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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dashing Thru the Snow

 Each person experiences the Christmas holiday season differently. Right now, in the middle of Illinois and elsewhere, it could be said we are all dashing thru the snow! It's cold and white. Small, young mittened hands clap together to stay warm as youngsters join in the excitement of coming to our store and tree corner to get the tree that will liven up anyone who dare humbug the spirit and meaning of this time of the year. In places all over our country older, unstable hands, rest in laps, perhaps prayerfully, perhaps lonely, perhaps with a warm cup and cooky. Memories are created and recalled across the generations.

For many, the focus is on what cannot be bought. Words spoken ring truer. Hugs last longer. Hands shaken or held are done so tightly. Even a chortle and a friendly slap-on-the-back greeting holds great affection. Faith arrives and settles in souls. Pockets are emptied; kettles and donation vests are filled for humans and critter friends alike. It's a time for going all out.

Do it. Go all out for all the right reasons. Create lasting memories. Certainly, indulge in material gifts when and if you are able. Be the invisible Santa for people or animals you'll never know. Share those opportunities as gifts to your family and friends. Do something to make the world a better place and a better cared for planet.

Yes, we encourage you to visit us at the store. We have lush greenery which will serve as dwelling and feeding locations for birds and small creatures long after being removed from your home. There are treats and homemade goodies ready for consumption and gifting. Packaging is not very fancy and it doesn't need to be, not really! You're likely to find a pleasing selection. But, even if you've finished shopping, stop in to say hello and help us spread Christmas cheer!

We remember why we are here on Earth. We understand the meaning of Christmas. We believe our country is blessed with good fortune, even in troubling times. We know each one of you is important and has a purpose. Spread your arms and welcome life and greet the new year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Gearing up for Holiday Bliss!

Ever notice how you are drawn back to a place time and again, just because it feels good to be there? Well, such is the feeling reached by the "blogger" who headed to Virden to check out the gifts, goodies, greenery, and good vibes at the Holiday Shoppe on Route 4, run by none other than (Little Drummer Boy, "Drum roll, please.") DESIGNER LANDSCAPES ! Arriving before most shoppers provided a perfect opportunity to do a photo essay. Naturally that leads to two things: posting the temptations for your viewing and leaving the camera case somewhere in the building. Don't worry, it doesn't show up in any of the photos so you aren't going to "find the camera case and win a yard makeover" - nope.

Just enjoy the pics then make your list and head on over to kick off the holidays!

Greeting you inside, the DLI Wooden Snowman!

Kettle Corn
Kettle corn for good boys and girls is available immediately. The elves have already reported that it is a great snack at breaktime if you're the working type.


Gifts for one and all

Tweet Retreats - for those who can't go south

Here you have it, a SMALL overview of what is available so you can do your shopping for oh-so-many people without going far, without fighting crowds, without worrying about returns. Where else would you start the giving season?
Stocking Stuffers
Once you've loaded up on items to excite all your friends and family members step outside to view all the decorative items from which to choose. As you select your wreath and tree think about how quickly a smile will show on each person's face as they approach and enter your home during this time of the year. Enhance that smile by greeting them personally and warmly, within your home's beautiful winter wonderland.
Pergola Display
Fresh Trees Await You!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A touch more of the magenta, please

This is Ellen's version of The Thinker by Rodin. True, she's not seated pensively but the intensity is there. No doubt she is reviewing her notes from a recent client meeting. As she does she will reflect upon the design elements which best suit the home, yard, people, and lifestyle so when she shows the final drawing/plan the people can say it's exactly what they told her and more!  Ellen is the creative owner, according to Patty. She gets the highlighters and camera for Christmas and birthdays whereas Patty gets a new flatbed or shovel. You get the idea.

Working as our "foot in the door" person, Ellen's participation in your project doesn't finish when you sign your agreement for the work to be done. She's involved in plant selection, tweaking, creating challenges, and making dreams come true!

Ellen ponders.

Terry colors our world!

We keep meaning to put T's photo in the newsletter
or a Constant Contact message and then those
items get loaded up with other articles, none nearly so exciting as hearing about Terry's days in the office. She is our Girl Friday, aka Office Manager. But that hardly describes all that she does for DLI.

