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Posts Tagged ‘rooftop’

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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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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hild1003

Are you looking to have a landscape to relax and entertain friends in?  Watercolour Gardens provides landscape design services to match many budgets. Whether it’s a small city garden or a large suburban property, we offer the design experience to make the most of your outdoor living space.

We design small city gardens, container gardens, decks, terraces, stonework, perennial gardens, rooftop gardens and  large north shore landscapes. Gardens can take on so many functions and the combinations are endless.  We help you prioritize, then plan and build accordingly.

While based in Chicago, Watercolour Gardens has created landscapes in both Europe and North America.  For more information about setting up a consultation, visit Watercolour Gardens.

For information about natural swimming pools, see article.

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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.

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