Manicured gardens burst with simple beauty

Just one look and you can see the planning that went into the garden areas around Chris Steiner’s Flossmoor home. Ornamental trees and leafy hostas line the walkway. Rows of perennial plants are abundant but well maintained.

Carefully positioned ornamental bushes and trees make Chris Steiner’s manicured garden spaces extra special. (Provided photos)
  Carefully positioned
  ornamental bushes and trees
  make Chris Steiner’s manicured
  garden spaces extra special.
 
(Provided photos)
 

It’s no wonder the large property was a stop on the Union Street Gallery Garden Walk a few years ago. 

“When we moved in 10 years ago, the woman who lived there before us was on the Flossmoor Garden Walk,” Steiner said. “She had died and so it was all overgrown.”

Over the next decade, Steiner has brought the property proverbially back to life with help from her husband, Scott, and their four sons, Tim, 22; Kevin, 21; James, 18; and Eric, 14. 

She channeled a love and knowledge of gardening she gained from her mother.

Steiner also got help from Tyler Thompson, owner of Bent Oak Landscape in Flossmoor, to plan her green spaces. 

“He started me off and since then I’ve been able to do a lot on my own, with my husband’s muscles,” Steiner said.

In addition to her perennial gardens, which don’t require watering, she places potted hydrangeas strategically around the house. This setup allows her to more easily maintain flowers that require more maintenance.

  An aerial view of the Steiners'
  home shows off the manicured
  garden areas.

 

“I love hydrangeas, I have them all over my yard, Steiner said. “The flowers are so beautiful. The blue ones — my God, how does this thing even happen in nature?”

Steiner said she prefers to place plants of the same color and variety in one location, creating a strong visual impression. The design also provides a curb appeal she loves.

“I think the mass planting of anything gives you more of an impact. I stick with a monochromatic scheme, I like pinks and whites, no reds,” she said.

“One time I planted a bunch of different plants together and when I drove past my house, it just looked messy; it doesn’t look like anything. I just think (now) it matches better and it’s seamless.”

Steiner’s family owns County Fair Foods grocery store in Beverly, and she said she gets 90 percent of her flowers from the store. She works there as assistant manager in charge of, among other things, the floral department.

Having a beautiful, manicured garden requires trial and error, a financial investment and hard work. Steiner said she helps friends plan landscaping and gardens around their homes, and this is what she tells them they’ll need to put in:

“People say, ‘I don’t want anything with any work,’” Steiner said. “There’s always going to be some work. If you want it to look good and not overgrown, you’ll have to put in some effort.”
 

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