester, Lincoln, Newton, Needham, Brookline, Bedford, Belmont, Concord, Weston & Wellesley, Massachusetts allow for second water meters which in turn helps our clients save around 60% of their water bill due to not having to pay for sewer service fees. But today, we have even better methods at our disposal when it comes to lowering water bills and getting around local water bans.....Rainwater Harvesting!

  "The long history of rainwater collection, can be traced (in recorded history) as far back as ancient times some 3,000 years ago (850 BC) if not even farther. The need for water is a basic human essential for maintaining life, without it, no civilization could have prospered. Rainwater collection in ancient Constantinople is one of the last megalithic structures of its kind. During the dark ages, technologies as advanced as these however seem to have taken a severe decline in the western world, while older less expensive techniques persisted up until the industrial era. With the advance of technology, time proven methods gave way to centralized systems of water collection, with pipes and collective communal systems. If we however, are to learn from our mistakes, we must study history and in this way rediscover the value of rainwater collection. ("

Here is how the system works:
   Rainwater is harvested from your roof, driveway and low lying lawn areas. The water from these areas is then directed to the storm filter which removes leaf and debris litter and finally on to the rainwater storage areas.

How will this system benefit you?

  • Creates a water reserve at no additional cost and without environmental impact.
  • Offers potential cost-savings to homeowners by reducing their demand on municipal or well water for household uses; for example, a typical lawn can require about 3000 gallons (11355 liters) of water a month, depending on the climate.
  • Stores a large volume of water in a small area.
  • Provides cost-effective storm water management, eliminating poor drainage around the house.
  • Allows builders to earn LEED credits for CRRH installations when projects are designed per LEED requirements. (

    Will I really be able to irrigate my property without the use of a town water supply?
    Yes.... and here's why!
    In Massachusetts, we average around 40 - 50 inches of rainfall per year. With the ability to harvest this rainwater, you now have the potential of collecting thousands of gallons throughout the year to irrigate your property. Let's say that the total foot print of the area in which you will be collecting your rainwater from is around 3,500.00 sqft. For every 1" rain event, your harvesting system will collect 2,176.00 gallons of pure rainwater (your yearly total would be 97,920 gallons), giving you the ability to irrigate your property during town water bans etc. So, if your irrigation system averages around 3,000 gallons of water usage per month or more and your Rainwater Harvesting system has the potential to collect 97,000 gallons per year, then this system is for you.
    To receive a quote for a Rainwater Harvesting System
    Contact Ryan Wikman, the owner of WikWorks, Inc at or call at 781-956-2778, also visit our contact page or visit our website
    To view constant updates "like" us on Facebook and receive a free WikWorksInc Water Bottle!
    We install these system in these local communities in Eastern Massachusetts:

    Saturday, August 18, 2012

    Stone Planter Design & Installation in Bedford, MA

    Rattle Bluestone Planters and Front Step Design and Installation, Bedford, MA.

    The following project lasted around 4 weeks and is almost complete. Final photos will be uploaded once completed.

    After meeting with the client, I then put together some renderings of what the final product would look like. The stone we used is called a Rattle Bluestone and I would have to say that it is one of my favorite stones to use.

    We will start with the Renovation of the front steps.

    After Designing the front steps and prior to demo beginning, we realized that the front portico was built directly on the front steps. We built a bracing system to bear its weight before demo and during the reconstruction process. 

    The Risers are made with the Rattle Bluestone and the treads are a Thermaled Bluestone.

    New Railings and post are going to be installed, once the bracing is removed... as can be seen in the photo below.

    The next item to be renovated was a collapsing brick plantbed in front of the right side of the house.

    The finished product:

    From there we moved on to a much smaller planter located just to the left of the steps pictured above.

    The final item was the largest of the planters that has a light column which rises from the end.

    The newly designed planter is just under 3' wider than the old brick planter viewed below.

    The new light fixture will be added this coming week to the column below.

    For help creating beautiful stone art in your Landscape...
    Contact Ryan Wikman, the owner of WikWorks, Inc, also visit our contact page or visit our website
    To view constant updates "like" us on Facebook and receive a free WikWorksInc Water Bottle!

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

    Full Property Landscape Design (Bluestone, Fencing, Belgian Block etc...)

    Landscape Design Build Project, Reading, MA.

    This was one of our first design build projects of the season. The project consisted of a lawn installation, planting design/install, bluestone walkway & patio design/install, belgian block borders and garage skirt etc....

    The clients wanted their landscape to reflect the look of their property on the Cape..... So here you go.  You be the judge.

    Front view of the house

    Looking towards the back of the property

    View from the back yard toward the front

    For help designing & building your Landscape...
    Contact Ryan Wikman, the owner of WikWorks, Inc, also visit our contact page or visit our website

    Tuesday, March 6, 2012

    Edibles in the Landscape

    Fruit bearing Trees and Shrubs for your Landscape

    A few years ago my wife and I were out in Beverly Hills, CA and stayed with her cousin who has a beautiful terraced garden full of edible fruit trees. I was able to wake up in the morning, walk down to the garden and pick fresh fruit for breakfast. Since then, I have always wanted the ability to do that here in Massachusetts. Although our climate is not as ideal, it is still possible to have great edibles growing in your garden/landscape and here are just a few proven winners:

    McIntosh Apple

    Apple Tree - McIntosh
    The McIntosh apple is a early and heavy producer. The flesh is white, soft and fine-textured. The flavor is distinctively sweet and aromatic. The McIntosh has a rather tough skin that has mixed red and green coloring.
    It's a favorite apple for eating out of hand but also is widely used in salads, sauces, and pies. It is a mainstay in fresh cider and an all-time favorite for fresh eating and salads. It has a large fruit and is used in juice, pies, and eating raw.
    The McIntosh is partly self-fruitful, or suggested pollinators are Red Delicious, Gala, or any other apple tree.

