Posts Tagged ‘Chalet Nursery’

Back when I was doing my Postgrad in landscape design and architecture, I had several lectures on natural swimming pools.  I found the idea incredibly interesting in that, they self-clean.  No need for chemicals.  The pH balance is controlled by the pool having half it’s surface/subsurface covered in vegetation. In turn, that plant material helps to clean the water.  There are several other technical aspects which include layers of gravel and stones to help with filtration.

What I find so wonderful about the natural swimming pool, it blends right into a finely designed landscape, just as a pond would. Many traditional swimming pools can detract from a landscape and become the only focal point. The natural pools also require very little maintenance once they have been built, when balanced by the right percentage of vegetation. They really do begin to self regulate, without nasty chemicals.  One consideration, you have to be comfortable with cold water or at least without temperature regulation. Space is also a consideration.  You really need a fairly large piece of property or be willing to have it as a dominating feature in a larger urban lot.

It’s a trend that started in Europe, with a large number initially being built in Germany, Holland and Belgium. The first one I saw built was as a landscape design student in Oxford. It was an incredibly attractive pool and blended into the surrounding landscape brilliantly. It was impressive from an eco and aesthetic perspective. It blended completely with the woodland behind it and  the contemporary outdoor room that surrounded it.

The more I read, it appears the trend has just begun to catch on in North America. Green by Design wrote a nice blog post, showing how they look and a basic diagram of the mechanics.

If there is interest in the Chicago area for having one built, I have detailed plans and could provide a European trained contractor to build it.  For more info, visit Watercolour Gardens.


Read Full Post »

The 2010 Chicago Flower & Garden Show will take place at Navy Pier from March 6th to 14th, 2010. Monday-Saturday: 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. & Sunday: 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Check the official site for admission and parking details.

For further questions, call 773.868.3010 or email: flowershow@chicagoevents.com

The official event site, www.chicagoflower.com

Watercolour Gardens | Chicago’s Premier Garden Design Service.

Read Full Post »

The days are getting longer and warmer. Here on Chicago’s North Shore, spring happens quickly and is a short season crunched between Arctic Winters and Sahara Summers. It’s one of the best times of year to get cracking with implementing plans for your outdoor living space. Contractors love doing the heavy hardscaping, terraces and garden structures in the cool spring weather.

For a successful outdoor living space, also known as a garden, it’s best to consult a trained Landscape Garden Designer. There’s a lot more to landscape than just throwing in a few trees and shrubs. When designed properly, a garden should reflect the style, geometry and scale of the property. The “outdoor living room” when successfully designed, will extend the function and comfort of your indoor space.

Watercolour Gardens offers several levels of service in the design and build process. We arrange sketch plans, planting plans and construction specifications for a complete design service. We work to meet your budget requirements, while creating beautiful gardens that suit your lifestyle. Visit our site for a complete list of services and portfolio.

jh1020347 jh1020777 jh1020718 jh1000821 jh1000803

Read Full Post »

Landscape design has become more important, as property owners look to expand usable living space.  The term “outdoor room” has been floating around for years. Again in America, sophisticated utilitarian gardens have become fashionable.  No longer is a homeowner limited to a traditional deck and lawn in their garden. Adding additional terraces and three season outdoor rooms, has become a logical way to extend square footage to a home.

Sherry Thomas of North Shore Magazine recently wrote, an excellent article about the European outdoor room philosophy, which has been revived.

From European-style swimming pools to sultry outdoor living rooms, North Shore residents are finding more ways than ever to turn their homes inside out.

When Susan Forney first saw her sprawling estate home in Northfield, she fell in love with its Old World elegance and history.

“I’m the third owner,” she says of her 1923 property. “It was built by a gentleman who, around the turn of the century, designed a seal that was used for Ford motor cars.” As the man made his fortune, he and his wife (a transplanted Southern belle) moved into a mansion in Chicago and built the Georgian in the country, on a 22-acre spread with ample room for horses and entertaining, as a place to escape the oppressive city heat.

Click here to read the full article.

To learn more about landscape design in Chicago and on the North Shore, visit Watercolour Gardens.

Read Full Post »

As winter begins to release it’s grip, the trees and shrubs start to show signs of new life. Here in the Chicago area, spring starts rather late. This makes it essential to think beyond your perennial beds as a complete landscape. Remember, plants are only part of the visual interest in a garden. It’s important to consider hardscaping, sculpture, pergolas and tasteful outdoor furniture. The idea is to create three season outdoor living space. Fortunately, awareness in the value of adding smart garden space to a home has caught on. Aside from the aesthetic qualities, a properly designed hardscape/landscape can create more usable square footage to a home.

Most homes consist of straight lines. The landscape and hardscape directly around the architecture should reflect the house. The objective is to gracefully link the house with it’s surroundings. A large property can take on curved lines further away from the home. Small urban properties should have lots of straight lines. They save space and reflect the surrounding urban environment. If you follow this basic design philosophy, your garden will take on an aesthetically pleasing shape.

For professional landscape garden design services, visit Watercolour Gardens.

duncans-garden.jpg p1020428.jpg boxwood-garden.jpg

For ideas, plan a local trip to the world-class Chicago Botanic Garden or jump over the pond to the famous Chelsea Garden Show.

Read Full Post »