Wednesday, 19 April 2017 07:31

10 Ways to Bring Earth Day Home

April 22nd is Earth Day and while your community probably has some sort of event planned, there are plenty of ways you can celebrate at home. Here are 10 ideas to try for reducing your carbon footprint and celebrating planet Earth all year long from Shana Levy McCracken, a sustainability consultant and contributor.
1. Plant a tree.
2. Start a compost pile.
3. Fix something.
4. Encourage pollinators.
5. Choose a species to follow.
6. Join a CSA.
7. Buy nothing.
8. Read an Earth-themed book.
9. Make a donation.
10. Gaze at the stars.

Read and see in detail McCracken's 10 ideas here:

Courtesy of



Plant a Pollinator Garden on Earth Day.  Schmechtig Landscapes, Lake Bluff Landscape Design and Build Project



Plant a Tree on Earth Day.  Barrington Hills, Schmechtig Landscapes Design and Build Project.



Wilmette, Illinois, Pollinator Garden Design and Maintenance by Schmechtig Landscapes.

Published in Landscaping

Schmechtig Landscapes was awarded Best of Houzz 2017 for Customer Service. This is the 5th year in a row we have received an award from Houzz. The customer service award is based on the number and quality of client reviews received in 2016.  This is an honor for all of us at Schmechtig Landscapes since we are all about improving our clients’ lives by providing superior landscape services.  We send a special thanks to those clients who took the time to write a review and let us know how they felt about us.
Check out our Houzz profile at and start some ideabooks of your own and visit



Landscape Maintenance and Design Project by Schmechtig Landscapes in Winnetka, Illinois


About - the leading online site and platform for home and landscape design, contractors’ services, furnishings and decor providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device.  From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are registered trademarks of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit



Published in Landscaping

Many of us choose to hire a landscape maintenance company to care for our homes property. A full service company will be the best landscape company for you to hire.  Given that you will be serviced each week by this company, you want to choose the best company for your needs.

Your search should begin with assessing your own needs. Are you looking for a lawn service company to mow your lawn each week or do you require more services like weeding, planting seasonal flowers, container pot service, lawn fertilization, plant fertilization and irrigation service?



ILCA Gold Award in Landscape Maintenance, Schmechtig Landscapes, Winnetka, Illinois                       Photo: Linda Oyama Bryan

Landscape companies vary in size and the services they provide.  Some companies provide basic lawn care service while others provide additional services to basic lawn care offering everything you need to care for your landscape throughout the year: spring and fall cleanups; weekly grounds service which includes mowing your lawn, removing and disposing of debris before lawn mowing; pruning and trimming selected trees, shrubs, vines and ground cover; seasonal plant maintenance of perennial and annual beds and weeding.  A full service landscape maintenance company will provide weekly grounds service and more knowing when to perform each service like a lawn fertilizer program and plant bed fertilizer applied by their own licensed operators, lawn aeration to help your lawn improve soil conditions and reduce thatch, plant root feed to provide plants with a readily available source of nutrients, insect control grubs for preventive and curative application control of grubs in your lawn, boxwood blight fungus control, dormant pruning, deer and rabbit control, snow removal, irrigation services and more.

Search online for landscape maintenance companies and include lawn service companies and lawn care companies. You will learn a lot about a company from their website.  Websites reveal who they are and if they are a full service landscape company offering maintenance, lawn and plant fertilization, landscape design and build, outdoor furniture and accessory selection, irrigation and lighting service, snow removal and all other landscape services you need, all in-house.  Look for accomplishments in the industry.  Is the company a member and involved in their states landscape contractors association?  Do they have Certified Landscape Technicians, horticulturists and other degreed licensed professionals on staff? What professional associations are they members of?  How many years have they been in business? Do they provide a detailed written proposal to eliminate any confusion what you will be paying?

