Serving the Naperville Community
Investing In A New Landscape Design This Spring? Here Are 6 Planting Options in Hinsdale and Wheaton, IL
Part of building a beautiful landscape is embracing what nature has to offer and curating the plant life they way you see fit. As you choose which plants to add to your landscape, make sure to choose plants that are native to Illinois as they will look amazing while requiring almost no maintenance. There are many native planting options which can enhance the beauty and health of your living landscape. Are you investing in a new landscape design this spring? Here are six planting options in Hinsdale and Wheaton, IL.
Related: Planning a Landscaping Redesign This Spring? Consider a New Fine Garden in Hinsdale, IL
The Black Cherry Tree
You might be thinking about the delicious properties of the fruit. Sure, the delicious black cherry fruit is enough of an attraction in itself, but the tree can also make an impressive presence in your landscape. It’s a strong tree that loves full sun exposure. Throughout the growing season, it will provide a wide variance in color. From white flowers in the early spring to wide green leaves and the dark fruit in summer, then finally a bright reddish orange in the fall, the black cherry tree is never short of stunning. Remember that people aren’t the only creatures that love this tree as pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds will come flocking.
The Butterfly Weed Flower
As the name suggests, this flower is very attractive to butterflies. This is especially true for the coveted monarch butterfly, for which it is the only host plant for the species. However, this flower is most definitely not a weed. It grows a few feet high and builds bright clusters of orange and yellow flowers. It’s a hardy plant that loves full sun and does well in even the driest soil in your landscape.
The Culver’s Root Flower
Probably one of the most unique and interesting flowers you can add to your garden, the gorgeous Culver’s Root perennial can draw tons of interest. This flower loves shadier areas as well as moist soil as it grows tall and deepens its roots. The spiky and fascinating white flower clusters bloom in summer and provide a great deal of texture.
The Elderberry Bush
Another famous berry comes from this shrub and it’ll love the environment of your landscape. The berries themselves are well known for tasting delicious, boosting immunity, and creating a well-known liqueur, but that’s not all the plant has to offer. The broad leaves catch a lot of light throughout the growing season. The domed white flowers give off a lemony scent and create an amazing texture for your garden. It loves full sun and moist soil, so it’ll grow well almost anywhere in your landscape.
The Foxglove Beardtongue Flower
Just about as stunning as an orchid, this flower will draw interest anywhere in your garden. Their beautiful bell shape and delicate white color bloom during the summer. As the weather cools, the leaves will add a beautiful red tinge to its dark green. It loves full sun and normal soil. The details of the bloom are what make this flower so attractive and useful for a flower garden.
The Garden Phlox Flower
For adding another smattering of beautiful color to your flower garden, the Garden Phlox builds some purplish pink flowers in a symmetrical five-petal pattern. It’s a delicate plant, but it will add plenty of wonderful interest to your garden.
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Fire Pit vs. Outdoor Fireplace: How We Can Help You Make the Best Decision for Your Hinsdale and Naperville, IL Backyard
The addition of a fire feature to your landscape is a great decision that enhances outdoor living and adds value to your home. When it comes down to fire pit vs. outdoor fireplace, we can help you make the best decision for your Hinsdale and Naperville, IL backyard.
Humans have gathered around the fire for millennia and we’re still enamored with fire, whether it’s a wood or natural gas fire.
Related: If a Landscape Design Is One of Your Resolutions, Here's Why You'll Want to Include a Fire Pit in Naperville, IL
A fire pit is rudimentary, but not primitive. It’s not a fire ring made of random stones. Masonry fire pit kits are available. You can also build a custom masonry fire pit, or use a premade modern steel or concrete bowl-style fire pit.
Heat and light radiates outwards from a fire pit, allowing everyone to share equally in the experience.
Fire pits can be wood- or natural gas-fueled. If you burn wood, a fire pit can mean constantly shifting positions to keep the smoke out of the eyes. You’ll also need to store wood, remove ash from the fire pit, and clean up wood debris on the patio.
A gas fire pit won’t have the authentic wood-fire crackle and aroma, but it’s cleaner, more consistent, and safer.
You can cook over a wood fire pit: whatever a charcoal grill can do, a fire pit can do, with the addition of a grate and the right wood. We recommend not cooking on gas fire pits because decorative lava rock and fire pit glass are difficult to clean.
The outdoor fireplace turns a patio into a cozy space with a distinct living room feel.
