Do you love to entertain? How about spending those entertaining hours outdoors? If so, you may like to take a look at some of the images below of one of our newly installed landscapes for the 2014 season. The customer in question had a gorgeous area for entertaining but they couldn’t put their finger onto exactly what it was that they wanted done. For that they turned to our Landscape Designer. From the looks of it it seems like she nailed it! I know the customer couldn’t be more please.

So if you are wanting to bring those parties outside but are unable to envision the completed idea give us a call and we would be glad to help make your decisions a lot easier!

Before & After 2 Before & After 4 Backyard Retreat

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At Kiefer Landscaping we know how people love to see how a company can transform a landscape before hiring one. From the initial meeting, our designer is there with you every step of the way. Taking all of your concerns, likes and dislikes into consideration she will deliver a landscape that is sure to please the eyes for years to come! Not only does a professionally designed and installed landscape add “curb appeal” to your home, it also adds more to the property value than most people think! Why would you spend countless hours, resources and money on building a new home and not finish it with a thoughtfully conceived landscape?

This homeowner in question knew the value one of our landscapes could add. Our designer started meeting with them early on in the season to begin brainstorming and sketching out ideas. The finished product included a brick paver walkway, over-sized brick paver edging, natural stone drystacks, as well as various shrubs, perennials and trees.

Before and After Landscaping Residential Landscaping Before and AfterBefore and After Landscapes Landscaping Before and After


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This homeowners landscape is inundated with shade all season long! He has been battling the vicious cycle of planting and replacing for several years now. With the help of Kiefer Landscaping we were able to design and install a very nice “shadescape” that is sure to last for years to come.

This shade bed is comprised of several different plant varieties such as; Various Astilbe, Various Coral Bells, Hosta, 2 types of Hydrangea and Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae !


Landscape Before & After


Before and After residential Landscapes




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Mother’s Day Plant Ideas

On May 9, 2014, in Garden Facility, by Admin

This year, like every year, show your that special lady in your life how much you mean to them! Everyone knows that flowers are a great way to show your appreciation and affection however these pretty flowers only have a short “shelf-life”. This year why not get her something that she can enjoy year after year. Just like our love for those women in our life, a perennial will only grow and flourish as each year progresses!

If you are someone who likes the idea but may not know what to choose, I have listed out some great options below. The plants that I have chosen are looking gorgeous right now, so there will be no need to wait for their beauty!

Hardy Ice Plant - Delosperma cooperi

Vibrant purplish pink 2-inch flowers cover the fleshy green foliage over a very long period. Heat, drought and salt tolerant, this adaptable plant thrives with little care. Plant as a groundcover or add to rock gardens. Evergreen.

Vibrant purplish pink 2-inch flowers cover the fleshy green foliage over a very long period. Heat, drought and salt tolerant, this adaptable plant thrives with little care. Plant as a groundcover or add to rock gardens. Evergreen.

Arizona Sun Blanket Flower - Gaillardia x ‘Arizona Sun’

Gaillardia x 'Arizon Sun'

This heat and drought tolerant perennial with compact habit creates great impact along borders. Reliably produces large, fiery-red flowers edged with a ring of vivid yellow over a long bloom season. Spent flower heads attract goldfinches.


Origami Rose & White Columbine - Aquilega x hybrida

Extra large rose-pink flowers with white centers are held upright on compact plants. Cheery color for informal woodland gardens and formal mixed borders and containers. Herbaceous perennial.
Extra large rose-pink flowers with white centers are held upright on compact plants. Cheery color for informal woodland gardens and formal mixed borders and containers. Herbaceous perennial.

Butterfly Blue Pincushion - Scabiosa columbaria

Tidy plants are valued for mass bedding effects or mixed perennial borders. Perfect for container gardens. Beautiful Dutch blue flowers with intricate centers resembling a pin cushion atop wiry stems. Blooms over a long period. Herbaceous perennial.

