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Posts Tagged ‘north shore’

There are many fantastic beaches along the Chicago North Shore and well into the city. The city beaches can all be visited free of charge, with North Avenue beach being the most popular.  I’m not sure of the total count, but there are beaches from Rogers Park to the South Side.

Evanston has six beaches with one being a dog beach. A beach token must be purchased to avoid the $8 charge per visit to enter onto an Evanston beach. I favor Lee Street beach in Evanston for no significant reason, but it’s definitely an attractive place to relax in the sun.

Wilmette has a fantastic beach at Gilson Park, but I’m not sure of the current cost. Winnetka, Highland Park and Lake Forest have a few notable beaches.  I’d recommend clicking on the town and city links I have on the side bar for more information about the lakeshore offerings in the various municipalities. There’s a lot to choose from along Lake Michigan’s shores, so have fun and explore a bit.

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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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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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Planted containers and decorative urns add scale and visual points of interest to a landscape. Some gardens confined to tight boundaries, might consist of only container plants. The plants residing inside a container can be upright, structural or soft and colourful.  It’s just a matter of setting and how much visual attention you want them to attract.

Recently, cubed planters in a range of materials, from zinc to polished concrete have grown in popularity. So have monochromatic textural plants. Shades of green foliage and shrubbery have become a dominant trend in upscale container planting.

Many garden trends start with London’s annual Chelsea Flower Show.  Zinc containers  became big with Chelsea show gardens about five years ago. As a result, they have become a standard for contemporary container flare.  Zinc works well in both contemporary and many traditional landscape settings. Although design trends come and go, metal is here to stay.

SimplyPlanters

Terrace Gardener

For container garden design, visit Watercolour Gardens.

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Now that the ground has thawed, it’s a great time to start planting shrubs & trees. The roots tend to take well in the cool wet conditions. Spring is a short season in Chicago, so the sooner the better. Less water is required than in summer planting, in turn costing a homeowner less to start a new landscape.

Regardless of when anything is planted, mulch is essential. Mulch helps to retain moisture in the soil and discourages weeds from growing. Make sure to use a natural dark mulch like, shredded hardwood.  It looks great and improves the soil as it breaks down.  For more about landscaping ideas, visit Watercolour Gardens.

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Liz Tuckwell, a Chicago native, carved out a passion for painting while living in The Netherlands. She started with a potato knife and street-market oil paints. With her adopted city of Amsterdam and love of travel as a source of inspiration, her passion for painting grew. Since her return to Chicago in 2005, she has been busy working on several series of paintings, that can best be described as Abstract Expressionism.

Her latest painting series, titled The Garden, expresses meaning with washes of colour, words and collage elements combined. The series is available by commission, with custom messages available on request.

“Of my new garden series: The idea came to me / through me as a way to inspire others. For a long time I have felt that my art work did that without words, and it does – but this new series takes inspiration to a literal level and places ideas that are often forgotten, directly in front of the viewer.  Too often we fail to recognize our own individual beauty, tenacity, growth, never-ending strengths – sometimes we forget that we are uniquely amazing and carry within us all a garden of infinite possibilities.  With my new series I simply want to remind each individual that no matter how life may appear, they have within them endless potential and that they are basically perfect just the way they are right at this moment.  A message we all can be reminded of from time to time.”

For more, visit Liz Tuckwell’s website for a taste of her most current work.

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