Friday, 13 September 2013 08:27

Fall Container Pots

With the cooler temperatures this weekend you can't help but think Fall. Remember, container pots are a wonderful enhancement to your landscape providing you the ability to create a whole new garden every season.

 

Published in Landscaping
Thursday, 29 August 2013 12:27

Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

It's Recipe Thursday! 

Here's a favorite using Zucchini's from your garden.

Ingredients

Olive Oil Cooking spray

2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound total)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (3/4-ounce) or more to taste

1/4 cup italian style bread crumbs (Progresso Brand is best)

1/8 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray.  Slice the zucchini into 1/4-inch thick rounds. In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini with the oil. In a small bowl, combine the Parmesan, bread crumbs, salt, and a few turns of pepper. Dip each round into the Parmesan mixture, coating it evenly on both sides, pressing the coating on to stick, and place in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake the zucchini rounds until browned and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove with spatula. Serve immediately.

 

 

Published in Landscaping
Tuesday, 27 August 2013 10:46

Potscaping...

Landscaping using container plants is a strong trend in landscape design. Although landscapes are designed to mature and bloom throughout the seasons, including winter, adding unique planted pots provides another dimension to the setting and gives you the opportunity to add a color or design shape that normally isn't found in your garden adding interest. Instead of being limited by climate, potscaping allows you to escape the seasonal choices of our weather area.  Adding the uniqueness of tropical or exotic plants transforms the space into a truly unique outdoor living room. Unique plants, normally not used in containers, will provide a distinctive yet interesting entrance as pictured above.

 

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Lake Forest, IL., Schmechtig Landscapes

 

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Winnetka, IL., Schmechtig Landscapes

Container pots can offer either a formal look or a more casual feeling depending on the container, placement and plants chosen. For a formal entry, balance is important, and using containers that blend or highlight the architecture of your home is key.  But for backyard use, pots can be moved and changed throughout the season to provide the at-home getaway look and feel you desire.

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Winnetka, IL., Schmechtig Landscapes

 

Published in Landscaping
Monday, 26 August 2013 10:33

Talking Design - Perennial Flowers

Designing a landscape using perennial flowers is the best way to have something wonderful blooming throughout the seasons. Most fallblooming perennials are hardy, long-lived and come in vivid colors. Fall bloomers, late summerblooming perennials and ornamental grasses are the three components of a well-planned garden, which provide beauty and enjoyment throughout the colder seasons. Fall bloomers have all season to grow so many are tall and bold when they flower. The top ten perennials that we use in our landscape designs are the Aster, Turtlehead, Chrysanthemum, Joe Pye Weed, Toad Lily, Perennial Sunflower, False Sunflower, Sedum, Goldenrod and the Blue Mist Shrub. Most of these will bloom from the end of summer until frost.

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Lake Bluff, IL., Schmechtig Landscapes

Ornamental grasses and late summerblooming perennials such as Black-eyed Susan, Coneflower and many others, have dried flowers and interesting stalks that remain into the fall and throughout the winter. These dried perennials and grasses should not be underestimated in the garden. The colors of these fall-blooming perennials compliment our yellow, orange and red fall colors magnificently.

Published in Landscaping
Friday, 23 August 2013 10:22

Color in your Landscape

"I want a lot of color in my landscape" is the most common phrase we hear from a client. To a designer, this phrase has broad appeal because there are so many ways to add color into a landscape design. Adding color in diverse and creative ways is what makes a landscape come alive. Add layers of color into the landscape design that extend from early spring and continue into the fall and beyond. The early spring layer of color comes from bulbs like hyacinths, tulips and daffodils. These plants usually bloom between mid-March and late April. When planted in ground cover beds they will pop up through the foliage and add color to that space. Bulbs are easy to plant and become a welcomed sign of the summer months ahead.

 

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Barrington Hills, IL., Schmechtig Landscapes

The next layer is provided by the spring flowering woody plants such as crabapples and ornamental shrubs. These plants will flower from April through May, depending on variety, and last for 2 to 3 weeks. With the relatively short bloom time of woody plants, the foliage (or leaf) color becomes important as well. Contrasting foliage colors add visual interest.

 

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Winnetka, IL., Schmechtig Landscapes

Perennial and annual flowers are the summer and fall layer of color. Consider perennial flowers with late bloom times and integrate them into the foreground of planting beds like a ground cover. Fall and winter color is provided by foliage and branch color. Additionally, ornamental grass combined with bright-colored red dogwoods and evergreen trees provide winter color. Contrasting colors again become important. Remember the key is to layer color each season to provide the year-round desire for color in your landscape.

Published in Landscaping
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