Landscaping is the process of designing, installing and performing maintenance tasks for a residential or commercial property or for a public area such as a park or the front of a municipal building. Landscaping can be performed by adding or modifying hard features or gardening elements with a help of a process called landscape design.
R & G Almanza Landscape Inc is a reputable outdoor designer offer landscaping services in the Chicago area to select residential, commercial and municipal clients. We have worked hard to earn our top-rated status and are grateful for the positive reviews from our numerous satisfied clients.
Chicago is a city that has always been close to our hearts, as a local and family-owned landscaping company deeply rooted in the community. From the lush greenery of Millennium Park to the stunning lakefront vistas of Lake Michigan, we draw inspiration from the natural beauty that surrounds us in this dynamic city.
We take great pride in being a part of the vibrant landscape of Chicago, with its countless parks, gardens, and public spaces that showcase the city's commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. Whether we are working on a residential, commercial, or municipal project, we always strive to create outdoor spaces that reflect the unique character and style of our beloved city.
From the urban oasis of the Garfield Park Conservatory to the tranquil beauty of the Chicago Botanic Garden, we understand the importance of preserving and enhancing the natural landscapes that make Chicago such a special place. Our team of experts is dedicated to using the latest techniques and materials to create outdoor spaces that are not only beautiful but also sustainable and eco-friendly.
We are proud to call the Chicago area our home and to to play a role in shaping the city's vibrant outdoor spaces. From the vibrant colors of spring to the cozy warmth of fall, we are always excited to help our clients create outdoor spaces that capture the unique beauty and character of our beloved city.
The purpose of landscape design is to improve usability and the enjoyment that an outdoor space can provide to its users, but also has some very practical applications, such as grading and flood prevention.
Landscaping can also be defined as the sum of softscaping, which means adding plants and living features to an area, hardscaping, which means adding hard elements such as architectural features ranging from walkways and fences to patios, water fountains and landscape lighting and grading, which is preparing the land by modifying the terrain. Some bigger projects might benefit from the guidance of a landscape architect. The process, known as landscape architecture, is part art and part science and its scope is larger than regular projects, which generally deal with modifying, improving and maintaining a few features of the land and not the the whole landscape.
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We use your vision & ideas to put together landscape plans for your exterior spaces: 3d renderings, budgeting and everything else needed, from concept to installation.
Chicago Growing Zone
A ‘hardiness zone’, also called a growing zone or a landscape zone, is a ranking system which divides the US in 11 individual zone, based on the average minimum temperatures in the winter months. The temperature difference between one growing zone and the next one is of 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Chicago hardiness zone is a crucial factor to consider when selecting plants for your landscaping. This growing zone is based on the average minimum temperatures in the winter months and helps determine which plants are best suited for the local climate. Chicago falls within zone 5b/6a, which means that temperatures can dip as low as -15° or -20 F in the winter.
While hardiness zones provide a helpful starting point, it's important to note that each landscape can host microclimates based on elevation, rainfall, wind, and hardscape elements such as walls and fences. In addition, the unique weather patterns and historical events in Chicago can also impact the local climate. For example, Lake Michigan influences the Chicago climate by moderating temperatures and resulting in more snowfall, cooler summers, and warmer winters. This can create unique growing conditions that may differ from other areas in the same hardiness zone.
When selecting plants for your landscaping, it's important to choose cold-hardy varieties that are well-suited for the Chicago hardiness zone. It's recommended to check the hardiness zone information on the plant label or packaging to ensure that it's a good fit for the local climate. Additionally, it's important to purchase plants from reputable garden centers that specialize in plants suitable for the Chicago growing zone.
By understanding the unique characteristics of the Chicago hardiness zone and selecting plants that are well-suited for the local climate, you can create a beautiful and thriving landscape that will stand the test of time.
The soil type in your garden is very important to your plants’ well-being. The dirt in the Chicago area is mostly a mix of clay (about 85%) and a small amount of loam soil. This influences the soil texture, its ability to retain water and nutrient availability.
Soil in the Windy City is also a between neutral to a little bit alkaline, between 7-7.5 pH. The pH of the soil influences the availability of nutrients to your garden plants and most of these plants thrive in slightly acidic soil, between 6-6.5 pH. In this case, plant growth and health might suffer because they will not be able to get enough nutrients through their roots.
Soil testing kits are widely available at garden centers, specialty stores and online. You can also hire a professional company to test your soil as its quality influences lawn care and your garden's health.
Maintaining a beautiful and healthy landscape requires proper drainage to prevent standing water and soil compaction. With the help of our drainage services, we offer a range of customized solutions to ensure that your landscape thrives and remains healthy all year round.
