Monday, 30 November 2015 10:44

Chicago Botanic Garden - Wonderland Express

The Chicago Botanic Garden is a Schmechtig favorite and Wonderland Express is open for this holiday season.

Consider going this year to one of the Chicago area's top holiday family-friendly, made-for-memories experience.

Here are the latest reviews:

TripAdvisor.com: 5 star rating “Don’t miss!”
Chicago magazine: “The warmest kind of holiday fun.”
Examiner.com: “A magical adventure!”
WMAQ-TV: “Fun for the whole family.”

Enjoy the amazing exhibition of miniature trains as it winds over bridges, under trestles and through mini-replicas of Chicago's favorite landmarks.

Published in Landscaping

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HGTV's Schmechtig Landscapes Project, Schaumburg, Illinois

 

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.

 

Today, there is value in taking a home's interior design style to the outside. 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 the outdoor living space. Fountains and ponds bring the soothing sound of water into any space.

 

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Outdoor Fountain -  Barrington Hills, Schmechtig Landscapes

Water works magic providing a focal point and relaxing rhythm. Moving water provides delightful background music and masks the noises associated with living our busy lives.  Outdoor fireplace's or firepits extend outdoor living spaces late into the fall and even winter blending seamlessly with the home and landscape.

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Fire Pit Idea Long Grove, Illinois, Schmechtig Landscapes

Published in Landscaping

 

Open up to outdoor living with 8 garden shade strategies says Courtney Olander, a Houzz Contributor. Courtney continues, maximize your outdoor time this summer by incorporating shade into your garden. Not only does shade make an outdoor space more comfortable, it also protects from the sun’s harsh rays.   Designing for shade also incorporates an often overlooked element of landscape design: the ceiling plane. No matter how solid, transparent, large or small, a ceiling plane helps to create a sense of enclosure, intimacy and privacy. Here are eight ways to add shade to your garden this summer. Read and see more:

http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/31816012/list/seek-shelter-in-the-shade-this-summer

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Patio Shade - Umbrella Glencoe, Illinois, Schmechtig Landscapes

 

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Landscape Design Creating Shade with Pergola and Ivy, Winnetka, Illinois Schmechtig Landscapes

 

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Landscape Design Creating Shade with Pergola and Ivy, Winnetka, Illinois Schmechtig Landscapes

 

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HGTV Landscape Design, Schmechtig Landscapes, Pergola Shade Feature

 

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Glencoe Patio with Umbrella Shade Feature, Schmechtig Landscapes

 

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Landscape Design Schmechtig Landscapes in Winnetka, Illinois  Outdoor Living Rooms - Patio, Outdoor Kitchen, and Pool

Published in Landscaping
Tuesday, 28 July 2015 08:32

Plant or Insect

Is this a plant or insect?  A spectacular photo "This mantis looks just like flower it sits on, its color almost a perfect match to the purple orchid. At a glance, the insect in the Borneo rainforest in Malaysia appears to be part of a plant, but it's simply using clever camouflage to hide from hungry predators."  from msn.com.  Here's the link to see more incredible photo's by Thomas Marent: http://www.thomasmarent.com/galleries/insects.html

Published in Landscaping

Here are 10 fountain projects for your home: http://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/diy/10-diy-fountains-that-will-renew-your-yard-and-your-soul/ss-AAcLZ63?ocid=DELLDHP#image=1  Courtesy of msn.com's lifestyle home and garden section.


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Fountain Design, Schmechtig Landscapes, Barrington Hills, Illinois

Published in Landscaping

When the flowers fade, these leaves keep the garden looking good, says Benjamin Vogt, a Houzz Contributor.  He continues, native flowers are a celebration of living — they feed pollinators with nectar and pollen as well as other wildlife with seeds, and their leaves are used by caterpillars, bees and all sorts of other creatures. What’s good for nature is good for us, too, as we design gardens that are visually pleasing and welcoming to all. Here’s a list of native wildflowers from Vogt with unique foliage to spruce up your garden after the blooms have faded. Read More: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/50572792?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u1481&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery16

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Schmechtig Landscapes, Lake Bluff Garden with Wildflowers

