Fools and Dreamers indeed… and the weeds may redeem us all

Magical place nurtured back to nature. Great lesson here about gorse. Soil wishes to be covered, so, there are always plants up for the job. Some of them, and most of them in places we disturb, are likely considered weeds.

Perhaps we need to be clearer in our intention, step back in our understanding, and listen to them. They are actually trying to return nature’s balance. Best we learn, and use this to our advantage when we can, eh?

You can watch the film for free, and even host a screening.

All-Season Beauty + Texture

(Christmas in July??? Or just understanding your landscape year-round?)

Plant combinations, massing, and matrices, are chosen for their ability to play off one another with timing and textures, for their ability to hold interest during multiple seasons, and because they “get along” well culturally.

This video was made during the second winter for this corporate landscape. Nearly 50% of the plantings were only in their first winter. Over time, the structure will develop, and the forms and textures will become stronger, and more distinct.

These landscapes are best installed over the course of about 5 years, with 50%+ being installed year one, 30% year 2, and the ensuing years getting about 15% per year.

Yes. 50%+30%+15%+15%+15% is more than 100%. That is why we call it stewardship.

Why “stewardship” and not “maintenance”? Stewardship merely guides Nature. The physical labor required is more akin to Ecological Stewardship. These plants want to thrive, and we just need to remove weeds, invasives, and do minor amounts of what might be considered traditional gardening.

Want to know more? Please feel free to contact me at Semiramis Studio!

Thank you for watching….!!!

Parkway Possibilities

This is an urban parkway in a residential neighborhood in Chicago. The plantings are native, except the Clematis and the tulips.

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Parkway in Andersonville neighborhood, Chicago.

There are several boulders that make great seats on a hot summer evening.

Weeding a couple times a year is all this type of landscape needs, as long as the Norway Maples are trimmed to allow some sun to filter in. This parkway is south facing, so it gets some sun.

Schematic Sketch for a Bungalow

This Bungalow on Chicago’s Northwest Side has a front yard needing some redefining, replanting, and re-shaping.  The Schematic Sketch included a design, recommendations for maintenance and reconstruction of a retaining wall, and an opinion of cost.  The client can now budget the next steps, and can use the sketch and example pictures to communicate to future contractors.

Services included a site visit and meeting with client, the design, recommended materials and plants, and an opinion of construction cost.

The plants are all natives, and will attract many birds and butterflies to this urban garden – perfect for the client, who is a real nature lover!

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Gangway Drainage Solution….. Refining the Grading & Getting Ready to Lay Some Gravel and Drainpipe

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Peter Hoy is working on the fine grading and the team is checking the depth of our trench. We are creating a green infrastructure drainage solution to trapped water in a gangway. By directing the water to a trench that ends in a dry well in the front yard, the water will no longer be trapped between the houses, causing the house foundations to be unnecessarily moist. This project is a collaboration between Let’s Go Chicago and Semiramis Studio. You may recall the Studio installed several raingardens last fall in associaton with The Center for New Technology. Let’s Go Chicago collaborated on a few of those projects, as well.