Organic Viticulturist
Dan Rinke doesnít get home to Brew Town too often. The West Allis Central High School grad is busy making wine in Oregon.



Future Farming
Chestnut and hazelnut trees just may save us all, insists third-generation farmer Michael Gutschenritter, co-owner of Three Brothers Farm in the town of Oconomowoc, and heís out to prove it. 

American Beauty
Fall is often deemed our stateís most picturesque season, but thereís something to be said about the rich greenery and aromatic flowers that fill our yards and landscapes in the summertime. 
Natural habitat
Just outside of Pewaukee on a street lined with split-level homes and perfectly manicured lawns, Bill Reichenbach has transformed the grounds of a 1940s-era cottage into a natural landscaperís dream.

Yard smarts
Want to live a more environmentally friendly life? Start in your own backyard. The harsh weather, water shortages and pervasiveness of pests make it a good idea to think "green" when it comes to landscaping our gardens and yards.
Nantucket calling
Itís hard to believe Daniel and Erica Galliganís backyard paradise began with frozen mounds of dirt. The Galligans were moving to a newly built house in Cedarburg from Fox Point and the property had zero landscaping. They knew they wanted a pool for their three young boys, but that was it.

Veggie Fest
How does your garden grow? If you live in Wisconsin, the answer is most likely very well. "We can grow just about anything here, except of course tropical fruit," says Mike Timm, head horticulturist for Ebertís Greenhouse in Ixonia.

Get the dirt
The Blitz is on its way, and itís going to get down and dirty. Thatís just fine with volunteers and staff members at the Milwaukee-based Victory Garden Initiative, who plan to create about 500 vegetable gardens across the city May 10 to 24.

2014's Garden Stars
2014 is the year of the petunia ó and echinacea and cucumber. Thatís according to the National Garden Bureau, which highlights one annual, one perennial and one edible each year. The national gardening nonprofit chooses the plants based on their popularity, variety, ease of growth, adaptability and versatility.

Bloomin' great
This arrangement, with its paaopping orange hues, is a welcome rush of color this spring. Yellow and gray and pink and mint are also hot color combinations for the season, according to Katie Zignego, floral department manager at Sendikís in Mequon.

Macro vision
Dressed head-to-toe in khaki including his signature boonie hat; Tony Farrell looks ready to dig in the dirt. But the dirt this Milwaukee resident digs in isnít in his backyard ó itís in compost bins stacked floor-to-ceiling in his kitchen.

A new path
Inge Wintersí background in interior decorating is evident in the designerís eye she bring to the landscape of her Cedarburg yard. The design of the nearly 2-acre property on Hidden Valley Lake is loosely modeled after palace gardens in Europe she and her husband, Frank, have visited in their travels.

Mosaic Masterpiece
Jim Liebert can tell you every detail of his 2.5-acre property on Beaver Lake. For more than 30 years he and his wife, Cathy, have diligently nurtured the land, transforming it into a plethora of beautiful gardens containing an even blend of perennials and annuals growing in the ground and in 100 containers sprinkled across the property.

Link side oasis
Thereís a hidden oasis next to the ninth hole of the Broadlands Golf Course in North Prairie. Golfers have nicknamed it the Blueberry House in reference to the exterior color, but the real attractions are the large water feature and beautiful flowerbeds on the property.

Lakeside Gem
Julie and Mike Schinzerís colorful garden ó a riot of tulips, roses and peonies, to name just a few ó is the talk of their East Side neighborhood.

Drought hangover
The drought of 2012 may have left your lawn looking more brown and crunchy than green and lush. Now that another winter has passed and spring is upon us, what can we expect from our lawns and gardens?

Natural State
As the caretaker of Judy Peck and Stephen Kaniewskiís yard for the last decade, Stewart Dempsey appreciates the ephemeral beauty of the landscape. "Itís not static. When it comes up you have to enjoy it because itís never going to be the same again," Dempsey says.

Rosy outlook
If there is such a thing as a "mad gardener," William Radler, inventor of the wildly popular Knock Out Rose, might qualify. Radler, who was director of the Boerner Botanical Gardens in Hales Corners from 1981 to his retirement in 1994, is known as "Mr. Knock Out" in the gardening community. 

Light up the night
Warmer days inspire us to spend more time outdoors entertaining, gardening or just meditating amid the sounds of nature. But enjoying the outdoors doesnít have to end when the sun goes down. The use of appropriately placed lighting can help you make the maximum use of outdoor spaces.

