Sharing History and Stewardship with Elawa Farm

  The connection between our property and Elawa Farm goes back 100 years, when they were both part of the same Armour family estate. The location of our studio and gardens were the coach and gate houses; Elawa was the estate farm. Though the property was divided long ago, we remain closely tethered by our […]

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The Orphaned Egg And The Bantam Hen: A Spring Rescue Story

Mary, our hawk-eyed controller, brought us a big surprise this spring. Here, she shares the story of her rescue that involved our very own bantam hen:   Meet Phoenix, a coy-looking baby Mallard who knows it’s no ugly duckling.                     Meet Salt, a silky bantam chicken who […]

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In the Garden: Your June Maintenance Checklist

We’re sharing the monthly garden maintenance checklists we use to nurture nearly 100 gardens to help you keep on top of maintenance in your own garden. With oh-so-many things to get done in your garden this month, don’t forget to do the MOST important thing: make time to enjoy it!  Critique and Plan Take pictures of summer annuals and overall […]

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In the Garden: Your May Maintenance Checklist

    We’re sharing the monthly garden maintenance checklists we use to nurture nearly 100 gardens to help you keep on top of maintenance in your own garden.  Photograph your work! You’ll want to take pictures of spring annuals and garden views to remind yourself of what is there when you’re planning for next year. Wile you’re at it, make […]

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A Mother’s Day Garden Story

Senior gardener Deanna Buvala shares a meaningful (and beautiful!)  Mother’s Day tradition along with tips on how to do it yourself. Many years ago when we moved into our new house, I felt compelled to purchase some spring bulbs. I wanted to try some Crocus with the little Tulipa tarda in my back yard. As it goes, […]

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Ancient Asian Art in a Midwestern Landscape

Sometimes the best way to blend two very different aesthetics – in this case ancient Asian sculpture and the native Midwestern landscape – is to let each remain distinct.  We’re telling the story of this landscape in celebration of its recent commendation by the American Society of Landscape Architects’ Illinois chapter. Enjoy these photos and see more on our website and […]

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The Power of a Tree

As a landscape architect working in a community with such a strong legacy of traditional style, I so enjoy visiting the western US to visit and study great mid-century modernism at its best.  I recently visited Twin Palms, Frank Sinatra’s first get-away home in Palm Springs by California architect E. Stewart Williams. This house looked […]

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In the Garden: Your April Maintenance Checklist

We’re sharing the monthly garden maintenance checklists we use to nurture nearly 100 gardens to help you keep on top of maintenance in your own garden.  Now that the spring snow (or as one friend calls it: ‘vanilla mulch’) has melted and temps are on the rise, get out your notebook, gloves and favorite tools. It’s time to get to […]

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Garden Blues

  Blue and white is the primary color combination for the décor and display gardens at this year’s CBG Antiques, Garden and Design Show  starting this week.  It felt both classic and trendy to us (think of the timelessness of gorgeous Chinese porcelain and the Grecian key motif that is springing up everywhere today.) The […]

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Spring Letter from Craig

Dear Friends, I write this letter to you shortly after the vernal equinox, a day when many in human history have looked to the power of the sun for guidance. Since the time change, it has been so nice to see the sun in the late afternoons instead of the gloom of long nights. I have always […]

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