Terry's days include chief dog parent, and she's a cat person but beyond that she does all the phone calls in/out, handles the mail in/out, works to assure that the drawings Ellen produces are colored appropriately so no one is looking at a purple spruce when it should be a blue spruce. She directs people traffic, keeps order, and makes certain the day closes down when its time and the next day is planned.

Without her we wouldn't be at your place on time. We wouldn't laugh or enjoy our work nearly as much either. She brightens the place up. When you come by, bring some salt water taffy - you'll see!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Goodbye July!

The routine of July gardening carries over to August. The good news is that the weeds should be less of a problem at this time. Maybe it's time to enjoy the garden a bit while also getting ready to take up the next set of chores. Head for the beach but remember to have someone check on your plants and yard.

What is August going to demand of you? Well, for starters it may be time to do some light pruning on the evergreen hedges if you have some. Nothing major after the first couple of days in August or you risk excessive young growth which won't last thru the winter. But a little shaping up is fine.

One of the most important routines now is to get out and deadhead the perennials and annuals. The plants really yearn to set seed before the end of the season and you can't let them do this if you want the garden to remain nice looking and to have a prolonged flowering season. As you enjoy strolling and admiring what you've accomplished tidy up!

You won't need to, and should not, fertilize as this "forcing" growth so late will be tough on plants later on in the year. Spend your time gurning over your compost piles, making sure they are watered in the hot dry weather to insure rapid decomposing.

If you're insisting on getting your hands in the dirt the end of August is a good time to move evergreens if you get a couple of days which are not too dry and hot. Irises, daylilies, and poppies are ready to be divided and transplanted now.

Of course, it's time to schedule your yard for fall treatment. Bet you know just the people to apply that for you.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Clare Leighton's FOUR HEDGES

At the bottom of the pile of old books appeared a couple of old gardening books, one British, one mid-40's American. Clare Leighton, British wood engraver (among other media), illustrated and wrote the first. To say it is a delight is mild. Titled FOUR HEDGES (printed in 1935), the recounting of the four seasons and associated 88 engravings reflect work or its results during each time period.

How about a look at her chronicle entry for June? Here in the middle of the country, the middle of our state, rain has blessed us rather steadily which makes it practically impossible to take up the tasks of mowing and weeding. The enjoyment of a good book pacifies, does it not? Here we go.

A little preparation - she gardens BIG. And, words and images are being used these w/o permission so beg forgiveness. (They appear all over the Internet - who's there to ask?)

The quote begins:

Darville brings us young cabbages and sprouts, savoys and broccolis. He plants them out between the lines of potatoes. He sells them to us by the quarter hundred. As I count them I see thirty of each variety and question him. He sems amazed at my ignorance.

"Why, didn't you know that we always sell plants in a long hundred? that's a hundred and twenty. So of course a quarter hundred is thirty."

I feel rebuked.

The large perennial bed is a blaze of colour; delphinium, lupin, anchusa, veronica, bloom with unusal intensity. The red and yellow gaillardias, a gift from Darville, flower madly, in Noel's eyes ruining the colour scheme of the entire bed. .. He wants to uproot the wretched gaillardias, but I tell him that it would be too unkind to Darville. So he picks off the flowers and gives them to Annie; but the more he does so, the stronger grows the plant and the more it blooms.

We have other undesirable creatures in this big bed. Unsown poppies are sprouting up everywhere. One is lenient towards flowering weeds in the first year or two of a new garden, glad of the colour of anything that blooms. One even declares that one is striking out against snobbishness in gardens and will find room for such beautiful things as scarlet poppies. And so, for a year or two, they do bloom. But, also, they seed. And we are paying for our soft-heartedness. From now on the wild scarlet poppy in our garden is doomed...We defended its beauty to people who condoled with us on the appearance of such a lusy weed in the middle of our best bed. We laughed...We have learned better."

Later she reports that the loveliest creature in the garden is the mullein caterpillar and includes a delicate carving. Leighton's curiosity leads her to take one inside, something she probably does to study not only for its habits but also for its beauty. It takes less than a week for the caterpillar to more than double in size and then engulf itself in a provided mullein leave which becomes the cocoon framework.

