Garden Exotics of Chicago
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Gardening Challenges When I first began gardening with perennials I remember being faced with a seeming endless array of plants, all shapes and sizes and colors. I remember feeling a bit overwhelmed. I believe this type of feeling can strike gardeners of all levels of experience, because even as we gain experience, the garden we planted two years ago, or even last year, changes in our perceptions. The hot colors planted last year may appear gaudy in this year's eye; instead of that bright scarlet, perhaps an earthy burgundy will better blend with other colors in the garden. And then there are the new discoveries; that trip to the botanical garden and visions of flowers previously unknown, flowers that somehow must find a place in your garden. And then the mail order catalogs that begin to arrive, and new textures and color tones, foliage and flowers. Perhaps paradoxically, this sometimes overwhelming and seemingly endless variety is the element that makes garden design fascinating and potentially complex. The gardens and flowers you see on these pages were not designed in a year or even two, but grew out of actual planting and experimentation. Many times I moved perennials that performed poorly, that grew much larger than reference numbers, or failed to grow at all in our Chicago environment. And then, to put it bluntly, there were also combinations that were just too ugly to remain together in the garden.

How I Can Help You
Years of experimenting with new plants and combinations of color, foliage and texture has given me a perspective and knowledge that I believe can be useful in helping others design their own garden. And that is perhaps the most important element yet mentioned, that the garden design be something you find beautiful and perfect for your space, whether that be a balcony of contained plants or a large backyard garden. The adage of beauty in the eye of the beholder may be old and overused, but that does not make it untrue. If you are interested in gardening and creating a space that is uniquely yours, I believe that I can help. With my knowledge of the plants that will perform well in the Chicagoland area, together with your input on the type of color, color combinations and perhaps even feelings you want to evoke with own garden, I believe we can create a living tapestry that will please you year after year.

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