New Deciduous Shrubs for 2019

Every year, nurseries and plant growers present new deciduous shrubs for the growing season.  Below are some new shrubs presented by Proven Winners.

 

Scentlandia Sweetspire (Itea virginica ‘SMNIVDFC’ USPPAF)

This sweetspire promises to be more fragrant than other varieties and is sized (24”–36” tall and wide) to fit in any landscape.  It boasts longer, larger flowers that are more cold tolerant – hardy to zone 5 – and is a shade tolerant flowering shrub.  Sweetspire can handle wet soils as well as being deer resistant.

 

 

 

Suñorita Landscape Rose (Rosa x ‘Chewgewest’ USPPAF)

This continuous blooming rose sports orange flowers from spring through frost without deadheading.  Preferring full sun, this is a highly disease resistant variety.  With a mature size of 36”-48” tall and wide, this shrub can be used as a focal point or a flowering backdrop for other plants.

 

 

 

Bloomerang® Dwarf Purple Lilac  (Syringa x ‘SMNJRPU’ USPP 29,831)
Bloomerang® Dwarf Pink Lilac (Syringa x ‘SMNJRPI’ USPP 29,802)

These lilacs grow as a small, rounded shrubs (30”-36” tall and wide) enabling you to integrate it into the landscape easier than a conventional lilac.  Planted in full sun, blooms will cover it in spring and then reappear in summer and fall.  Deer resistant, this fragrant flowering shrub is hardy to zone 3.  As the name implies, Bloomerang Dwarf Purple has perfectly purple blooms and Bloomerang Dwarf Pink has pure pink blooms covering the plant (as you can see in the top photo).

 

 

Snippet® Dark Pink (Weigela florida ‘VUKOZLyra’ USPPAF)

Fitting perfectly in any sunny spot, this dwarf weigela has vivid pink blooms.  Like with other weigela, this shrub blooms in late spring, but then continues to rebloom all summer.  Deer resistant, this 12’-24’ tall and wide shrub works well to add color to any landscape.

 

 

Ready to add some color to your landscape?  Our Landscape Architects can help you make that happen.

With locations in both Chicago and Denver we are always ready to hear from you.

Ambrogio 4.0 Robotic Lawn Mower

The world of robotic lawn mowers is constantly growing and adapting.  In a previous post, Mack Land provided an overview of how robotic lawn mowers work.  We have also covered Ambrogio’s  GREEN line and PRO line.  Now, Ambrogio has released their 2019 NEXT line 4.0 models.

The Ambrogio 4.0 NEXT line has 2 models (Basic and Elite) that can be configured into six different robotic lawn mower models by changing the power unit.  This articulated robot adapts to change and is easily converted to meet your needs.

4.0 Basic

Mack Land, LLCThe 4.0 Basic model is ideal for those who want a simple and reliable robot that adapts to changes. It’s flexible, yet solid and secure structure enables the installation of three different types of Power Units, which allows it to convert from a robot small- to medium sized yards (with Power Unit Light up to .25 acres, Power Unit Medium up to .35 acres to a solution (Power Unit Premium) that covers up to .60 acres) with extreme precision. The brushless motors, rubber wheels and soft bumper complete the profile of an innovative robot that meets the most varied needs. Equipped with Bluetooth receiver, it can be controlled independently by a dedicated App. The new design also allows greater autonomy: the body designed around the blade provides quick and safe self-cleaning. The Basic 4.0 is the only customizable robotic lawnmower that changes with your yard!

 

 

4.0 Elite

Mack Land, LLC

The Elite model combines the features of flexibility and modularity with 4.0 technological innovation.
It comes with a ZCS Connect device that allows the safe connection of the robot anytime and anywhere, by means of GPS, Bluetooth and GSM technology.
With a simple touch, the robot can be stopped and started, and areas can be excluded. The Geofence Alarm allows the system to alert the user when the robot is taken from the yard. In this way, you will always be informed on the movements of your Ambrogio 4.0., with its evolved anti-theft system.
It can be combined with the Medium, Premium and Extra Premium Power Units going from .60 acres up to .90 acres coverage.
The Extra Premium kit permits equipping the robot with the inductive recharge. Ambrogio only has to touch the station, which is now smaller and less bulky, to recharge itself.
Inductive recharge avoids regular cleaning of the contacts. The adjustment of the blade height, now motorized, is also easy to operate, thus facilitating the use of your robot.
ZCS technology is more user-friendly and interactive for easier maintenance of your lawn in a completely autonomous manner. Always, anywhere, anytime… super smart Ambrogio!