There. Are you tempted to enjoy what nature provides or to find some of the flowers mentioned herein? If it's raining where you are and you cannot go play outside in the dirt, escape with a great book by someone who did do just that and then took the time to re-tell the experiences. Just in these few paragraphs clarity reveals we face the same concerns and share the same joys, whether this side of the ocean or the other, whether this century or the last. If we can have such simple things in common is there any doubt we have many more likenesses?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Energy, You, and Landscaping

It is possible to improve the looks of your landscaping, get exercise and save on energy costs - all with a single decision to just do it. Start now with plans, selections, and then act while the weather is good. For years to come you will reap the benefits!

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, carefully positioned trees can save up to 25% of a household's energy consumption for heating and cooling.  The US Dept of Energy created computer models which suggest that 3 trees, placed properly will save $100 to $250 in annual energy costs. That pays for the trees and you're adding beauty and value to your homescape and surrounding area.

According to one newsletter, evergreen trees, with low growing branches, shield against cold winter winds. Plant them on the north or northwest. Deciduous (leaf-shedders) trees belong on the south and/or west as they offer shade in the summer and let the winter sunlight in to warm a home.

Don't take our word for it alone. Your best proof will be found at a park or wooded area on a hot day. The temperature under the trees can be as much as 25 degrees F/ 14 degrees C LOWER than being on blacktop. The shading and evapotranspiration (kids: that is the process by which a plant actively moves and releases water vapor) keeps park areas as much as 9 degrees F cooler. Neighborhoods with tree-shading may reach as much as 6 degrees F relief, while pre-treed (yes, we made that up) areas are scorchers.

So much for the heat of the day. Check out the winter impact.

There's this thing we all hear about called wind chill. For an outside temp of 10 F, with a wind speed of 20 mph, we will be subjected to a wind chill of -24 degrees F. Note the MINUS sign! Burrrrr. Hello! We have wind chill here in Central Illinois. Oh, it's not like South Dakota where as much as 40% of the heating bill can be reduced by windbreaks on three sides. But we are in a windy climate. A well-planned landscape can make a noticeable difference inside, outside, and what's in your wallet!

The federal government considers Illinois to have a Temperate climate. Here's more of their input.

The United States can be divided into four approximate climatic regions: temperate,
hot-arid, hot-humid, and cool. The energy-conserving landscape strategies you use should depend on which region you live in. 

• Maximize warming effects of the sun in the winter.
• Maximize shade during the summer,
• Deflect winter winds away from buildings.
• Funnel summer breezes toward the home.

Sounds pretty easy, doesn't it? Well, that might be their job. If you want to read more, click the article title above. Or better yet, this one - our catalog! Ready to start? We're ready for you to call. Our job is to really make it easy for you - we'll meet with you, talk with you, walk with you, work FOR you and get your property as efficient as you desire. You will have a "microclimate" that continues to improve over time.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


If you're on the list to receive the email Constant Contact news then you know we included a blurb about weeds, even mentioning that some are edible. In fact, dandelions got significant recognition. It seems fitting to post a recipe to acknowledge, or substantiate, what we wrote. You should be adventurous and try new things. Grown locally, your dandelions (or spinach, if you must) will gain your appreciation.

You may substitute wild spinach for the dandelion greens; if you do, there is no need to trim and blanch the spinach. You may begin with step 3. However, we encourage you to at least try the dandelion greens.

1 bunch, about a pound, dandelion greens
1 big T olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 little t. chopped fresh ginger
1 big T tamari or dark soy sauce
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  1. Wash dandelion greens and cut off tough stems.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Immerse greens for one minute; remove to a colander and run under cold water. Set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion and saute over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and mushrooms; cook 4 minutes more.
  5. Stir in reserved greens, ginger, and tamari. Cook 3 minutes, then remove from heat.
  6. Add lemon juice; serve.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.

NOTE: Look for baby greens. They tend to be more tender, less bitter.
Other weeds of worth: Wild Spinach is also known as Lamb's Quarters. (R top) Chickweed's tiny delicately flavored leaves can be used as sprout substitutes. (R lower)
Purslane (L top), it has a purple flower, has a crunchy texture and hint of lemon flavor. It makes a delicous garnish for salads. Wild mustard is very pungent (L lower)

You can soften intense flavors by cooking carrots or beets with the greens. Try adding soy sauce or even ham.

