More Than a Pretty Place – Benefits of Green Spaces

There's something about green spaces - gardens, forests, prairies, etc... - that calls to us to approach, to touch, and to explore. They effortlessly hold our attention, while also setting us free of stresses and worries. There's a theory called the biophilia hypothesis, developed by Edward O. Wilson, that proposes our love of nature and other life forms is part of our evolutionary history and genetic makeup. We are attracted to life (animals and plants) because they support our life and have … [Read more...]

Summer annuals

And So It Begins…Summer Annuals

The title of this post is a bit of a misnomer since the real beginning of summer annuals is December 15th (which is when nurseries ask for next year's summer annuals orders), though you could argue that it begins even earlier when our client relations managers are developing annuals contracts and forecasting their summer annuals sales. However, in terms of installation, May 16th is our official start of summer annuals. With the threat of frost largely behind us (although this past weekend was … [Read more...]

Dry creek stream bed

Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day is an opportunity to recognize the impact that we all have on the environment and the ways that we can protect and improve it. Gardens that are designed well using appropriate plant material, properly addressing water and drainage on site, and installed using best management practices are all aspects of a healthy environment (and a beautiful space). Even little changes can make a difference. Planting natives, or bee and butterfly attracting plants, and installing bird feeders or insect … [Read more...]

clump red maple

Happy Arbor Day!

Go ahead and hug a tree.  Perhaps not a hawthorn tree with all those thorns, but a friendly maple or littleleaf linden would be nice. Illinois celebrates Arbor Day today (April 29) throughout the state (and nation) where communities and homeowners plant, nurture and celebrate trees.  Arbor Day traces its roots (ha! get it?) to 1594 when a small village Spain held the first documented arbor plantation festival.  Arbor Day is a day recognized around the world, and is often celebrated with the … [Read more...]

Azaleas and a Putting Green – Enjoying the Masters from Home

It's that time of the year again, the Masters at Augusta National are in full swing (ha! pun intended). Some people watch for the players and their amazing golf feats, but I tend to be more interested in the course setting. I longingly look at their blooming azaleas and dogwoods and wonder why I've committed myself to Chicago's "winter-springs." This year, after having a warm spring, their azaleas are a little past their peak bloom so I don't have as much to become unreasonably jealous over. … [Read more...]


ASLA National Convention

Starting on Friday and continuing through Monday, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) hosted its annual convention at McCormick Place in Chicago. It was my first national convention and from what I’ve heard it has also been a record year with approximately 6,000 attendees. In comparison to architects and engineers, we’re a relatively small professional group so it feels like you’re never more than six degrees of separation from one another. Regardless of knowing the people … [Read more...]


Fall Planting

FALL PLANTINGS……….. The other day I was with a friend visiting her grandmother and was asked what landscape firms are doing now that summer is over. It’s a fairly common question and I understand why people believe that we are wrapping up for the year when all the garden centers are selling plants at discount and are shortening their work hours. It may be surprising to you to know that while many of these garden centers are tucking in for the winter, we are ramping up to complete as many … [Read more...]

blog post

State of Your Garden Address

There comes a time when you look out your window to your garden beyond and think, what happened? Your once meticulously manicured garden had over time become overgrown, poorly maintained or pruned, or any number of other factors that may render your garden as less than ideal. It happens to all of us at some point. Plants have natural life spans that may be 20 years or 100 years. They may have been pushed to the edge of their preferred environment – maybe a little wetter or with a little more … [Read more...]

Perennials around terrace

Perennials to Keep Your Garden Gorgeous Through Fall

It’s hard to believe that the end of summer is unofficially here. Somehow, we’re already three-quarters of the way through the year. What happened?! Similarly, how did we have 90 degree weather last weekend and 70 degree weather planned for this weekend? Mother Nature needs to work on her transitioning skills, but this is still beautiful weather so I can’t complain and I’ll take what I can get. More than just beautiful weather, Fall is also a season with some truly stunning perennials – asters, … [Read more...]

Daffodils  and muscari

Planning now for spring flowering bulbs

Have I told you recently about how much I love bulbs? Maybe I’ve mentioned it once…or twice…but I strongly believe that bulbs improve your garden (and your life!). I’m going to go as far as to unscientifically claim that as fact. I’m taking the time to wax ecstatic about bulbs again because now is the time of order and schedule bulbs for fall installation. Perhaps this is the most wonderful time of year, when all that lay before you are possibilities. Grab a bulb catalog, consult with your … [Read more...]