Tomatoes, Basil and Cucumbers – Two classic easy salads for your summer vegetable garden harvest.

Caprese Salad

Ingredients:

3 vine-ripe tomatoes cut into slices about 1/4-inch

1 pound fresh mozzarella (in the water) cut into slices
about 1/4-inch

20 to 30 leaves fresh basil

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Coarse salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

On a large platter, layer alternating slices of tomatoes
and mozzarella, add a basil leaf between each. Drizzle the salad with
extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a hot crispy loaf of italian bread and your favorite wine.

 

Cucumber Salad with Peanut-Lime Vinaigrette

Ingredients

For the Peanut-Lime Vinaigrette

1 Tbs. fresh squeezed lime juice

1 Tbs. creamy peanut butter

2 Tbs. peanut oil

1 Tbs. toasted sesame oil

¼ tsp. salt, optional

For the Salad

4 medium cucumbers, peeled and sliced

¼ cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts

2 Tbs. cilantro leaves

Sriracha sauce for garnish, optional

 

Directions

Peanut-Lime Vinaigrette

In a small bowl whisk lime juice and peanut butter

Stir peanut and sesame oils until blended.

Stir in salt, if using.

Salad

Arrange cucumbers in single or double layer on platter

Drizzle with Peanut-Lime Vinaigrette

Add a touch of sriracha sauce (if using)

Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and cilantro leaves

Serve with your favorite grilled chicken recipe.

Published in Landscaping
Monday, 12 August 2013 12:58

Secret Garden

With a structure to grow on, plants in this garden
can create living walls that offer privacy and seclusion.

Here, a cedar arbor boasts a dense covering of roses that forms a natural "roof,"

while a boxwood shrub anchors the base of each column.

The result is an intimate seating area that can be used for relaxing or dining.

Published in Landscaping
Friday, 09 August 2013 13:28

Kitchen Gardens - Potagers

"A place to grow the things you bring into the kitchen  -  herbs, vegetables, fruits, berries and even the cutting flowers for your table."

The French have been combining flowers, herbs and vegetables in their gardens since medieval days and Americans are following suit. The popularity of kitchen gardens, or as the French call them "potagers", has taken off.

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HGTV - Landscappers Challenge, Schmechtig Landscapes, Schaumburg, IL.

In combination with an outdoor kitchen, this type of garden can truly create an extension to your home and cooking. This garden is one that the kids like to be involved in; they are more apt to eat what they grow and harvest. It is truly a personal area unique in design, details and individual to your family.  

Bon appétit!

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Barrington, IL., Schmechtig Landscapes

Published in Landscaping
Wednesday, 07 August 2013 08:56

Courtyard Gardens

Courtyard gardens are gardens enclosed by walls, buildings or fences on more than two sides. They have many uses and offer unique design elements for your home and landscape. By incorporating a courtyard garden into the design you can make good use of exterior walls and form a protected space that provides a comfortable seating area. You are also able to establish a unique garden area and create an attractive focal point from both inside the house and from the rest of the landscape.

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Barrington, IL., Schmechtig Landscapes

Additionally, courtyard gardens tie in other garden features such as decorative arbors, pergolas and fences and eliminate the need for grass by including decorative hardscape material and plants. Both formal and informal spaces can be designed and are determined based on the type of layout, symmetry of space, plant materials selected and simplicity of design. A beautiful courtyard garden always enhances the entire garden as it ties in all the architectural aspects of the home.

Published in Landscaping

Finding creative ways to extend your living space into the outdoors begins with a unique vision and landscape design. Although we don’t utilize our outdoor living space year-round, we can use it spring through fall and enjoy the view throughout our cold Chicagoland winters. Adding elements beyond the traditional patios, decks and walkways provides an opportunity to add additional living space. With the addition of the landscape trends, your family time and entertaining space expand dramatically.

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HGTV's Schmechtig Landscapes Project, Schaumburg, Illinois

Today, homeowners understand the value of taking their interior design style outside their homes. Traditional furnishings, artwork, rugs and decorative containers appear as part of the new outdoor rooms. Kitchens, firepits and fireplaces along with water features are key elements for your outdoor living space. Fountains and ponds bring the soothing sound of water into any space.

 

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Barrington Hills, Schmechtig Landscapes

Water works magic in any garden, providing a focal point and relaxing rhythm. Moving water provides delightful background music and masks the noises associated with living our busy lives. Another way to extend this outdoor living space late into the fall and even winter is the addition of a fireplace or firepit which should blend seamlessly with the home and landscape.

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Long Grove, Illinois, Schmechtig Landscapes

Homeowners have an appreciation for special and distinguishing design features to make their home a unique and complete living environment. By unifying the interior and exterior spaces of your home you create a total coordinated environment calling you to enjoy yourself both inside and out. Knowing and understanding the power of design, interior professionals and landscape architects/designers, work together to arrange the fundamental points that are visible from the doors and windows of your home to extend the interior design through to your exterior spaces, providing you a total and inviting living experience.  At Schmechtig, we call this InEx-teriors  and we introduced this to our clients in 2009.  Chicago's Merchandise Mart invited us to utilize this concept and be the first landscape company to design the outdoor space for its 2010 DreamHome.  By incorporating colors and textures, furniture, fabrics, lighting, water features, art, container pots, accessories, etc. your landscape becomes an extension of your home, not just an accent.

Published in Landscaping

Looking for something to do this weekend?  Check out this weekend's offering at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. 

It is one of our favorite places to spend time and get inspired. There truly is something for everyone.

Here's this weekend's schedule or visit: chicagobotanic.org

Saturday, August 3rd

9 am

Monthly Photo Walk – the first Saturday of each month join the Gardens staff photographer for a free photo walk.

 

10 am

Grunsfeld Children's Growing Garden Family Drop-in Activities – get close to nature while discovering where food comes from and how plants grow.

Kleinman Family Cove Drop-in Activities – enjoy hands on activities for families and children.

Ikebana International Show – The Ikebana International Society presents and exhibition of traditional Japanese flower arranging.

 

1:30 pm and 2:30 pm

Garden Chef Series - Noted chefs prepare recipes in the Regenstein Fruit and Vegtable Garden's open-air amphitheater.

 

5 pm

Nature Nights Aquatic Adventure – Bring a picnic dinner and spend an evening in the Garden. Children ages 4 to 10 and families will explore different areas of the garden and enjoy a variety of discovery-based activities.

 

Sunday, August 4th

9 am

Farmer's Market – The Garden welcomes local and sustainable farmers to this public market

Book Signing by Jeanne Pinsof Nolan – The Organic Gardnerer Jeanne Pinsof Nolan will be at the Farmers Market to sign and sell copies of her new book "From the Ground Up"

 

10 am

Grunsfeld Children's Growing Garden Family Drop-in Activities – get close to nature while discovering where food comes from and how plants grow.

Kleinman Family Cove Drop-in Activities – enjoy hands on activities for families and children.

Ikebana International Show – The Ikebana International Society presents and exhibition of traditional Japanese flower arranging.

 

11 am

Malott Japanese Garden Family Sundays – Drop by the Elizabeth Hubert Malott Japanese Garden for hands-on activites related to Japanese arts and culture.

 

1:30 pm and 2:30 pm

Garden Chef Series - Noted area chefs prepare recipes in the Regenstein Fruit and Vegetable Garden's open-air amphitheater.

Published in Landscaping
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