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Archive for the ‘Chicago Gardens’ Category

Now that spring has arrived, it’s a great time to get a new landscape designed and planted.  With cooler than average spring temperatures, new plantings require much less watering and nursery stock is abundant.

Whether it’s a small city garden or a sprawling suburban landscape, Watercolour Gardens will work closely with you to create a design suited to your lifestyle and needs.  The first consult is free and any budget can be accommodated, with the expertise of an Oxford trained designer.  We offer various levels of service, from lush perennial paintings to complete hardscaping projects, using the best of materials to create a lasting environment.  We offer a full service solution, from concept to completion.

Please visit Watercolour Gardens online or contact us at 1.847.380.2699

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July has turned out to be a fantastic month for planting a new garden. We’re having plenty of daytime sunshine and rain in the late night hours. There’s still a fantastic supply of plant material in the Chicago area nurseries and there will be until the end of September. Now is a great time to have a landscape planned and implemented. Although consistent watering is essential to keep any new planting vibrant and healthy this time of year.

Watercolour Gardens creates gardens on Chicago’s North Shore and throughout the entire city.  We offer a free initial consultation and work with many types of properties and budgets.  Having been educated at Oxford in a progressive manner of designing gardens, Jason Hartong can use his design philosophy and adapt to either a contemporary or traditional spaces.  Reflecting the character and style of the home in the landscape is essential to creating a lasting, pleasing impression.

Watercolour Gardens can be contacted at 847.380.2699 or visit www.watercolourgardens.com for more details.  We look forward to serving you.

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This is a project that was designed a couple of years ago.  I’m amazed at how far along the plantings have filled in during year two.  I’m currently working on several similar types of homes in Chicago and several on the North Shore.  It’s been a busy landscape design season, but here are some examples of the type of projects I’ve taken on this year.

If you would like a beautiful landscape designed and planted this summer, contact Watercolour Gardens at 1.847.380.2699 or visit our website for more details.

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Being familiar with the French landscape designer, Patric Blanc, I’ve seen Parisian office buildings covered in swaths of textured and colourful foliage. The garden designs seem to defy the laws of gravity. Not only can a building have grounded gardens, rooftop gardens, but also vertical gardens. Truly remarkable to see.

The concept of vertical gardens, grown on walls has been taken to all new environments. A South American rain forest has been recreated on the New York condo walls of Michael Riley. As a director of the New York Horticultural Society, Mr. Riley has plenty of experience with tropical specimens, but he wasn’t satisfied with traditional pots and containers. He built a complex infrastructure or irrigation, drainage, containment and lighting on the walls of a typical New York flat.  Brilliant!

Thanks to the New York Times, you can read more about this gravity defying indoor garden.

For more about gardens in Chicago, visit Watercolour Gardens.

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We all know the value of home improvement, but many homeowners overlook one of the most important factors in a homes worth. Landscaping can add significant value to a property. Start with a design that uses logic, to create usable outdoor space. Features are really important in landscape. Ponds, outdoor rooms, sculpture, fountains, terraces, distinctive trees, creative planting and tasteful paving are all important. Quality is a must. Skimping on detail and using cheap materials can actually detract from a homes value. Budget is important to focus on while in the planning stages and not when a project is already underway. It’s not cheap to have a designer landscape but neither is the cost of owning a home. So why not pay for it, enjoy it and see it as a worthy investment.

According to The Boston Globe, just having a landscape can add 12.7% to your property value. A sophisticated and functional garden can tack on 42% more to your home’s value.

Money growing in your garden

Mature plants, spacious patios, and other outdoor features can all add value to your property.

By Elizabeth Gehrman

“Show me your garden . . . and I will tell you what you are like,” wrote the English poet Alfred Austin in 1905. Today, the words might more aptly be “Show me your garden and I will tell you you’ll get more money for your house.” Up to 12.7 percent more, to be exact, according to a 2007 paper by Virginia Tech horticulturalist Alex Niemiera that brought together research from the previous decade. The factor that added most to a home’s value – up to 42 percent – was design sophistication. For more…..

Contact Watercolour Gardens for landscapes designed by an Oxford trained designer. Tel. 847 380 2699.

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Just as any tool, garden tools come in various levels of quality.  Many cheaper tools will get the job done, but might only last a season or two.  If you want something that will last a lifetime and put less stress on the local landfill, buy tools with a proven forging process.  It really does make a difference using a quality tool.  There’s less of a chance of breaking or bending under hard use.

Clarington is one of my favorite tool companies. Since 1780, they have been assembling fine tools.  Clarington has a long history of craftsmanship and are not outrageously expensive either.  You can buy more expensive tools but I’ve found Clarington to stand up well to time and wear.

Even though they are manufactured in the UK by Bulldog Tools, they are readily available in the US.  Here is a link to a Stateside distributor. Also, The Garden Tool Co. carries Clarington garden tools.

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The Togo, designed by Michael Ducaroy for Ligne Roset, in 1973

Conversation pits have been traced back to the 1950’s, but no one really knows where they originated. They began to take shape in California, during the late 1960’s, using the conversation pit name. The most common form of pit was an actual sunken living room, with low cozy togetherness furniture. It’s a concept that never died but was silent for a number of years.

More Recently, several well-known furniture design firms, including Ligne Roset, have advertised their 60’s and 70’s living room designs. Many of which, bring back the conversation pit’s cozy vibe.

It’s a design concept that has proven to be rather versatile, because it works well in many types of interior and exterior environments. Outdoors, the design trend has brought the cozy togetherness to the garden.  The conversation pit finds itself once again in the limelight as a feature that can be retro or contemporary.

For more on conversation pits in the garden, visit Watercolour Gardens.

Here is a link to Houzz, with an impressive photo collection of conversation pits from many decades past.

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