September 22, 2014


Is this not the best time of year? Surrounded by color 
Encased in stylish warmth
Snuggling indoors, blankets, fire, wine, a good book
Natures abundance..... 
 The best part?
In this cozy mindset I find that i need a nook, yes neeeeed.
Visions of turtlenecks, wine, plaid blankets, pinterest, wine, my dog at my feet. Some of us are claustrophobic, myself......the smaller the space the more comfortable I am. Yes, weird.....
A narrow room has a new purpose
The end of a hallway, magical

This will do nicely. Now if only my husband would cooperate and build this. My visions of taking one end of our guest room and building out to accommodate my fantasies

Like this one I would have closet doors on each end; doors not curtains please
This would do
 Our container gardens have begun and it is a mass of color and texture


September 2, 2014

Landscape Design.....Matching your homes Architecture with your landscape

September in Illinois is the number one month to plant.

The soil is warm so plants root quickly
The temperatures begin to moderate
Rainfall is more frequent, think less watering!
With all these benefits, perennials, in particular, will fully root prior to freezing.
Sounds good doesn't it?!

Thinking of a landscape renovation? My uppermost principle is to wed your homes architecture to the landscape. Each should compliment the other. Let's investigate further.........

My hands down favorite!
WHY THIS WORKS; creating a focal point with the center protrusion   .   the 3 fountains repeat the color ways in the roof    .    the hardscape blends with the color ways of the siding
WHY THIS DOES NOT WORK;  No thought to the landscape let alone to the magnificent architecture.
One of the aspects to think about is if you prefer asymmetrical, as above, or symmetrical designs. Many times the house will make that decision for you, however it is not a steadfast rule.
 A symmetrical design that flows with the architecture.
WHY THIS WORKS;   My favorite combination, the structured bones of the boxwood which mirrors the structured lines of this home and the randomness of the flowers which take a nod to a farmhouse   
The white of the home is reflected in the flower selection
WHY THIS WORKS;    symmetrical    .    the boxwood pattern is another layer as are the steps    .    an uncomplicated design for a contemporary home
WHY THIS WORKS;  If i may be so bold, this after all, one of our clients.....A European styled cottage and the same style landscape, random and free flowing. Note however the repetition of plants down the line, a good pattern to follow for this type of garden or it can be too hodgepodge.    .    The broken stone path is a nod to the homes stone and brick work    .    bench in the far background is the same color as the limestone in the walk
WHY THIS WORKS:    the pathway emulates the rectangle pattern of the stone wall  and the door   .    same color way    .    an example of symmetry in the landscape against a asymmetrical home    .    lighting emanating from the front door is the same in the garden, LED uprights would have been incorrect
WHY THIS WORKS;  At times the architecture is so interesting a subtle landscape allows the home to shine    .    The Belgian fence of ivy, mirrors the transom lights
WHY THIS DOES NOT WORK, WELL;  A cape cod styled home, in it's grandest form to a simple cottage has a great landscape style. This looks like they ran out of money! How can I say this when in the above image I said simple can do well without upstaging the architecture? Now this is all personal opinion, but think this could have been so much more interesting.
Sometimes you have a home style that is regional, as in this case a more modest cape. If your home is of a regional style think about the indigenous plants. Capes say Hydrangea's, roses and ornamental grasses
WHY THIS WORKS; Planting are appropriate for the home    .    The fence matches the trim and the style    .    The arched arbor mirrors the windows and the porch, 
WHY THIS WORKS;  A GREAT blend of materials    .    the portico roof, door, containers, hardscape all play off each other. 
NOTE: My fav bluestone called 'Full Range' has tones of browns in it and is less expensive!
WHY THIS DOES NOT WORK;    A hulk of a house, Teutonic in style, has such a small and diminutive garden, but there are great lessons here. Notice how the beds hug the house, scale wise they should be much larger with much larger plantings    .    There is nothing going for it that relates to the architecture, colors or materials
WHY THIS WORKS;  The hardscape blends with the stone on the house    .    The ball finial repeats the circular element on the portico and further enhanced with the boxwoods
WHY THIS WORKS;  Scale is great with the garden extending away from the house. Consider doing this so that when you look out your windows you have a great view. Hugging too tight to the house eliminates that opportunity    .    The orange of the trim is repeated with the plantings    .    An informal style matches nicely
WHY THIS WORKS;    Love how the grand entrance is made even more so by the plants hugging the house and not the walk    .    plantings are appropriate for the architecture    .    The square blocks in the walk reflect the door and window pattern  
Love how the topiaries are trimmed to reflect the windows
WHY THIS WORKS;    Ornamental grasses are perfect for this style and particularly planted
 en masse    .    The house is very austere, the plantings loose and sway with the wind, opposites attract
No doubt you are seeing the trend
When adding structure, pick up color ways on the house

Lastly, want to thank everyone that participated in our event DOG DAYS OF SUMMER. Thought you might like to see some of the images from our photographer Nancy Villwock
Our manager, Monica's dog Cooper
 This man signed up for the raffles and won the Dash and Albert bed!

 We exceeded our hopes in donations. A dear friend of mine from upstate New York read the blog and sent in a donation
 All photo's inside and outside the shop.

 This pooch is 14 and in the latter days of her life. Her people had a series of gorgeous photo's taken.
 These images are of two siblings available for adoption, CUTE!
 Thank you Nancy and to all that participated to benefit H.E.L.P!


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