Wednesday, 19 April 2017 07:31

10 Ways to Bring Earth Day Home

April 22nd is Earth Day and while your community probably has some sort of event planned, there are plenty of ways you can celebrate at home. Here are 10 ideas to try for reducing your carbon footprint and celebrating planet Earth all year long from Shana Levy McCracken, a sustainability consultant and Houzz.com contributor.
1. Plant a tree.
2. Start a compost pile.
3. Fix something.
4. Encourage pollinators.
5. Choose a species to follow.
6. Join a CSA.
7. Buy nothing.
8. Read an Earth-themed book.
9. Make a donation.
10. Gaze at the stars.

Read and see in detail McCracken's 10 ideas here: https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/83175320?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u5149&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery4&newsletterId=5149

Courtesy of houzz.com

 

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Plant a Pollinator Garden on Earth Day.  Schmechtig Landscapes, Lake Bluff Landscape Design and Build Project

 

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Plant a Tree on Earth Day.  Barrington Hills, Schmechtig Landscapes Design and Build Project.

 

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Wilmette, Illinois, Pollinator Garden Design and Maintenance by Schmechtig Landscapes.

Published in Landscaping

Schmechtig Landscapes was awarded Best of Houzz 2017 for Customer Service. This is the 5th year in a row we have received an award from Houzz. The customer service award is based on the number and quality of client reviews received in 2016.  This is an honor for all of us at Schmechtig Landscapes since we are all about improving our clients’ lives by providing superior landscape services.  We send a special thanks to those clients who took the time to write a review and let us know how they felt about us.
Check out our Houzz profile at https://www.houzz.com/pro/tcallahan/__public and start some ideabooks of your own and visit http://www.schmechtiglandscapes.com/

 

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Landscape Maintenance and Design Project by Schmechtig Landscapes in Winnetka, Illinois

 

About Houzz.com - the leading online site and platform for home and landscape design, contractors’ services, furnishings and decor providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device.  From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are registered trademarks of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit houzz.com.

 

 

Published in Landscaping
Wednesday, 14 September 2016 17:23

10 Tips for Using Outdoor Fire Bowls

Now is perfect time of year to sit outside late into the evening, and nothing makes that better than the cheeriness and warmth of a fire, says Pangaea Interior Design.  They continue, if you don't want to spend megabucks on an outdoor fireplace and don't want to spend hours stacking bricks and slathering them with mortar to build a permanent fire-pit, what are you to do?
Fire bowls are the answer. They can be as low-tech as a big fireproof bowl for burning real wood or they can be fueled by propane, natural gas or clean-burning gel. Either way, instead of spending your time on installation, you get to spend your time enjoying the ambience. Here are a few ideas:

http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/470152/list/10-tips-for-using-outdoor-fire-bowls
Courtesy of houzz.com and Pangaea Interior Design

Published in Landscaping

Cooler evenings are approaching and thoughts of fire pits come to mind.  If you are thinking about installing one, decide what type you want - wood, gas, ecosmart and will this be a built in or one that you can move around your property or take with you if you move.  Here are 6 Fire Pits to inspire from msn.com's lifestyles home and garden section: http://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/home-and-garden/6-fire-pits-that-will-upgrade-your-backyard/ss-BBvJEAJ?ocid=DELLDHP


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Schmechtig Landscapes, Winnetka, Illinois Fire Pit Design

 

 

Published in Landscaping
Tuesday, 16 August 2016 09:40

12 Tricks to Make the Most of Your Yard

See how to get more out of every square inch of your outdoor space with ideas from Lauren Dunec Hoang, a houzz contributor. Hoang says, with a few strategic choices to expand views, hide storage and maximize vertical surfaces, you’ll get the most out of every inch of your yard. These gardens all offer smart space-saving solutions and prove that less is often more. Read and see more: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/70977874?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u3538&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery16


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Side Yard Design using blue stone and crushed blue stone pattern, Schmechtig Landcapes, Glenview, Illinois

