Seasoned Firewood is Available
October 10, 2017
There was a time, long ago, when people in Chicago area in towns like Geneva, Batavia, and St. Charles fed their families in the summer with large backyard gardens. In the autumn, they would remove the dead plants, along with twigs, branches, and even trees that had been cut down, and burn the debris. For some it was an excuse to have a Halloween bonfire. Friends and family would gather, sometimes in consume. Hot dogs and marshmallows would be cooked over the open fire, and children would “bob” for applies, which made the perfect dessert.
For a long time, the burning ordinances in many suburbs curtailed this tradition. However, today, there is a resurgence in the trend towards backyard fire – either by way of brick fire pits or the portable ones available at big box and hardware stores. While most of us may not have a lot of garden waste any more, we might have fallen tree limbs or branches that could be collected for an autumn fire. Firewood is also available commercially.
Halloween will soon be here again. Instead of having children and teenagers running through the neighborhood at night, why not organize a neighborhood Halloween party? Invite friends and neighbors (adults and children) to don costumes. Buy a few hot dogs and marshmallows, and maybe some apples for bobbing, and start the fire. You might offer the kids apple cider and save the “hard” cider for the adults. A backyard bonfire is a wonderful way to celebrate this “spooky” holiday. Who knows, the great pumpkin may show up!
If you haven’t accumulated enough firewood on your own, American Artists Landscaping has a large supply of cords of local mixed hardwood firewood available any time during the year for $80.
Order yours today!
Here are a few Firewood terms to remember when ordering:
Half face cord – 4′ x 4′ one log deep
Face cord – 4′ x 8′ one log deep
Full cord – 4′ x 24′ one log deep
A few tips to get the most out of your Firewood:
Drier wood will generate more heat
Stack wood on skids 4 to 6 inches off the ground
Keep wood as dry as possible during storage
Whether you are stocking up on firewood for the winter, or use it for your outdoor fire pit for those chilly fall evenings, we have you covered.
Fall Yard Clean UP
September 29, 2017
Make no mistake, autumn is here! While September in the Chicago area has been unseasonably warm and dry, the days are getting shorter and nights are getting cooler. Football games are on TV and the kids are deciding on their Halloween costumes.
It is time for the Fall Yard Cleanup.
Paying attention to your outdoor spaces before winter will save you time, energy and even money. Here are some things to do to in the Fall that will pay big dividends next Spring:
Water Features: Health, Happiness and Morale
August 1, 2017
Whether you manage commercial real estate or are a homeowner, it might be time to consider adding a water feature to your property.
Here are just a few reasons to make a fountain or aerated pond a part of your landscaping priorities:
Almost any outdoor (or indoor) space can benefit from a water feature. American Artists Landscaping can help you decide on the perfect fountain or pond to fit your property, your pocketbook, and your lifestyle. Call them today.
Retaining Walls – Not Just For Sloping Lawns
July 31, 2017
While people living in Northern Illinois towns like Batavia and Wheaton think of themselves as “flatlanders,” the truth is, many of our homes are built on sloping areas and could benefit from a retaining wall. However, even for areas that are perfectly flat, a “retaining” wall can add a layer of texture, function and beauty to any property.
For sloping properties, finding an area for a pool, patio or garden can be challenging. Retaining walls can maximize your space while preventing dirt and debris from washing down the slope. When done correctly retaining walls can maximize space, prevent erosion and add to the overall function of the yard.
While retaining walls have traditionally been built around sloping areas to prevent dirt from washing away, even on flat areas, retaining walls can add a layer of aesthetics. They can define a patio and might be added as a place for guests to sit. Retaining walls also add a touch of class to the front of a home to set the lawn apart from bushes, flowers and other decorative features around the home.
The same material used for the retaining wall can also be used to build stairs, fire pits, fountains and other structures.
When deciding on adding a retaining wall or other hardscape feature, it is important to work with a hardscaping professional to decide on the size and location of these features. For example, having a very large walled patio on a tiny lot may spoil the aesthetics of the entire property. A planting space at the front of a home that is too small or too close to a larger home will detract from its overall appearance. A professional will also use the right materials for the job, keeping in mind the style of the home and the goal of the project.
If you want to beautify your home, protect its integrity and increase its value, call American Artists Landscaping. They have professionals that can plan and implement the perfect project.
Branding Your Business with Landscaping
July 1, 2017
No one can change a first impression.
The outdoor space of any facility is first thing customers, tenants, employees and/or visitors see when approaching any facility.
