Chicago, Il
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When “South Side Roots”, speaks to “Your Landscape is an Investment”, we recognize every potential landscape as a unique beginning from the site specifics (topography, soils, sun/shade issues, existing plant materials, etc.), owner or user(s) need and requirement(s), and potential situations to overcome. We cater to each site with the upmost professionalism and industry standard; whether it be a single family home, multi-family property, a neighborhood business district, a strip mall or even a school facility. In the urban inner city community we also recognize and respond accurately to the close proximity of people, properties and structures along with traffic flow and movement (people, bike and vehicle, etc). With these factors in mind, we view this conversation from "a livable compliment" and "an urban ecological enhancement" perspective.

“A Livable Compliment”:
“A Livable Compliment” is attractive, easily managed and consists of plant materials, which support a diverse ecosystem. To the plant material issue, native vegetation must not be diminished by aggressive invasive plant material and species. A livable urban environment is one with safe, walkable streets, stable property values along with viable neighborhood business districts and corridors. Landscape designs and their installations, which create a supportive attractive ambience, is critical in the urban environment. It is important and ideal that each property owner and resident have a responsibility with this critical subject, as well as accountability to this livable environment!

“An Urban Ecological Enhancement”:
“An Urban Ecological Enhancement” considers habitats in the landscape for birds and butterflies, as well as plant materials necessary to support such.Issues involving storm water and flooding are given serious consideration with how the landscape design and gardens, such as rain gardens and associated plants, may assist in mitigating such situations. Our built urban environments must recognize and incorporate nature and select habitats of support in landscape designs and their installations.

In our diagram “Your Landscape is….”, We developed a visual representation. To the point of this conversation, when mentioning “investment”, the first thought that tends to come to one’s mind is the dollars, how much?  The initial outlay and not the life of, in turn the return on the investment, is rarely considered in landscape services! 

Allow me to present something for thought and consideration… Urban forestry, which are landscapes within urban inner cities, are and will become significant to all. The built environment is and will continue to have an impact on all environmental, climatic and carbon footprint issues (collectively and individually). Plant materials are nature’s integral components in addressing such. The value in a landscape is and will continue to become more significant in urban inner cities and the built environments. In and around school landscapes will become even more important, not just for aesthetic purposes, but in teaching ecological and environmental topics of sciences, art and culture. Technology will be a major component for data collection, design and so much more. Issues concerning invasive and native plants and water issues have become very important and will continue to.  

The left vertical axis represents the initial expenditure, which is the total cost incurred: consultation, design/plan, any permits, surveys, agreements and complete installation (total of all activity from start to finish).

The horizontal line is a representation of time from a completed landscape installation/project. This is done to indicate the growth and maturing of the landscape, its plant materials (softscape) and settling of hardscape construction (stonework, pergola) etc.

In this model, we illustrate a developed landscape design that was properly installed and taken care of from the start, the maintenance will continually become less and less. The plant materials, as they mature and become established, will need minimal care. As the landscape matures, it reveals all of its beauty and features throughout the year through seasons; the value (return on investment) is now recognized.  What would it cost to replace this exact landscape at its point of maturity?