Asian-Inspired Garden in Chicago

asian garden

In this Asian-inspired garden design, we were able to use many of the client’s existing Japanese Maple trees and other shrubs or plants, simply transplanting them to areas that were better suited for their sun requirements and the overall garden design.  Take a look at the pictures and let us know what you think!

Fall is the perfect time to plant bulbs, trees and shrubs to get your garden ready for next spring!  Though it may seem like it’s starting to get too cold, this is actually the perfect weather to ensure that trees thrive after they are planted.  It isn’t too warm/dry and not yet too cold.  Though it is still very important to make sure that all of your new plantings are watered well, the typical weather conditions of fall (less heat & usually more precipitation), there is less worry of a drought .  Give us a call for a free estimate!  We’d love to start planning your new landscape for next year!  773-517-1198

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Preserving Herbs

Now that the cooler weather is approaching, you may be thinking more and more about preserving herbs that are growing in your garden so that you can continue to use them and those left on the stem won’t die and go to waste.

There are a few different methods for preserving herbs, the most common being freezing and drying.

To freeze your herbs, coarsely chop them and place into ice cube trays filled with water or olive oil, OR spread them on a cookie sheet or other flat surface to freeze and then seal in a plastic bag.

This is our personal preference for preserving herbs because it is so easy to do and even easier to pop a cube into a soup or sauce when you’re cooking, but there are other methods if you’re interested in trying one of them.
Drying is another, more common, method of herb preservation though slightly  more complex.  To do this, first remove any dead foliage from the stems and lay them out to dry after rinsing them.  Once they are thoroughly dry, tie them into loose bundles with string and hang them upside down to dry in a warm, dry place away from sunlight.  It’s important to make sure the bundles are loose, allowing for air to circulate around and through to dry each leaf.  UV rays can reduce the quality of the herbs, along with moisture from dew outside, so it is best to dry your herbs indoors away from the sun.

If you’re in more of a rush, microwaves, ovens and food dehydrators can be used to speed up the drying process.

Finally, if freezing or drying really isn’t for you, growing your herbs indoors may be your best option.  Start small containers for each herb, make sure they get enough sunlight in the colder months and you’ll be able to use fresh herbs in your cooking year round!

Visit The Herb Guide for even more tips and tutorials.

Southwestern Landscape Design in Des Plaines

Southwestern Style Front Landscape

These huge flagstone pieces bring a little southwestern flare to this front landscape design in Des Plaines.  A mophead hydrangea, Hinoki Cypress and other low-growing shrubs add year round color and interest.  We also planted a variety of flowers and shrubs in the side garden along the fence.  Take a look at the pictures and let us know what you think!

We have always prided ourselves on our ability to bring “4 Seasons” of beauty to every client’s yard, using a variety plants, flowers, trees and shrubs that each bloom or look their best in different seasons of the year.  Give us a call for a free estimate!  We would love the opportunity to bring the same beautiful designs that have brightened the homes of so many of our clients to yours!

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Condominium Painting in Chicago

Using Benjamin Moore paints, we brought color to three rooms in this condominium painting job.  In the kitchen, we used Benjamin Moore’s Saybrook Sage to complement the red oak cabinetry and dark granite countertops.  One of our BM favorites, Carrington Beige, was used as a neutral tone in the hallway and office.  BM’s Smoke Gray and Whitewater were used in the dining room, separated by a white chair rail and BM-159, a deep blue color, was used to correspond with the retro tile in his bathroom.

A little fresh paint goes a long way to update your home on a budget. We can help you choose just the right color to compliment any combination of existing textures and colors in a room to give you a fresh, new feeling in your home without spending a lot of money. We offer free color consultations with every signed painting contract. Give us a call for a free estimate!

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Shady Patio Container Garden in Chicago

A covered back patio can still have beautiful container gardens filled with colorful plants that thrive in the shade – just take a look at the pictures of this shady container garden we filled this past month!  The options for shaded areas are numerous and can fit to almost any preference. Give us a call for a free consultation!  We’re sure we can find plants and flowers that fit your taste and sun/shade conditions.

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3rd Floor Container Garden in Chicago

We brought some life and color to a 3rd floor condo’s container garden in Chicago this month by filling her window boxes with colorful arrays of flowers and small shrubs.  Check out the pictures and give us a call to schedule your free consultation – the combinations and options are endless when it comes to containers.  You can see more of our work by clicking at the top of our website, or like us on Facebook to see our photo albums and posts with helpful home & garden tips!

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Loft Painting in River North

We were excited to bring a little color to this loft unit in River North, Chicago.  Using Behr paints in Sparrow, Wheat Bread, Country Club and Deep Garnet, we brightened the rooms while adding touches of personality with color.

SOLD!

SOLD!

Trying to sell your home in today’s market?

 Here are some tips to get your house ready for a quick sell:

  • Weed your front yard and clean the front entrance to your home.  Make a good first impression.
  • Light-colored walls make rooms seem bigger.  Consider painting darker rooms a lighter shade.
  • De-clutter.  The less “stuff”, the better.  Make your house look move-in ready.
  • Clean your house and make sure it smells good.  You may not notice how your house smells, but new buyers will.
  • Clean all windows.  This is an area that is often overlooked by homeowners, but easily noticed by new buyers.
  • Give us a call to schedule a free consultation!  Our extensive list of services can perk up any home so it’s ready to sell quickly.

Beat the Heat!

Beat the Heat!

Tips to keep your plants looking good

in the hot, dry summer months

  • Make sure to water everyday!  Both new and old plants need water when it’s hot.
  • Water in the morning.  This is the best time of day – before the sun makes it all evaporate and before the worms and bugs come out at night.
  • Try to water your plants near the ground/roots and the surrounding ground.  It will keep cool long after being watered.
  • Lay tree mulch around your plants.  This cuts down your watering time.  You can find free tree mulch from many tree removing services and it will help hold the moisture in  the ground rather than letting it evaporate away in the heat of day.
  • Water tomatoes under the leaves.  This will improve growth and avoid yellow/moldy leaves.
  • Make sure to turn your indoor plants every time you water.  This ensures even sun exposure.  If they face a sunny window, give them extra water.

Creativity with Containers

One of the easiest (and funnest) ways to decorate your storefront, yard, entryway, deck, porch or any part of your garden are containers.  They can be filled with any variety of plants, herbs, flowers, and grasses to create the perfect color and texture combination to suit your design and taste.  Combined with the container of your choice, each one is unique and easily adjusted to anyone’s preferences.  Take a look at some of the container gardens we’ve put together for clients and give us a call to schedule a free appointment!  We’d love to bring pops of color to your landscape, deck, garden, storefront or porch areas.