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The Big One: Not bluffing here

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(Photo: Rebecca Starovich)
(Photo: Rebecca Starovich)

Company: Rosborough Partners

Location: Winnetka, Ill.

Rosborough Partners maintains this property on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. The client wanted a large outdoor space with roses. The project’s location is challenging due to storms off the lake, which can erode the shoreline and bring debris.

Maintenance on the property includes storm and beach cleanup and twice-a-week erosion assessments. Crews also inspect
the property’s lakeside stone steps and cobble walls to ensure they’re safe for the client to use.

“The courtyard has a visually interesting boxwood hedge that frames the home and enhances the cobble driveway beautifully,” says Jose Mercado, director of maintenance at Rosborough Partners. “Our team takes great care of keeping those lines perfect.”

Rosborough Partners selects hardy plants to survive high winds and spray from the lake. Lucio Torres, plant health care department manager at Rosborough Partners, says the property’s location is tricky.

“Due to the location, we monitor for mildew during high humidity and for issues the unique microclimate the lake shore presents,” Torres says. “The wind along the bluff creates a challenge for applying treatments due to drift.”

He says crews monitor the site to prevent drift when making applications.

Rosborough Partners deploys five seasonal color installations throughout the year. It focuses on blues, whites and pink to complement the property’s light-colored stone, white framing and patio furniture.

Rosborough Partners won a Gold Award from the 2022 National Association of Landscape Professionals Awards of Excellence program for this project.

(Photo: Rebecca Starovich)
(Photo: Margaret Rajic)

The home’s approach is a short allée lined with Firebird crabapples, boxwood and pachysandra. Crews hand prune the pachysandra and scout for diseases weekly and prune the crabapples and boxwoods twice a year.

(Photo: Margaret Rajic)
(Photo: Margaret Rajic)

The team at Rosborough Partners gives the boxwoods a blight prevention treatment and applies insecticides to prevent leaf miners and psyllids. Evergreens receive an antidesiccant for winter protection.

(Photo: Margaret Rajic)
(Photo: Margaret Rajic)

An espalier Liberty apple tree on the stone wall requires weekly training to maintain its proper shape. ‘New Dawn’ roses climb up the cobblestone wall.

(Photo: Rebecca Starovich)
(Photo: Rebecca Starovich)

Various pots of seasonal color highlight the home’s grand entrance.

(Photo: Rebecca Starovich)
(Photo: Rebecca Starovich)

A bench sits across from a custom water garden, flanked by arborvitaes, boxwoods, peonies and hydrangeas.

(Photo: Rebecca Starovich)
(Photo: Rebecca Starovich)

Crews prune shrubs twice a year to maintain unobstructed views of Lake Michigan. The client spends considerable time outside during the warm weather months.

(Photo: Margaret Rajic)
(Photo: Margaret Rajic)

Wisteria vines climb a pergola while a custom wall water feature attracts songbirds to the yard.

(Photo: Margaret Rajic)
(Photo: Margaret Rajic)

The team at Rosborough Partners assesses the breakfront designed to protect the created beach from erosion weekly to ensure its effectiveness. Crews also clear the private beach of debris and smooth the sand during maintenance visits.

(Photo: Margaret Rajic)
(Photo: Margaret Rajic)

Stone steps surrounded by roses lead from the cliffside home down to the lake below. Detail work includes pruning and deadheading roses to keep the path open and the plantings healthy.

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