Outdoor hideaway
A pagoda-style three-seasons room is the centerpiece of the backyard renovation by Northouse Landscape Co. for the Gerondale family of Mequon.

Painterly palette
A dramatic natural setting provides the stage for Peter Kudlataís artful design of Mark and Laurie Tebonís Mequon yard. "I went with more aggressive perennials that I could plant in large sweeping beds to create large pools of drama," says Kudlata, owner of Flagstone Landscape Design and Contracting, Cedarburg.

Garden get
Whether youíre seeking a tranquil retreat or a fuss-free environment, the following garden styles are sure to result in an impressive outdoor living space.

Best bets
Choosing the right plants for your landscape can be overwhelming. Along with maintenance and expense, you need to consider how plants will fare in Wisconsinís unpredictable weather conditions.
The edge of design
The Edge condos in Milwaukee is the setting for the 2011 M Magazine Designerís Challenge. We paired three of Milwaukeeís top landscaping firms with a few of our favorite furniture places to create an urban lounge on the balcony of the sixth-floor penthouse at The Edge. Their inspired designs up the cool factor on city living and might just motivate you to create your own outdoor paradise, whether youíre living in a high rise or in the íburbs.

Urban landscaper
Jenny Espenscheid enjoys looking out at the city skyline from the roof of the Walkerís Point building in which she lives, but spends most of her outdoor time looking inward at the lush garden, playground, work and gathering space she has created in its 4,000 square feet. 
Genealogical gardening
Generations ago, immigrants were limited in what they could bring to America. Only a finite number of things could be packed into a trunk. Often those trunks were packed with family treasures and heirlooms, many of which ultimately were buried in the ground once they reached their new homes.

Where inspiration blooms
Any excuse for a party. If thereís a celebration or a reason to get together, Tizza and Glenn Meyer love to host. For the past 16 years, Stone Fences Farm, their 160-acre compound outside of Dousman has seen just about everything. Local charity luncheons, family get-togethers by the lake, a garden wedding and even dinner parties in the field or an afternoon glass of tea with a friend. Next up? A birthday party for a tree.

Good enough to eat
Nothing says summer like fruits and vegetables freshly picked from the garden. Whether your yard is big or small, anyone can grow a kitchen garden, and itís easier than you think.

Fresh from the garden
For fresh bouquets all summer long, plant a cutting garden and reap the rewards well into the fall. Gilbert Yerke of Yerkeís Frog Alley Greenhouse, Mukwonago, says a wide variety of blooms perfect for flower arranging are easy to grow in Wisconsinís climate. "Zinnias are a great cut flower," Yerke says, "and most of the time, they can be started from seed right in the garden."
Sweet oasis
A small piece of paradise is perched in the middle of Elm Grove on Marjorie Clark Taktonís property. The 5-acre parcel has been in her family for decades and is the location of her childhood home. Takton tore down the original house and built a new home for her extended family to enjoy.

Going up
Vertical gardening is getting a lot of buzz as the "next big thing," but Lisa Neske, horticultural consultant at Bayside Garden Center, says the technique is really as old as the hills. "People have done it forever, but itís getting trendy now because of limited space," Neske says.

Serenity now
A partial ravine in the backyard of Maureen and Chris Greene has been transformed from eyesore to eco-friendly eye candy, thanks to a rain garden grant from the Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewerage District, Maureenís diligence and the expertise of her landscaping team.

What's your garden personality?
Our personalities define us, shaping our wardrobes, our homes and even our landscapes. A home can tell a visitor a great deal about its owner, but so too can what is found outside of its doors, making a garden a creative way to express yourself.

Toxic outdoors
A garden is filled with enticing sights and smells, but it can be a potentially dangerous place for people and pets. Young children are especially vulnerable.

Season your garden
There is nothing like stepping out your back door in the summer and picking fresh herbs for dinner. Growing herbs is easy and certainly has its perks of adding fragrance to your yard and taste to your food.

An artist's palette
When Peggy Ann looked at her property in the town of Mukwonago, she envisioned paths wandering through her woods and how the mowed landscape would abut and blend with the natural grass in the meadows.

Functional art
Pergolas have been around for centuries, yet people still donít understand the purpose of having a roof with holes in it. This is especially true in the Midwest, where the weather can turn on a dime and, frankly, weíre just a tad more practical when it comes to our structures.