Tidy plants are valued for mass bedding effects or mixed perennial borders. Perfect for container gardens. Beautiful Dutch blue flowers with intricate centers resembling a pin cushion atop wiry stems. Blooms over a long period. Herbaceous perennial.


May Night Sage - Salvia ‘May Night’

Tall spikes of indigo blue flowers top compact mounds of soft, green foliage. Butterflies and hummingbirds love it! This showy perennial is excellent for mixed borders, water-wise gardens and patio containers.

Tall spikes of indigo blue flowers top compact mounds of soft, green foliage. Butterflies and hummingbirds love it! This showy perennial is excellent for mixed borders, water-wise gardens and patio containers.


Husker Red Penstemon - Penstemon digitalis 

Raspberry Swirl Maiden Pink - Dianthus ‘Raspberry Swirl’

Queen Victoria Cardinal Flower -  Lobelia ‘Queen Victoria’

Purity Candytuft -  Iberis sempervirens ‘Purity’

Husker Reds, Raspberry Swirl Dianthus, Victoria Queen Cardinal Flower, Purity Candytuft

Husker Red - Create a dramatic accent with the deep burgundy foliage of this tough and reliable perennial. Place among bright leafed plants to accentuate deep spring color. Hummingbird friendly! 1996 Perennial Plant of the Year! Queen Victoria Cardinal FlowerSpikes of vibrantly colored, fan-shaped flowers are held high over skirts of shiny foliage. A great fast growing, compact choice for containers or garden in spots with moist soil. Loved by butterflies. Raspberry SwirlBeautiful long lasting, bi-colored flowers cover the striking gray-green foliage. This delightful perennial is equally suited to cottage gardens, mixed borders, rock gardens and containers. Evergreen perennial. Purity CandytuftSmall, pure white flowers obscure the neat, dense mound of glossy green foliage. Popular for edging, perennial borders, along garden walks in rock gardens or as a small-scale groundcover. Herbaceous.


Tiny Rubies Dianthus - Dianthus gratianopolitanus

A charming cushion of 1" foliage, covered with masses of brilliant tiny double pink flowers. Dianthus Tiny Rubies is a choice dwarf plant or groundcover for a sunny area, great tucked into nooks and crannies of a rock garden.

A charming cushion of 1″ foliage, covered with masses of brilliant tiny double pink flowers. Dianthus Tiny Rubies is a choice dwarf plant or groundcover for a sunny area, great tucked into nooks and crannies of a rock garden.


Bloomerang Purple Lilac - Syringa x ‘Penda’

Bloomerang Purple Liliac

Enjoy classic Lilac fragrance for months instead of weeks! This revolutionary new kind of Lilac, blooms in spring and then again throughout the summer. It does go through a rest period in the heat of the summer, then flowers again. This compact, mounded variety fits easily into any landscape, and is ideal as a foundation planting or as part of the mixed border. You can even include it into perennial beds.


Lo & Behold Lilac Chip - Buddleia Lo & Behold ‘Lilac Chip’

Lo & Behold Butterfly Bush

This new addition to the Lo & Behold® series is more compact than ‘Blue Chip’, with a dwarf, slightly spreading habit. Soft, lavender-pink fragrant flowers provide color from summer until frost, without deadheading! Fragrant bloom spikes attract butterflies. Perfect for mass planting, perennial gardens and mixed borders. This deer resistant shrub is sterile and will not produce seedlings. Deciduous.


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Recently I have noticed quite a few customers thinking that it is too late in the season to do any plantings! When I hear this I am taken back because we are not entering what I consider to be the most opportune planting season!

The following article touches on the exact same topic and I thought it would be beneficial to our readers. The following article was printed in the Sept. 17th edition of the Effingham Daily News.

URBANA – With a good 2013 growing season, fall is a great time to plant trees, said a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator.

