Posted on August 31st, 2010 No comments
Tucked in a residential neighborhood in Evanston at Lake Street and Oak Avenue, one block east of Ridge Avenue, is a beautiful and fragrant oasis called the Merrick Rose Garden. This public garden is a popular location for small weddings and special occasions, as well as for wedding photographs. Fees charged help defray the cost of the maintenance. Did you know that it is also an All American Rose Selections Inc (AARS) display garden? Every year the AARS selects and donates new rose varieties to display the year before they are available in retail garden centers and catalogs.
Longtime area residents may wonder what happened to the Centennial Fountain that was once the centerpiece and namesake of Fountain Square (located at the intersection of Orrington and Sherman Avenues and Davis Street in downtown Evanston). It has resided since 1951 at the south end of the rose garden. It provides a memorable and nostalgic focal point in this beautiful garden setting.
To learn more about the history of this garden check out the city of Evanston’s website: www.cityofevanston.org
Posted on August 13th, 2010 No comments
Playing Our Part in Sustaining Our Environment
The landscaping industry has long been known as the “green” industry, even before environmental issues were brought to the forefront. But like most industries, truly being an environmentally friendly company requires a commitment by our company, our employees and the companies we partner with.
We are proud to share with you a few of the ways we take part in the effort to sustain the communities we serve and the world we live in. We recently converted 95% of our trucks and heavy machinery to Biodiesel (mono alkyl esters), a cleaner-burning diesel fuel made from natural, renewable sources like plant oils, animal fats, used cooking oil and more recently algae.
Because it is renewable, cleaner and safer to breathe, we know we are contributing to the sustainability of our planet. Watch for the “Powered by Biodiesel” logo on all of our biodiesel powered equipment.
In addition to the use of biodiesel, we continue the practice of partnering with suppliers that also work to reduce waste. All of the excavated concrete and asphalt we remove is taken to waste facilities that recycle the materials to be used to produce fresh asphalt or concrete, or the materials are re-used in other ways. This means that the products we remove from our jobsites don’t end up in landfills.
At our own facilities, we recycle thousands of plastic plant containers each year, turn all of our grass clippings and leaves into compost, and have construction soil cleaned and reconditioned so it can be used again. Used oil from our equipment is stored in 55-gallon drums and picked up by our oil supplier to be cleaned and reused. In our building each office is fitted with a recycle bin for paper, plastic and metal. For interoffice printing, we work to use both sides of our paper before it is sent to the recycle bin. Our common areas and kitchen are also outfitted with recycle garbage bins. When a new roof was needed, we elected to roof our building with a high-tech white roofing material that insulates and reflects the sunlight, reducing our gas and electric utilities needs. We recently worked with BASE (Business Alliance for a Sustainable Evanston) to replace our incandescent exit signs with LED signs.
As part of our product line we offer a paver made from recycled rubber and plastic materials produced by VAST, and a paver that is produced with fly ash, a by-product produced from burning pulverized coal in electric power generators. Both are appealing, durable and environmentally friendly.
We are also certified to install permeable pavers. Permeable pavers have a coarse base that allows rainwater to pass through the joints of the bricks and percolate through the base and back through to the earth. Other water conservation products we install include reclaiming rainwater from storm gutters and capturing water in underground cisterns.
We at Nature’s Perspective continue to look to the future for ways to conserve natural resources. We are now planning to implement a rain water recapturing system of our own. By reclaiming thousands of gallons of rain water from our roof, we will be able to supplement our irrigation system and reuse that water in our nursery.
It is nice to know that not only do our employees work hard each day to beautify the our clients’ outdoor living space, but that as a company, we are also contributing to the countries efforts to make our planet a better place to live.
Posted on August 13th, 2010 No comments
Our clients’ magnificent home, built in 1903 for Gordon L. Pirie and Samuel Carson (of Carson, Pirie & Scott), is built on a steep slope from the front of the house to the back alley. A two-story, four bedroom coachhouse was located in the back of the property but felt disconnected to the rest of the site. The existing concrete patio and stone steps were crumbling and screened with leggy, unsightly shrubs. A screened porch situated next to the patio also waited to be used. Finally, the asphalt driveway along the side of the home was no longer used for cars. Our clients wanted to meet their goal of integrating these various elements into a usable outdoor space for relaxing and entertaining.
After extensive site visits that involved measuring grade changes, a structural engineer and drainage plans, our designer created a terraced patio using natural, loosely laid limestone and dry-laid limestone walls and steps. A wall of Brussels Block at the back of the patio retains soil and plantings, while adding extra seating. Loosely laid limestone walks connected the new patio to the coachhouse, and the screened porch to the side yard.
In the former driveway, our designer created a terraced viewing garden using more limestone steps and dry-laid limestone walls. A palette of shade perennials such as hosta and ferns thrive here, while the addition of fastigiate yews, flowering lilacs, a hydrangea tree, ornamental grasses, pachysandra and an expanse of new lawn create an outdoor space meeting our clients’ expectations.