Wild greens are a superfood.
They are nutritious! Purslane is rich in omega-3 fatty acides. Dandelion greens are loaded with iron and vitamin E, just to mention a couple.

Where do you go to get the edible wild greens? The back yard? Well, could be. Make certain you recognize what you have identified. If you aren't clear on what it is, buy fresh greens at your local Farmers' Market.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Raise Up a Child

Kids. Well, that about says it all, doesn’t it? Maybe it’s grandkids or your kids or neighborhood, or church, or friends, or relatives, but there are kids who need each of us for one thing or another. They need to be taught how to handle money. It doesn’t grow on trees.

So teach them about the value of gardening. If you have a garden set aside a space for each young person you want to mentor to plant a couple of things. Help them select easy to grow plants that will create a success story for them. Work with them to establish a regular weeding and watering schedule. More importantly, be with them, talk to them about the value of what they are doing.

You already know the benefits. Gardening calms the soul. Working with the earth cannot be compared to anything else. It can be done independently or with others but there is a peace to it. And that peace leads to appreciation. Gardening is good exercise and hard work but allows the gardener to stand in awe of the amazement created. This can do wonders for self-esteem and confidence.

If the plants chosen are edible, great! There are life lessons galore in raising something that can be placed on a plate to provide part of a meal, even if it is parsley, rosemary, or thyme. Let ‘em do it. This is sage advice.

Perhaps your understudy deserves a set of gardening tools. Loan yours, under supervision and make it just the simple ones. It’s a toss up as to whether a youngster will want his/her own tools or be delighted to inherit yours. You decide; there’s no wrong answer. They need to learn to clean tools and put them away. It’s part of the experience.

If you are not a gardener at heart but instead a grand appreciator then you still have a role to play with the next generation. Develop their love for the landscape created by plants, be it a field of corn or a pond providing homes for amphibians or the luxury of a designed landscape in a front yard. Talk about the selection of different plantings, how annuals differ from perennials, how evergreens really are ever-green, and take them places they will see landscapes flourish.

Yes, the city skylines are beautiful in their own ways. Nothing replaces the wonder of seeing a flower reaching for the sky or a tree beating its hidden heart and roaring as it grows, year after year. Visit botanical gardens, visit nurseries, wander on trails.

There are all sorts of places gardening may lead. There is a lot of life in the dirt. Study it. There are things to do with flowers: give them, press them, divide them. Teach the next generations well. Teach them we are caretakers of Earth.

The best place gardening will lead is right back to your relationship with this child, to your respective hearts. In times to come each of you will remember the time…

Friday, April 9, 2010

Coming Soon in YOUR Neighborhood

Is it possible this is the time of the year to get your taxes filed? Sorry, it is. Better than this, it is preparation and planting time for most regions. We happen to be in the middle of Illinois which falls into region/zone 5. A friend in Oklahoma has already put in onion sets and potato seeds and jokingly said they’d be ready by Saturday. He’s got to be kidding. But then, another of our friends announced he dreamed he planted a new variety of tomatoes the other night. They were the 6 hour variety (from ground to table). Do these people think they have a chance of being believed?!

Patience IS a virtue. While you wait for a frost-free date to roll around you can be busy planning your veggie garden. Determine what vegetables you really like – list them. Then be realistic and decide which of all of these nutritious items you can and will care for as well as how you will harvest, what you’ll do with the plentiful crop, what it will take to maintain a healthy garden. Are you going to have a “Friends and Family” plan, with help being promised? Are you on your own, maybe doing container gardening? Will you be in combat with wildlife and how will you handle the invasion?

If you just cannot wait, go ahead and get the asparagus and broccoli into the ground. And, yes, the onion sets, tater tubers, and even cabbage can be put in now. So you CAN get your hands dirty! Most other plants need for you to wait until the soil is warmer. Get your calendar out for them.

You’ll just get the garden tools cleaned off and hung up on the pegboard and it will be time to put in seeds for lettuce, spinach, peas, and turnips. Then cauliflower, radishes, carrots and beets can go in – yes, before April 15th! After all the danger of frost is behind us you can plant tomatoes safely. Likewise sweet corn, summer squashes, beans, pumpkins, watermelons, cucumbers, peppers, and sweet potatoes.