    Chinese Apricot
    Chinese Apricot
    Apricot - Chinese, Prunus armeniaca 'Chinese', is an early bearing, heavy producing variety that is recommended for difficult climates prone to late spring frosts. Cold hardy, frost hardy, and sets heavy crops of small to medium size sweet fruit. The fruit is of good quality with a yellow to medium-orange skin and flesh. Chinese Apricot is one of the earliest ripening fruits and blooms very early; needs well-drained, moderately fertile soil. It is best to thin fruit early in season to maximize size and quality.

    Thornless Arapaho Blackberry
    Blackberry - Arapaho Thornless
    Blackberry Arapaho Thornless, Rubus 'Arapaho Thornless' PP#8,510, is the earliest Thornless Blackberry in existence. An important characteristic is its small seed size. The berries are large, very firm, and tasty with excellent flavor, and the berries are a favorite of songbirds and butterflies.

    Berkeley Blueberry
    Blueberry - Berkeley
    Blueberry Berkeley, Vaccinium 'Berkeley', is a late midseason blueberry and carries attractive powder blue fruit with a pleasing light flavor and good dessert quality. 'Berkeley' is the most popular home garden varieties.

    Rainier Cherry
    Cherry Tree - Rainier
    The Rainier cherry tree produces sweet, large, yellow fruit with a red blush. The fruit is firm and the flesh is fine-textured and clear to light yellow. Fans of the Rainier appreciate the creamy-yellow flesh, which gives the blush of the skin a sunny undertone. The sweetness is what keeps them coming back for more. It is a very productive tree that resists cracking, spurs and doubles.

    Consort Black Currant
    Currant - Consort Black
    The Consort Black Currant, Ribes nigrum 'Consort', is an extremely productive, self-fertile variety, ripening late in the season. Its soft rich green leaves turn bright orange, yellow or red in the fall. The black fruits have a strong flavor, are medium in size, and borne in clusters. These rounded, juicy, sweet fruit, 1/4 inch in diameter, have a blackberry flavor and can be used for jelly, jam, or sauces.

    Concord Grape
    Grape - Concord
    The Concord Grape, Vitis 'Concord', is a well-known, high quality blue-black grape that is delicious for fresh eating, juice, jelly or jam. Its berry size and clusters are medium to large. Good for home gardens because it is a reliable producer and vigorous grower.

    Comice Pear
    The Comice Pear produces a large pear with a very juicy, melting flesh. It has an outstanding flavor. Grow these and put them in your own gift boxes. The giant, juicy, rich-flavored pears are golden with a trace of red. It’s also blight-resistant. It is sometimes referred to as the "connoisseur’s" pear.
    The Comice Pear is self-fruitful in most climates of the western US or can be planted with a Bartlett pear for better fruit.

    Heritage Raspberry
    Raspberry - Heritage
    The Heritage Raspberry, 'Rubus 'Heritage', has medium-sized red berries that have very good flavor and quality. It is exceptional for fresh eating or for making pies and jams. The medium sized fruits have good color and flavor, firmness, and freezing quality. Heritage is an outstanding everbearing variety that produces a crop in mid-July and then again in early September. They are disease-resistant, highly productive, easy-to-grow and will bear fruit the first year.

    Allstar Strawberry
    Strawberry - Earliglow
    The Strawberry Allstar, Fragaria 'Allstar', a spring planted herbacious root, produces consistently large, light colored strawberries year after year. The Strawberry Allstar is a June-bearing strawberry that is very disease resistant. It produces sweet, extra juicy berries and is very hardy.

    Methley Plum Tree
    The Methley Plum Tree produces juicy, sweet, red flesh with a mild flavor. This early variety has reddish-purple skin and blood red flesh. The Methley plum tree is very attractive in appearance and vigorous. The Methley is self-fruitful so no pollinator is needed. This early variety has red-purple skin and soft, juicy, blood-red flesh. This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and birds and the flowers are fragrant. It is drought-tolerant and is a regular bearer.

    For help adding edibles to your landscape...
    Contact Ryan Wikman, the owner of WikWorks, Inc, also visit our contact page or visit our website

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012

    Natural Stone Projects

    One of my favorite products to use in the Landscape industry is stone. Each piece is totally unique unto itself, with varying colors, shapes, sizes and textures. If you want a timeless landscape that will never fade in its glory, I beg of you to use stone. Stone character grows with age and when installed properly, it will last a lifetime.

    Here are just a few stone projects that we have recently designed and Built:

    Field Stone Wall. Woburn, MA.

     Irregular Bluestone Patio. Lexington, MA.

     Blue Mountain Wall with Granite Posts. Burlington, MA.

    Blue Mountain Fire pit with Bluestone Cap. Burlington, MA.

     Dimensional cut Bluestone Steps. Lynnfield, MA.

    Dimensional cut Bluestone Walkway. Lynnfield, MA.

     Tan & Brown Rounds Stone Wall. Bedford, MA.

     Thermal Bluestone Treads. Bedford, MA.

     Granite Landing and Steps. Lexington, MA.

    New England Field Stone Walkway. Meredith, NH.

    Granite Belgian Block Walkway. Burlington, MA.

    Granite Belgian Block Walkway. Burlington, MA.

    For help creating beautiful stone art in your Landscape...
    Contact Ryan Wikman, the owner of WikWorks, Inc, also visit our contact page or visit our website