 

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Fire Pit in Side Yard for Intimate Converstaion Gatherings, Winnetka, Illinois, Schmechtig Landscapes

 

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Walkway with Trellis's and Blue Stone Connecting Sunken Historic Garden Restoration to Main House in Wilmette, Illinois, Schmechtig Landscapes

 

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Side Garden with Garden Path and Garden Art, Winnetka, Illinois, Schmechtig Landscapes 

Published in Landscaping

A wonderful addition to a backyard retreat is the outdoor kitchen. Homeowners are thinking about the entertaining value of their landscaping instead of only the visual value. This element enables the family to spend meal time outside and eating together.

 

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Schmechtig Landscapes Winnetka, Illinois Outdoor Kitchen Patio Project

 

Additionally, the outdoor kitchen enables the homeowner to spend time with their guests not in the house preparing the meal. Kitchen components are considerable and vary depending on budget, space and specific needs of the family. The options besides a premium grill now include a wet bar, refrigerator, warming drawer, trash compactor, dishwasher, storage and more.

But what makes the outdoor kitchen particularly special is the ability to coordinate stone and countertop material to the existing landscape or home, which truly blends this space seamlessly into its environment.  Looking for inspiration for your outdoor kitchen visit Houzz.com. 

 

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Schmechtig Landscapes Design Featured on HGTV: Outdoor Kitchen, Dinning and Living Room in Schaumburg, Illinois

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Outdoor Kitchen and Outdoor Living Spaces, Schmechtig Landscapes Design Featured on HGTV: Outdoor Kitchen, Outdoor Dinning Area with Pergola and See-thru outdoor fireplace into Living Room in Schaumburg, Illinois

Published in Landscaping

This long-blooming eastern North American native shrub finds a home in landscapes around the world, says Curtis Adams, a Houzz Contributor.  Adams continues, wild hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) and its cultivars are landscape staples that grace gardens across the U.S. and around the world. With their mounding habits and long-lasting flowers, it’s easy to see why. Read and see more: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/69999745?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u3505&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery22


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Using Hydrangea in your Front Landscape Design, Schmechtig Landscapes Design in Barrington, Illinois

 

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Hydrangea in Raised Plant Bed Design, Barrington, Illinois, Schmechtig Landscapes

 

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Using Hydrangea in your Backyard, Designed and Built by Schmechtig Landscapes in Wilmette, Illinois

Published in Landscaping

It's not too late to plant veggies for autumn harvests​.​ Here are 8 different types of veggies to plant from Country Living and Arricca SanSone.

Spinach
What it needs: Sow spinach directly into your garden in late July or early August. Because it doesn't germinate well in temperatures higher than 85 degrees, help reduce soil temperature by keeping it moist. After the first frost (or even the first snow), spinach may look frozen or wilted, but wait for the sun to come out and perk it up, then harvest. "I've seen spinach survive under snow well into winter. It's incredibly hardy," says Smith.
Varieties to try: Red Kitten or Emperor, although almost any type of spinach performs well in cool temperatures.

Radishes
What it needs: Plant no later than mid-August or late August in more moderate climates. Keep the soil moist while seeds are trying to germinate. Radishes mature in about a month. They don't store for long periods in the ground, so harvest as soon as you see the radish pushing up through the soil, says McCrate. They can handle cold but don't like a frost
Varieties to try: Cherriette, French breakfast, or watermelon, which produce best in fall.

Carrots
What it needs: Sow carrot seeds by late July to early August. Keep the soil moist because they won't germinate in dry soil. Thin plants because if they're too close together, they'll be stunted and deformed. Try mulching with straw to make your harvest last longer. While they won't keep growing in cold weather, they will become sweeter-tasting after a frost, says Smith.
Varieties to try: Scarlet Nantes, Nelson and Napoli.

