Key Components to Creating Your Backyard Oasis – Part 1

I hope you are enjoying this strangely cool and wet summer. Because it hasn’t been very hot, my tomatoes aren’t thriving as well as usual, but the abundance of rain means everything else sure is! Speaking of that rain, many of my clients have asked about a little fungus among us. It resembles an inverted […]

Unique Father's Day Gift Ideas

Father’s Day is just around the corner. Here are my top 10 gift ideas for your favorite outdoors-man.   Compost bin. Many makes and models from which to choose. Visit for options. Give us a jingle to find out which models are best suited for your needs. Bat house. Bats eat 6,0008,000 mosquitos every […]

Part III: How to Add Visual Interest to Your Garden for the Winter Months

Have you lived in the Midwest for a while? Yes? Then what I’m about to tell you isn’t news. Winter is our predominant season. Yes, we are lucky to enjoy a colorful world for about four to five months of the year. But what about the rest of the year, when everything seems bare, gray […]

Troubleshooting Wet Areas in Your Lawn

Rain. Rain. It’s ok. Here’s what happens in a traditional yard when it rains…a lot. Thunder. Lightning. Torrents of rain come running down your roof and downspouts. Your grass lawn becomes the backyard pool you’ve always wanted…ok, not really. Water courses down your pathway, sidewalk into the gutter, sewer, then on to our lakes and […]

Fall into Spring

Plant Spring Bulbs Now for a Colorful Spring Display! Many already are saying this winter will be another brutal one. Sigh! Flowering bulbs provide vivid, colorful relief after winter doldrums. Something to look forward to! So, don’t let fall pass you by without planting bulbs for next spring. If you already have bulbs planted from […]

Damage Control for Your Lawn

Grub Trouble Grubs 101 Grubs are the larval stage of beetles. Two primary types are most likely to wreak havoc in your yard this summer. The annual white grub is the most common lawn-wrecking grub in Illinois. This larval stage of the masked chafer beetle is C-shaped, white with a dark head. Unlike the Japanese […]

Colorful Plants to Make Mom Smile

Mother Nature’s Gift to Mom For indoor blooms, I really like bromeliads. They stay vibrant for two to three months, and deliver a bit of the tropics to her living room. For the garden, I adore shrub roses for nonstop color all summer long! Three reasons this plant is perfect for Mom: Gorgeous color from […]

Surviving the Polar Vortex of 2014!

Benefits of Snow in the Landscape On the positive side, all this snow does have a benefit for our landscape plants and environment. A “blanket of snow” provides excellent insulation and protects plants from harsh drying winter winds. Winter winds can desiccate foliage and bare soil. It protects plants from the freeze/thaw cycles that heave […]

Replacing Your Ash Tree

Move over Maples! When replacing a tree, many folks immediately look to maples. They can be quite hardy, self-reliant, and fastgrowing. But, here in Illinois, we are at risk of creating a maple monoculture, and that can be dangerous. If an insect or disease comes along that wipes out maples, we’ll have no trees left! […]

Tips for Renovating Roses After the Polar Vortex!

Frozen Roses If your roses are like mine, they sure took a beating this past winter. How can you revitalize them? If you haven’t already, remove last fall’s protection (e.g. rake extra soil/mulch, remove debris/leaves, etc). Prune, prune, prune…before the leaf buds open or after all the buds have flowered. Be sure to use […]