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Grounds for Growth

Sustainable Landscape Design

for the Chicagoland Area and Beyond

We are in a period of challenge. The climate is changing, clean water is increasingly scarce, land keeps disappearing to development, and we are under attack by an economic crisis like none we have ever seen. Around the world there is a major effort to learn how to implement programs that will be more sustainable, that is, learning what we need to endure, to build systems that take into account our needs in balance with respect for our resources. At Grounds For Growth we are part of this process.

The key to our designs is collaboration with the client and the environment, with a full pallet of plants and hardscape materials. We work together in creating a final design that will please the client's particular aesthetic, a sustainable landscape utilizing plants, trees, and shrubs that are Illinois natives or suited to Chicago's climate, conditions, and able to thrive without long term high water needs or polluting chemicals.

Whether a yard in Chicago, a playground habitat, a community garden , a park , or industrial landscape - the process is the same. The dynamic integration of native plants, porous hardscape materials, and human sensibilities that results in a unique landscape or garden is a discussion between us all.


Every Site An Excellent Opportunity for Sustainability ~ Planning a new or rejuvenated landscape offers an opportunity to create a place of beauty, to take part in the preservation of our resources, and to save money in the long run. Utilizing permeable landscape pavers, native plants, and water saving irrigation systems are a few strategies. Others are ~ building raised beds to protect vegetables from lead and other poisons common in the soil, well placed treesthat will provide shade and indoor cooling, cutting the cost of air-conditioning. Rain gardens direct rain water from downspouts back into the ground where we need it and provide a flowering garden . A rain barrel is another way to capture rain water from a rooftop which can then be used to water the garden. A landscape can provide seeds and berries for birds, nectar for bees, an invitation to butterflies , and a joyful space of discovery.



"It doesn't take a degree in botany to be able to grow and enjoy ornamental grasses."

Nancy Ondra, author of 'Grasses, Versatile Partners for Uncommon Garden Design'

Native Illinois Plants