Once you have selected a few companies, review each landscape company’s proposal carefully.  Some may seem low and others high.  Make sure you clarify the wording on the service offerings to compare apple to apples. Find a company that aligns with you. Do you want a company who reaches out and is involved serving charitable organizations?  Asking questions and being honest about your needs and monthly budget will ensure your satisfaction with the landscape and lawn company you choose.



ILCA Gold Award for Landscape Maintenance Winner - Schmechtig Landscapes, Wilmette, Illinois         Photo: Linda Oyama Bryan


Here is a list of the Landscape Maintenance Services and Lawn Care Services provided by Schmechtig Landscapes :

Spring & Fall Clean-Ups; Yard Clean-Up
Weekly Grounds
Weekly Lawn Service
Lawn Aeration
Stone, Sand, Gravel, Topsoil
Pruning – including Dormant Pruning
Plant Bed Service
Four Season Color Displays
Garden Services: Annuals, Perennials, Vegetables, Butterfly Gardens, Rose Care Program
Pest Management:  Fertilization - Lawn and Plant Beds, Ornamental Trees, Shrubs, Ground Cover, and more
Weed, Insect and Disease Control
Animal Repellants
Deer Control
Seasonal Container Pot Displays
Winter Plant Protection
Tree Health Care
Hand Watering Service
Gator Bags
Irrigation Service
Lighting Service
Power-washing Service
Hardscape Maintenance Service

Published in Landscaping

Mitchell Parker, a Houzz Editorial Staff Writer, published this article “Inside Houzz: New Data Offer Insights on Landscaping Trends” on Friday, March 25th.
Parker states, "When it comes to outdoor projects, homeowners aren’t messing around. In a new Houzz landscaping survey, 88 percent of homeowners involved in an outdoor project say the scope of the work is a substantial or complete renovation. Their projects include things like adding paving and garden beds, building or updating structures, regrading, terracing and re-landscaping. The Houzz Landscaping & Garden Trends Study surveyed 958 registered U.S. Houzz users in February 2016 who had completed an outdoor project in the past 12 months, were working on one or planned to start one in the next six months." Here’s the link for the full article (great insights and information):    Courtesy of




Terracing Backyard Ideas - Schmechtig Landscapes in Barrington Hills, Illinois



Garden Bed Ideas with Water Feature, - Schmechtig Landscapes in Wilmette, Illinois



Front Walkway using Pavers - Schmechtig Landscapes in Glenview, Illinois

Published in Landscaping

Here's one of the 15 game changing meatloaf recipes.

See them all at:


Creamy Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower with Turkey Meatloaf

0.25 cup(s) cider vinegar
1.00 tablespoon(s) spicy brown mustard
5.00 tablespoon(s) tomato paste
2.00 pound(s) ground turkey
3.00 slice(s) whole-grain bread
2.00 small whole-grain dinner rolls
1.00 medium zucchini
1.00 medium red pepper
1.00 large shallot
1.00 cup(s) milk
1.50 pound(s) red potatoes
1.00 small about 6 cups cauliflower
0.66 cup(s) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1.00 clove(s) garlic
Cooked green beans

1 - Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line 18-inch by 12-inch jelly-roll pan with foil. Heat large covered saucepot of water to boiling on high.

2 - In medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, and 2 tablespoon tomato paste; set aside.

3 - In large bowl, combine turkey, bread, zucchini, red pepper, shallot, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper, and remaining 3 tablespoon tomato paste. Mix until well combined.

4 - Transfer mixture to prepared pan; mold into two 6-inch by 4-inch loaves. Pour vinegar mixture over tops of loaves. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until turkey is cooked through (165 degrees F).

5 - Meanwhile, add potatoes and 2 teaspoon salt to boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes. Add cauliflower and boil for 8 minutes or until potatoes are very tender. Drain; return to pot. Add yogurt, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/2 cup milk. With potato masher, mash until smooth. Serve with meatloaf and beans.

Recipe Courtesy of Delish and

Published in Landscaping