We began together: the stakes had just been set for the foundation of our new home in the midst of a former alfalfa field, and Landscape Artisans had just opened for business. It was a happy coincidence that has resulted in surroundings we love and a lasting friendship.

Our guidelines were simple: use native plantings, include lots of color and keep it low maintenance. The first two were achieved beautifully. The third is a work in progress, but with the excellent landscape management services overseen by Lisa Stubbe, maintenance happens!

The project began in late 1991, and continues to this day. Gardens are never finished, and gardeners and landscape designers always have new ideas to try. Over the years, Lance Abts and his team have been responsive, giving us good advice on plantings and their care, designing new solutions as conditions changed (from no shade when we began to plentiful shade from maturing trees) and helping us plan and install new beds.

The landscape changes daily, seasonally, yearly. It is dynamic and beautiful even on the grayest of Wisconsin winter days. In spring, Siberian iris, hundreds of daffodils, scilla and barren strawberry compliment the fresh green of the lawns. Summer brings masses of black-eyed Susans, purple coneflowers, shrub roses, the tiny flowers of sedum, colorful daylilies and the wild profusion of native forbs and grasses at the entrance to our home. Tall grasses shimmer in the autumn sun, complimented by the sturdy blossoms of sedum Autumn Joy and obedient plants. Stems of red twig dogwood, glossy hollies and their bright berries are stunning in the winter snow, against a background of evergreens and the peeling bark of a River birch grove.

There will always be new possibilities as the plantings continue to mature, and Lance and the Landscape Artisans team will be here to explore them with us.


~ Diane and Greg

Lance Abts has been my personal "garden guru" for the past twenty years in two very different residential locations. As with many gardeners, I am always coming up with new problems or challenges for Lance. I can count on him to come up with creative ideas and solutions to solve these problems but in the process he listens to and values my opinions and preferences. I would characterize our working relationship as collaborative; one that is rewarding to both of us. Lance is a joy to know and to work with and his employees are first rate. I highly recommend Lance and his company, Landscape Artisans for whatever landscape project you have.

~ Margaret

Working with Landscape Artisans was so much fun! Even though I never lifted a rock or planted a shrub I know that my personality is alive in my landscape choices. Even weeding has taken on new meaning as I've come to appreciate the names of my plants. Lance has been inspirational as he patiently answers my question: Is this a weed or a plant? His rule of thumb, if you like it let it grow and enjoy it...I would add, love it!

~ Deborah

For us, Landscape Artisans is Lance, Lisa, Jeff, Andy, Chris, Felipa...Working with these talented, experienced, responsive, friendly individuals we've learned the meaning of seasonal interest, texture and drifts of color. We've watched our lot, a combination of farmfield and jungle develop into a beautiful, natural, cohesive property that enhances our home and our life.

~ Annette and Skip

The designs created and implemented for our yard reflect that Landscape Artisans is a most appropriate name for the company. The knowledge, talent, skill, and professionalism that Lance, Lisa, and the site teams bring to a job are outstanding. When we weren't quite sure of what we wanted recommendations were made in a respectful way with regard to the types of plants that would work best for our woodland setting.

~ Paul and Gloria

It is a pleasure working with Lance and his crew from Landscape Artisans. They are very attentive to every detail resulting in exquisite landscape design and workmanship.

~ Dan and Sandi

We are in the process of completing a very large multi-year home project on over 7 acres of land on the Fox River. The landscaping has been one of the few aspects of that project which has been trouble-free.

I would highly recommend Landscape Artisans. The landscaping has been well thought out and implemented in a timely fashion. They have repeatedly checked the condition of the plants and coordinated the irrigation system that was installed to properly provide optimal growing conditions. All of the plants look amazing design wise as well as exhibiting large increases in size due to good installation practices. In addition to the landscaping plants there was a considerable amount of limestone escarpment installed, a shim walled garden, and a cobblestone driveway. Victor and his crew have done a tremendous job on a difficult site.

The site is comprised of clay, which can be very problematic. The escarpment like terracing has stayed in position and looks natural not contrived. The walls are now part of the DNR's slide show seminar for landscapers showing good riparian land management installation. The shim walled garden is impeccable, and the driveway is outstanding. I can't say enough about the wonderful experience we have had with Landscape Artisans!!!


~ Sue

Landscape Artisans is rightfully named.... they truly are artisans. Lance took the time to sit down with me and discuss my vision for the landscape. We discussed functionality of the space and the degree of maintenance and upkeep I wanted to provide. We discussed how the landscape needs may change not only by the season, but with the years to come. The outcome was beyond my expectations. His use of color, texture, and seasonal variation throughout the space was fascinating. Lance provided the tranquil, relaxing atmosphere we wanted, while still providing just the right amount of "gardening" I wanted to enjoy the outdoors. Lance also worked with me to provide ideas to phase in the landscaping to meet my budget. The space is fabulous year-round. Unique and customized to my needs.

~ Debbie

Bob and I would like to express our appreciation to you and your hard working, diligent crew of guys who transformed our tired, worn out yard into a beautiful landscape. We are so pleased.

The guys were all so polite, friendly, extremely disciplined in their work ethics. We enjoyed being part of "the crew" for a couple of days and welcome a "time off" visit from any of them when they are in the area.

Enjoy the fall season. It's quite beautiful now.


~ Bob and Rosie

Making Dreams Come True

With two daughters who’ve now both reached the magical age where they discover the Disney princesses, my wife and I have heard Cinderella sing “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes,” oh, only a couple hundred times over the last several months. 

And since moving into our new home in July, we’ve also had our share of folks say, “This must be your dream house!”

 Well, it is. But it wasn’t.

When we found what would become our home, it had almost everything we wanted. Five bedrooms. A wooded lot. Situated on a cul-du-sac. Room for our family to grow. And, a price that was affordable.

 But the first time we drove past it, truth be told, I completely dismissed it for one simple reason: With two kids (and hopefully more in our future), I didn’t see the yard as remotely feasible. While the lot is over an acre in size, most of it is a steep wooded hillside and large, multi-leveled retaining wall. There was no way, I thought, that it could work for us.

 And yet, it has, beautifully – thanks to Landscape Artisans.

 It might sound cheesy or hokey to say that Landscape Artisans made our dreams come true – look, I’m a writer by trade, and I know cheesy and hokey when I read or write it – but it’s the absolute truth. I honestly don’t believe we’d be living here today if not for them.

Lance, Mike and their team not only took my wife Paula’s vision and designed exactly what we’d hoped for, but they improved on her ideas – and then delivered the project on time and on budget. They adjusted on the fly when we added a wrinkle late in the process, went above and beyond with their ideas and came through with flawless execution. 

But it was more than that. After being recommended to us by a close relative of ours, they met with us early on in the process – early, as in before we’d even put in an offer on the house – and explained in detail what was realistic. They were honest about the cost and about how long the project would take, and their professional, friendly approach won us over immediately. We felt from the start that we could trust them, and we were right. Without our faith in them, I don’t think we’d have ever gone forward with submitting an offer on the house.

Our multi-use backyard area now includes a brick paver patio, steps up to the girls’ playhouse (which is set into the hill), a flat area for their Rainbow Play Systems swing set and expanded open space for running, jumping and acting crazy, as they are wont to do. Our little Cinderellas are in the backyard nonstop these days, unfazed by seasons, temperature, time or precipitation, but they can’t wait for summer, when they can utilize it fully. 

Landscape Artisans made our dream a reality. And I'm confident they’ll do the same for you. (Bippity-boppity-boo.)

~ Jason & Paula