Since an outdoor fireplace has a chimney to disperse smoke, you’ll never have smoke getting in people’s eyes.
An outdoor fireplace is customizable. Fireplace kits are available, or you could go custom and incorporate a wood-fired pizza oven, a water feature, lighting, and decorative inlays and accents.
An outdoor fireplace creates a warmer space since it can be positioned to act as a wind block.
The design of most outdoor fireplaces limits the number of people who can sit in front of the fire.
An outdoor fireplace is a large structure that may be visually overwhelming depending on the patio design. If a fireplace feels too big, consider moving it to a corner so it’s not so prominent.
Wood or Gas?
Both fire pits and outdoor fireplaces can produce a large amount of heat when fueled by wood. Even a gas-fueled fire feature generates enough heat to make friends and family comfortable.
A wood fire needs to be tended constantly. Some people love tending the flames, and won’t be happy with a gas fire. On the other hand, gas is cleaner, doesn’t produce acrid smoke, and you never have splinters and ash to dirty the space.
A wood fire pit must be located in an open space away from combustible materials. An outdoor fireplace can be located almost anywhere since it contains the flames and prevents flying embers.
Gas-fueled fire features can be housed on a porch, under a pergola or pavilion, or even under trees.
Permanent masonry seating around a fire pit helps contain the heat, allows more people to sit together, and prevents patio clutter.
Seating at an outdoor fireplace usually involves cushioned living room furniture, since fewer people will be close to the fire box.
Related: Is Your Wheaton, IL Landscape Design Missing a Cozy Touch? A Fire Pit Could Be the Answer
The classic look of brick may seem limited in terms of artistic expression, but remember that people have been experimenting and perfecting bricklaying techniques for thousands of years and creativity abounds. Bricks come in various colors and sizes, but it’s how the patterns interact with the surrounding landscape that can really make things exciting. Consider these three brick paver patterns for your Naperville and Hinsdale, IL patio.
Related: Bring Your Wheaton, IL, Brick Patio to Life With a Creative Outdoor Lighting Plan
Walkways: Running Bond
One of the most common brick patterns is the running bond. This is the classic pattern for vertical structures. It is strong, simple, and timeless. Each brick is laid end to end, then the next row is staggered to create a system that equalizes pressure across each piece. Running bond is perfect for creating long sight lines and it’s the ideal pattern for straight or curved walkways. Complement the pattern with a strong border made of cobblestones or bricks laid in a soldier bond or stacked bond (the long sides resting against each other like soldiers in a row).
The double basketweave is another favorite of bricklayers for a simple reason: it’s eye-catching. The low-key line work depends on some simple geometry. This pattern uses bricks that are twice as long as they are wide. When laid next to another brick, this creates a perfect square with a line of separation running straight through the middle. The squares next to this one are turned 90 degrees, making a larger pattern that resembles the woven texture of a basket. The double basketweave pattern causes people to slow down and look at the texture, which makes it perfect for patios. A small patio will feel more charming; and a large patio will also feel more intimate as the intricate pattern keeps the eye engaged in the space. A stacked bond border will make the patio secure and add interest.
The driveway is often the most neglected of masonry spaces in a landscape (it is often thought of as purely practical and not much design consideration is given to it). However, it usually takes up a large surface area and it’s a great opportunity for creative expression. Here especially, bricks need to support much more weight and take more pressure from vehicles, especially if the driveway is on a slope. The herringbone is a great option to use for your driveway. The herringbone pattern creates a visually stunning texture and because of the orientation of the bricks (with the “arrow” ends pointing uphill), it will help the entire paved surface to stand stronger against the increased pressures and potential gradual sliding downhill. Also, the diagonal lines help funnel surface water downstream to prevent puddles or ice. Finish the look with a sturdy stacked bond border.
Other Patterns and Colors
You don’t need to stick to rectangular patterns in your space to create a wonderful paved surface. Complex, yet satisfying and intricate brick patterns include the stunning Spanish bond and the rich puzzle of the whorled pattern. Circular or fan patterns are also ideal layouts for bricks: their slender shapes lend themselves to curved applications and intricate inlays with a minimum of cutting.
Mixing colors - for example two or three colors mixed randomly - can add to the already rich visual texture of brick; and choosing the right jointing compound will also give you a unique look. Use lighter-colored jointing compound to create more texture, and darker jointing compound to reduce it.
Related: Choosing the Right Look for a Retaining Wall That Will Be Part of Your Brick Patio Design in Hinsdale, IL