Strike a Balance of Softscapes and Hardscapes

There was a time when only the softscape — plant material — really mattered in landscaping. But now, you’ll find a good mixing of plant material and hardscaping — that is, heavy elements that add structure and function.

Genuine Northwest

Check out these unique destinations that reflect the genuine character of our region.






10 Points to Ponder for Gardening Success

You gardeners are just to turn over some dirt. But before your shovel hits dirt, take some time to stop, plan and think. Here’s what you need to consider.






For a Colorful Yard, Fixate on Fall Foliage

Sure, fall is a great time to witness vibrant colors in your yard, but it’s also a great time to plant flowers and shrubs that look great in any season. Discover a few plants that just plain love fall weather.






Country Church/City Church

Organized religion played a major role in the settling of Illinois and continues to influence the culture of our region. We highlight two places of worship, one in the country and one in the city.






Baird & Warner Celebrates 160 Years of Service

What’s now the largest real estate broker in Illinois and the oldest in the nation has certainly grown with its hometown. The values of its founders still ring true today, through five generations of family ownership.






Planting a Pet-Friendly Garden

It’s hard to believe, but nearly 400 plants can be poisonous to cats and dogs. Learn from the landscape experts how to protect your animals and your gardens from nosy critters.






The Village Vintner Winery & Brewery: Food for Beer and Wine

An Algonquin-area favorite is back, and better than ever, with a full-service winery, brewery and restaurant all in-house.






Success Story: Platt Hill Nursery

Meet a fourth-generation grower who’s spent 30 years building a knowledgeable staff, pleasing loyal gardeners with quality plants. And to think he almost went to Wall Street …






20 (Or More) Great Ornamental Trees

Ornamental trees can add shade, color and liveliness to any landscape, but there’s a certain art to finding the right one for your landscape. Learn about the best varieties and what makes them so popular.