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AG VanGundy Landscape, Inc. & AG Landscape Materials, Inc.

Archive for May, 2010

We Celebrate 30 Years!

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

This week my landscaping business entered our 30th year. Little did I know 30 years ago that we would stand the test of time and be in business this long. The thought of 30 years has made me want to pause and think. I have much to be thankful for. I fully understand that I did not do this myself. I have been so blessed throughout the years with great employees, mentors, sub-contractors, patient vendors, awesome clients and friends that have often lent a hand or an ear. At the beginning, my father made a statement to me about failure, and that statement became one of my most driving forces, next to taking care of my family. Speaking of my family, they are the people that I would like to thank the most. My two kids (who are now adults), who at times had to wonder why Dad was always at work, but always understood that I wanted to be with them more, yet never held that over me. My wife who has been by my side for over 26 years and has listened when I needed someone to listen, pushed me when I needed a push, or hugged me and told me that “it would be o.k.” when it was tough. I have to thank her the most for she is the strongest person I know. I am the most blessed man I know. God has been good to me. As the business continues into its 4th decade, and meets new challenges, I can only hope that the same love and help that sustained A.G. VanGundy Landscape, Inc. for the first 30 years continues into the next 30 years. I believe in “Drive”, “Moving Forward”, and in “Not Giving Up”. As I have said before, I enjoy the sting in my back after a hard day’s work. This holds as true today as it did 30 years ago. It’s an honor badge for me.

Again, I can’t say enough for all the people that that have helped us through these past 30 years except for Thank You!

A Grateful Owner,
Anthony G. VanGundy

A Retaining Wall Mistake

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Recently one of my client’s neighbors asked me to look at his newly installed Retaining Wall that was built across the front of his home. He commented several times about it being tall enough to see and with the type of blocks used it was nice and straight, and that it was installed for a good price. He had told me that his carpenter knew a couple of guys that could get him a good deal. He could probably tell by the look on my face that something was amiss. He again asked me what do you think? Well? I told him that indeed the wall was straight and level, too. I told him that the material used was o.k., but that he may have problems with his house in the future. I had to explain to him that the wall was really too high for his foundation. The finished level was 4” – 6” above the bottom of the siding. Once the wall was backfilled, the bottom of the house would be covered and not allow for proper ventilation of the siding. This would hold in moisture and could develop into a mold problem or rotting of the interior wall structure and sheathing. I could tell he was disappointed in my statements because he really liked the height of the wall because he “could actually see it”. He wanted to know what would happen if he just didn’t backfill the wall all the way up to the top. This is a good question and not an uncommon one. As time goes by, most people will eventually fill in the void with mulch, plantings… even if it is not by choice, over the winter months the void may will with snow or ice. That’s when the problems could arise. In my opinion, don’t let anyone build up on your house. Let the house breath and you will be happier later.

Getting Ready To Plant Your Annuals

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

We are near the time that here in the Chicago area, people will be planting their Annuals. Today is May 7th and we are still going to experience some 31-32 degree nights this spring. So, hold off planting a little longer.

To prepare for planting the Annuals, I suggest tilling in an inch or two of compost into the planting bed to create a planting soil depth a minimum of about 4 inches. If the existing topsoil in your planting area is a very thin layer, then be careful not to till the compost in too deep as you don’t want to mix in or bring up the clay soil just beneath the topsoil. A good idea, if you have little topsoil and if time allows, is to scrape any available topsoil off and remove some of the clay soil and add a good Garden Mix to the bed and then till in your topsoil. Here at A.G. Landscape Materials, we sell a pre-mixed (at the pulverizer) Garden Mix which consists of 1 part Topsoil, 1 part Compost, 1 part Torpedo Sand. In our experience this combination has worked really well; however there are many different schools of thought as to just the right combination, all of which have there good points. So, we also have the capability of customizing the mix that you believe will work for you. As a matter of fact, we just delivered to one of the local Minor League Baseball teams in the Chicago area a mix that they felt would work for them.

I wish you good luck with your Annuals and hope you have a colorful spring!!