Winter Beauty, and the Corporate Landscape

I love winter. We love how our plants perform. I love how nature has designed them to stand up awhile, despite the falling rain, the heavy icy slushy stuff, despite the nearly one foot of snow and slush earlier this year. I love these plants.

I stop by fairly often just to check. We want to make sure everything is looking good. This November these plants were flattened by over 24 hours of rain-to slush – to snow. I really thought they were going to be flattened for the whole winter.

I was so delighted that after a melt, the plants have sprung back up and are distinctly showing off their forms and textures and colors. Sometimes, in these perfect kissing dusty snows, the white stuff really helps accentuate the deliberateness intrinsic in my design choices.

These pictures were taking at the end of December 2018. What a great way to close out a year!

The Studio will ring in 2019, by accepting our Team’s Gold Award in Ecological Plantings from the Illinois Landscape Contractor Association for this project designed by the Studio.

Grateful for everyone’s contributions to and appreciation of this project!

Want to know a bit more about this project, or compare these pictures to others? Try here.

GOLD Award!

We are thrilled to announce our project is being honored with a GOLD AWARD in ECOLOGICAL PLANTINGS from the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association. The ceremony is in January at the iLandscape Show, but we could not wait to share the happy news!
Here is a link for a full screen view, or see below:

Re-Ecology. I made up a word.

It is true. I made up a word. Re-Ecology.   I used to dream of oceans of nature surrounding corporate buildings and parking lots in the suburban phenomenon called The Office Park.  Park? If it is a Park, it must be healthy for birds, bees, and butterflies, right?  Well, not so in the typical situation.

Really?

Really.  The landscape contracting industry typically does things a certain way in these places, especially around the Chicago metro area.  Regular fertilizer, weed killer, pre-emergent weed killer…. irrigation, mowing, blowing, shearing…. You get the picture. There is a lot of work going on. (And, by the way, you are paying for it!)

With all this work, one would think these spaces might support a healthy environment.  Do they?
There are endless literature and studies and metrix on this topic, but the short answer is NO.  Typically, these conventional landscapes are comprised overwhelmingly of non-native plants, a very limited palette of plants, and sustained with chemicals and irrigation.  This is not conducive to all the ecological services we should be getting from our landscapes!

I do it differently. I know you know that because you are here, and it is likely you saw a video of the Monarchs or two….. So magical!
Anyways, there was no word for what I wanted to do.  So, I made one up. Re-Ecology.  Please take a look.

Monarchs…. more than I could count

The weather may be bleak and cold today, the temperatures cold, and the sun setting soon….. but back last summer, I had an extraordinary time with these Monarchs visiting my project.

YES!

MORE THAN I COULD COUNT!

and it went on for a couple months……..  It is true.

If we build it, they will come. But we shan’t wait too long….. The time is now!