Still, this is an only an overview – if you are experienced you probably have your own plan; if not, error on the side of doing too much research and too much planning before you plant – but remember, time is not going to stand still – for gardens or taxes.

Ready? Set? Plant!

Forty years ago Earth Day took root. It took over seven years, the actual idea being spoken aloud in November, 1962. Senator Gaylord Nelson proposed a national conservation tour for President Kennedy, widely covering eleven states in five days. Kennedy went but the issue of the environment never made it on the national political agenda.
A conference in 1969 found Nelson still voicing concern over the environment and this time there was a public groundswell that could not be ignored by officials nor media. Earth Day, April 22, 1970 was designated. People took over within communities and schools and across the nation went to work on behalf of our planet.

The decades since have brought a full range of actions and reactions – observation, tolerance, and celebration. We hear a great deal these days about “going green”. Earth Day is now Earth Week in schools.

For us, every day is Earth Day, always has been, always will be. That’s not a political statement. It’s our reality. The Earth is our “office” and we want it to be beautiful and well.

Early learning and experience taught us trees are special to almost everyone. Whether you remember climbing your first tree at an early age, resting against a tree trunk after raking leaves or the fine scent of a pine forest, tress are in your memories.

Besides being natural beauties, trees are workers. Here’s how:

 Each living tree produces oxygen for two people while also absorbing one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime.
 Trees are good for gardens by preventing soil erosion. Useful organic materials are not washed away and leaves provide cover or mulch in the fall.
 Three or more living trees strategically placed around your home will help keep your home cooler by shading it. A lower A/C bill is money in your pocket.
 As living trees are removed birds and other outside dwellers become homeless or hungry. Trees serve as condos and grocery stores for many.
 Living trees are gorgeous, so much so it can be difficult to choose which ones to add to your landscape. Colors, textures, height, focal or pivotal highlights – trees have all and more.

Talk to us. Tell us your tree stories. Share with us where you have trees now and where you see new trees in your yard. Please place your comments on this blog. Although Designer Landscapes owners and staff won’t be able to put you back in the tree house or on the swing of your childhood tree and we won’t be able to return you to the tree you sat under and swapped secrets with friends or read books, we will be able to keep trees in your life so you can build these memory keepers for others, for generations to come.

The selection of trees to re-create memories is vast. Ranging from trees to plant, celebrating a birth, to trees to shade the home, to trees to nap beneath, we’re sure you will find the tree of choice at our nursery. Or allow us the pleasure of selecting the perfect fit for your setting. Our trees grow on you.

(Arthur Rackham, Victorian artist)

Enjoy Earth Day, every day.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Great Barrier, Weeds!

Cheap! Cheap! Cheap! If the birds are singing out we love it; we also know it’s spelled cheep. Just being outside, working, we hear all sorts of cheeps. It’s invigorating. When we think about the other spelling – at the worst, a suggestion of inferior products or service, it’s infuriating.

Yet, time after time we run into cheap imitations, cheap options, aka “deals”. We can tell you: landscaping is hard work, whether you do it yourself or you have us do it. And because it is, you should not use or accept cheap products.
You read our blog article about “paper or plastic” already; it's an early posting. You know that plastic takes centuries to breakdown. Today, walking through the grocery store, with our reusable bags in our cart, it was astonishing how much of what is in the store, even what the store is constructed with, is plastic. Sometimes it seems a daunting task to tackle, protecting the earth. But each of us can avoid plastic in the garden. Plastic weed barrier keeps the water and oxygen out. First your soil is damage. Then your garden suffers. Leave the black plastic weed barrier on the shelf.

Instead, we use weed barrier fabric and gladly include it in our bids on your landscaping projects. We know it takes time to breakdown also – after all, it is a barrier. What it does allow is for the soil to breathe, to receive moisture and oxygen. There is less damage to the soil. Fabric is more earth-friendly, protecting your garden plants. We never put weed barrier under mulch, as mulch is organic and will decompose and would become soil on top of the weed barrier. We always use weed barrier under decorative rock. We use a pre-emergent weed control two or three times (spring-summer-fall) to help prevent weed seed germination, especially in mulch beds!

That said, keep in mind that weeds are plants also. Considering there are billions of weed seeds in the air at certain times of the year, no one can ever expect to install barrier and then never see a weed again. They will sprout up. What a great barrier, such as the Dewitt Pro 5 we use, does, is stop the seeds beneath it from emerging. Anyone who sits back and watches the mulch turn to soil will also be watching weeds sprout from seeds deposited above the barrier.