Cilantro
What it needs: Plant cilantro in mid-to late summer for a fall crop. Sow successive crops over a week to maintain a fresh supply as this plant flowers and seeds quickly. Once plants go to seed, harvest and dry the seeds, which are coriander. Cilantro is somewhat frost tolerant, and established plants may live through winter in moderate climates, says McCrate.
Varieties to try: Calypso or Santo, which is slower to go to seed.

Pansies or Violas
What it needs: Plant these anytime throughout the season for pretty and delicious garnishes for salads or baked goods. They have good frost tolerance and will keep for a few days in the fridge in a plastic bag, says McCrate.
Varieties to try: Choose a selection of colors such as Penny All Season mix.

Kale
What it needs: Kale should be planted no later than mid-August. It will withstand a heavy frost, and its flavor is improved by cold weather due to the glucose production. "Kale is worth growing because the plants produce a lot of food for the space they take up," says McCrate. To keep plants going, harvest only a few leaves at a time from each plant. Some types may overwinter and rebound in the spring.
Varieties to try: Winterbor, Lacinato, or Red Russian, which has more tender leaves. Kale flowers also are edible.

Broccoli
What it needs: Get broccoli in the ground by late July or early August. Transplants typically do better, but you can direct seed, too, if you can't find plants. Broccoli is hungry and thirsty, so add compost before planting to help the soil hold moisture. "It's not the ultimate cold survivor spinach is, but colder weather does impart a sweetness because of the sugars produced," says Smith.
Varieties to try:  Bay Meadows, Marathon, or Arcadia, which has the best cold tolerance.

Salad Greens
What it needs: Mixed baby lettuces are very easy to grow from seed, though they won't germinate if it's too hot. If it's still sweltering, plant in shadier spots or drape shade cloth over rows. Keep soil moist to reduce soil temperature. Hand watering also cools the greens down on hot days. Lettuce grows well in containers, too, says McCrate.
Varieties to try: Arugula Surrey or any mesclun mix that includes red and green lettuce. For head lettuce, try transplants of Winter Density, or grow Brune d'hiver, an heirloom variety that's extra cold-hardy, from seed.

 

Courtesy of msn.com home and garden section, Country Living and Arricca SanSOne

Published in Landscaping
Wednesday, 13 July 2016 11:03

7 Ways to Rethink the Shrub

These versatile plants can do more than frame your home’s foundation or line an entry walk, says Falon Mihalic, a Houzz Contributor.

Mihalic continues, whether you utilize their unusual characteristics, prune them into tight forms or design with them for wildlife, you can get creative with shrubs for a more interesting and unusual garden. Here are ideas for rethinking the basic shrub: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/69194526?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u3346&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery18


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Shrubs in Front Yard Landscape Design, Schmechtig Landscapes in Winnetka, Illinois

 

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Schmechtig Landscapes, Winnetka, Illinois, Backyard Informal Garden using shrubs for symmetry

Published in Landscaping
Monday, 27 June 2016 10:43

Rock your Backyard!

Rocks and gravel serve a purpose whether in your backyard landscaping or your total landscape design. Here's what Jenny Peterson,
a Houzz Contributor, has to say about rocks in the garden..."give your garden design some textural bam with pebbles, granite, river rocks and other permeable materials"...enjoy!

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Using Stone in your Garden, Schmechtig Landscapes, Glenview, Illinois


5 Gravel and Stone Types for a Rocking Landscape:
I love rock in the garden, but I particularly love gravel and other small rocks. I work them into nearly every design I create for my clients, as well as in my own landscape. Why the love affair with gravel? It serves many purposes, from solving drainage issues to lending textural appeal; it crunches under your feet; and it comes in many different colors and forms. Check out my favorites and see which one will work for you in your landscape. click here to read more on Jenny Peterson's thoughts: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/10654066/list?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u274&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery7

Courtesy of houzz.com and Jenny Peterson - Houzz Contributor, Landscape Designer and Freelance Garden Writer

Published in Landscaping
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