Our team of experts will evaluate your landscape and recommend the best drainage system for your specific needs. We specialize in a variety of drainage solutions, including French drains, catch basins, permeable paving, grading, and other customized drainage systems. We understand that every landscape is unique, and our team will work with you to find the best solution to improve your landscape's drainage and promote healthy plant growth.
With our world-class landscaping drainage services, you can enjoy several benefits. Proper drainage helps prevent soil erosion, reduces the risk of water damage to your property, and improves the safety of your outdoor space. Our services also increase the value and curb appeal of your property, making it a smart investment.
We use state-of-the-art technology and cutting-edge techniques to ensure that your landscape remains healthy and beautiful for years to come. Our team has the expertise to handle all types of drainage issues, from standing water after heavy rains to drainage issues caused by natural slopes or landscaping features.
If you're experiencing poor drainage or standing water on your property, don't let it damage your landscape or your property. Our team is ready to help you find a solution to improve the drainage and maintain a beautiful and healthy landscape.
Debris and pollution
The unpleasant and sometimes dangerous truth is that soil contamination is a real issue in some areas. Moreover, digging in some spots will uncover debris, such as construction debris. You cannot possibly predict these issues, but debris will increase your landscaping costs because it need to be removed and more topsoil added to replace it.
There are 2 ways how you can improve your garden soil:
Soil Composition & Lawn Care
You can do it by adding mulch or compost to your dirt. This will provide it with organic matter which provides your garden or lawn with nutrients, but it also improves water retention capabilities, helping with drainage issues.
It is very important to work the soil deep, 6-12 inches, because that is where the roots will need to have nutrient availability.
Improve Soil pH
If you need to increase soil acidity a little bit, you can do that by mixing in aluminum sulfate or sulfur (in the fall or spring). Sulfur may take months to convert, so most gardeners choose aluminum sulfate.
Before and after you do that, do not forget to test your soil. If you need help doing this, do not forget to ask our lawn care service expert to run the test for you.
A lot of people choose to use raised garden beds. This method of gardening has a lot of benefits, including the ability to use the best possible soil, but it still needs to be fertilized periodically.
How Chicago Weather Affects Your Landscape
The capricious local weather influences more than the growing zone. From strong winds, to hot summers and frigid winters, you need to make sure that your landscape will be able to withstand whatever Mother Nature throws its way.
The trees are the most affected by heavy winds, probably because any structural issues or cracked branches pose an imminent risk to their surroundings. They will also have to adapt to a changing climate and to be able to handle both warmer summers and frigid winters. For example, to address the climate changes, the USDA released a new plant hardiness map in 2012, which shifted the boundary between zone 5 and 6 with about 60 miles to the North and removed zone 4 from Illinois. Regular tree service is an important part of landscaping as it might uncover hidden and sometimes dangerous issues.
The heat zone also affects plants in the local area, although not as much as the hardiness zone.
Choosing the right plants for your garden will lower lawn care and landscape services costs.
Kentucky bluegrass – moderate to high maintenance. This grass species is the most popular lawn grass in the Chicago area. Best used in full sun to light shade areas, it has a beautiful appearance, recovers easily and fits all landscapes.
Fine fescues – less maintenance. It can be used in shaded areas, even in poor quality soils. Fine fescue also tolerates foot traffic better than other species.
Tall fescue – low maintenance, less lawn care required. It can tolerate foot traffic pretty well and it is also drought resistant. Tall fescue is less susceptible to pests and disease issues.
Perennial ryegrass – moderate to high maintenance. It is a quick establishing grass and deals with foot traffic well. Does not tolerate the winter temperatures in Chicago so well.
Using grass mixes is a popular practice for many Chicago gardeners and landscapers, because they provide diversity and an increased resistance to diseases and adverse growing conditions.
Choosing a tree to plant on your property can be overwhelming, just because there are so many factors, such as soil types, different levels of sunlight exposure and available space for the tree. Luckily, there are a variety of tools online, such as the Morton Arboretum Tree Selector, which will help you choose the best tree for your yard. Keep in mind that, generally, trees increase property value so you can look at your choice as an investment into the future.
Beautiful yards are meant to be enjoyed by people living on the property, or the ones that are visiting it.
However, while some of the landscaping services can be performed by almost anyone, such as gardening and lawn mowing, others need to be performed by experienced landscaping professionals.
Landscape Maintenance Services
These are some of the most popular residential landscaping services in the Chicago IL area:
Historically, lawns appeared when people in countries such as Europe and France started clearing the area around medieval castles to prevent unwelcome visitors to come through the forest, unseen.