Make no mistake, your landscaping is a part of your brand. If you want to convey that you are selling or manufacturing high quality products, offering top-notch office space or providing inviting living spaces, you must consider how your property looks to anyone approaching it – from any side.
The right combination of landscaping and hardscaping communicates your brand’s sense of quality, style and attention to detail.
A well-planned commercial landscape can help create an inviting feel for visitors, ambiance for employees, and shows a level of success. There are many trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and grasses that will create an elegant and beautiful commercial landscape. And while it is important to choose the right varieties for the level of maintenance required and the climate, it is also important to convey the right “look” for your brand. Choose colors that coordinate with the buildings and other features. Add varieties that fit the building style. (For example, plantings that fit well with a low, modern building may not fit the look of a tall, more traditional one.)
A building’s façade sets the tone for both landscaping and hardscaping. Adding the right hardscape elements will improve the look, feel and accessibility of any property.
Elements like low walls and lighted walkways to control the flow of traffic, patios with benches for visitors and employees to enjoy, and stairways that help people navigate steep grades are all features that can enhance any property. Using different hardscapes (for example using one material for a patio that coordinates with a different material for nearby retaining walls) will result in a truly unique and artistic landscape that will not only brand your business, but also enhance your standing within the community.
American Artists Landscaping can help with you brand your business with the right landscaping design ideas. Call today for more information (815) 931-3993
Branding Your Company with Landscaping
June 1, 2017
People make decisions about who to do business with based on many factors, but one of the first things they notice is how the property is landscaped and maintained. The market value of any commercial property is affected by how much attention the owners have paid to the overall appearance of the property. Employee morale has been shown to be greater when attention is paid to how its property is maintained. A company that invests in branding, marketing and attracting an excellent workforce should also consider investing in superior landscaping.
Here are four landscaping enhancements that will brand your company as a place that people will want to visit:
A well-maintained property shows people your level of dedication to the property and to them. The first impression is most important. American Artists Landscaping works with you to make sure your landscaping has the WOW factor it deserves. Call us today to hear more. (815) 931-3993
Landscaping a “big lot” Plainfield Home
May 1, 2017
An important selling feature for many homebuyers in Chicago suburbs and more rural areas like Plainfield, is the fact that many homes come with large and open lots. These lots can give the impression of a mini-estate. However, tackling landscaping for this type of lot can be a challenge. While one option is simply planting grass for a large, open expanse, this can make the home look rather lonely and stark. Figuring out how to make the property look more “finished,” can be a challenge.
Just as having a blueprint for a new home that shows how the rooms, plumbing and other mechanicals will fit into the overall design, planning a successful landscape design also starts with a carefully thought out plan. Before planting a blade of grass, existing natural and man-made features must be considered, including topography, drainage patterns, sitelines and view framing. The lifestyle of the residents is also important – whether there are children who need play space, adults who will be doing a lot of entertaining, or families who just want a space to hang out and relax.
While curb appeal is important to how the home shows its face to the public, the back yard is the area that will be most used and enjoyed by family and friends. Both areas should present a cohesive look. However, each should contain elements that will make it both functional and beautiful.
Here are a few features to consider in the overall plan:
To hear more about designing, installing and maintaining your property in Plainfield or other Chicago suburbs, call American Artists Landscaping. They can help you plan and implement a design that will not only increase the pleasure your friends and family derive from the space, but also increase your home’s value.
How Neighborhoods affect Landscaping Designs
April 10, 2017
The aesthetics of an established neighborhood in Wheaton can be very different from those of a newer neighborhood in Batavia. One of the principles of landscape design is to understand the space. Professional landscape designers understand that the world consists of three different planes that affect the human experience. The planes are horizontal, vertical and overhead. The differences in these planes affect the way we experience our homes and even our commercial and industrial buildings.
For example, the dense canopy of trees often found in Wheaton neighborhoods make the atmosphere shady and darker than the sunnier and more open feel of a new subdivision in Batavia, whose plantings have not matured.
When developing and implementing a landscape design, all aspects of the property must be considered. Certain plants and flowers will thrive in a sunny space while other varieties of plants and shrubs can brighten a shady spot in any lawn.
Considering the vertical, horizontal and overhead planes of any property will not only enhance the beauty of the property, but also increase its functionality. The more clearly defined a plane is, the easier it is for people to understand it. For example, a brick walkway shows people that this is a walking surface. In order to keep people on the path, the vertical plane might contain a wall, a fence or even tall plants. Using both the vertical and horizontal planes of the grounds will encourage visitors to stay on the right path.
