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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In the Garden: Your March 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.  Finally, March is here and we can start to get our hands dirty! It’s all about preparation. Finish dormant tree and vine pruning. Now it’s safe to prune your oak, maple, birch and […]

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3 Tips when Dividing Your Perennials in Early Spring

Early spring is when our gardeners look closely at gardens we care for to see what they need after a long winter. Three of my favorite early-spring gardening tips are related to dividing perennials: 1) Mimic nature The challenge of new gardens is that they can look too uniform or regimented if you purchased and planted a group […]

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A Good Book About Why We Garden

At the suggestion of the Lake Forest Garden Club, I am reading “Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition,” by Robert Pogue Harrison. A stimulating read, but I have needed to read other books simultaneously to clear my head from the book’s intense thoughtfulness. From our current era back to ancient times, Harrison dives into […]

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8 February Tasks Your Garden Will Thank You For

Winter gardening right now in the Northern Illinois area, or Zone 5, is all about preparing for spring. As a landscape architecture firm that designs, installs, and then maintains the gardens we’ve designed for many years afterward, we rely on a comprehensive schedule for maintenance. Careful month-by-month planning helps us nurture more than 100 gardens as they awake each […]

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3 Tips for Outdoor Decor That Will Survive Winter

For those of us in northern Illinois, decorating and gardening outdoors in the unpredictable and harsh winter months is a real challenge. I’m always tempted to use lots of exotic greens, in and out of doors, for something different. But this inevitably disappoints me when a severe cold snap freezer-burns them all before the holiday season ends. […]

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Winter Letter from Craig

Dear Garden Friends, The holiday hub bub is in full gear here at CBLD.  The recent foot of snow we received stalled much holiday lighting plans until the first week of December, a cold start to winter decorating.  Our recent finishing up with the new landscape work, outside and in, at the Deerpath Inn here […]

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