Coming up roses
"You canít plant roses and forget about them, because theyíll pop up and say, ĎHere I am, look how beautiful I am," jokes Chuck Steele, long-time garden enthusiast and rose expert.

Find your path
The best way to enjoy a well-landscaped yard is to get outside and savor it. Homeowners can make it an even more unique experience by custom designing a pathway with stepping stones.

Eco stylings
As a little girl growing up in Shanghai, Anna Tsai never dreamed of having her own garden. "I was always crazy about flowers and stopped by a nursery every day on my way home from school," the Bayside resident says.

A private enclave
Renovating the exterior of a 1953 contemporary house opened up a multitude of landscape and gardening possibilities for Joe Kresl and his wife, Jennifer. 

Urban oasis
Only the occasional traffic noises from nearby Silver Spring Drive remind Patty Tagliapietra that she is in the city. The Glendale interior designer has transformed the backyard of her city-sized lot into a lush urban retreat.

Symphony of color
Garden tours provide plant lovers with inexpensive inspiration. Wondering what to do with that sunny area of your yard? Take a look at what gardeners featured on this yearís Waukesha Symphony Orchestra League Garden Tour have done in a similar space.

Fragrant beauty
With over 200 species of irises, how does the amateur gardener know which ones are the best to grow? Durability and easy maintenance make the tall bearded irises some of the easiest to grow.

Plant man personified
Ed Hasselkus willingly admits that the seed for his lifeís work was planted while growing up on a farm two miles south of Dousman.

A taste of India comes to Elm Grove
In many ways, Vinod and Anjani Shidham are just like any other gardeners in the area. They grow flowers, fruits and vegetables as well as perennials and annuals in their Elm Grove garden.

Leveraged space
Peter Van Ommerenís backyard proves the point that small can be beautiful. Not letting size reduce his vision, over the past 15 years, this Wauwatosa homeowner has planted 18 trees in his postage-stamp size space while leaving room for both a significant selection of perennials and a bit of grassy lawn. 

Outdoor rehab
As people spend more time at home, they naturally want to make their surroundings more livable ó and that includes the outdoors. In fact, landscaping is now one of the top discretionary projects for todayís homeowners.

Spring training
With plenty of varieties of daffodils to choose from, even veteran gardeners have a hard time picking which ones to put in their yard. Next spring, take your garden to the next level with the advice of UW master gardener Ann Weid and Tom Kulich of Prairie Gardens in Cedarburg. All six varieties will grow in Wisconsin.

Lush symbolism
East has definitely met West in the gardens of Wauwatosa residents Tom and Patti Krause. An Asian influence is reflected through plant selections, hardscapes and design that was inspired by visits to major botanical gardens.

Environmental factors
The key to enjoying the great outdoors just outside oneís back door is creating the right environment. Just ask John DíAgostino and John Borchardt, who last year worked with local landscape design firms to carve out the perfect niche for their respective suburban and urban lifestyles.

In moderation
Homeowners know maintaining a healthy landscape often takes a lot of work, from proper design and planting to maintenance. Those lush gardens and velvet lawns require a lot of sweat equity.

Terrace transformed
Lush gardens are no longer possible only on solid ground. Balconies and terraces are being transformed into a new kind of backyard for millions of apartment, condominium and townhouse dwellers across the country, and the Milwaukee area is no exception. 

Go organic
When youíre green youíre growing Ö when youíre ripe, you rot." This saying covers a lot of ground ó even the rotting part ó when it comes to organic gardening, the philosophy of using natural matter to enrich soil and make it useful.

Nature's best
Mary Braunreiter hopes her wildlife-friendly Wauwatosa yard will inspire others to discover the delights of inviting birds, bees, butterflies and all manner of critters to share their properties.

Greener pastures
"Greener gardens" is not a redundancy. Planting your little corner of the world in grass or flowers or vegetables is great, but there are better or worse ways to benefit the air, the soil and your own health. For a more ecologically healthy garden, consider the following...

Layered look
When Paul Mandracchia was a child growing up in the Southwest United States, he dreamed of owning a lush, green garden that would inspire and interest him through each season. Considered a work in progress, the landscape at his Fox Point home is a fulfillment of that childhood dream.

A never-ending canvas of color
What happens when two artists collaborate on their homeís landscape? In Cindy and Alan Vogtís case, the results are a garden thatís artfulóand art-full.

A passion for plants
If "flowers make our hearts smile" as Dousman gardener Lark Kulikowski maintains, then this petite fireballís heart must be grinning all the time.