As time passed, lawns became a symbol of power and wealth and they were a sought after feature for wealthy landscapes.
In present time, they provide and delimit a miniature oasis for homeowners and their families.
Some lawns are high maintenance and require specialized help to identify and deal with various issues and to keep them rich and vibrant. Others are more simple to maintain and require just an irrigation system.
Maintaining a healthy and beautiful lawn requires a lot of work and expertise, which is why you may want to consider hiring a professional lawn care service. R & G Almanza Landscape is a reputable provider of top-notch lawn care services at reasonable prices. We offer a range of services, including turf care and installation, lawn treatment, grass cutting, and more. Whether you need help with fertilizing, aerating, seeding, weed control, or pest management, our team of lawn care specialists has got you covered. We also provide irrigation installation services, lawn cleanup, installation, and renovation. Trust us to take care of your lawn so that you can enjoy a lush and green landscape all year round.
Gardening is both a fulfilling hobby and a practical way to produce fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs for your table. However, gardening can also be a lot of work, from planning and designing to weeding and watering.
With our gardening services, we provide expert assistance in all aspects of gardening to help you achieve your desired results without the physical strain. Our team specializes in garden design, maintenance, landscaping, installation, irrigation, and clean-up. Whether you need help with creating a stunning garden design, maintaining the health of your plants, or installing a new garden, we have the knowledge and skills to bring your vision to life. With help from our Chicago landscapers, you can enjoy the pure enjoyment of gardening without any of the hard work.
Patios are a versatile and practical addition to any outdoor living space. Not only do they provide a durable surface for activities like grilling, lounging, and entertaining, but they also serve as the foundation for other outdoor elements, such as fire pits, outdoor kitchens, and summer furniture. A well-designed patio can add significant value to your property and enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of your yard.
At our patio services, we offer a comprehensive range of patio-related services to help you create the perfect outdoor living space. Our team of experts can assist you with all aspects of patio installation, design, and renovation. We can help you choose the right patio materials, such as concrete, pavers, or natural stone, that will complement your home's style and meet your budget. Our team of designers can also work with you to create a custom patio design that incorporates your unique needs and preferences.
In addition to patio installation and design, we also offer patio renovation services to help you update and improve your existing patio. Whether you need to repair cracks or damage, or want to completely revamp your patio's look and feel, our team has the expertise to get the job done right.
See our patio installation services.
Cedar fences offer many benefits for homeowners, including enhanced privacy, security, and beauty. They are an excellent choice for defining property lines, keeping unwanted visitors out, and creating a safe and secure outdoor living space. Here are some of the specific benefits of cedar fence installation:
- Enhanced privacy: Cedar fences are an ideal way to create a private outdoor living space. They provide a barrier between your property and your neighbors, keeping prying eyes out. With the right design, cedar fences can also create a sense of seclusion and intimacy in your backyard.
- Increased security: Cedar fences are a great way to increase the security of your property. They can deter trespassers and provide a barrier to entry for would-be thieves. Cedar fences are also sturdy and durable, making them difficult to breach.
- Natural beauty: Cedar is a beautiful wood that adds natural warmth and character to any landscape. With its natural resistance to decay and weathering, cedar fences require less maintenance and provide long-lasting beauty.
- Versatility: Cedar fences come in a variety of styles and designs, making them a versatile choice for any home or landscape. Whether you prefer a traditional picket fence, a modern horizontal fence, or something in between, our team can design and install the perfect cedar fence for your needs.
- Durability: Cedar is a strong and durable wood that is resistant to decay, insects, and weathering. Cedar fences can last for decades with proper maintenance, making them a cost-effective choice in the long run.
- Sustainability: Cedar is a renewable resource that is harvested sustainably. Choosing a cedar fence is an eco-friendly choice that can reduce your carbon footprint and support responsible forestry practices.
We take pride in providing exceptional customer service and quality workmanship on every cedar fence project we undertake.
See our cedar fence installation services.
Of all the landscaping services, hardscaping requires the most amount of materials and labors, but it also provides your landscape with high value and endless possibilities. These are some of the most popular hardscaping features:
- Patios & paver patios
- Pavers and stepping stones
- Retaining walls
- Fire Pits and fireplaces
- Paths and walkways
- Driveway paving
- Water fountains & other water features
- Outdoor kitchens
- Outdoor paving
- General landscape construction
It is the practice of incorporating of native plants and decorative grasses into landscaping. Some of its benefits are reduced maintenance, natural hardiness and adding a wild beauty to any property. A knowledgeable landscape contractor will blend native plants with other elements to produce exquisite results that are also easily sustainable.