A seasoned landscape designer understands that when the plantings and hardscape features are carefully planned and beautifully designed, the property will become more appealing and functional. He will also consider how the plants will grow and thrive. Because he knows that even the smallest trees on a new Batavia parkway will one day grow to the size of the biggest Wheaton trees.
Whether you are landscaping a new home or re-thinking an older more established one, American Artists Landscaping can show you how to maximize your space. Call today to hear more.
Dead Trees and Staying Warm This Winter
November 18, 2016
While the weather has been more like September than November, we all know that winter is coming. Before the snow falls, it might be time to clean up your property. Trimming dead branches or removing dead or dying trees can save costly maintenance costs during the winter. Consider that one ice storm or heavy snowfall could break already weakened branches. Strong winter winds might also blow a dead tree down, not only costing money in property damage, but also endanger lives. The good news is that American Artists Landscaping is offering 30% off tree services during November. Call now to get in on this great deal!
Our long winter nights make it a perfect time to cozy up your house with a roaring fire in the fireplace. American Artists Landscaping has a mix of hardwoods available for your winter fires – at a 20% saving.
Clear the tree hazards on your property AND stock up on firewood. It is a great time to save on both.
Also, remember American Artists for your snow removal and salt needs! See our website for information about our snow plowing services and our innovative salt swap program that can save you significant money on your winter salt needs.
Landscaping Care For Hot Chicagoland Summers
June 21, 2016
If you have spent any money on landscaping your property, it makes sense to take care of it. The hot, dry Chicagoland summers can wreak havoc on even the most beautifully landscaped properties.
While your lawn will go dormant and may turn brown even without watering, careful mowing to the right height will assure that when the rains come, the grass will turn green and lush again.
However, in order to keep your plants healthy, they need plenty of water. While a layer of mulch will help hold moisture in and keep weeds out, the importance of proper watering cannot be under estimated, especially for annual flowers or any new plantings.
The good news is that if you water correctly, flower beds and gardens can be adequately maintained with only 1-2 watering sessions per week. The rule is to water thoroughly and deeply, and then let the soil dry out a bit. This will encourage deeper roots and healthier plants. Water needs a little time to soak into the ground, so don’t “drown” the plants, instead, water the entire garden and all planting areas and then go back and repeat. That way, less water will be lost as run-off.
Watering late in the evening or early in the morning will help conserve water, as less water will evaporate than when watering in mid-day when the sun is high. It is also important to keep the entire area moist. That means you should target the plant, but make sure that the entire area is uniformly moist.
Finally, a word about potted plants. Plants in containers lose moisture must faster than plants in the ground. In the hot, dry months, potted plants may need to be watered daily (sometimes twice a day) in order to keep them colorful and healthy. The plants should be watered in the morning and evening. If there are drainage holes, water until the water drips from the drainage holes. Take care to water only the soil in the pots, as wet foliage can lead to fungal disease if watered at night or scorched leaves as the water droplets heat under the sun.
For all of your landscaping needs, call American Artists Landscaping. We can maintain your property to keep it healthy and beautiful.
March 29, 2016
American Artists Landscaping takes a holistic approach to a home’s outdoor space. We work with the home’s residents and consider and install both the plantings and “hardscape” features that will give them both beauty and functionality.
From installing and maintaining the lawn and garden to adding brick driveways, retaining walls, patios, fountains and ponds, American Artists Landscaping can give any home the look it deserves. We then plant and maintain bushes, flowers and trees.
A few things we consider before planting a blade of grass:
Existing natural and man-made features
Topography and drainage patterns
Sitelines and view framing
Overall Curb appeal
After developing the plan, our professional crew installs the materials and creates the perfect design:
Trees and shrubs
Sprinkler Systems (Hunter)
Perennial and Annual plants and flowers (Locally Grown)
Hardscape elements including walkways, retaining walls and entrances (Unilock and Belgard)
Seasonal plantings to improve the site throughout the year
Container Planting and Placement – Indoors and Outdoors
Water Features (Pondmaster)
Call us today to hear about our affordable residential maintenance packages.
St. Charles Stone Patio Project
August 19, 2015
The goal was to give the homeowner a quiet oasis where they can enjoy their outdoor space. We started with a free-form stone patio and added curved stone steps to add interest. The area around the patio was graded and prepared. We then completed the look with plantings – decorative grasses, shrubs and bushes.
