Gardener in Antioch

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The Barn Nursery & Landscape Center's landscape architects, horticulturists, and construction crews regard any stretch of dirt and grass as blank canvas. Upon that canvas, they paint vistas of domestic bliss, blending beautiful plants raised in their 10-acre nursery with elaborately designed custom patios, decks, and pools. They capably incorporate any elements into their design that a homeowner might desire, including built-in fire pits for old-fashioned pig roasts or new-fashioned ritualistic sacrifices of cell phones. They draw not only on their artistic eye to inform their designs, but also upon more than 50 years of experience turning backyard dreams into practical realities.

8109 Il Route 31
Cary,
IL
US

In 1952, after years of experience in the nursery industry, Urban Reckamp planted the first seeds of his own horticultural business, Harvard Nursery. Twenty years later, the next generation of Reckamps, Tim and Pam, took over, letting the nursery's success grow through word of mouth, an established reputation in the community, and a stockpile of magic beans. Bringing a bachelor's in horticulture and an education background in design, the third generation, Kevin and Nina Reckamp, sprouted their roots as the new management of the nursery in 2010.

Today, with 60 years of experience under its belt, the nursery offers visitors a plethora of greenery. Its retail garden center blooms with locally grown verdant saplings and effulgent perennials guaranteed to appease the pickiest of garden gnomes. In addition to onsite dealings, its experienced crew can also travel to nearby locations to perform landscape design, enhancement, and maintenance.

5801 Island Rd
Harvard,
IL
US

The bond between John and Lisa Jo White was built around a mutual love of horses. The pair met in 1990 at the National Show Horse Finals in Louisville, while Lisa Jo was coaching an equitation rider. Over the course of the next decade, they would get married, start their own stable, and garner national recognition showing arabian performance horses. Sadly, John passed away in 2009, but Lisa Jo carries on his legacy as the head trainer and operator of the year-round facility. Within her expansive indoor riding arena—outfitted with a heated wash rack, quarter-mile track, and viewing area—she trains all ages to become capable riders, knowledgeable with horsemanship, and confident enough to take their horse to the prom. In recognition of her success with students, the Arabian Horse Times has awarded Lisa Jo with its Reader’s Choice Instructor of the Year Award three years running.

9006 W Wonder Lake Rd
Woodstock,
IL
US

For more than four decades, Weed Man's licensed-and-trained lawn-beautifying experts have tended to local lawns with custom blends of fertilizer, environmentally sound pest-control solutions, and knowledge gleaned from both living and working in the community. Created exclusively for Weed Man, the technicians' slow-release granular fertilizer nurtures lawns over a period of several weeks, and seeding and aeration promote continued green growth. Advice that aims to assist with local lawn problems helps inform patrons online, illuminating seasonal troubles, gardening trends, and the astrological signs of various plants.

830 Seton Ct
Wheeling,
IL
US

More than a century after it blossomed into a circus headquarters and hosted dozens of acts, including P.T. Barnum's legendary Greatest Show on Earth, the town of Delavan proudly exhibits its distinctive past. Big-top tributes can be seen at Tower Park, where statues of circus animals such as a giraffe and an elephant savor their amnesty from mini-golf courses. Delavan's early days live on through Greek Revival architecture that dates back to the mid-1800s, including the Allyn Mansion and the Israel Stowell Temperance House, originally an alcohol-free safe haven that eventually served as a government meeting center.Delavan's quaint downtown district, lined with old-fashioned lampposts and brick-paved walkways, boasts an assortment of antique stores and small cafés. Throughout the rest of the town, well-manicured parks and 13 miles of forested shoreline along Delavan Lake create a scenic backdrop for horseback rides, hiking, water recreation, and composing haikus on the ground with leaves.

2400 E Geneva St
Delavan,
WI
US

Founded in 1991 by an enterprising high-school freshman, Apex Landscaping dispatches more than 60 personable personnel to groom clients’ lawns and gardens. With today’s deal, choose between seven varieties of annual flowers to decorate your garden this summer—sprinkle gardens with dainty impatiens, light up a field with some fiery marigolds, or plant sharp snapdragon spikes below windowsills to deter pie thieves. A landscape technician will help homeowners decide where to place plants, then an army of installers will dimple gardens with holes to house 108 root systems. Upon request, they can also sprinkle new arrivals with organic fertilizer or sing them chlorophyll-themed lullabies to soothe the transition into their new homes.

3145 Landwehr Rd
Northbrook,
IL
US