Floral obsession
Mary Zvaraís garden has as many memories as flowers. "I call it a friends and family garden," says Zvara. "When I look out on my garden, I see things people have given to me."

Yard art
Think beyond flamingos and gnomes for a modern approach to exterior decoration. Nancy Rappaport, owner of Urban Accents, is enthusiastic about this Adirondack-style chair from Franklin designer Curt Winter, a mechanical engineer who dabbles in art.

Gardens of earthy delights
Put on your walking shoes and bring your green thumb to "A Symphony of Sunset Gardens." On June 22-24, the Waukesha Symphony is hosting a chance to peruse a diverse mixture of six area Brookfield and Elm Grove gardens. This tour features landscapes ranging from an exotic vegetable garden to a professionally-maintained estate. Here is a glimpse of what you can expect to see.

Lakeside retreat
With Lac La Belle shimmering before her and the Lac La Belle Golf Club beckoning at her back door, itís a wonder Karen Evans has any time for gardening. Yet from the moment you spy her charming yellow Victorian, itís clear someone with a green thumb lives here.

Streaming tranquility
Water is a sight to behold and music to the ears of the happy homeowners who have discovered the simple pleasures of pond gardens. While the popularity of gardening continues unabated, the water landscape business is adding new depths of creativity and fun to backyard beautification.

Flower power
Everythingís coming up roses, daffodils and thousands of other flowers for Mukwonago floral designer Kevin Ylvisaker. And no matter what bloom, blossom, ornamental grass or seed pod he has to work with, the final arrangement is sure to leave the viewer breathless from the beauty.

Grass-free zone
Hartland resident Betty Kleimenhagen and her daughter Louisa have done the nearly unthinkable: Created a subdivision landscape that doesnít include a blade of grass.

Yard art
1 Joeann Genetti-Teeple Abra in green and blue, $225 and up. Call (920) 474-4769 or (262) 443-3282 for buying information.

Annual forecast
Annual flowers can provide limitless opportunities for the garden lover because they offer vibrant color to every garden no matter where that garden may be.

Earth, stone & fire
Peter White gave his landscape architect free expression in designing an outdoor living area for his Whitefish Bay home, with a few stipulations.

Contain yourself
The key to successful container gardening is pairing like things together, says Prairie Gardens manager Paul Grulke. Factors to consider are soil, sun and water requirements. Once you have matched shade-loving or sun-loving plants together, have some fun and experiment with different combinations. Weíve asked local flower experts to pair some of their favorites.

Carefree habitat
Cheri Mastel enjoys the calmness of curves and itís apparent in her yard. Curves are found throughout all the spaces from the "carefree" border gardens, to the small rain garden and even in the childrenís garden created especially for the Mastelsí 9-year-old daughter, Melinda. There are no sharp angles. The gardens also include "small gradual berms and shallow swails, accented with fieldstone," says Mastel.

More gardening tips ...

On gardening: Holly makes a jolly-good screen for noise, traffic 03-09-15

Diggin' In: The odd but useful life of the skunk cabbage 03-09-15

On Gardening: Try this lily-turned-iris; George Washington did 03-02-15

Diggin' In: Ready, set, landscape  03-02-15

Diggin' In: Dealing with deer 02-23-15

On Gardening: Flash Mobs in your garden 02-23-15

Lucky bamboo: A fortuitous plant for Chinese New Year 02-23-15

On Gardening: Succulents are rock stars of the container stage 02-16-15

Diggin' In: Join the Great Backyard Bird Count 02-16-15

On Gardening: Tassel fern brings out the best in other plants 02-09-15

On Gardening: The seeds of a 'participatory experience' 02-02-15

Save the soil: Indoor gardening with air plants 02-02-15

On Gardening: No question about it, this butterfly is a stunner 01-26-15

Garden walk inspiration: Ideas blossom for next season's designs 01-26-15

Diggin' In: A guide to the versatile, colorful camellia 01-26-15

On Gardening: Aucuba is a berry good winter plant 01-19-15

Diggin' In: Moss can brighten home in winter 01-19-15

On Gardening: Japanese maples will warm your spirit in winter 01-12-15

Diggin' In: In winter, a pretty holly and it butterfly pal 01-12-15

On Gardening: Turn trash into treasure in 2015 01-05-15

Planting tranquility: For a Japanese garden, let nature take its course 01-05-15




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