Design Your Front Garden with Sage Advice Feb. 9

Just about the time you get the gardening urge for 2018, you can learn from Sage Advice! Carol Becker will be teaching a course February 9, 2018, entitled “Creating a Memorable Front Garden” at The Morton Arboretum. Join her for a three-hour morning class where you will learn to apply design principles to your entry garden. You’ll go away with a first-draft plan and ideas about how to make it a reality. Click here to enroll.

Congratulations to our client


Carol Receives the Woman of the Year Award at the CLC Annual meeting December 7th

Sage Advice is proud to be the landscape company of choice for Carol Calabresa, who has just been honored by Conserve Lake County as their Woman of the Year, for her 30-plus years of community service in support of conservation initiatives in Lake County. Carol has served on the Conserve Lake County Board, the Forest Preserve Board, and the Lake County Board, where she is still a Trustee.

Sage Advice has worked for the past several years helping Carol and her husband Bill build a completely new residential landscape with native shrubs and forbs, on their property in Libertyville, Illinois.

Get the Kids into the Garden

Planting a vegetable garden or a row of summer flowers gives kids even as young as 4 or 5 the chance to dig in the dirt, learn where food comes from and feel comfortable outdoors. To help our kids avoid having Nature Deficit Disorder, a documented problem these days, it’s best to start early!

Are You Planting Milkweed?

From New Terrain, a newsletter of Ball Publishing: As many as 1.8 billion additional stems of milkweed plants in North America may return imperiled Monarch butterflies to a sustainable population size, according to a recently published U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study. Habitat plants in the Monarch’s Midwestern flyway are most important.

“Milkweeds in corn and soybean fields produce more Monarch eggs than milkweeds located in non-agricultural areas,” Wayne Thogmartin, USGS Research Ecologist, said in a USGS press release.

“Competing demands for space in these agricultural locations limit the highly desirable habitat available to milkweeds and Monarchs.”

More than 860 million milkweeds were lost in the northern United States over the last decade. Scientists with the USGS and collaborators examined the density of Eastern migratory Monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico from 1979-2002 and the amount of milkweed plants available to them in North America. The study found that 3.62 billion milkweeds are needed to reestablish the Monarch population, but only 1.34 billion remain in the U.S.

To subscribe to New Terrain, click here.

You Can Act Sustainably in Your Garden!

Winter is a great time to re-assess what you are doing to promote sustainability in the environment. Every gardener can do this, and it doesn’t need to be hard. Here are a few things to think about for next year!

Do you have a rain barrel?
Do you compost in your yard?
Are you returning the nitrogen in grass clippings back into your soil by using a mulching mower?
Have you added native plants to your garden, to help attract butterflies and bees?
Would a rain garden help the drainage in your yard?

These are a few questions that might help you think about sustainability!

It takes a village to help the Monarchs

Carol Becker and Cindy Grau, from the  Go Green Park Ridge Committee
Carol Becker and Cindy Grau, from the Go Green Park Ridge Committee
A single seedling with great rooting!
A single seedling with great rooting!

Sage Advice pleased to be able to offer help to an energetic committee in Park Ridge Illinois that is working to increase awareness of sustainability in our home suburb! One of the major projects of the committee this year is their Milkweed Project. The goal is to distribute 500 milkweed plants throughout the community this summer to help support Monarch butterflies. Committee members collected seeds last fall and this spring worked with Pizzo Native Plant Nursery who generously offered to stratify and germinate the seeds at their facility in Leland, Illinois. Plants will be ready in June for distribution throughout the community. Lurvey Landscape Supply in Des Plaines has offered to provide individual pots for seedings, and plants will be ready for distribution throughout the community in June. Committee members recently donated a day to help Pizzo Nursery transplant more than 8000 seedings into plug trays.

Thousands of plugs are replanted each day in spring.
Tens of thousands of plugs are replanted each day in spring.

Daylilies always brighten the garden

We had the rare privilege of visiting recently with daylily expert Ann Redmon from Manhattan Kansas. Ms. Redmon has cross-bred many daylilies in her acerage to create new varieties, and has registered four of them. Pictured here is one of her registered lilies, called “Hannah Banana.” Daylilies are great in any garden. But remember, you want cultivated varieties, not the common and very tall orange “ditch lilies” that spread by rhizomes and crowd out cultivated plants.

Daylilies are easy to care for and add bright spots of midsummer color in shades of yellow, orange, red, white, pink, even green like this one, and combinations of these colors. Ms. Redmon specializes in creating new lilies with narrower petals and a more modern look.

hannah banana

Sage Advice teaches Landscape for Life™ Classes

Carol Becker, owner at Sage Advice, will once again be teaching Landscape for Life™ this spring.

This series is designed for homeowners, and will teach you how to attract beneficial insects and birds, eliminate water problems, build healthy soil, cultivate a safe lawn, and reduce maintenance time in your garden.

Lurvey Landscape Supply 2550 Dempster St., Des Plaines, will offer the series in their new garden center starting April 2 and running for four consecutive Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Ms. Becker will teach all classes. Sign up HERE

The Morton Arboretum will offer the series starting April 19 in four evening classes from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and a final class on Saturday April 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Ms. Becker will be teaching the final class in this series. Sign up HERE.

Join us to learn how to create a great looking garden that’s healthier for you, your family, your pets, you pocketbook and the environment.