Tuesday, 09 August 2016 13:56

Unique and Distinctive Secret Gardens

Unique secret gardens create a sense of discovery in your garden with an unexpected clearing, a shady arbor or a secluded nook says Karen Chapman, a houzz.com contributor.  Chapman continues, it can be a retreat we share with others or use for private contemplation. Whatever the size, purpose or place, the key feature remains the same — it needs to be at least partially hidden from the outside world: a secret garden.
Here are a few ideas to get you started. Many of these projects are possible to complete in a weekend or less: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/16335162/list/landscape-design-a-secret-garden



Secret Garden with Waterfall and Pond, Sheldon Landscape Lake Geneva, Wisconsin



Distinctive Secret Sitting Area, Sheldon Landscape Lake Geneva, Wisconsin



Secret Garden Path, Sheldon Landscape Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Published in Landscaping
Wednesday, 19 August 2015 11:39

Look What Baking Soda can do outdoors!

I just read an article about baking soda on my favorite website Houzz.com by Meg Padgett – a Houzz
Contributor and blogger.  Here's what Meg shared...

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate is more than just an ingredient for pastries and cookies.  This powerful nontoxic and versatile household cleaning agent is an inexpensive, all-natural ingredient and is neck and neck with vinegar as one of the most nontoxic and versatile household cleaning agents.





Sheldon Landscapes Lake Geneva


- Before storing your patio furniture for the winter, clean it with baking soda and a wet sponge.

- Clean grime and mildew off pool toys with the basic mixture.

- Blast oil and grease stains in the garage or driveway by pouring baking soda directly on them. Scrub with a wet brush and rinse.

- Battle icy walkways with a sprinkling of baking soda.



Sheldon Landscapes, Lake Geneva


Bedroom, living room and hall:

- Before you vacuum the carpets or clean your upholstery, sprinkle them with baking soda and let it sit for 15 minutes to remove any odors.

- Deodorize your closet by placing an opened box of baking soda on a shelf.

- Clean children's toys with the aforementioned basic mixture and a sponge. Rinse and let them dry.

- Deodorize stuffed animals with a light dusting of baking soda; let it sit 15 minutes, then dust or vacuum it off.

- Freshen shoes with a light dusting of baking soda on the inner soles.



- Use the basic mixture and a sponge to clean all kitchen surfaces.

- Rid your fridge or pantry of odors by placing an opened box of baking soda on a back shelf.

- Dust your stainless steel sink with baking soda and scrub for a sparkling shine.

- Deodorize trash cans and recycling bins with a sprinkling of baking soda on the inside of the cans. Every now and then, rinse the cans with 1 cup of baking soda dissolved into 1 gallon of warm water.

- Get your silver sparkling with a paste made from 3 parts baking soda and 1 part water.

- For stubborn stains on plastic storage containers, soak for 15 minutes in 4 parts baking soda and 1 part warm water. Scrub, rinse and dry.

- Rid your fruits and vegetables of dirt and insecticides by washing them in a sink full of water and ¼ cup of baking soda, then rinse.

- Remove baked-on residue on pots and pans by sprinkling on baking soda. Add warm water and dish soap, let soak for 15 minutes and wash clean.

- Extinguish small cooking fires by sprinkling baking soda directly onto the fire.



- Brighten your clothes by adding 1 cup of baking soda to the wash.

- For extra-fluffy sheets and towels, add ½ cup of baking soda to the rinse cycle.

- Banish stains with a paste made from 6 tablespoons of baking soda and ½ cup of warm water. Apply to the stain, rub and launder. For the toughest stains, let the paste sit for one or two hours. (Always check for color fastness.)

- Freshen babies' burp cloths by sprinkling on baking soda, rubbing it in and washing as usual.



- Clean floors with a bucket of warm water and ½ cup of baking soda.

- Use the basic mixture to clean your bathroom surfaces or sprinkle dry baking soda on tough-to-clean stains.

- Clean hairbrushes and combs once per month by soaking them in warm water and 1 tablespoon of baking soda.

- Deodorize and clean the toilet with a sprinkling of baking soda on the inside of the bowl; scrub and flush.

- For rust stains in the shower, sink or toilet bowl, pour in 1 cup of vinegar and ½ cup of baking soda. Scrub and rinse.


Thanks Meg Padgett!  Meg is a Houzz Contributor and a budget-minded DIY lifestyle blogger at Revamp Homegoods (http://www.revamphomegoods.com). Her design philosophy is based on the concept that combining thrifty finds with a little blood, sweat and (sometimes) tears a stylish home can be achieved without breaking the bank.

Published in Landscaping

Very often the front yard is landscaped with the common-place monotone foundation shrubs, which have been sheared into every geometric shape imaginable and provide little in terms of multi-seasonal interest.  When a you start the design process of landscaping your home, approach the front yard as the "first impression" that a guest coming to your home would experience.


