The Pergola Project: Our Experience With LKM Landscaping

We worked with LKM several years ago on an outdoor lighting project that made us very happy, so when it came time to renovate our backyard patio, they were the only company we called.

The primary reason we called LKM focused around two issues. Firstly, we have three trees that outgrew the brick circles LKM laid around them. It should be noted that LKM initially told us our circles would be too small due to the impending growth of the trees, and they were right.  The roots eventually pushed the bricks up, making them uneven.  The diameter of the circles needed to be increased. Secondly, the nine-year-old back patio settled incorrectly which resulted in a large crack. (It should be mentioned that LKM did not lay this patio—our builder did.) We asked LKM if they could enlarge the patio area in such a way that it could comfortably accommodate eight to ten people. I also floated the idea of a pergola because the sun beats down on our backyard as it sets.

LKM sent Daniel McClure, whom we’ve worked with before, and he took into account our needs and ideas. He soon drew up a set of plans that we absolutely fell in love with. Now, to be honest, he gave us the Cadillac of plans. He probably assumed that we would scale back certain aspects. For the most part, though, we kept everything he designed. We plan to raise our kids in our current house, as well as to retire in our current house, and so we looked at it as a worthwhile investment that would increase the quality of our lives.

From start to finish, it took LKM about two weeks to complete the project. This pace amazed us because they took down an old tree and removed its stump; planted five pine trees; tore out and replaced the brick surrounding three Autumn Blazes; broke up our small concrete patio and replaced it with one about four times its size; cut a pattern into the concrete of the new patio; installed new lighting around the new patio; wired that lighting; carried in the pieces of the pergola, stained the pergola, and constructed the pergola from the ground up; regraded a low spot; and planted dozens of new plants. Most amazingly, the same crew did all of this work. The guys planting the prairie grass were the same guys cutting the wood for the pergola and putting it together!

Furthermore, the LKM crew worked relentlessly. They’d start at about 7:30 a.m. and work to 5:00 p.m. Other than a lunch break, they pretty much powered through the day, every day. And though we didn’t interact with the crew very much, they were perfectly friendly when we did. We found them all to be pleasant, accommodating, and respectful of the property.

Now, just to be clear, this project proved very expensive. However, we knew the work would be done correctly, we knew LKM guarantees their efforts, and, frankly, we like working with LKM. This is a company that takes pride in its projects, its quality, and its customer service.

If you’re thinking of completing an outdoor project, I completely recommend LKM. You can pay their website a visit by clicking HERE, and you can also contact our project manager, Daniel McClure, by calling this number: (309) 454-3600

Here are a few before and after photographs. Let me know what you think! (The fire pit and furniture are from Sam’s.)

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Are you in need of a new epic series? Try Dr. Nekros, a trilogy that I like to describe as Moonlighting meets The X-FilesKindle: https://amzn.to/2X3S7vO or NOOK: http://bit.ly/2JTFXm1

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Bats Of the Republic by Zachary Thomas Dodson – A Book Review

I should say from the outset that this book warrants a second read.  I’ll explain why in a bit.

If you’re a book lover like me, you need to own this work.  Not because it’s a terrific story, but rather because it is so original in format.  I often discuss with my friends the next steps that book publishing should take, and productions like this may be the answer.

Bats Of the Republic takes place both in the future and in the past.  It is comprised of old letters, field journal drawings, handwritten notes accompanied by sketches, chapters from a fictional book written to exist within this book, technical schematics, as well as electronic messages.  It boasts photographs, a fold-out map, beautiful illustrations, and a very (literally) long letter you can take out of an actual envelope.

Its overall design is exquisite and it is, undoubtedly, a multifaceted work of art.

So, even with all that being said, the story itself did not satisfy.  It’s an interesting read, of that there is no doubt.  But it is somewhat repetitive, the plot seems to serve the design, the characters struck me as inexplicably motivated at times, and, frankly, there were moments when I didn’t quite follow why anything happening proved important to the overall story.

However, because there is so much to digest, because it is so visually interesting and spans so many different eras and formats, it is entirely possible that I missed an important aspect of the plot.  I plan to reread the book this summer with fresh eyes and see if I pick up on things previously missed.

Even so, if the story proves to disappoint on a second reading, I will still unabashedly recommend this work to friends on the strength of its design alone.  This is a step forward in publishing, and it’s one that needs to be experienced.

Check Out Jude Landry’s Cover To My Latest Book!

Jude Landry is someone who will be revered one day as an artist … mark my words.  Originally a friend of a friend, I asked Jude almost two years ago if he’d design the cover for a book that I planned to release.  Because I  loved his previous work, I knew Jude would come up with something fantastic.  And so he did.  Best of all?  I like to think we became great friends in the process.  Behold Jude Landry’s cover to Andropia:

Be sure to visit Jude Landry’s website and look at his amazing work by clicking HERE!

And don’t forget, you can use PAYPAL to order a signed copy of Andropia by clicking HERE!