What makes a garden great? An estate not just a home but something extraordinary? It is a subtle seamless quality and conscientiousness of balance that create an unforgettable garden. Fluidity and facility are key, tying luscious landscaping to its brick and mortar center point, the goal. While one space ought to flow into the next to achieve maximum harmony, practicality is also a priority. Longevity and a sense of setting are all-important to a garden that will stand the test of time. This leaves theme and purpose: is this plot destined to be a quiet place for reading? A way to get from Point A to B with panache? Or an instant vacation to the meadows of the South of France, the English countryside, an Italian villa, or the mountains of Japan? The vision, the raison d’être, is what creates the wow; it is what makes a dream into a dream garden. Allow the beautiful spaces on the next few pages to be the inspiration to make your own garden great and your land a littler grander from this summer and beyond.
A family-owned garden destination, Chalet has been the gold standard in landscaping for generations. Founded in 1917, the Wilmette business honors its distinguished past through consistent quality and dedication, but this Innovator of the Year, so named by Garden Center magazine, has its eyes firmly set on the future. In the hands of Chalet’s landscape architect Robert Milani and his team, a plot of land is transformed into a place to celebrate. His creations are bold and colorful but also deliberate: thought is given not only to the interplay of texture and location but to seasonality and sustainability. Chalet is located at 3132 Lake Avenue in Wilmette, 847-256-0561, chaletnursery.com.
Chalet created this beautiful landscape design inspired by French Country gardens with organized hedges, and planting beds filled with colorful perennials. Masses of hydrangea and roses add color throughout the summer and fall, while boxwood hedges anchor the form of the garden year-round. The patio was constructed with Valders limestone and bluestone inlay for added detail.
This Italian country villa garden was inspired by the home’s simple architecture and clean lines. A gravel motor-court welcomes guests to the front door, while a stone stepping path leads to a private walled garden and seating area. The back yard boasts a formal pool and hot tub. Evergreen hedges were designed and installed within the garden to provide privacy and add structure.
CRAIG BERGMANN LANDSCAPE DESIGN
For Craig Bergmann Landscape Design (CBLD), “The Art of Fine Gardening” is paramount. Situated in Lake Forest on the grounds of the historic Armour Estate, the design studio itself is a perfect example of a country garden that makes the most of its setting and feels right at home within it. It comes as no surprise, then, that the award-winning firm, which has been around for more than three decades, is best known for “establishing a true dialogue between the living garden and the architectural site.” Craig Bergmann Landscape Design is located at 900 North Waukegan Road in Lake Forest, 847-251-8355, craigbergmann.com.
ART DECO MANSE GARDEN SURROUND
At this historic home the existing pool and terrace were highlighted with a Great Dixter inspired pergola made from original clay roof tiles of the home, and the pool plantings and border garden were fully redone. Other design features included an Art Deco inspired fountain with zinc bowl cascading into a basin with carved limestone coping. The owner’s beautiful glazed terracotta four-season statues were also repaired and situated within a colorful perennial border garden viewed from within the residence.
From the intimate shade garden with gated entry views of the natural pond, to the covered terrace enveloped in the landscape, this home embraces nature to the fullest. The upper terrace garden embraces the home in flowers and capitalizes on the spectacular view to the pond. The motor court paving and foundation plantings strengthen the cloister effect of the Porte-cochère entry to the home, while wall systems provide screening, retention, and diffusion of public views to the yard.