See our native landscaping article.
Our landscape designer will work with you to design outdoor living space of your dreams that matches your home's personality and it is both beautiful and practical. From design renderings to installing plants and hardscape elements, our landscaping company will take care care of every detail, no matter how small. Our landscape contractors will seamlessly incorporate your creative ideas into the plans, so you can be certain the final design will be just as you envisioned it.
Garden Clean Up
Done twice a year, in the spring and fall, keeping your yard neat and clean has multiple benefits:
- removing debris
- removing weeds
- leaf removal & cleanup
- preparing for new growth
- improving the looks of your garden
Snow Removal Services
Chicago is known for its harsh winters and heavy snowfalls are a common occurrence.
By using a professional snow removal service offered by one of the best landscaping companies, you can rest assured that the snow will be safely removed from your front yard without damaging the lawn.
To ensure prompt snow removal, you can contact us to set up regular services during winter.
The City of Chicago has a program called the ‘Easy Permit Program’. It allows obtaining a permit without supplying architectural plans:
- Fences higher than 5 ft. -Chain link or masonry walls require permits even if they are below that height
- Sheds (more than 70 sq. ft)
Some of the things you do not need a permit for are:
- Repairing or replacing playground equipment
- Repairing or replacing fences, other than chain-link or masonry and shorter than 5 ft
- Construction or alterations of some of the sheds up to 70 sq. ft. at residential buildings with 1-3 dwelling units
- Construction or alterations of some gazebos up to 150 sq. ft. at residential buildings with 1-3 dwelling units
This is not an exhaustive list and it regulations might change at any time, so it is always best for you or your Chicago landscaping contractor to check if a permit is needed.
Residential & Commercial Landscaping
Our installation company offers free quotes for design, installation and maintenance landscaping projects. We specialize in building landscapes that are both beautiful and functional, from feature installation to brick pavers, water features & commercial snow removal. Our 20+ years of experience has turned us into a top rated Chicago landscaping company.
Landscapers Near Me
A lot of people prefer hiring local landscape professionals that are operating in the nearby area. This reduces commuting costs, promotes faster service and ensures that the landscapers are familiarized with the soil types, microclimates and the plants that thrive in your area. We serve the greater Chicago area, including North shore suburbs.
Give us a call and we will put together a landscaping project that will increase both your property's curb appeal and value.
A Flourishing City with Deep Roots in Nature
From its very beginnings, Chicago has been a city deeply connected to its natural surroundings. Established in 1836, the city's name is derived from the Miami and Illinois tribes' word for wild leeks, a testament to the area's lush, fertile landscape. Chicago's founding vision as a "City in a Garden" with the motto "Urbs in Horto" set the stage for a long-lasting commitment to the preservation and enhancement of its green spaces. This dedication to creating a harmonious blend of urban and natural environments has given the city a unique identity and a remarkable landscape legacy.
Innovation and Expansion in the 19th Century
Chicago's rapid growth during the 19th century was driven by the rise of railroads and streetcars, turning the city into a bustling hub for freight and passenger rail as well as a manufacturing center for locomotives and freight cars. Amidst this urban expansion, the city's leaders and planners remained devoted to the establishment and improvement of parks and green spaces. This period saw the birth of notable landscape architecture projects, such as Riverside, Pullman, Washington and Jackson Parks, and the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, all of which contributed to shaping the city's unique landscape.
The Birth of the Prairie Style
In the midst of Chicago's urban growth, a group of landscape architects developed a style that would become synonymous with the Midwest. Jens Jensen, O.C. Simonds, and Alfred Caldwell introduced the Prairie Style, a distinctive approach to landscape architecture that sought to celebrate the region's natural beauty while promoting a sense of harmony between built and natural environments. This style has become an integral part of Chicago's landscape legacy, and its influence can still be seen in many of the city's parks and green spaces today.
Perseverance and Progress through the 20th Century and Beyond
The 20th century brought about numerous challenges for Chicago, such as the Great Depression, which halted the development of the ambitious Burnham Plan—a City Beautiful scheme that aimed to transform Chicago into a model urban environment. Despite these setbacks, the city remained steadfast in its commitment to its green spaces. New Deal programs like the Works Progress Administration (WPA) continued to develop parkland throughout the city, and modern landscape architects like Dan Kiley left their mark with iconic projects such as the Art Institute's South Garden and Milton Lee Olive Park. Chicago's landscape legacy endures, a testament to the city's unwavering dedication to preserving and enhancing its natural beauty for generations to come.
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