Front Entrance Lake Geneva Landscape Design Ideas, Sheldon Landscape


Work to screen out undesirable views while framing the desirable ones.  Use large trees to anchor the corners of the house and help transition the lines of the house into the landscape.  Plants should be used to layer, informally or formally, depending on the style of architecture to accentuate the features of your home.  The entry walk should be designed to be very welcoming, with an inviting width in the paving and big impact flowering beds to catch the eye. 



Front Entrance Design North Shore Chicago, Schmechtig Landscapes - Sheldon Landscape is part of the Schmechtig Landscape Family of Companies 

As one proceeds up your walk, consider including an "outdoor foyer space", which can be accented with a decorative bench or a collection of multi-sized ornamental pots for additional color.  Your front yard is not just meant to be viewed in passing, but provide a comfortable place to sit and be enjoyed.

Published in Landscaping
Monday, 20 April 2015 10:13

11 Inspiring Garden Ideas For Your Home

So take a break from your usual routine and have a peek at these green hideaways and retreats that are perfect for rediscovering your creativity. Luisa Rollenhagen, a Houzz contibutor wants to know which one inspires you most? Read more:



Lake Geneva Gardens, Sheldon Landscape


Garden Design, Sheldon Landscape Lake Geneva


Published in Landscaping
Friday, 07 November 2014 13:01

These Are Not Your Grandparents Junipers

Dislike junipers? Jay Sifford, a Houzz contributor, says "Maybe it’s time to discover new varieties and new uses for this garden workhorse"
See and read more about the new varieties and which type will work in your zone: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/33450934?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u776&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery14


Published in Landscaping
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 10:01

Arrange a Gift Floral Bouquet Like a Pro

For a fall gift bouquet that looks expensive but is (almost) dirt cheap, just follow this step-by-step guide supplied by Rikki Snyder, a Houzz contributor.  Whether you’re attending a holiday dinner party or want to give flowers to a loved one, putting together a professional-quality bouquet yourself is simpler than it seems. Tracy Goldman of Sabellico Greenhouses & Florist offers these step-by-step instructions on how to arrange a gift bouquet like a pro, and shares how to keep vase flowers fresher longer, use focal flowers to their fullest potential and make the most of accent flowers. Read and see more:



Published in Landscaping

Give your facade, driveway or garage doors a more appealing look to make a strong first impression, says Houzz Contributor Laura Gaskill.  It’s important not to force a completely unrelated style on your home, but the right exterior enhancements can significantly improve your home’s curb appeal. Read more:  http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/32902813?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u742&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery8



Published in Landscaping
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 08:39

6 Unsung Bulbs for Fall Planting

Don't hang up your spade after summer — plant these unusual bulbs in fall for a spectacular spring show, says LuAnn Brandsen, a Houzz Contributor.  Next year's garden may seem far away, but you can get it off to a great start by planting spectacular bulbs this fall. Check out these unique and beautiful spring flowers to consider:  http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/3797595/list/6-unsung-bulbs-for-fall-planting

Published in Landscaping

Every landscape we create has a story to tell.  It’s why we do what we do: to express ourselves. We have something to say. It could be as direct as stating our love of good, fresh food by way of a healthful vegetable garden, or as thoughtful as honoring the forces of nature by embracing native, sustainable landscaping — not only in times of drought but as an ongoing, respectful dialogue with Earth’s precious resources. Nancy Drobnick has been telling wondrous outdoor stories since 2000, when she and husband Cliff purchased 3 acres of wooded riverfront property outside the village of Chagrin Falls.  Read and set your eyes on this wonderful creation: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/31250760?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u664&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery19


Published in Landscaping
Thursday, 18 September 2014 10:39

Recipe Thursday - Mardi Gras Jambalaya

Celebrate the tastes of the Bayou tonight with our simple and quick 45 minute recipe for anytime you want to celebrate Mardi Gras.

•1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch chunks
• 1 pound smoked turkey sausage or andouille sausage, cut into 1-inch slices
•1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
• 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
• 1 3/4 cup chicken broth
• 1 cup uncooked long- or whole-grain rice
•1/2 cup dry white wine
• 2 green or red bell peppers, coarsely chopped (If you've got them, use 1 green and 1 red bell pepper for a very colorful jambalaya.)
• 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
• 4 teaspoons Creole seasoning
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder        
In a soup pot over medium heat, combine all ingredients; mix well. Cover and cook 15 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer 30 to 35 minutes, or until rice is cooked. Add hot peppers or hot sauce to taste. There are other Jambalaya Recipes you can make that will take hours...but for a weeknight dinner this is simple, quick and yummo.
Serves 6
Courtesy of mrfood.com

Published in Landscaping
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