Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day

June 17, 2018

This quarter at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, I took a class called Family Enterprises: Issues and Solutions. Joined by counterparts in their own family businesses across the world, we shared stories of the highs and lows of working in the family business.  All families have their ups and downs, but when you mix family with business, those ups and downs can be magnified. 

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Impatience Breeds Impatiens

Impatience Breeds Impatiens

May 27, 2018 2 Comments

Once upon a time, now many years ago, millions and millions of impatiens were planted all across the kingdom. Their range of beautiful colors and ability to tolerate shade made them beloved by all who enjoyed their season long color. Then, along came a devastating plague, Impatiens downy mildew (IDM). 

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Outdoor Living 101

Outdoor Living 101

May 25, 2018

Temperatures are rising, days are getting longer, backyard grills are firing up.  Here are some tips to help you host an outdoor gathering for family and friends. Create the perfect setting. Impress your guests with a beautiful handmade centerpiece. 

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A Few of What’s New in Annuals & Veg-edibles…

A Few of What’s New in Annuals & Veg-edibles…

May 21, 2018

Why waste words when there are new plants to consider? It’s always fun to have fresh choices for your containers, beds, borders and veggie gardens. A few new ones at Chalet to preview…

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Vegetables... Not Too Bright

Vegetables... Not Too Bright

May 14, 2018

For those interested in growing their own veggies and herbs, precious little is posted about what tolerates “shade”. Even with Emerald ash borer decimating North Shore tree populations, most of us still have plenty of shade to go around.   

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A Passion for Purple

A Passion for Purple

April 24, 2018

So, what’s the story behind the Pantone color of the year? Every year the Pantone Color Institute (the color authority) investigates color trends and announces a color it believes will be prominent in the upcoming year. This year that color is Ultra Violet, a blue-based purple associated with mystic healing and mindfulness. 

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Fresh Design Ideas 2018

Fresh Design Ideas 2018

April 15, 2018 2 Comments

As spring ever so slowly creeps into the Chicago-land area, I am dreaming of warmer days and bountiful gardens.  Spring brings promise, rejuvenation, and change. Change in the landscape is inevitable as plants grow, spread, age, and pass on. Landscape design and style is always evolving as well. As we approach a new year on the ‘landscape calendar’ here are some items to focus on in landscape design.  When planning your garden for 2018 focus on ways to maximize space, reduce the need for meticulous maintenance, and create a sanctuary for yourself.

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Panting for Planting?

Panting for Planting?

April 09, 2018

Antsy to get out in the garden with a shovel to start making magic?  Yeah, me too. For those planning their first garden a valid question is: Should I start my annuals and veggies from seed or buy transplants? In the interest of point/counterpoint (see “The Need for Seed”) may I present some considerations for why you might skip the seed route and head directly for plants? Time is priceless. Do you want to spend the 6-8 weeks before May 15 (average last frost-free date) planting seeds and thinning seedlings?

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Stepping Outside of the Basket: Easter Gift Giving

Stepping Outside of the Basket: Easter Gift Giving

March 28, 2018 1 Comment

When Easter and spring hop along, kids and adults look forward to the beautiful Easter baskets filled with vibrant dyed eggs, yummy chocolate and jelly beans, and bunny themed goodies. Yes, adults can enjoy baskets too! If you haven’t in the past, you now have permission! These bundles are not only a favorite tradition but also the start to welcoming spring.

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Where to Start When Planning a Landscape Renovation

Where to Start When Planning a Landscape Renovation

March 23, 2018

Starting a landscape renovation can be overwhelming. There is so much to consider: plant choices, color schemes, paving materials, budget, phasing of a project, village ordinances, whew! Ok, take a step back and a few deep breathes. Before picking out plants or selecting all the materials, ask yourself a simple question. “What is my goal for this project?”

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The Need for Seed

The Need for Seed

March 14, 2018

Many car enthusiasts are addicted to a need for speed. Many garden aficionados have a need for seed, using late winter as the time to satisfy their craving for their own personally grown transplants.  They revel in the opportunity to witness the miraculous transformation from seed to garden plant. Here are some possible reasons these folks choose to start their own plants, indoors, well ahead of the growing season. Consider….

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Making Mulch Magic

Making Mulch Magic

December 28, 2017 2 Comments

You’re feeling good about your choice of a live Christmas tree. While it was growing at the tree farm, it produced oxygen, reduced carbon dioxide, provided habitat for birds, insects, wildlife, and lessened erosion. It also met its ultimate reason for being by serving as the beautiful focal point for your holiday. Want to get one more use from your cut Christmas tree? Why not make mulch magic with it!

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