Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer Container Gardens.....Keep Em Coming

 The last week has brought temperatures from 100 degrees to 50 degrees.  Crazy Chicago weather!

Somehow, we have managed several installations, including.....

A single family in Bucktown/Wicker Park.........

A high rise right off Michigan Avenue......

A single family in Lincoln Park......

And my hair salon, Avieve.......

There are many more to come, including my own decks, which I finally have gotten installed.  

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Historic Michigan Avenue Terrace

My crew and I were busy this week, installing a gorgeous container garden at an historic Michigan Avenue building.  We were blessed with great weather and the sounds from a concert at nearby Northerly Island wafted over as we finished up our work. The design?  A true collaboration.  This client has a great eye for design.  She had started off her design with several large white pots and evergreens last year.  We took her original idea to the next level, turning this......

And this....

Into this......

 And this.....

The goal was to frame the views and keep the children from the edges of the building.  We moved existing pots, ordered more in larger and different shapes.  Then this......
Became this......

The view - intact.  We avoided tall trees or waving grasses so common in roof deck design.  Keeping the plantings low lets the view shine through.

The view before.....
The view after......

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lincoln Park Roof Deck - Tailored and Colorful

Last week, we turned this:
and this......

Into this:

The client didn't want vines and other trailing plants to encroach her deck space.  We shot for a more tailored look using gorgeous skyrocket junipers as anchor points to take the eye upward.  The little bowling ball shaped evergreens add whimsy and another evergreen anchor point for the design.  The many colors and textures are provided by - dahlias, coleus, salvia, blue fescue and sedge.  This design will grow up and will mound, but will not invade personal space.  A nice place to enjoy a glass of vino, no?

Transforming a West Loop Porch

It always amazes me how huge some outdoor spaces in the city can be.  This client, a co-worker of my husband, has a gorgeous space in Chicago's West Loop that is 28 feet wide and about 10 feet deep.  Yup, bigger than most apartments in New York:)  It has great skyline views and exposure on the south, west and east.  The client also looks out at this view year-round so I wanted to create a space with evergreen anchor points, and we used quite a few perennials that we hope will come back next year.  

Here are a few before shots:

View to the west

Look at that skyline view to the east!

When clients are starting from scratch with containers, I find it helpful to give them a sketch of what their space will look like when it's done.  I'm no artist, but I think this rendering comes close to the final product.  


My crew and I hauled 18 bags of soil and a complete SUV full of plant material up the elevator and onto the client's porch during a break in a massive thunderstorm.

The client has a comfy sectional that will be placed out there soon so she and her significant other can enjoy the view.   I'm so excited for her to enjoy her porch area.  

Monday, May 16, 2011

West Loop Townhome Window Boxes

My friend Vanessa lives in the coolest West Loop neighborhood and I was so happy to freshen up their window boxes!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fall Containers

I'm getting set to launch a real website for this hobby-turned business of mine, so I thought I'd share some photos that didn't make it to the blog last fall.  One thing I learned is I need to get a jump on fall planting way earlier than I did.  I just fall in love with my summer planters and then before I know it the selection at my wholesaler is YUCK.

I can't wait to dig in for this coming fall, though.  It's so nice to change out the planters for a fresh look!

Around the tree in a shady courtyard:

High rise balcony in downtown Chicago:

Avieve - my salon:

A single family in Lincoln Park:

Knit 1 - my favorite hangout:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring is (Finally!) Springing in Chicago: Latest Installations

It has been so darn grey and chilly here in Chicago, it's been tough to muster up energy or enthusiasm to do much of anything.  Hopefully this overview of my lovely spring installations will help my clients at least pretend we have a spring in Chicago!

Here are the spring containers for Knit 1 - my favorite knitting shop! 

High rise balconies in downtown Chicago:

Yes, that's a little lettuce garden!

A fresh spring look for a front porch:

My hair salon,  Avieve.  Sadly, the hydrangeas died a sad death in a snowstorm last week.  Ugh!

Now I get a chance to plant my own window boxes and planters, so more on that later this week.  I am putting clients on the docket for summer planting - our longest growing season in Chicago.  Be sure to contact me if you are interested in some beautiful containers for summer!