New Backyard

January 22, 2021
Home backyard landscaping

Chicago's lakefront is a triumph of city planning — the preservation of the city's chief physical asset for use by the public instead of by factories and wealthy, private homes. It's the city's front yard.

Until recently, the Chicago River has not received the same loving attention. Though Daniel Burnham included riverfront promenades in his 1909 Plan of Chicago, most of the land along the river has long been inaccessible or unappealing — a mix of scrub trees and litter, industry and private property. The river was known mainly for pollution and the fact that it was engineered to flow backward.

But in the past 20 years, that perception has changed dramatically, with a series of improvements through public and private development. Counting the downtown Riverwalk — the final segment opened to the public this past weekend — the riverfront has about 13 miles of disconnected trails, with another 1.7 miles under construction.

Now, the Active Transportation Alliance, which promotes biking and walking, says it is time to make a Burnham-style big plan for what could be the city's backyard. The alliance laid out a bold vision in a preliminary report last week suggesting ways to make a continuous bike and pedestrian trail along the entire 27-mile Chicago riverfront by 2030.

"The stars are aligning to make this happen, with the popularity of The 606, the popularity of the Riverwalk and a mayor who generally supports these kinds of things, " said Ron Burke, the alliance's executive director.

The alliance's report comes three months after the release of a planning document called "Our Great Rivers, " by the Metropolitan Planning Council, Friends of the Chicago River and the city, which also discussed a continuous trail along the river. The alliance's preliminary report took it a step further and supplied details about how it could work. A full report comes out Nov. 16.

The ideas for new trail segments range from the more easily achievable — developers on the riverfront south of the Loop including a trail as part of their project, for example — to more complicated ideas such as putting stationary or floating docks over the water in places where it is tough to build on land. The alliance does not know how much money it could all take but suggests that it could be paid for through a mix of private and public sources, including federal Congestion Mitigation and Clean Air funding.


Landscaping Tips

Though your home is your castle, there is no necessity to surround it with a moat. Here are 5 tips that will help you to make your landscaping feel more warm, welcoming and cozy.

1. Put some flowers nearby your entrance. Flowers make any area look more welcoming and attractive, so greeting your guests with Petunia, Snapdragon, Lily-of-the-Nile or some other garden flowers is always a great thing to do. What is more, to add some space between your house and the entrance, you can consider adding a little white fence. It will create an illusion that your front yard is bigger than it actually is. What is more, adding fence will create a great space for planting flowers to add some color and coziness.

2. Add rambling vines to make your yard look absolutely lovely. You can not deny that rambling vines always create romantic and even magical atmosphere. So why not to use this tip while decorating your yard?

3. To hide the unattractive driveway, consider adding some color, texture, and height. You can easily do it by adding various sorts of flowers. To start, create an island of green lawn right in the hub of a drive. Then add a couple of low boxwood hedges with flowers toward the back of your island.

4. If you want your yard to blossom and flourish bust still do not have enough time to maintain it, consider planting low-fuss lilies. Such flowers look absolutely gorgeous and come in the variety of rainbow hues, so you can pick the one you love most. What is more, low-fuss lilies do not care about the sort of soil, they love the sun and welcome hot, they do not afraid of drought. In other words, Crinums is an ideal flower for all those who are looking for low-maintenance solutions.

5. The last tip also touches the low-maintenance aspect. To make your life easier, group plantings into beds and islands. This will help you to avoid mowing and trimming around each individual plant, save a lot of time and even money.

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