Published in Landscaping

You walk into your kitchen one day to find it buzzing with pesky little fruit flies zipping about your fruit bowl, or worse, floating lifeless in your guest’s glass of red wine, says Mitchell Parker, a Houzz Editorial Staff Member.  He continues, you’re not a slob, and you don’t leave your doors open, so where the heck do these things come from and why? And more important, how do you kill fruit flies?  Parker shares what fruit flies are, how to prevent them and how to get rid of them in your home, Read More: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/50945543?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u1481&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery5

 

Published in Landscaping
Wednesday, 01 July 2015 06:54

To-Dos: Your 2015 July Home Checklist


Crank up the ice cream maker, hang up the hammock and raise the outdoor umbrella. Summer's in full swing this month, says Laura Gaskill, a Houzz Contributor.  July is a month to celebrate summer in all its glory, continues Gaskill, so make a summer bucket list, swing in a hammock, invite some friends over and stay cool — these to-dos are as much about fun as they are about smart home maintenance and safety.
Read more: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/49986428?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u1456&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery0


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Winnetka, Illinois, Outdoor Kitchen and Dining Area, Schmechtig Landscapes

Published in Landscaping

Show your patriotic pride with a flag on your home’s exterior for the Fourth of July or all year round. Here are a few American Flag display idea's and etiquette to consider from Alison Hodgson, a Houzz Contributor, to commemorate or to celebrate! Read and see more:

http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/10259803?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u551&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery22


Published in Landscaping

Just in time for your upcoming 4th of July cookouts, a Tyler Florence recipe. Florence seasons a pork roast with spicy-sweet dry rub, roasts it low and slow until it's falling apart and then served with a tangy cider vinegar barbecue sauce and topped his special homemade cole slaw.  Tyler Florence is all about food pairings and recommends to pair this entree with a dark beer!  Here's the Pull Pork and Cole Slaw recipes. Enjoy. 

Pull Pork Recipe
Ingredients
Dry Rub:
3 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
3 tablespoons coarse sea salt
1 (5 to 7 pound) pork roast, preferably shoulder or Boston butt


Cider-Vinegar Barbecue Sauce Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup yellow or brown mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pan drippings from the pork
12 hamburger buns
1 recipe Cole Slaw, recipe follows
Pickle spears, for serving

Cider-Vinegar Barbecue Directions:
Mix the paprika, garlic power, brown sugar, dry mustard, and salt together in a small bowl. Rub the spice blend all over the pork. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Put the pork in a roasting pan and roast it for about 6 hours. An instant-read thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the pork should register 170 degrees F, but basically, what you want to do is to roast it until it's falling apart.

While the pork is roasting, make the barbecue sauce. Combine the vinegar, mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, salt, cayenne, and black pepper in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer gently, stirring, for 10 minutes until the sugar dissolves. Take it off the heat and let it sit until you're ready for it.

When the pork is done, take it out of the oven and put it on a large platter. Allow the meat to rest for about 10 minutes. While it's resting, deglaze the pan over medium heat with 3/4 cup water, scraping with a wooden spoon to pick up all of the browned bits. Reduce by about half. Pour that into the saucepan with the sauce and cook 5 minutes.

While the pork is still warm, you want to "pull" the meat: Grab 2 forks. Using 1 to steady the meat, use the other to "pull" shreds of meat off the roast. Put the shredded pork in a bowl and pour half of the sauce over. Stir it all up well so that the pork is coated with the sauce.

To serve, spoon the pulled pork mixture onto the bottom half of each hamburger bun, and top with some slaw. Serve with pickle spears and the remaining sauce on the side.


Cole Slaw:
Cole Slaw Ingredients:

1 head green cabbage, shredded

2 carrots, grated

1 red onion, thinly sliced

2 green onions (white and green parts), chopped

1 fresh red chile, sliced

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 lemon, juiced

Pinch sugar

1/2 teaspoon celery seed

Several dashes hot sauce

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cole Slaw Directions:

Combine the cabbage, carrots, red onion, green onions, and chile in a large bowl. In another bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, and sugar. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss gently to mix. Season the cole slaw with the celery seed, hot sauce, salt, and black pepper. Chill for 2 hours in the refrigerator before serving.

Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence and foodnetwork.com

 

Published in Landscaping
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