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 Houzz.com 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: https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/83175320?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u5149&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery4&newsletterId=5149

Courtesy of houzz.com

 

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

 

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

 

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

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?

 

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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.

 

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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
Mulch
Weeding
Trimming
Edging
Cultivating
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
Tuesday, 14 April 2015 07:56

Edible Plants That Double as Ornamentals


Try growing these tasty plants with your ornamentals for an attractive garden and fresher meals, says Noelle Johnson a Houzz contributor.  Johnson continues, a combination of flowering plants and attractive foliage usually comes to mind when we imagine a beautiful garden. What about the plants we grow for food? From flowering herbs to leafy vegetables, many edible plants have shapes, textures and colors that can add both beauty to the landscape and flavor to your dinner plate. Let’s break down the border between our ornamental and edible gardens and see how edible plants can do double duty.  Read and see more: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/44460329/list/edible-plants-that-double-as-ornamentals

 

 

Published in Landscaping

Water elements can be a dynamic focal point in your outdoor room.  Fountains can provide a welcome screen from street noise, attract beautiful birds and butterflies, create a garden focal point and (most important) invite relaxation, says Laura Gaskill,a Houzz Contributor.  Laura shares 10 examples of fountains to enhance your garden, from petite to grand and everything in between.  Read more: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/45750252?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u1132&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery6

 

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Fountain Ideas for your landscape, Barrington Hills, Landscape Company, Schmechtig Landscapes

Published in Landscaping
Wednesday, 01 April 2015 15:38

To-Dos: Your April Home Checklist


Take advantage of spring’s warmer weather to spruce up your outdoor spaces and refresh your entryway and common living areas  Laura Gaskill, a
Houzz Contributor, says  after the grueling winter some regions experienced this winter, many folks are itching to get outdoors and feel a little sun this spring. No matter where you live, answer spring’s siren call with these cleaning, freshening and gardening projects to keep your home in top shape.

Read more: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/45142094?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u1132&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery1

 

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Glencoe Landscape clean up and maintenance company, Schmechtig Landscapes

Published in Landscaping

Step outside and use these tips to show off your home to its best advantage this spring.  Laura Gaskill, a Houzz Contributor, shares a checklist to use as your guide to help your home burst into spring with a curb appeal makeover. Pick as few (or as many) tasks as you want to tackle, from porch swings to plantings, and your home will be looking its best before you can say “baseball season.” Read More: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/45751156/list/spring-curb-appeal-checklist

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Winnetka, Illinois Front Landscape Design Schmechtig Landscapes with Container Pots, blue stone and brick walkway, and seating area

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Barrington, Illinois Curb Appeal Front Landscape Design, Schmechtig Landscapes

Published in Landscaping

Midwesterners are tired of the winter – especially with the snow and freezing temperatures.  I know I cannot wait to enjoy the longer spring days and see our tulips and gardens come alive.  To ensure a long-term healthy and beautiful landscape, there are important spring clean-up maintenance steps crews perform in the spring. The most important step is the removal of winter debris, including fall leaves, twigs and winter cover. This includes the pruning of perennials and flowering shrubs. Additionally, perennials in your garden may need to be divided and replanted.
 

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Lake Forest, Illinois Landscape Company Schmechtig Landscapes, Spring Landscape Garden Ideas
 
There are necessary applications of broad spectrum, granular spring fertilizers that will provide the plants a readily available source of nutrients throughout the growing season and aid with new plant growth. By seeking lawn care and garden plant bed care now, you will have a summer full of a healthy rich green lawn along with bountiful flowers. It's also time to plant beautiful annual displays and apply mulch or compost to all plant beds to provide an aesthetically pleasing, nutrient filled layer across the landscape.
 

Published in Landscaping
Tuesday, 24 March 2015 11:02

How to Hire a Landscape Contractor

Finding a landscaping contractor is not a difficult task, but assessing the qualifications and business practices of an individual or a company can require substantial effort on the part of the consumer on how to landscape. The State of Illinois and most of its municipalities do not define nor regulate the work of landscape contractors, which puts the burden of responsibility and risk on the consumer. Consumers in Illinois can look to the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA) to find qualified, reputable and insured professionals providing all manner of landscape services. Through the ILCA, members obtain training and continuing education in both technical and business skills to enhance their business practices and the professionalism of their employees. The more than 800-member firms across the state have unparalleled access to research, publications and product information, as well as an open-line of communication to product manufacturers, educators and researchers. Schmechtig Landscapes has been a member of the ILCA for over 26 years.  Following you will learn how we stand apart and what we can do for you.
  
