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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Tony's Top Ten Tips to Dodge December Decorating Disasters!

Tony's Top Ten Tips to Dodge December Decorating Disasters!

December 10, 2017 1 Comment

Holidays are supposed to be memorable, but memories can conjure up delight or disaster! Every family has at least one tale about holiday decorating gone terribly wrong. These debacles may provoke gales of riotous laughter in the retelling years later. If even one of the tips below prevents an epic holiday horror story for someone perhaps this is worth the read!  

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Tony's Top Ten Reasons Houseplants Make You a Healthier Person

Tony's Top Ten Reasons Houseplants Make You a Healthier Person

November 20, 2017

Whether flowering or just showing us their leafy side, plants make us happy. Three different studies have shown that people receiving flowering plants always elicit what psychologists call the Duchenne, or true, smile.

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Houseplant Care 101

Houseplant Care 101

November 10, 2017 5 Comments

I’ve heard the trembling-voiced confessions of many self-professed “plant killers” over the years. One day someone asked what technical subject intimidated me and I said, “Anything mechanical.” A blinding ray of light appeared from the heavens. I had the epiphany that houseplant care could be daunting, too. I get that now.

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