Landscape Design for a Commercial Building in St. Charles
July 30, 2015
Curb appeal was the main goal of a recent strip mall landscaping project in St. Charles, Illinois. The large commercial building is on Main Street and the owner wanted to provide the type of curb appeal that is so important in this charming Fox River Valley town. The new landscaping design has made accomplished the mission. The building houses offices behind a strip of retail businesses. It dominates the corner of Main Street and Barbara Avenue.
The building already had an attractive façade, but needed a good landscape design. The permanent features, including the awnings and signage were augmented using complementary colors in the plants and planters. The design and use of the building were also considered when adding plants and stone features to the area. The plants will have to thrive in a very busy environment with a lot of vehicle emissions. The area also has to be very low maintenance. Of course, it will have to withstand our cold and snowy winters with the attendant snow melting products that are bound to be plowed onto the area.
But the front of the building is only the beginning. The building’s environment also takes employee comfort into consideration with an outdoor break area in the back of the building that will accommodate a picnic table and colorful planters. Plantings and mulch down the side of the building complete the look.
In order to assure that excessive water flows away from the building, a linear drain line was added with a centered dry well that will disperse the water and prevent any back flow.
As the plantings settle in and fill out, the area will be colorful, beautiful and provide the right ambiance for any business that signs a lease here.
Backyard Water Features — Relax and Connect with Nature
June 14, 2015
A few years ago my neighbor told a story about a pond she had installed in her back yard. The pond was shallow with a small waterfall to aerate the water. One day she walked out to the pond to find two dead goldfish floating there. She knew they had not been there the day before – where did they come from? Was it raining goldfish?
The mystery was solved when her son and his friend walked up. They told her that they had “freed” the friend’s goldfish to swim in the pond. Unfortunately, since the pond was shallow and the sun quite hot that day, the fish had “cooked.”
There is no doubt that a water feature is a wonderful way to connect with nature and add peace and tranquility to a yard or garden. However, if you want to have fish, it is important to make sure that the pond environment can support them.
Landscapers like American Artists Landscaping can help. Whether you are looking for a small fountain, a large pond or even a stream or waterfall, a landscaper will help design and build the perfect water feature. They will evaluate the space, help you decide on the location and size of the pond or fountain and even make sure that your goldfish (or other species) and water plants will survive and thrive.
No matter how large or small your yard … or your budget … there is a water feature that will enhance your space without breaking the bank.
Fountains are probably the easiest way to bring style and grace to a space, giving you a perfect focal point for your yard. The landscaper will employ a plumber to install a water pump that will recycle the water through the fountain.
However, a professionally installed pond can give any yard a feeling of elegance and increase the ambience (and property value). A waterfall feature will make the pond sound as relaxing as it looks, and aerating the water will assure that any plants and fish you add will have enough oxygen. Moving water also protects against breeding mosquitoes and ugly algae.
Finally, when the warm season is over and winter encroaches, fish and plants can be moved indoors and the landscaper can winterize the pond, and then return in the spring to open it up and give you yet another long season of enjoyment in your back yard.
American Artists Landscaping employs certified architects, machine operators, masonry installers and plumbers, all of whom can work together to make your backyard water feature a thing of beauty for years to come. Call today to hear more.
May Gardening Tips from American Artists Landscaping
May 16, 2015
To a landscaper, the areas around any home of commercial building are like blank canvas. And just as an artist plans his painting, a landscaping artist plans his project. He begins by evaluating his “canvas.” What type of building is on the property? Are there large trees that shade the property? Is the area rural or will the landscaping have to contend with a lot of traffic and gas fumes? What is the soil type? How much time will the owners (or the landscaper) need to spend on upkeep? Will hardscape elements be included (e.g. patio, driveway, sidewalk, water feature)?
Once the original plan is made, it is time to consider he finished project. There are several elements to be considered in order to deliver a pleasing overall look – in other words, great curb appeal:
Architectural features, including the size, height and style of the building will dictate the plants, size and color that are chosen. Some areas will need more weight and “presence.” Features such as driveways, walkways and parking lots will figure into the equation, as well as existing trees and bushes that will remain part of the overall design.
Just as an artist considers the size and placement of elements in a painting, layering of plants of varying sizes, textures and colors makes a yard more interesting and provides a pleasing composition.
It would be nice if we could look at our beautiful flowers all year, but the truth is that with any landscaping project in Northern Illinois, four distinct seasons will have to be considered. Landscaping that looks great in the late spring and early summer may look worn out during the hot, dry months of July and August. Including plants that are resistant to drought have pretty colors in the fall, and interesting branches when the leaves are gone all figure into the overall design of a well-landscaped property.
