Tag Archives: landscaping

Orange

Orange:

 Combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow

 Associated with joy and sunshine

 Represents enthusiasm

 As the weather begins to change slowly orange is the color of fall and the harvest. This daylily ‘Mauna Loa’ is absolutely stunning in a mid summer garden.

Mauna Loa Daylily

Maggie Daily Astilbe

Fucshia

Fuchsia: 

Named after the actual fuchsia plant

 Inspires confidence

 Can invoke female charm, which is why this Astilbe is called ‘Maggie Daley’ The great color pop and texture of this astilbe is fantastic in a part shade garden.Maggie Daily Astilbe

Maggie Daily Astilbe

Artistry runs deep here

A custom sculpture by our owner Harry J Vignocchi

My father Harry graduated from Drake University with a major in Psychology and dual minors in philosophy and art.
Kind of interesting for a future landscape architect. But I’ve always thought it is part of what makes him and our subsequent culture a unique.
One where creativity isn’t touted, it is practiced. Both on the drawing boards and on jobsites.
This scupture is a new piece by my dad made out of stone. He often is encouraged by customers to create these custom pieces for their landscape…but it’s all about catching him in the correct mood…just like a true artist.
Donna Vignocchi Zych

Name that plant!

Believe it or not but there are rules and regulations for naming plants.  The International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants, or THE CODE, was first published in 1952 but has roots in Brussles in 1864.  The Code is filled with principles, rules and regulations, recommendations, etc.  Let’s just say, not the most exciting read.

These rules help guide the Latin names that are comprised of a “genus” and a “species,” which can tell us the origin of a plant or describe it’s characteristics.

Take Acer palmatum, for example. Again, ‘Acer’ means maple while the descriptive ‘palmatum’ means shaped like a hand, and it is derived from ‘platanoides,’ meaning “resembling the plane tree.” Therefore, Acer platanoides means you are looking at a maple that resembles the plane tree.

Once a new strain of that plant is developed we use a “cultivar” to describe it more specifically.  So Acer palmatum ‘Blood Leaf,’ what do you think that would mean.  Yes, it has leaves the color of blood.  Gross, but it’s beautiful!

We rely on the specificity of these rules because common names can prove unreliable.  A red maple could mean several varieties.  Specifying a euonymus (so a genus with no other information) could mean you want a groundcover or a shrub.

So these rules may be a tad on the boorish side, but they are frightfully important to landscape professionals!

Donna Vignocchi Zych

Euonymus coloratus

 

Happy 50th Birthday ILT Vignocchi!!

Turning 50 is such a milestone for any business.  Dips in the economy, increasing regulations, labor issues and shortages.  There are so many ways a company can get off track.  As I contemplate where we have been, of course I think of our unwavering reputation for integrity, artistry and quality.  You consider the massive golf courses, Chicago Botanic Garden installations, as well as corporate and municipal work.  I regard those residential projects that not only won awards but gave our employees such satisfaction and our customers heartfelt joy.

But to me it is more than that.

I don’t know if I have a memory when ILT didn’t exist.  You see, as ILT turns 50, I will be turning 47.  The memories of our company are like fabric woven into my life.

When I watch the countless trucks and trailers roll out of the yard at sunrise each and every morning I indulge the nostalgia of our company’s youth.

I remember Sorney Leahy who let me sit inside his desk drawer when I was very small and let me play with his phone.  Or going to a job site with my dad on a Saturday.  He’d hoist me up on his shoulders and then put me down so I could hug my Nono who was working with our men.  A favorite is my mother who would spend hours picking up sticks before the maintenance crew came to our house so they would not have to bother.

50 years ago there were no computers.  Dad used to spend countless nights drawing plans, scrunching up vellum with discarded ideas and yes, taking calls from his customers on his home phone.

I think life is different when you are in a family business.  Of course it is hard and there are arguments, lots.  But there is a short cut with family that makes it easier, because you know in the end, you will always love one another.

  • Donna Vignocchi Zych

Owner ILT Vignocchi

Benefits of Dormant Pruning

As landscape architects and arborists we often find that plant material on our new residential, commercial and HOA sites have been left to get overgrown and mismanaged. The key to getting the plant material looking healthy, vibrant and growing properly again is of course dormant pruning.

Dormant pruning takes place during the winter months and this is valuable for many reasons. With the leaves absent precision pruning is much easier. Cutting the plant in the right spot helps the plant heal better and faster in the growing season. It also allows us to see the shape of the plant better and see limbs and stems that are either damaged, diseased or crossing. The colder months also mean less airborne diseases that could affect the fresh wounds of plants.

A sure sign that dormant pruning needs to be done is the evidence of witches broom which is a dense mass of shoots growing from a single point. This happens when the plant is perpetually pruned or sheared on the top and never in the middle or base of the plant. This type of pruning leads to a plant that is top heavy with leaves, but looks bare and leggy on the stems and base.

Dormant pruning removes the witches broom, allows us to remove overgrown stems at the base of the plant and makes it easier to remove unwanted growth. These fixes allow sunlight and air to get to the entire plant and not only to the top sections. Heights of plants are also much more easily controlled during dormant pruning allowing the plant to take on a natural shape during the growing season without blocking windows or doors.

-Aaron Zych

Landscape Architect  & Certified Arborist