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Northbrook Landscape Design | Northbrook IL Lawn Care

Ready to Design Your Own Northbrook, Illinois Landscape?

Best Northbrook Landscape Company: Full Service Design+Build

Landscape Design | Landscape Installation | Landscape Maintenance

Does the landscape of your Northbrook home reflect the beauty and luxury within? If you can’t answer “yes” to this question, you need Van Zelst's landscaping services. For almost four decades, our landscape designers and landscape architects have worked with clients across the North Shore to revamp, revitalize and refurbish tired, worn out or dysfunctional landscapes.

We make it easy to get started and we’ll lead you the whole way. Our professional landscape designers will work with you to help brainstorm and hone your vision. We'll talk through ideas and design a landscape plan that will fit your unique needs. Whether you have one particular project in mind or are thinking about a comprehensive plan for your entire property, we have the skills and experience necessary to help you make your dream yard a reality. We are experts at beautifying outdoor spaces. We also offer lawn care services and provide free estimates. We pride ourselves on excellent customer service. Just see what our clients have said.

What Our Clients Are Saying:

I could not have been happier with Van Zelst! These guys are true professionals. The crews were there on time and a pleasure to work with. We had a pretty extensive bluestone hardscape and although it was very expensive it does complete the look of the home perfectly. David is a true gentlemen and I look forward to working with them in the future.

--Lori Ferrra

Simply the best in the industry. Exceeds expectations and just gets things done. David's knowledge competes with the Chicago Botanic Gardens - awesome job!

—Tom Lockowitz

Heavily-Wooded Properties Can Have Beautiful Landscapes Too

The Van Zelst team has  worked with this North Shore family to implement a larger landscape and hardscape plan that includes a number of pathways and seating areas. Stone pathways help the homeowners and their guests traverse from one area of the property to the next, while crushed bluestone ensures that pavers are held steady without creating any drainage issues. Pachysandra offers a lovely ground cover without impeding on the walkway, and broad-leafed hosta adds contrast in both shape, size and color. Container plants positioned at different areas along the path provide pops of color, and landscape lighting makes it easy (and safe) for the family to enjoy their garden well into the evening.

Many homeowners mistakenly believe that a shady yard limits their choices for a beautiful landscape, but as one Northbrook family found out, this simply isn’t the case. The family initially got in touch with Van Zelst several years ago to complete a shade garden in one particular area of their yard. But when they saw how amazing that garden turned out, they decided to continue working with Van Zelst to develop a larger plan for their entire landscape, a heavily-wooded property with many mature trees.

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Colorful lilies and shade loving astilbe offer plenty of color in the shade.
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Like other hostas, the broad-leaf plant seen here, the June hosta typically grows about 18-24” and is tolerant of the morning sun, making it a good candidate for areas like this area of the Northbrook garden that receive shade for the majority of the day. Hearty and attractive, it is suitable both as a groundcover or as an accent plant in the garden, serving as a beautiful backdrop to colorful plants. Tasteful garden sculptures allow the homeowners’ personalities to shine through.
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Also called “false goat’s beard” because of its shape and texture, astilbe is recognizable by its fluffy blooms that tower above its fern-like leaves. A plan Van Zelst often uses in shade gardens in Northbrook and the North Shore, astilbe is extremely shade tolerant, providing a beautiful contrast in color, texture and size when planted alongside the equally shade tolerant hosta.
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One of the Northbrook homeowners’ requests for their landscape was to provide dedicated seating areas, as well as areas for seating along the property’s pathways. One creative solution Van Zelst’s landscape architects developed was this tree chair, creating a practical yet whimsical place for one to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the garden. Lush ground cover surrounding the area allows the tree chair to seem like what it once was and still is; a natural part of the environment.
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Part art, part seating, all beauty, the homeowners’ commissioned the creation of a custom butterfly bench to grace an area along a curved part of the garden path. The cutouts in the butterfly’s wings and its neutral color palette allow it to become almost an organic part of the landscape as if it is lighting upon the nearby astilbe before continuing its journey.
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Hosta is available in a variety of shades, including vibrant lime green which absolutely pops against the bright purples, pinks and reds of the perennials that bloom near this seating area during warmer months. Van Zelst’s designers extended an existing seatwall to create a new fountain, using stone that was aged to match the existing stone for a consistent look.
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The Northbrook homeowners enjoy vibrant color nearly everywhere they turn during the spring and summer months. In the foreground, bright astilbe (“Montgomery”) red and pink flowering perennials capture the eye, while pastel astilbe (“Peach Blossom”) provides another more subtle pop of color. Astilbe prefers at least part shade, but can tolerate full sun if regularly irrigated.
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To enhance their landscape’s livability even further, the homeowners recently requested that the Van Zelst team add an outdoor shower to their space. Van Zelst’s landscape architects delivered a luxurious outdoor shower with high-end fixtures that includes a mix of bamboo, concrete and stone.

Multiple Entertainment Spaces in One Landscape

With a desire to create multiple places to entertain guests, maximize their green space and align their landscape and home aesthetics, these Northbrook homeowners connected with Van Zelst on a multi-phased project that included one big change: the removal of an outdoor pool that didn’t suit their lifestyle and took up too much space. Van Zelst’s architects worked with the homeowners to create a thoughtful, comprehensive plan that addressed all of their needs, ultimately delighting the homeowners and winning a silver Illinois Award for Landscape Design for the project.

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After the removal of the pool, the Van Zelst team had much more room in the backyard with which to work. Throughout the property, designers created stone pathways surrounded by ground cover greenery and flowering plants of varying heights, colors and textures, to generate visual interest. Wood mulch between the stone pavers provides a color contrast and assists with drainage.
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The homeowners wanted to change the aesthetics of the front of their home as well, and a new driveway made a huge impact. Van Zelst created a dramatic entryway using asphalt bordered by clay pavers. A perfectly manicured lawn with mature trees and a pop of color from the perennial plants that flank both sides of the front door complement the homeowners’ minimal vibe beautifully.
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One of the home’s many seating areas, this casual seating area has a slightly rustic feel. Stone pavers are surrounded by grass, allowing the area to feel as if it is a natural part of the environment that has always been there. Additionally, Van Zelst’s designers ensured that plantings in this area had a similarly organic feel, as if the garden had simply been growing and the homeowners decided to place seating there to take advantage of the beautiful surroundings.
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In contrast, another of this Northbrook home’s seating areas has a much more buttoned-up, formal feel, even though many of the same plants used in the casual garden are also used here. The flagstone pavers that make up the flooring for the area create a clean look that is complemented by the precisely manicured flowers and greenery.

Another area of the property offers a unique opportunity for entertaining; a secluded in-ground fire pit surrounded by mature foliage and trees. This part of the property is the epitome of rustic, with large stones serving as seating and smaller stones denoting the perimeter of the pit. Wood mulch keeps the area free from weeds and provides consistency with other areas of the landscape.

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Get in Touch to Expand Your Living Space and Your Happiness

Could your Northbrook landscape be doing more to enhance the beauty of your home? Are you able to spend as much time outside during the spring and the fall as you’d like? Your landscape should serve as a reflection and extension of your home, and be something that you can enjoy with family and friends. The landscape architects at Van Zelst can show you the way to transform your so-so yard into an outdoor living space you can’t wait to spend time in. Contact us today for a no-cost consultation.

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