“Nearly all of northern Illinois has seen the decline and loss of ash tress from the Emerald Ash Borer or from the drought of 2012,” said Richard Hentschel. “The 2013 growing season has been good for many plants, including trees. The longer cooler spring with above-average moisture has been great. There are many other species of trees to choose from. This is also that opportunity in our yards to consider where the new tree will be planted and how big of a tree we want when it is mature.”

Once size, location and plant characteristics have been decided, the decision of planting the tree yourself or having the tree planted by the nursery must be made.

“How much the tree weighs is often the deciding factor for a home owner,” Hentschel said. “Trees can be found in large pots with an artificial soil and weigh far less than the same tree offered as a balled and burlapped tree.”

Hentschel pointed out that one limitation to a potted tree will be the sizes available. “If you are looking to replant with a larger caliper tree, then you will most often go with a balled and burlapped plant,” he said.

How you plant the tree once it has been delivered or brought home with you will make a big difference on how quickly it recovers and its long-term health. “The challenge will be making sure the pot or ball is planted at the right depth in your yard,” he said.

Regardless of how the tree sits in the bot of what it looks like being balled and burlapped, there is a critical spot on the trunk that should be found before digging the hole. This is the flare area where the trunk begins to turn into the root system.

“On larger trees, this flare is more readily apparent. On smaller trees, you will have to clear away the soil in the pot or the top of the ball to be sure you know where this flare is. Even on a larger balled and burlapped tree the flare can be below the top of the ball. What research as show us is that a tree planted too deep is slow to recover from being transplanted and has more problems in the the future with insects and disease,” Hentschel noted.

Once you have determined where the flare is, the hole should be dug so the flare will be at the soil line or even an inch or two above that. “If you do not have great drainage, then above the soil line is suggested. Roots will naturally grow down into the soil profile to a depth where they find a balance of soil moisture and air for quickest transplant recovery and long-term growth,” he said.

Once you are ready to set the tree in the planting hole, there are a few more things that can ensure that the tree will establish easily. For a tree that has been grown in a pot, there will be some roots that have found the edge of the pot and are now circling. These roots need to be bent outward as you backfill the hole.

“If they cannot be bent out, pruning them away is the alternative,” he said. “Any new roots that grow from the cut will grow out normally.”

For balled and burlapped plants and those with a wire basket, Hentschel recommends a different strategy.

“Once the ball is in the planting hole, removing some of the basket and burlap and twine is needed,” he explained. “Burlap and twine may not be entirely natural and rot away as in the past. Twine will need to be removed from around the base of the trunk and burlap down over the sides of the ball as far as possible.”

He added that the wire basket should also be removed down over the shoulder of the ball, leaving room for the expanding roots to develop. “You can use the remaining portions of the wire basket to tie more twine up and over the ball, just not around the trunk in order to help stabilize the tree in the new hole,” he said.

The final steps will be to backfill with the soil about two-thirds up, then water to settle the soil around the root ball. Finish backfilling and water to settle that soil as well. “With any remaining soil, you can create a berm for watering the rest of the fall. The berm will retain the water and keep it where the roots are , right in the are of the ball or pot,” Hentschel said.

“Monitor and water right up until about mid-November to be sure that newly planted trees have ample water,” he noted. “Before freezing temperatures get here, cut a couple of spots out of the watering berm so it will not stand water and harm the tree trunk.”



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The ‘So Sweet’ Hosta is a small, upright hosta to 8″ high which features a vase-shaped clump of flat, glossy, lance-shaped, medium green leaves with white margins, funnel-shaped, fragrant, white flowers on 14″ scapes. The So Sweet Hosta is a dependable and versatile perennial requiring little care. Grown primarily for its beautiful foliage which provides color, contrast and texture to the landscape. Dense foliage crowds out most garden weeds.

A mainstay of the shade garden. This small hosta can be mixed with other perennials in the border front, rock garden or woodland garden, used as an edging plant or massed and divided as a dense ground cover for small areas.

The So Sweet Hosta is easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in part shade to full shade. No special culture is required. Soil should be kept moist, however especially in hot, sunny conditions.

