Roll with the cooler weather by planting away.  Annie Thornton, a Houzz Editorial Staff, shares gardening guides to inform you what plant picks are best for each U.S. region. Read More:


Published in Landscaping
Friday, 29 August 2014 08:34

4 Elements of a Stunning Fall Garden

Late summer is a good time to look beyond trees to create an autumn landscape that draws the eye and stirs the soul.
Benjamin Vogt, a Houzz Contributor, shares his thoughts:


Published in Landscaping

Nothing better than Zucchini.

Enjoy this week's Recipe Thursday.

Grilled Zucchini Pepper Salad

•1 1/2 pounds zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
•2 red bell peppers, quartered
•1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
•2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
•2 teaspoons packed light brown sugar
•2 tablespoons chopped basil


Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (medium-high heat for gas); see Grilling Procedure , or heat a 2-burner grill pan over medium heat until hot.

Toss vegetables with 2 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Grill, turning occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes total. If using grill pan, grill in batches, 10 to 15 minutes per batch. Transfer peppers to a bowl and let stand, covered, 10 minutes. Peel peppers and cut into 1-inch pieces. Cut zucchini crosswise into 1-inch pieces.

Whisk together vinegar, brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl. Stir in vegetables and basil. Let stand 15 minutes for flavors to blend.

 From Gourmet | September 2009 by Ruth Cousineau

Nutrition Information
per serving (4 servings)
POWERED BY EdamamCalories183
 Carbohydrates13 g (4%)
 Fat14 g (22%)
 Protein3 g (5%)
 Saturated Fat2 g (10%)
 Sodium19 mg (1%)
 Polyunsaturated Fat2 g
 Fiber3 g (12%)
 Monounsaturated Fat10 g

Published in Landscaping
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 12:48

20 Favorite Flowers for the Fall Landscape

Vivid blooms and striking shapes make these annuals and perennials a delight in autumn gardens. 
Marianne Lipanovich, a Houzz Contributor, shares why fall gardening is wonderful, how your garden dosen't have to look tired and 20 favorite fall plants! Read more:


Fall Perennial Plant and Garden Ideas, Lake Bluff, Illinois, Schmechtig Landscapes

Published in Landscaping
Tuesday, 26 August 2014 10:50

Great Design Plant: Ostrich Fern

Try these ferns for a showstopping sight in a shady or even somewhat sunny woodland garden from Jay Sifford, Houzz contributor.  Read More:


Landscape Ideas: Border, Stone Walkway Path, Shade Plant Ideas, Winnetka, Illinois , Schmechtig Landscapes 

Published in Landscaping

This recipe uses your garden favorites. Serve this cold or at room temperature—perfect for a picnic or barbecue.
•8 ounces orzo (about 1 1/3 cups)
•6 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
•4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided
•2 medium zucchini or summer squash (about 9 ounces total), cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
•1 red or yellow bell pepper, quartered
•3 tablespoons purchased pesto
•2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
•1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
•2 heirloom tomatoes (8 to 10 ounces total), cored, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
•1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves plus sprigs for garnish
•1 8-ounce ball fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Cook orzo in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Rinse with cold water; drain well. Transfer to large bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon oil.
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Whisk 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons vinegar in small bowl. Brush zucchini and bell pepper with oil mixture, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Whisk pesto, lime juice, remaining 3 1/2 tablespoons oil, and remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar in small bowl for pesto vinaigrette. Place shrimp in medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons pesto vinaigrette; toss to coat.
Grill zucchini and bell pepper until crisptender, about 3 minutes per side for zucchini and 4 minutes per side for bell pepper. Transfer to work surface. Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper; grill until charred and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Place shrimp in bowl with orzo. Chop zucchini and bell pepper; add to bowl with orzo. Add remaining vinaigrette, tomatoes, sliced basil, and mozzarella; toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover; chill.
Garnish with basil sprigs and serve cold or at room temperature.

Servings: Makes 6 servings
From Bon Appétit  | June 2008 by Sara Foster

Published in Landscaping
Thursday, 14 August 2014 10:43

Fruit and Gorgonzola Salad with Prosciutto

It's Recipe Thursday - the fruit makes this salad so refreshing! Enjoy!

3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
 Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 peaches, pitted and sliced 1/2-inch thick
2 plums, pitted and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
8 cups torn mixed salad greens
2 to 3 ounces crumbled gorgonzola (or other blue cheese)
4 slices Italian bread, toasted or grilled

Cut or tear the prosciutto into bite-size pieces.
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat; add 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Add the prosciutto in a single layer (you may need to do this in two batches); cook, turning occasionally, until crisp, about 1 minute per side.
Drain on a paper-towel-lined plate.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the skillet over medium-high heat.
Dressing - Whisk the vinegar, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste into the oil to make a smooth dressing.
Add the peaches, plums and red onion to the skillet; toss to coat and wilt the onion slightly.
Transfer the mixture to a large serving bowl.
Add the greens and half of the gorgonzola to the bowl; toss to coat with the dressing.
Divide the salad among plates; top with the crisp prosciutto and the remaining gorgonzola.
Serve with hot bread from oven or grill!

Per serving: Calories 304; Fat 18 g (Saturated 5 g); Cholesterol 29 mg; Sodium 1,193 mg; Carbohydrate 26 g; Fiber 5 g; Protein 13 g

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

Total Time: 20 min
Prep:10 min
Cook:10 min
Yield:4 servings

Published in Landscaping
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 12:59

7 Great Trees for Summer Shade and Fall Color

It's that wondrous time of year when late summer starts knocking at early fall's door.
Take advantage by planting a tree in your front yard that celebrates the merging of these seasons.
Tiffany Carboni, a Houzz Contributor,  shares some top picks from landscape experts across the U.S.
These landscape-pro faves straddle the seasons beautifully.
Could one enhance your own yard?
Read More:


Landscape Ideas - Trees, Wilmette, Illinois Schmechtig Landscapes


Landscape Ideas - Trees, Wilmette, Illinois Schmechtig Landscapes


Landscape Ideas, -Trees, Barrington, Illinos, Schmechtig Landscapes


Landscape Company, Winnetka, Illinois, Schmechtig Landscapes

Published in Landscaping
Friday, 01 August 2014 13:20

Garden Games: Backyard Scrabble!

A patio floor does double duty as a Scrabble board. Read More:


Published in Landscaping

8 slices thick-cut bacon
1/4 cup packed fresh basil
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon or lime juice
 Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
8 thick slices multigrain bread
2 peaches, halved, pitted and thinly sliced
 Baby arugula, for topping
 Cornichons or other pickles, for serving (optional)


Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning a few times until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, then cut each slice in half. (Or bake bacon in oven at 350 degrees, until you have desired crispness. 15 minutes)

While the bacon is cooking, pulse the basil, olive oil, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a mini food processor (or finely chop the basil and whisk with the other ingredients) until smooth. Add the mayonnaise and pulse until just combined.

Toast the bread and spread evenly with the basil mayonnaise. Divide the peaches, bacon and arugula among half of the bread slices; top with the remaining bread slices. Serve with cornichons.

Total Time: 20 min   Prep: 12 min   Cook: 8 min
Yield: 4 servings   Level: Easy
Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

Published in Landscaping
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