With the right barrier in place you will still be bending down or be on your knees to pluck the errant weed from your soil but you will do it less often. A good foundation is required in raising a house, raising a child, and raising a garden. Regardless, we all know that with each of these, tending needs to be done! We all roll up our sleeves and get on with it.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Bring Your Own Bags

Life is full of choices, followed usually by decisions.

On a regular basis we face what we think is an ordinary decision, “Paper or plastic?”.

Depending upon what we might need bags or sacks for at home we choose. Or maybe it doesn’t matter at the time or we don’t get asked.

Now GREEN has returned. Once the color theme of choice when Earth Day was born and it is back in fashion. Everyone is more aware, smarter, paying attention. Like it or not, most of us realize what we do has an impact on the environment. Trash is trash and each of us generates a lot of it.

Facts: Plastic bags take as long as 1000 years to break down. They choke marine mammals which mistake them as food. They litter landscapes. A bit over 5% are recycled. Considering how long plastic has been around we can conclude that every piece of plastic ever produced is still here, somewhere. Each person accounts for 1200 plastic bags annually. In addition there are bottles, wrappers, anti-theft devices. We could go on but why? You know what is plastic.

Do not take this as an endorsement for paper though.

If the bags are not made from recycled paper more trees are cut down and there’s an impact. It also takes a long, long time to breakdown if it is goes to a landfill. If bags go back into a recycling program there are processes to return it to pulp and they include chemicals.

It seems to be a dilemma.

If you choose one or the other then try to have other uses for the bags. There’s the dog walking chore of “picking up” for which plastic bags are good. At the same time, paper bags can end up as book covers or can be ripped up and thrown into the compost pile.

You can go with one or the other but you can also help by going green with reusable shopping bags or sacks. They are easy to come by. Stores, catalogs, and online retailers offer them. If you’re concerned about fuel then decide whether you should buy when you are out and about or buy online with other items that are in an order, delivered in one stop.
If you attend trade shows or donate to some causes you can often get canvas bags as thank you offerings. Gather enough of them and you are able to avoid both paper and plastic. Responsible companies welcome the opportunity to help the environment while getting all of us to promote their businesses; it's a green marketing approach.

Plus you will recycle a memory or two about where you were or how it is you came to own the variety of reusable bags you carry proudly into the stores you frequent. Just remember to take your bags with you when you go!
Our Earth looks good in green.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

When we, as Designer Landscapes’ owners, loaded up a borrowed “Gentleman Jim’s Pick-up Truck”, the birthday gift wheelbarrow, a grandpa’s loaned tools, sketch paper that looked like ruled notebook paper, and coloring pencils/markers leftover from college courses, the world’s doors to the outside were wide open and each view was full of opportunities.

Luckily for all of us, success came, earned through hard work, innovative plans and options, and careful decision making. But while we were digging and hauling we did not dream others were developing programs and writing code. What? Yet, within a couple of years of our launching the business, something called the Internet was introduced.
We have had a web site on the Internet for a few years now. Recently we decided it needed updating. The doors are open and we invite you to view  now and come back soon to see the updates. 
A little touch up became a makeover and we are delighted to show it off to you. From our blog and web site to our shirts and trucks we are "coordinated".
But wait, there’s more! The letterhead and contracts will be the new logo. By now you may have even seen the juicy orange flap on our envelopes! And, we’re taking the plunge into a greater use of email. If we do not already have your email address, please provide it to us, clearly stated if you call us at 217.227.3256 or email us at Terry Dobbs, Business Manager, will include you in our emailings. Trust us, we will be busy outside and you will not be inundated with messages. When we have something of interest to share, every couple of weeks for now, we will let you know. We respect your privacy. Information you provide to us stays within our business.

Spring is a time to introduce new looks and new ideas. We are thrilled to offer you new ideas which lead to your yard's makeover and equally thrilled to show you our updates. That first Spring, the one when we colored with whatever we could grab and were down on our knees, up to our elbows in dirt, we wondered where we would be twenty-five years from then. Our look has changed, our dedication to you, to quality, service, and integrity has not.