Rosborough Partners Wins The Gold!


We are excited to announce that Rosborough Partners has won the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA) Gold Award for Residential Maintenance!!

Our client required a meticulously maintained landscape that reflects their aesthetic, facilitates their lifestyle, and retains the amazing golf course views. They needed several outdoor areas they could be confident would always be prepared for entertaining at a moment’s notice, along with a cutting garden to decorate tables with fresh blooms.

So we delivered.

Now the landscape reflects the homeowner’s calm, elegant style, and the immaculately maintained outdoor ‘rooms’ are used as an extension of their home where they can confidently entertain a large party or small group. The rain garden solves a water issue by creating a lovely nature sanctuary for wildlife.

Jose Mercado and his amazing team of landscape professionals have provided meticulous care of the gardens and outdoor spaces, resulting in this wonderful recognition by industry leaders.

(Mike Crews Photography)

Phil’s New Years Message Of HOPE

Happy New Year to you and your families from all of us at Rosborough Partners!

I think this simple greeting takes on a special meaning for each of us heading into 2021 … a message of HOPE! Not just a wishful thinking type of HOPE, but a confident expectation kind of HOPE. Much like a winter landscape after a new fallen snow where everything is fresh and unblemished, a new year offers itself up to us with a profound sense of HOPE … goals to be accomplished, New Years resolutions to be chased after, dreams to be followed … almost everything seems within our grasp as we set out. 

So, what is different for us this year? Let’s face it, we all had the same feeling last year. It was 2020 after all, and the metaphors abounded with 2020 vision, clarity, etc. And then the unthinkable happened. So much of the way we live, work, entertain, celebrate, school and vacation came to an abrupt change … a disruption the likes of which most of us have never seen.

So, here we are a year later still living in these unprecedented times. Why in the world should we have HOPE? Because after living through 2020, we have all proven that we can adapt to anything thrown our way: we are resilient, we are dependent on one another in any number of ways, and we will always find new ways to live and enjoy life.

One way that became an essential adaptation was to be outside whenever possible … to enjoy time with our families and close friends outside. We were privileged to create exciting new spaces for you for a variety of purposes, to steward and maintain your outdoor environments, and to watch lives being transformed despite what was going on in the world.

This is why I am filled with HOPE … what we are privileged to do remains both relevant and vital to our collective psyche, and we remain as committed to you as ever as we head into 2021 and celebrate our 30th year in business.  We thank you for your support … some of you for ALL of those 30 years!

I get to do what I love every day and I thank you for entrusting your gardens with our team. Thank you, and a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Fabulous Fall Finery

Happy first week of autumn! We are definitely feeling it here in the Chicagoland area, and after such a hot, dry August, it feels very welcome. As the leaves begin to turn and we enjoy all things pumpkin spice, maybe author Jim Bishop said it best:

“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.”

As the calendar rolls into fall, our landscapes require special care to maintain their strength through whatever winter has in store so that they return in good health come spring. It is during the autumn months that we provide plants with the nutrition and protection they need to prepare for those bitter cold months.


Our team will be performing regular fall maintenance services as contracted, in addition to the following:

  • Fall decor – We begin fall decor installation this week to dress your home in autumn’s jewel tones and bounty of the harvest season.


This week our team will be performing the following plant health care services:

  • Insecticide on Boxwood for leaf miner prevention
  • Foliar feeding to provide extra nutrition to plants as we prepare for winter’s dormant season
  • Turf fertilization to give your lawn a boost of strength in fall for firm footing going into winter

Getting Ready For Fall

The hot dry of summer has suddenly given way to the cool rain of fall, and we are already working on the transition in your landscape. Maybe everyone’s favorite part of autumn is the amazing display of fall foliage and the tapestry of color it creates in the landscape.

The science behind autumn’s colorful display

For those that are interested in how and why the leaves change color, below is a quick explanation of the science behind the change in leaf color.


