It Started With a Vision 3

Pete Wodarz had a vision. While a student studying architecture, intent on building structures destined to stand for generations, he saw something else. His interests were evolving to a never-ending palette of colors, shapes and sizes that change with the seasons, move in the breeze and provide respite from a busy world.

“I realized it was time to pivot to landscape architecture,” Wodarz recalled recently. “And I’ve never regretted it.”

Wodarz, the founder and one of the managing partners of Milieu Landscape Design, works with a variety of clients across the Chicago area to create outdoor spaces for living.

Soon after graduating from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), Wodarz founded Milieu Design in 1987. Since then, the company has grown into a full-service landscape architecture, design/build and maintenance firm.

“Our distinguishing core values are reflected in our landscape design projects,” Wodarz says.

The company’s work leverages the natural character of a space through collaborative evaluation, design and construction. Each project is thoughtfully and carefully managed under Wodarz’s expertise, as well as the experience of the in-field technical staff, to assure a client’s complete satisfaction.

In all cases, the step-by-step process of transforming an outdoor setting begins with design.

“We assess the property, analyze soil, make judgements on plants and groupings that will thrive in the setting and spend time with the clients to hear about the yard of their dreams,” Wodarz says.

Next, Milieu landscape technicians efficiently install turf, plants and other yard components.

Maintaining an installation is critical. Clients are provided a care plan to ensure that, as the plants grow and seasons change, the landscape evolves into exactly what the clients envision.

“We offer comprehensive maintenance solutions to help a yard continue to look great,” Wodarz says, adding that a maintenance schedule needs to be properly planned and executed throughout the year.

In addition to designing, building and maintaining great looking yards, Milieu provides a variety of other services ranging from lighting and irrigation systems, to firewood delivery and snow removal.

To keep up to date with current trends, the firm belongs to the Associated Landscape Contractors of America and the Illinois Landscape Contractors of America. Wodarz has worked for some clients for more than 20 years. His services include designing and building outdoor spaces for investment properties or vacation homes out-of-state, as well as maintenance of commercial facilities.

Master gardener Laurel Lehman sums it up this way: “Pete meets the needs of his clients, while understanding the overall betterment of both a property and the natural environment. His creativity is unlimited, even for the most challenging project.”

To learn more about Milieu Design go to or call 847.465.1160.