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
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
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