 

Read more about these new mowers here.  If you live in the greater Chicago or Denver areas, give us a call to talk to us to see how a robotic lawn can work for you.

 

Pool Demolition and Removal in Northbrook, IL

Mack Land, LLC has specialized in removing pools for over 15 years.  Northbrook, IL is a community where Mack Land, LLC has consistently removed pool after pool.  Once summer we removed three pools on one street!  Over time we have built a great working relationship with the Village.

 

 

Northbrook, Il is one of the Villages that has seen a large number of older, failing pools be removed.  Because of this, they have put together a Swimming Pool Demolition packet that outlines their requirements.  Here at Mack Land, LLC, we follow their code and go above and beyond to make sure the pool removal is done properly.  Our smaller, low impact equipment allows us to easily access backyards.  This helps reduce any additional damage to the yard or the neighbor’s yard.

 

 

Homeowners have varying reasons as to why they are opting to have their pool removed.  Some want a larger backyard space, sometimes the pool is past repair, sometimes it is the first step in preparing the house for sale.   Whatever the reason, Mack Land, LLC is experienced and ready to get the pool removal project complete.

 

If you live within Northbrook, IL, Chicagoland or Denver metro areas, give Mack Land, LLC a call and we can discuss your pool removal project.

Littleton, CO Liner Pool Removal

Here is another Littleton, CO pool removal.  The homeowners came to the decision that they were not using the pool enough and wanted more usable backyard space.

This is another project where we did more than just remove the vinyl liner pool.  It is a perfect example of our Low Impact Pool Removal process.  All plastics and metals associated with the pool get hauled away and recycled.  All concrete associated with the pool is completely demolished.  It is processed into 8” fracture concrete gravel similar to PGE and used as fill. The pool area is restored to lawn. This method is lower impact and more cost effective because less has to be hauled in and out to fill in the pool.

With this Littleton, CO pool removal, we demolished the concrete walk around the pool.  We also removed a  concrete pad that did not serve a purpose for the homeowner.  All of the concrete was broken down and compacted in the bottom of the pool.  Homeowners are always given the option to have all portions of the pool hauled offsite even if leaving concrete onsite is accepted.

We also removed the failing timber retaining wall around their Colorado Blue Spruce.  The homeowners had a plan to create an outdoor seating area with a fire pit in this area.  We assisted the homeowners with starting the new seating area.  We met onsite at Santa Fe Sand & Gravel to hand pick several large granite boulders to reinforce the area where the timber wall had been.  The final seating area and new lawn area were completed by the homeowner.

If you live in the greater Denver or Chicago areas, make sure to contact us for a free quote to remove your pool.

Barrington, IL Indoor Pool Removal

The majority of the pools we remove are outside.  However, we also specialize in indoor pool removals.  Indoor pools present their own set of challenges.  With this Barrington, IL pool removal, we removed both the pool and the surrounding structure.

Our clients recently moved into the house and had no intention of keeping the indoor pool.  Mack Land, LLC worked with both the buying and selling realtors to facilitate the the pool removal process.  We were able to start the permitting process while they were closing on the house, allowing us to start as soon as they moved in.

The indoor pool had been an addition to the house and was not consistent with the architecture.  Unfortunately, some details of the structure were costly to maintain and increased the moisture levels in the main house.  The roof of the structure had previously been damaged by hail.  While it had been repaired, it was most likely going to sustain damage again in any strong storm.  Most structures are not salvageable but this one was a prefab aluminum structure that could easily be re-purposed.  In this case, the homeowner was able to resell the structure.