Our teams are performing regularly scheduled maintenance as contracted and preparing for the fall season.

  • Fall annuals – We are scheduling installation of fall annuals and decor to begin changing out your seasonal displays.

Plant Health Care

This week our team will be performing the following plant health care services:

  • Ornamental insecticide for healthy plants free of insect damage
  • Animal repellent to ward off their destruction
  • Weed control to keep your lawn healthy and attractive going into the fall season

RP is Offering Watering Services

Watering Services During Times Of Drought

As this dry spell continues, we want to again emphasize the importance of keeping plants watered, especially those that are newly installed and in containers. Because their root system has not yet fully developed, they are more susceptible and cannot sustain through prolonged drought. For that reason we are continuing to remind everyone to watch for wilting, browning and leaf loss on your plants, and to water them accordingly (see watering guidelines below).

The most effective way to maintain proper moisture levels is an irrigation system. These systems can be adjusted to meet appropriate water levels, supplementing when nature doesn’t provide sufficient rain. Our team is available to make these adjustments for our clients.

Also, in an effort to protect your landscape investment, we are offering watering services where irrigation systems are not installed, or in areas with newly installed plants where irrigation services might not be directed and for your container plants.

Watering Guidelines

Proper watering is one of the best things you can do to ensure the start and survival of new and existing plants. Here are a few guidelines to help you keep your landscape looking its best when we are not getting regular rainfall:
Annuals & Perennials – 1-2 hours twice a week, let top of soil dry without plant wilting.
Established Groundcover – 1 hour every 2 weeks.
Small Shrubs – soaker hose or slow trickle 1-2 hours per week.
Ornamental Trees & Large Evergreens – soaker hose or slow trickle 4 hours per week.
Lawns – give new sod a good soaking 45-60 minutes daily. Sprinkle seed daily just enough to keep it moist. Established lawns need 1-1.5″ of water per week, depending on sun exposure, or you can let lawn go dormant.

Design For Staying At Home

We understand the challenge that families and friends are facing with restrictions in place. Suddenly in 2020, time at home has taken on new meaning … your home has become your office, your restaurant, your school, your gym and your vacation spot … definitely strange times we are in!

So how do we make the best of what could be the new normal for the foreseeable future? How do we make our homes more functional for this situation and going forward? Can we add value to our property in the process? If we have to be at home, let’s make it stunning while we’re at it.

RP can make renovations that dovetail with these changes to benefit your lifestyle. Tackling your needs from a design standpoint can provide you the relief you require to make your daily routine much easier and in fact, quite pleasant. Transforming your landscape has the ability to completely transform your life…it is what we excel at and truly enjoy!


Let’s face it, life has changed, but with some rethinking of how we use our homes, there are a variety of options to transform your yard into spectacular outdoor ‘rooms’ that enhance your lifestyle while simultaneously increasing your home’s value. Here are just a few ideas and examples:

  • Outdoor kitchen or bar to mimic your favorite al fresco restaurant.
  • Patio or deck for dining and entertaining under the stars.
  • Pool for a fun family staycation.
  • All season room for working at home.
  • Sport court for your favorite activity at your convenience.
  • Gazebo for an outdoor classroom.
  • Fire pit for casual gatherings while social distancing.
  • Pergola to provide much needed shade from the hot sun.
  • Edible garden to grow fruits and vegetables for the freshest flavors and nutrition.
  • Bird sanctuary or water garden to escape to when you need a moment of zen.

Taking Exceptional Care Of Your Landscape

What a wonderful time of year! The grass is green, temperatures are moderate, and nature abounds. Most of the wildlife we see is beneficial to the garden, but some are pests that become a nuisance, and mitigating their damage is our challenge during the season. This year, because of the mild winter and excessive moisture in May, we will be working extra diligently to minimize the effects of an expected increase in pests and diseases this year.


As part of our effort to keep you current on issues that affect your landscape, we have an update regarding a couple of pests our teams have become aware of on several properties.