How We Stand Apart
 
1 - We are members of the Illinois Landscape
Contractors Association, American Society of Landscape Architects, Planet, and  Illinois Green Association
 
2 - We carry workers compensation insurance
and business liability insurance appropriate to our operation, and for the
entire duration of the project.
 
3 - We are appropriately licensed to do
the type of work – landscaping proposed in your community.
 
4 - We comply with all state and
federal labor laws to work for you in your town and/or city landscape projects.
 
5 - We employ state-licensed pesticide
applicators to apply chemicals like Scotts Lawn Care Service performs.
 
6 - We employ staff who are properly trained
in how to landscape and are qualified to operate the machinery used.
 
7 - We provide a written estimate that
details the cost of your landscape improvement, the materials being used, and
our contractual obligations for your garden landscape.
 
8 - We can provide a portfolio of landscape
photography of our work as well as references.
 
9 - We have a staff of Landscape Industry Certified professionals and licensed Landscape Architects
 
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 Barrington, Illinois Landscape Company Schmechtig Landscapes

 

What can an ILCA Landscaper Member do for you?
 
Maintenance
 - Lawn Mowing and Lawn Care Service
 
- Weeding, Fertilizing, Core Aerating
 
- Pruning
 
- Mulching
 
- Spring Clean-Up & Fall Clean-Up
 
- Annuals & Containers
 
- Holiday Lighting
 
- Snow Removal
 
 
 
Landscape Designing/Landscape Architecture
 - Site Analysis
 
- Landscape Ideas
 
- Outdoor Kitchens & Outdoor Living
Room Areas
 
- Garden Landscape to include Vegetable
Gardens, Perennial Gardens, Annual Gardens
 
- Sport Courts
 
- Pools & Outdoor Spas
 
- Water Features, ponds, fountains
 
- Fireplaces & Fire Pits
 
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 Northbrook, Illinois Landscape Company Schmechtig Landscapes - featured in CS Interiors Magazine


Construction
 - Plant Installation
 
- Landscape Edging
 
- Retaining Walls
 
- Excavating & Grading
 
- Carpentry & Decks
 
- Landscape Lighting Contractor
 
- Landscape Stone
 
- Brick & Concrete Masonry
 
- Landscape Rock
 
- Fences & Gates
 
- Green Roofs & Walls
 
- Patios, Driveways, Walks
 
- Irrigation System including drip
irrigation
 
- Erosion/Flood Control
 
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 Winnetka, Illinois Landscape Company Schmechtig Landscapes - ILCA Award Winning Property


Horticulture
 - Landscape Trees
 
- Tree Care/Arborist
 
- Soil Preparation
 
- Weed, Insect & Disease Control
just like Scotts Lawn Care Service performs
 
- Nursery Sales
 
- Ecological Plantings
 
 

Published in Landscaping

Learn how to choose systems and plants, and what it will cost to bring green up a garden wall or bring a bit of the outdoors inside your home. Jennifer Blaise Kramer, a houzz contributor, shares what is vertical gardening and how to get started. Read More:

http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/43839472?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u1095&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery8

Published in Landscaping
Thursday, 19 March 2015 13:13

Asian Lemon Chicken Tenders

 A wonderful asian twist to your favorite chicken tenders, tossed in the most heavenly sweet, lemon glaze!

Ingredients
1 cup vegetable oil
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup buttermilk

For the lemon glaze
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions
To make the glaze, combine honey, soy sauce, pineapple juice, brown sugar, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, pepper and garlic powder in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Heat is your thickening agent. Bring to a boil - you have to get it to a rolling boil and stir it the entire time until thickened, then let it simmer about 10-12 minutes. Remember to stir while simmmering.
Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste.
Working one at a time, dredge chicken in flour, dip into buttermilk, then dredge in flour again, pressing to coat.
Working in batches, add chicken to the skillet, 3 or 4 at a time, and cook until evenly golden and crispy, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
Serve immediately, drizzled with lemon glaze.

 

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 6 servings

Recipe Courtesy of Chung-Ah Rhee and damndelicious.net

Published in Landscaping
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