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Why us?

We hand draw scale landscape/garden designs and help you create the garden of your dreams while staying within your budget. 

We are plant experts. We do not do Lawn care or hardscape (paver bricks) We specialize in using the proper plant in the proper location so it will thrive for many years to come.  

All of our plant material is guaranteed for one full year.  

We hand draw scale landscape/garden designs and help you create the garden of your dreams while staying within your budget. Give us a call today for your free consultation.


Our family owned and operated company has proudly been creating beautiful. low- maintenance gardens and landscaping in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago since 1999. 

Providing superb customer service and professional design and installation services.  

We work closely with our clients to actualize their ideas and ensure that they have a role in the creative process every step of the way. I will work hard to provide the best advice on types of trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, vines and vegetables to plant and work efficiently in our Chicago climate and growing conditions.

At My Secret Garden Landscaping we are very focused on providing professional high quality landscape design and installation services.  

Striving to provide the highest levels of customer satisfaction & we will do everything we can to meet your expectations. With a variety of offerings to choose from, we're sure you'll be happy working with us. Look around our website and if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact us.

Gardening Green

A new approach to a low maintenance, eco-friendly way to care for your "little piece of Earth."

Joni Pawelek, owner of My Secret Garden, a landscape design firm in the Hoffman Estates area would like to share her ideas about gardening the green way.

"Think of your yard as your own little piece of Earth. What are you doing to help the planet right at home? Do you recycle your cans and bottles but broadcast noxious pesticides and herbicides all over your lawn? Do you drag your grass clippings and lawn debris to the curb and pay a large gas-guzzling truck to haul it away?" Joni believes that there is a much more efficient use for your yard waste. All of those leaves and twigs are a blessing to your garden. They can provide all of the nourishment your yard needs to become a more balanced ecosystem. When you have yard waste hauled away, you are wasting precious energy and robbing your garden of its most beneficial source of nutrients. Instead of using your valuable time and energy on maintenance, you could be sitting back and enjoying your garden and its many inhabitants.

Garden waste decomposes. Beneficial insects and worms turn the waste back into the nutrients that plants need to thrive. Let nature take care of your plants, and your maintenance will be minimal.

Joni believes that your garden should function as a room. Creating a living space outdoors will feel like you have added to the square footage of your home. In our climate, we deserve to enjoy as much fresh air, sunshine and time outdoors as we possibly can. A beautiful, comfortable space will make that time outside even more enjoyable. An added bonus is that having professionally designed landscape can increase the value of your home 7% to 15 %.

Turf grass is the least beneficial and highest maintenance choice for your yard. Joni suggests that grassy areas be limited to the places where you actually use the lawn. Fertilize with organic lawn food and pull weeds by hand. With less grass to care for, it is easier to abandon toxic chemicals and take a more environmentally responsible approach to your lawn care.

Convert lawn to garden beds

Each year, choose an area to convert grass to planting beds. This will allow you to garden at your own pace and budget. By reducing your lawn size each year, time spent mowing will be less each year. Less lawn can mean a smaller carbon footprint.

With the exception of weeds that have gone to seed, all garden waste can be composted or simply tossed back into the garden. Leave grass clipping to decompose on the lawn, or collect them and sprinkle around your existing beds. In autumn, rake leaves into garden beds, or create garden space around the base of trees so that the leaves can fall naturally and provide the exact mulch that your trees need for winter. Allowing the leaves to break down and nourish the soil where they land also eliminates the need for raking.

Twigs, branches and logs can be used to line a garden path or as beautiful natural decorations until they too decompose and feed your soil. Keeping the logs and twigs in a planting area to break down eliminates the need for synthetic plant food.

The easiest way to create a new garden bed for the spring is to start in the fall. Lay 2 ply newspaper or cardboard down on the unwanted grass or weeds. Then, pile garden debris, compost and grass clippings right on top of the newspaper. Dig a trench around the new bed, and toss that soil on top of your pile to hold the debris in place for the winter. (Trenching is preferred over edging materials, as all edging materials are difficult to mow around. With a trench, you can mow the grass right up to the garden beds edge!) In the spring, you will have a perfectly prepared planting bed! No back breaking labor or toxic chemicals needed! The grass clippings and other yard debris will die and decompose into plant food.

When pests are present, instead of spraying them with toxic chemicals, try waiting for the beneficial predator insects to arrive and do the dirty work for you. Pesticides kill all insects, beneficial bug-eating insects along with the pesky plant-eating insects. Unfortunately, the pesky plant-eating insects tend to reproduce much more quickly than the predator insects. In other words, you will probably making your problem worse, rather than fixing it.

Don't be afraid to change things up!

If a plant is not thriving in your garden, try moving it to a new location in your yard. If that doesn't fix the issue, toss it into the compost bin or fire pit and plant something that will thrive in your yard. McKay nursery has over 550 high quality trees, shrubs, vines and perennials that have been grown in our climate and are guaranteed to thrive in your garden. There are many beautiful new varieties of plants that can fit well into the space provided, rarely need pruning and provide four season interest. Four season interest is especially important here with our long Chicago winters.

The most efficient way to water your plants is to use soaker hoses. Invest in quick connectors for all of your hoses, sprinklers and attachments. Bury soaker hoses under the mulch to deliver the water where it is needed, the roots of the plants - not the leaves! Using soaker hoses allows you to use far less water. When watering the tops of the plants, up to 50% of the water may be lost to evaporation!

Plant wildlife friendly plants and really garden the green way! Add a small water feature or fountain and transform your yard into an oasis for mosquito-eating dragonflies and song birds. Attract beautiful butterflies, bumble bees, katydids, honey bees and those hungry ladybugs into your own private nature sanctuary, your very own "little piece of Earth."

I would be honored to design and help you create the eco-friendly garden of your dreams by providing you with a detailed scale drawing of your new landscape. My designs use as much of your existing plant material as possible. All garden designs take function, privacy, seasonal interest, your micro-climate and view, re-sale value and of course, that all -important "curb appeal" into account when creating a new landscape for you.

I offer a variety of plant sizes so that you can stay within your budget while we create the garden you desire. We provide delivery right to your door, a full one year guarantee on all plants, help with installation and maintenance, if needed, and an on-going personal customer service from My Secret Garden.

Call or email My Secret Garden Landscaping today for an appointment.

Joni Pawelek


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