First, the 17 year Northern Illinois Sub-Brood Cicada is appearing in landscapes throughout the Chicagoland area. When they emerge from the ground the mature female deposits her eggs in tree leaves. As these eggs hatch the nymphs drop to the ground and burrow in the soil to feed on root sap, emerging 17 years later (some species are 13 years), bringing their life full circle.

You may have already noticed their sound, and while noisy and maybe a nuisance, there is no effective treatment other than picking them off by hand or washing them off with a garden hose.

Second, we have Leaf Beetles on Viburnum that are turning healthy foliage into lacy skeletons. Their life cycle follows a full year, emerging from the soil in spring or summer (depending on weather), with adult females laying eggs throughout the summer in leaf holes they’ve chewed. Next year the eggs hatch and the larvae continues munching away on Viburnum leaves throughout spring, then crawl back into the soil to pupate and emerge later in spring or summer, completing the cycle.

To minimize their number and damage, it is recommended to cut out affected twigs to lessen larvae numbers. For more extensive issues, treatments can be applied to further reduce adult numbers.


In addition to regularly scheduled maintenance, our crews are currently performing the following:

  • Shrub pruning to retain attractive shape, improve air circulation to reduce disease, and cut out damaged or diseased branches.


Our plant health care team is currently providing the following services:

  • Leaf beetle on Viburnum treatments.
  • Turf fertilization – round two.
  • Weed control continues on turf and hardscape.
  • Rose care continues.

Protecting Your Landscape From Water Damage

“Predicting rain doesn’t count. Building arks does.” ~ Warren Buffet

It has been raining … and raining, and raining, and raining. Having hit record rainfall three years in a row for the month of May, this continued over abundance of water has become an issue for many yards. Fortunately there is planning you can do and steps we can take to mitigate the effects of too much rain on your landscape. Because every property is unique, and every town has regulations to follow, custom solutions must be found for each situation. Our team assesses your circumstance and presents options based on your specific needs.

With more rain in the forecast, we want to make you aware of what to watch for, and what some of the options are for correcting drainage issues to prevent them going forward.

What To Watch For

If you notice standing water or spongy, water-soaked soil around your garden, watch your plants for the following signs:
  • Yellow, wilting or dropping leaves
  • Spongy flesh at the leaf base and/or stem
  • Stunted growth or lack of flowers
  • Rotting odor

Correcting Drainage Issues

The variety of solutions spans levels of severity and budget, and can all be done without sacrificing the beauty of your landscape. With above ground and below ground options, your preference may depend on whether you want to collect rainwater for watering your gardens during summer droughts, or if you want invisible drainage that retains yard space.

Solutions to consider if you are experiencing drainage issues in your yard:

  • Rain barrels
  • Regrading
  • Bog or rain garden
  • Engineered drainage solution
  • Underground storage
  • Rainwater collection system
  • Retention pond

NOTE: We continue to respect physical distancing protocols for staff and client safety, and encourage communication by phone for immediate requests while crews are on site.

Spring Has Arrived!!

We hope you are as excited about spring arriving as we are!! We are in the final throes of preparation for the upcoming season, and while we put the finishing touches on our schedule, we thought it was appropriate to address the uncertainty regarding the current COVID-19 pandemic. All of our lives and businesses have been disrupted by this significant health concern and we are navigating this new landscape as it unfolds just like all of you.  We want to simply assure you we are taking extra precautions in our offices and in our production work on sites to do our part to minimize the chance of spread. We realize this health concern has disrupted businesses and individual lives across the globe, including here in the Chicagoland area. Below are some of the initial efforts we are doing at Rosborough Partners to protect all of you and our employees: 

  • Additional levels of cleaning and disinfecting of tools, equipment and vehicle surfaces, over and above our already stringent practices.
  • Postponement of all large team member meetings until further notice.
  • All team member training and orientation will be completed in smaller groups to follow recommended protocol of groups no larger than 10.
  • We are reducing team members working at all 3 of our locations to below the recommended protocol of 10, with remaining team members working remotely 

 With the above modifications in place, our teams are looking forward to beginning spring cleanup operations in these next couple of weeks. As always, if you have any special requests, please let us know.  Spring is a time of rebirth, rejuvenation and renewal and we could all use a bit of that right now!  So, we look forward to seeing and connecting with you over these next few weeks. Know that the beauty of nature is timeless, and we feel blessed to be able to add some beauty to all of your lives … especially now more than ever!