Mack Land, LLC

With this project, we went above and beyond code and removed all of the concrete both from the surrounding structure and the pool, and disposed it offsite at a recycling center.  Some of the brick work was stockpiled for future use to repair where the enclosure was attached to the main house.

After importing backfill and compacting in place, we fine graded the area to match the existing lawn.  The existing structure had landscape beds around the perimeter.  We worked to reconfigure the existing planting beds that were to remain so that they flowed nicely and did not look as they were leftover The client opted to finish with grass seed and blanket.

So if you live in the greater Chicago or Denver area and are looking to have your indoor pool removed please make sure to contact us. Also make sure to visit our experience page to see some of our previous pool removal work.

Shrubs for Winter Interest

While flowering shrubs are fantastic through the spring and summer, to truly get color year-round, we need to look at shrubs that provide winter interest.  This can be accomplished through evergreen foliage, colorful branches, or berries.

Classic Evergreens

If you lean towards a more formal planting, boxwoods are great with their neat, tight forms that require minimal maintenance.  Chicagoland Green is a popular variety known for its cold tolerance and compact growth.  Green Velvet is a smaller variety that holds its glossy green color through the winter.  All boxwoods benefit from some winter protection.  Winter Gem is a variety that does best situated on the north side, protected from wind.

Bright Berries

Red berries popping against snow covered backgrounds is a timeless look in the winter.  Cranberry Cotoneaster – as its name implies – has cranberry sized red berries that persist through the winter.  Red Chokeberry is a great deciduous shrub that lends towards creating a hedge.  Not only does it give you great red fall color, its red berries persist through the winter.

Architectural Interest

Not all shrubs are grown for their foliage, its what shows up after the leaves had fallen that is the real show stopper.

Red Twig Dogwood is often a shrub used as a background plant.  However, its flashy red stems in winter make it stand out.  Arctic Fire Dogwood is a smaller variety that is easier to integrate into the landscape and still get those dark red twigs.

If you are looking for a focal shrub that has everyone asking, “What is that?”, Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick is it.  This slow growing deciduous shrub is known for its interesting gnarled and twisted branches.  While it will capture your attention year-round, the show yellowish-green catkins are striking in the winter.

Ready to add some winter interest to your yard?  Our Landscape Architects can help you make that happen.

With locations in both Chicago and Denver we are always ready to hear from you.

Denver, CO Fiberglass Pool Removal

Most of our pool removal requests come in from private homeowners.  Yet sometimes we work directly with other contractors.  With this project, we were contacted by Phase One Landscapes.  Their client was looking to do a complete makeover of their back yard.  This included removing the in-ground pool and pool deck that currently dominated the space.  That’s where Mack Land, LLC came in.

The pool at this property was a fiberglass shell surrounded by a concrete pool deck and patio.   As with many Denver locations, the access and room to maneuver around the site was tight.  Here our use of smaller compact equipment allowed us to get the job done without impacting the surrounding features.  As with all our pool removal projects, we disconnected the pool equipment and capped the utilities properly.  Once we drained the pool, we removed the fiberglass shell and disposed it offsite.  Then we broke up and removed the entire concrete pool deck and patio.

 

 

The new backyard plan included installing a new recycled brick paver patio over the pool area.  This can be tricky, however, there are ways to backfill appropriately so it can be done.  For this project, we backfilled with structural fill and compacted it in layers using a Sheep Foot Vibratory Compactor.  With this process, we were able to firmly compact the base material, preparing it properly for the recycled brick paver installation to be completed by Phase One Landscapes.

 

 

The backyard makeover went smoothly and everyone involved is happy with the outcome.

We have been specializing in removing pools for over 15 years and are experts in the field. If you live in the greater Denver or Chicago areas, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.

Water Feature

That high maintenance eye sore of a pool has eventually been removed and you are considering replacing it with a water feature.

There are many types of water feature, here we will discuss a few of them.

Whether you opt for buying an affordable pre-made fountain or decide to build your own, you’re bound to get some great inspiration from a water feature that highlight nature’s most important element. Backyard water features serve any lifestyle and budget.

There are 5 main groups of water feature.

