Clean and Contemporary Landscape

About this project: At Heynssens + Grassman, we offer the highest caliber of landscape maintenance services in addition to our design and installation services. The below project description and photo captions for the Clean and Contemporary Landscape were written for an awards submission. This Chicago area property received a Gold Award from the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association for the quality of the landscape maintenance. Heynssens + Grassman also designed and installed the landscaping and outdoor elements.

Project Description:
The landscape of this modern home reflects the same spare and sculptural style of the interior, where individual pieces of furniture and works of art can be appreciated for their form from a variety of perspectives. To keep the exterior spaces just as clean and orderly as the interior, a team of landscape technicians along with other green industry professionals and service personnel are engaged to that end, under the direction of the landscape contractor.

Site management consists of a twice weekly care regimen that begins in April and ends in November. In addition to the typical landscape operations of turf care and horticultural services, the landscape technicians and their service partners keep all exterior surfaces and elements glove-clean. The landscape maintenance director oversees the annual opening and closing of the saltwater pool, waterfall, and spa; the inspection and operation of the irrigation system; the maintenance of the extensive outdoor lighting system, as well as the IPM and arboriculture programs. Snow removal services and de-icing applications are performed in the winter, mindful of the impact that has on sensitive plant material.

The house and property underwent a major renovation 2007, with the rear yard cleared except for the one existing Honeylocust in the center, a dotting of arborvitae along the property line, and the parkway trees. All trees are under the care of a Certified Arborist to monitor their health and aid in their recovery from the construction.

Characteristics of the site itself, the minimalist design style, and the wide open views make it an imperative, as well as a challenge to maintain consistency among the plantings throughout the gardens. There are a number of fluctuations in site conditions across the property resulting in varying levels of sun/shade, moist/dry, and warm/cool spots. In many instances, massed plantings of one species will overlap multiple environments causing variations in growth rate, color quality, flower production, and disease susceptibility from one individual to next in the same grouping. Plant health care technicians must closely monitor conditions and take steps to help the plants tolerate such stressors.

With floor-to-ceiling windows spanning the full breadth of the rear side of the house, nearly every inch of the landscape is on view. The uninterrupted expanse of hardscape and planting beds, enclosed by privacy hedges, keeps the focus on the spaces and elements within.

When the homeowners host large garden parties the landscape technicians assist with set-up and follow-up afterward with a thorough site clean-up and grooming of the lawn and beds.
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The complex irrigation system is monitored and adjusted weekly. Irrigation heads throughout the 18 zones are turned on and off manually as fluctuations in soil moisture, temperature, sunlight and wind dictate. Photography by Linda Oyama Bryan
“clean contemporary” — PS Interiors
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The IPM and arboriculture programs include applications of soil insecticides to combat EAB as well as to suppress psyllids and spider mites, root-feeding of trees, and mycorrhizal inoculants. Photography by Linda Oyama Bryan
“Landscape & design elements” — tamg13
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Between the drivecourt and the front entry the structured planting of Boxwood and Blue Fescue are arranged on a grid to reinforce the home's geometry. All the Boxwood are shaped into identical cubes. Photography by Linda Oyama Bryan
“Just green in front yard?” — shari19
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Only a small fraction of this corner lot is planted in turfgrass. It is limited to a narrow strip along the edge of the driveway and outside the drive-court wall along the parkways. Groundcovers blanket the surface of all the planting beds. Photography by Linda Oyama Bryan
“maybe a simpler look in the front yard” — mimipjs
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The view from the front door into the drive court shows the great expanse of hardscape surfaces that need to be kept weed free. Pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides are used, in addition to hand-pulling of any weeds. Photography by Linda Oyama Bryan
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Photography by Linda Oyama Bryan
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Photography by Linda Oyama Bryan
“clean look” — mbmather
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Workers polish the stainless steel surfaces weekly. The contractor is responsible for winterizing and re-opening the cook station, and for testing the snow melt system. Furniture is removed and stored for the season. Photography by Linda Oyama Bryan
“Intéressant” — lucette777
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Photography by Linda Oyama Bryan
“Like how there is a lot of seating and it surrounds grill area” — michellefitt
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The weekly glove-clean service includes blowing and raking the bluestone chips, cleaning the furniture, countertops, appliances, window sills, light fixtures and walls, scrubbing algae/moss from the bluestone and stucco surfaces. Photography by Linda Oyama Bryan
“the chairs” — yrlawson
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Photography by Linda Oyama Bryan
“Seating” — shivainfra
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photography by Linda Oyama Bryan
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The strong inside-outside connectivity of spaces demands that the bluestone paving be as clean and debris free as the gleaming interior flooring. Scrubbing and blowing are performed carefully especially near the windows. Photography by Linda Oyama Bryan
“Extension for lounge/ garden” — cherylday
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The glass mosaic water feature is scrubbed to remove mineral deposits. The Stick Garden pieces are straightened or replaced as needed. Careful trimming and fertilizing of the Arborvitae have helped blend new specimens with existing. Photography by Linda Oyama Bryan
“can you make the back wall into a wall that connects to the fireplace?” — deedszoe
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