Whether you are aware of it or not, paintings have a certain rhythm or feeling of movement. The use of various heights, repetition of color and texture, as well as attention to the general “line” of plantings will help lead the visitors’ eyes to the focal points you want them to see. For example, good landscaping will lead the eye towards the welcoming front door – of a home or office.
April 27, 2015
April 7, 2015
Edge the beds for More Curb Appeal
April 27, 2015
Have you ever driven by a house or commercial establishment and it just doesn’t look quite “right.” You may not realize why you have this feeling, but you do. If you know someone who lives there, it may not be the deciding factor determining whether you visit or not – or even whether you like them less, but it will have an effect. A carefully manicured exterior is even more important for commercial establishments, especially restaurants and retail shops. If the owners are not taking care of the outside, are they also not as careful about what goes on inside?
Curb appeal is important, and part of curb appeal is paying attention to the small things. Edging a lawn with sharp edges can make people more comfortable. Well-defined, smooth lines provide a finished look and give a sense of clarity to an area. A razor sharp edge sets the stage to set off the planning of and maintenance of any outdoor space.
Garden supply stores advocate using heavy-duty plastic molding for shaping the neat edging. However, as time goes by, this edging may become a little tired. Also, as plantings grow, they may need more space. Edging that is too close to the plantings will be unattractive and may crowd out the growth. However, moving the plastic edging further away from the plantings will be a daunting task.
The good news is that you don’t need any artificial barrier to your flower beds, bushes, shrubs and trees. A deep edging, accomplished by a professional with machine edger can save both time and money. With a deep edge, the brown of the soil will contrast beautifully with the green grass. You could also opt for mulch or even stones around your planting. The deep edge will not only keep the grass out, but the stones or mulch in.
Why use a Professional?
There are some “rules” that have to be followed when embarking on a bed edging project. The beds should not be too large for your plants – and should not be too small. Leaving too much open space will make the area look unfinished. An area that is too small will make the plantings (and your building) look crowded.
Also, the edging must be several inches deep—deep enough to go below the roots. Providing a gap between the grass and planting bed slows the invasions of grass roots and weeds into the flower bed. Also, having a sharp edge will make any errant weedy intruders easier to spot.
Finally, edging should not be limited to flower beds. Edging around large trees and shrubs should also be considered. If the grass doesn’t grow under the trees and bushes, edging and adding mulch can greatly improve the look of your property.
For more information on edging and other landscaping ideas, please call American Artists Landscaping at (877) 954-7133.
How Good Landscaping Can Help Your Business Succeed
April 7, 2015
Are you sending the right message to your customers and employees?
While curb appeal may not seem extremely important for a commercial building, it is easy to underestimate the subliminal effect that landscaping has. A beautifully landscaped commercial area can be an important advertising element, telling customers (and potential customers) that this is a business that cares. Employees, who see the owner taking pride in his property, may also, without realizing it, take more pride in their work.
Before a plant is purchased or a seed planted, an overall plan should be developed. While it may seem an extravagance, having someone who understands the local weather conditions, soil conditions, purpose of the business and even the exposure (Southern or Northern?) can make an enormous difference in the overall project. Here are a few things a good landscaper will consider:
In landscaping, as in life, having a good plan will increase the chances of a great outcome.
Spring Yard Cleanup
March 24, 2015
While we can’t promise that we won’t have another late season snowstorm this year, spring really is here, and we know that no matter how many inches of snow we get one day, it will start to disappear the next. The days are getting longer and sun is getting warmer. Winter is over!
But when the snow goes away, we can see how much work we have to do in order to get our outdoor spaces ready for the warm weather. This winter has been particularly hard on lawns, plants and even trees – some of us have seen tree limbs break from the weight of the snow and ice and some of our bushes did not survive the cold weather.
Whether you own a commercial establishment or are a busy homeowner, it might be time to find a landscaper, who understands how to prepare your property and do a spring clean up in order to have a beautiful spring and summer season.
American Artists Landscaping can help you get ready for a bright and beautiful spring and summer. Here are a few things they can help with:
If your yard needs a spring spruce-up or a complete landscaping makeover, it’s time to have our landscape professionals evaluate the best way to make your outdoor space a pleasant and inviting area that you will be proud to show off – and to enjoy.
“Daffodil Blooming Through The Snow” Image Courtesy of Serge Bertasius at Free Digital Photos.net
Call: (815) 931-3993