We are excited to share that the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association has awarded Scott Byron & Co. the construction Gold award for our project, “Living on the Edge (seen above),” and the maintenance Merit award for our project, “Urban Garden.”

Living on the Edge 

This bluff residence was developed with a clear plan to prevent further erosion to the bluff while celebrating Lake Michigan’s views.  The main focus was installing a 110ft retaining wall made from a mix of Wisconsin flagstone boulders and New York Flagstone stone steps with outcroppings using Waterloo Quartzite boulders.  Once done, steps were added using existing ledge rock slabs, and a tram was installed to allow beach access.  Finally, two irregular Fond-Du-Lac Gray flagstone terraces were furnished and installed to allow for further beach access, entertainment, and relaxation.

Planting specimens focused on bluff tolerance, seasonal interest, and unique sculptural character complemented the bluff.  The palette included Wintergreen Arborvitae, Norway Spruce, Kentucky Coffeetree, Whitespire Birch, and groves of various Dogwood, all complemented by a selection of multiple Hydrangeas and shade perennials.  A fire pit, Kayak rack, and light fixtures were added to further allow for relaxation and lakeside entertainment.

Furthermore, the south side of the residence features a wall of Arborvitae to allow for a sense of privacy.  Also, the bluestone chip gravel path allows easy access from the front of the home to the beach below.

Urban garden with stepper path, custom fountain, perennial and lattice border

Urban Garden:

Maintenance of this urban garden offers some unique challenges. Due to the rooftop’s limited access and direct sun exposure, all planters have drip irrigation, and all vegetables and plants selected are sun-tolerant. Also, closely monitoring the garden and adjusting irrigation run times has been extremely important, especially throughout summer. Furthermore, due to the tightness of the space, we consistently monitor and treat the shrubs and perennials as needed by providing weekly maintenance. Also, by overseeding and adjusting irrigation as needed, we can ensure the sod is watered adequately, thus keeping the lawn healthy despite the lack of airflow in the space. Finally, the client has five Pomeranians. They are small and don’t venture far from the dog-run area. Yet, we always ensure that walkways are cleared of all landscape debris. Also, whenever we apply treatments, we ensure the treatments for all materials are pet and pollinator friendly. Thus, ensuring the client’s goal of attracting birds and pollinators to their urban garden.


Thank you to everyone involved for their hard work and dedication to these projects!  Also, thanks to the clients for the opportunity to make their landscape dreams a reality! It was an honor to work with you both.