We are grateful for your continued confidence in our care and stewardship of your landscape and gardens. It is a privilege to serve you!  Blessings and good heath to you and your families!

Blaine Owens, Principal
Phil Rosborough, President


Frostbite & Tips to Prevent It

It’s more than chills and chattering teethFrostbite can lead to severe, permanent injury to body parts exposed to bitter cold. The good news is you can avoid it by dressing warmly, drinking lots of water, and knowing when to stay in.

What Is Frostbite?

It happens when the skin — and sometimes the tissues — of your ears, nose, fingers, or toes freeze in extremely cold temperatures. It can be sneaky. The affected places go numb, but it’s what you don’t feel that can do serious damage. In severe cases, frostbite can require amputation, which is removal of the body part.

To avoid frostbite, you’ll need to rely on all your senses. Stay alert for:

  • Exposed skin that starts to look red. It might throb, prickle, burn, or sting. These are usually the first signs.
  • Areas that look yellowish-gray or white, waxy, or feel too firm
  • Lack of feeling in a part of your body that’s exposed to cold

Dress for Excess

The only sure way to prevent frostbite is to limit the amount of time you spend outdoors in extremely cold weather. But if you plan to spend time outside, dressing right is a must. Here are some tips:

Layer up. You’re not after the snowman look. Play it loose, light, and comfy.  Flowy layers keep warm air in, close to your body.

Wear a synthetic fabric next to your skin. Undergarments that pull moisture from your body are best. Cover those with a fleece and wool layer. It’ll help retain body heat.

Top off your layers with outerwear that wards off wind and water. Down jackets and ski pants are good choices.

Tuck in your toes. You’ll need to wear not one – but two – pairs of socks. Like your clothing, the pair underneath should wick moisture from your skin. Next, pull on a pair made of wool or wool-blend. Foot warmers can work well, too. Just make sure they’re not too bulky beneath your boots; tightness hampers blood flow.

Make sure your footwear is waterproof and covers your ankles. You don’t want snow and dampness to seep in.

You have a greater chance of getting frostbite if your clothes and footwear get wet. Make sure your layers stay dry.

Don’t forget your fingers. Mittens are your best bet to protect your digits from frostbite. If you prefer gloves, choose a cozy pair and try moisture-wicking glove liners under them.

Heading out. A hat or headband made of fleece, heavy wool, or wind proofing fabric is your best choice. Make sure it covers your ears. Add a face mask or scarf if the cold is extreme. It’ll protect your face and nose. It’ll warm the air you breathe in, too.

H2O to go. Drink lots of water. Down at least a whole glass and eat a good meal before you venture out. Avoid alcohol. It makes you lose heat more quickly. Want a sweet treat to bump up your body heat? A mug of hot cocoa might hit the spot.

Mind the Clime

Trust your weather forecast, and note those wind-chill readings. If it’s super cold and windy, frostbite can attack exposed skin within minutes. Take along emergency supplies in case you can’t get back as quickly as you plan. Include extra clothing for warmth.

Check in With Friends

It’s best to be prepared, whether or not you think you’ll need help. Before you venture out, let people know where you’re headed and when you’ll be back. If you’ll be somewhere remote, tell them which route you’re taking.

Keep It Moving

Staying in motion while you’re out keeps your blood flow up and helps you stay warm. Be sure you don’t overdo it, though. You’ll need your energy in the cold.