Although slugs and snails can be problems, and leaf spot and crown rot lesser problems, hostas are otherwise virtually disease and pest-free and are ideal, low-maintenance garden perennials.


Common Name: So Sweet Hosta

Scientific Name:  Hosta ‘So Sweet’

Type:  Perennial

Exposure:  Partial – Full Shade

Size:  16″ height, 2′ spread

Bloom Color:  White

Bloom Period:  Late Summer

Foliage Color:  Green with White margins

Landscape Use:  Containers / Planters, Foundation, Garden, Landscape Beds, Mass Planting, Outdoor Living Areas, Perennial Garden, Small Groups, Under Shade Tree, Woodland Border

Soil:  Well-Drained, Moist

Zone:  3 – 8

Growth Rate: Moderate

Companion Plants: Foamy Bells, Bleeding Heart, Coral Bells, Astilbe, Golden Japanese Forest Grass

Maintenance:  Remove old foliage before new foliage emerges

*Attracts Hummingbirds

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An exciting improvement to Ninebark, Summer Wine combines the fine texture and compact branching of Physocarpus ‘Nana’ with the dark foliage of Physocarpus Diabolo. Smaller than other ninebark varieties, Summer Wine is an easy way to introduce wine colored foliage into the home garden. It is fast growing and has few, if any, pest problems. Its graceful, arching habit makes it very appealing in the landscape. It adds beautiful color and vibrancy to your garden, especially in Spring. In early June it blooms with white button-like flowers that accent the leaves nicely. Pruning and other maintenance is rarely needed. Use it as a bold accent or part of a mixed border. Summer Wine may even be cut for use in arrangements. This is a trouble-free addition to either the home or commercial landscape.

The Summer Wine has won 3 Theodore Klein Awards from the University of Kentucky Arboretum.


Common Name:  Summer Wine Ninebark

Scientific Name:  Physocarpus opulifolious ‘Seaward’

Type:  Perennial, Shrub

Exposure:  Full Sun – Partial Shade

Size:  5-6’ height, 5-6’ spread

Bloom Color:  Pink

Bloom Period:  Summer

Foliage Color:  Burgundy / Purple

Landscape Use:  Border, Container, Mass Planting, Woodland Garden

Soil:  Well-Drained

Growth Rate:  Moderate

Zone:  3 – 8

Companion Plants:  Blanket Flowers, Dayliy, Coneflower, Spireas, Coreopsis


Little Devil Ninebark

A compact upright shrub with burgundy leaves; features small pinkish-white spirea-like flowers followed by subtle reddish fruit, and interesting peeling papery bark; extremely tough and durable, good for massing or general garden use.

Little Devil Ninebark features showy clusters of white flowers with shell pink overtones at the ends of branches in early Summer. It has burgundy foliage throughout the season. The small serrated lobed leaves turn purple in Fall. It produces red capsules from early to mid Fall. The peeling tan bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Little Devil Ninebark is a dense multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape palnts with less refined foliage.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and can be pruned at anytime. It has no significant negative characteristics

Little Devil Ninebark is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • General Garden Use
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • Accent

Little Devil Ninebark will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. It has a low canopy. It grows at a medium rate, and uner ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under average home landscape conditions.

This is a selection of a native North American species.

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The Miss Kim Lilac is one of the most beautiful and fragrant of all lilac bushes. The light lavender blooms stand out nicely against the background of the dark, glossy green foliage. As with all lilacs, the Miss Kim lilac prefers full sun to thrive, but will also live in areas of partial shade, at the expense of fewer blooms. The green foliage turns a deep burgundy red in the autumn months, making the Miss Kim Lilac one of the most beautiful of the lilacs in the fall as well.

The Miss Kim is a very popular shrub for many reasons. The blooms have one of the most intoxicating scents of all flowers. The Miss Kim is even more fragrant than roses. The compact and upright rounded form makes them perfect for either border plants or for a specimen planting. The Miss Kim will grow to a height of six to seven feet with a mature spread of five to siz feet. This makes it small enough to be manageable in nearly every garden.

