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Outdoor Inspirations | New England's Finest

Outdoor Inspirations | New England’s Finest
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(1.) For 130 years, Ward Clapboard Mill has been a major presence in the New England timber industry. Still owned by the Ward family, the company produces beautifully crafted quarter-sawn vertical-grain clapboard (prices begin at 92¢ per linear foot for the popular 6-inch extra-clear clapboards) from locally sourced timber at the firm’s mills in Moretown, VT, and Patten, ME. 802-496-3581;

(2.) Since 1978, Turf has been providing sod for pickup, delivery, and installation in southern New England. Slocum, RI. 800-556-7208;

(3.) With a background in sculpture, Kim Barry creates terra-cotta and white earthenware vessels ($16–$40) to house your prized specimens. Approaching design as a gardener, she creates pots specifically suited for particular plant varieties. Clay Trout Pottery, Mattapoisett, MA. 508-758-9325;

(4.) Most of the seed varieties ($1.35–1.95) listed in the Comstock Ferre catalogue are ones that the company has produced for more than 100 years—and some since 1811. Today, operating out of its historic headquarters, the company is committed to preserving heirlooms. Wethersfield, CT. 860-571-6590;

(5.) Frank Sprague (see “Artisan Profile,” opposite) excavates Vermont fieldstone by hand for his natural birdbaths (average price $550). No two are alike, but all of them fit harmoniously into the New England landscape, and all are welcome respites for weary birds. Stone Puddles, Wilmington, VT. 802-380-4398;

(6.) Tracy Mahaffey creates intricately detailed stone carvings ($525 for this piece) for garden décor, gravestones, and memorials, applying an enviable skill and sensitivity to her subject. She also offers classes and commissions. Foster, RI. 401-397-7714;

(7.) In addition to installing HVAC systems and doing decorative copper work, Michael Aguiar creates whimsical metal pieces for home and garden, including kitchen back­splashes, lamps, and this black stainless-steel sea bass ($250). Tiverton, RI. 401-624-4400;

(8, 9.) Both the “Vinyl Woodbury Panel” ($279) and the “Back Porch Wren House” ($109) from Walpole Outdoors are handcrafted in Maine from cellular PVC, a low-maintenance solid vinyl that looks just like wood but won’t rot, warp, or split. Walpole, MA. 800-343-6948;

(10.) Family-owned since 1937, Florian manufactures hard-working tools for serious gardeners. The ratchet-cut “Maxi-Lopper” ($188.95) can clip through branches up to 2 inches in diameter with ease. Southington, CT. 800-275-3618;

(11.) Coast of Maine’s compost products ($7.99 for a 40-pound bag) are highly valued by gardeners who know that soil additives made from the waste products of Maine’s agriculture, maritime, and timber industries are the secret to healthy, happy plants. Portland, ME. 800-345-9315;


Updated Wednesday, August 28th, 2013
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