PONDS:
The four basic types of ponds are, reflecting pools, ornamental pools, water gardens and fish ponds. Each of these may be any size, shape or depth.

WATER GARDENS:
Water gardens are living water features, replete with aquatic plant life that is full of vibrant colors and textures. Plants, both inside and outside the perimeter of the pond create a lush natural setting.

Landscape architecture by the professionals

FOUNTAINS:
An almost limitless variety of shapes and sizes of fountains may be added to your water feature. The sound of water tumbling and splashing on itself combined with a refreshing mist carried by the breeze is truly invigorating.

WATERFALLS:
Like fountains, waterfalls add sound, motion and vitality to your water feature. Often created with natural stone slabs or boulders, waterfalls bring a vertical dimension. Waterfalls capture your interest from a distance as they dance and flow.

STREAMS:
Streams are ideal for meandering along paths, walkways or even pool decks. Acting as natural filters, streams are often designed to flow into waterfalls and cascade into a pond to help sustain the entire ecosystem of a water feature.

The folks at Better Homes and Gardens have a great article discussing five simple DIY designs that you can probably get done in a weekend or two.

There are many things that you can do with the space created as a result of a pool removal. Make sure to read our blog for more ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

Winterize your Pool

What steps should be followed to winterize your pool?

We have published many articles about pool liability, the real estate value of removing your pool and pool removal in general.

There’s no doubt about it—summer’s coming to a close. If you live somewhere with cold winters (or just want to close your pool for the season) and are not quite ready to have your pool removed, you should be thinking about how to winterize your above ground pool.

When people talk about the approaching winter, the pool is not what they have in mind. But knowing how to prepare your pool for the winter is one of the smartest and most important things you can do. If you winterize your pool can save you some very costly repairs. Pool manufacturers won’t honor the warranty on a pool if the damage was due to failure to properly maintain the pool. So don’t waste any time — start winterizing your pool.

Some people do not realize how valuable their efforts now will be toward setting up a swimming pool for next year. Those people often end up with pools that are slimy and green when summer comes back around. Then, instead of cleaning it up, they are left with draining it and starting fresh. Do you really want to waste that much water if you don’t have to? Instead, why not simply learn how to winterize your above ground pool? It only takes a little effort and your swimming pool will be nearly ready for next year.

If you do your own pool maintenance then what follows here is an 11 point best practice check list for you to follow to correctly winterize your pool. If you use a pool maintenance service then make sure to have a discussion with them highlighting these 11 points.

1. Gather Your Pool Closing Supplies

2. Clean Your Pool One Last Time

3. Test and Tweak Your Water for Winter

4. Add Winterizing Chemicals

5. Clean and Plug Your Lines

6. Protect Your Skimmer

7. Winterize The Filter and Pump

8. Clean and Stash Your Accessories

9. Lower the Pool Water (If Necessary)

10. Install the Pool Pillow

11. Install the Pool Cover

For more details on all of these steps read this article by the folks at Swim University.

Of course if all of this is just too much to bear and you have already been thinking about having your pool removed then you’ve arrived at the right place.

If you live in the greater Denver or Chicago area then please contact us for a friendly chat and we will discuss your pool removal options.

 

Highland Park, IL Concrete Pool Removal

Here is another all concrete pool removal we completed in Highland Park, IL.

Our clients had recently purchased the home and jumped in renovating the inside.  The pool outside however, had them at a loss.  The previous homeowners had not used the pool in the last 10 years and the costs to bring it back to a usable pool were excessive.

 

 

As this large and very deep pool dominated the yard.  Our clients decided to remove the pool and restore the area back to lawn.  This gave them more usable space and a safe area for their young son to play in.

 

 

While not all towns require all parts of the pool to be removed prior to backfilling, our client opted to have all the concrete hauled out.

 

We removed the lower concrete pool deck and left the upper concrete patio in place.  Our smaller machines were able to reduce the impact on the large trees on site we were protecting. After backfilling and compacting, we finished with pulverized black dirt, grass seed and erosion control blanket.

We have been specializing in removing pools for over 15 years and are experts in the field. If you live in the greater Chicago or Denver areas, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.