The Miss Kim, unlike many other lilac shrubs, is very resistant to powdery mildew. Unfortunately, it is not as drought resistant as some of its cousins. When faced with a prolonged period of drought, the Miss Kim lilac will often shed much of its foliage. Thought by may to be the number one lilac in the Mid-Western United States, the Miss Kim was originally native to Korea.

Common Name: Manchurian lilac
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Oleaceae
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 4 to 9 feet
Spread: 5 to 7 feet
Bloom Time: May
Bloom Color: Lavender
Bloom Description: Lilac
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flowers: Showy Flowers, Fragrant Flowers
Leaves: Good Fall Color
Wildlife: Attracts Hummingbirds, Attracts Butterflies
Tolerates: Deer
Uses: Cut Flower, Hedge
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Do you love the flowers of Weigela, but wish that they would bloom longer? Introduced in 2012, Sonic Bloom Weigela Pink is one in a series of 3 reblooming Weigela. The pure pink flowers have a yellow throat, as the flowers mature they fade to a pale pink. Sonic Bloom Weigela is a real treasure to add to your landscape. These shrubs bloom in the late Spring (May) and then it becomes a supersonic rebloomer all summer until the Fall frost. The loads of pink blooms contrast beautifully with the dark green foliage. If planted in full sun the Sonic Bloom Weigela grows 4-5′. It is a fast growing shrub that is trouble free. If needed, prune back right after the first spring bloom.

Prefers well-drained soils but is adaptable to other soil types. Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to develop a deep, extensive root system. Fertilize in early spring with a controlled-release fertilizer.

Garden Styles: Cottage, Rustic
Zone: 4-8
Light Needs: Full Sun
Water Needs: Needs regular watering, weekly or more often in extreme heat
Growth: Reaches 4 to 5 ft. tall and wide
Growth Rate: Moderate
Growth Habit: Round
Flower Attributes: Long Bloom Season, Repeat Flowering, Showy Flowers
Special Features: Attracts Hummingbirds, Deer Resistant, Easy Care
Landscape Uses: Border, Mass Plantings
Flower Color: Pink
Blooms: Spring and late Summer to hard frost
Foliage Color: Green
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Guacamole Hosta – Hosta of the Week!!

On August 12, 2013, in Garden Facility, by Admin

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. The Guacamole Hosta tolerates full sun in cool summer climates. Elsewhere it is best in part shade (some morning sun). Guacamole Hosta are tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions as well. This Hosta performs best in rich, moist, organic soils, with a preference for consistent moisture during the growing season,  but plant have tolerance for some dry shade once established. Water is best applied directly to the soil beneath the leaves. Divide plants as needed in Spring or Autumn. Division is usually easiest in Early Spring before the leaves unfurl.

Guacamole is a medium hosta with leaves the color of guacamole. It is a sport of Hosta ‘ Fragrant Bouquet’. It grows in a mound to 18″ tall but spreads over time to as much as 50″ wide! It features slightly convex, wide oval, chartreuse-gold leaves (to 11″ by 8″) with irregular darker bluish-green margins. Leaves are glossy above the glaucuous below with distinctive veining, mucronate tips and cordate to overlapping leaf bases. Funnel-shaped, highly fragrant, almost white flowers bloom in mid-Summer on pale green scapes rising to 36″ tall.

Hostas are a mainstay of shade gardens. This variegated hosta makes an interesting garden specimen. It is effective in groups or massed. It can be mixed with other perennials in shady borders, shade gardens or woodland gardens.

Common Name: hosta
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Agavaceae
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 1 to 1.5 feet
Spread: 3 to 4 feet
Bloom Time: July to August
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flowers: Showy Flowers
Leaves: Colorful
Wildlife: Attracts Hummingbirds
Tolerates: Dense Shade, Black Walnuts

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