Phil ClelandPhil Cleland
President |

In 1995 Phil established Chicago  Specialty Gardens to bring together great garden  design, superior  materials  and  craftsmanship and  a high level of  customer service in the pursuit of  creating award-winning, one-of-a-kind urban gardens.  In the ensuing  20 years CSG has been extraordinarily  fortunate to have been  part of many fruitful collaborations with clients  and colleagues, and we have much to be proud of.  Phil’s belief  in assembling  teams of creative thinkers and unconventional backgrounds and giving them much autonomy has  led to a unique body of work.

Phil’s interests outside of work include family, running, snow skiing, bowling, billiards, cooking and music of many varieties.  

Ashley OnoAshley Ono
Rooftop Garden Designer |

Ashley is a lifelong Chicago resident, and grew up in the Lincoln Park area.  After high school she studied Architecture at IIT, ultimately graduating with her BS in that discipline.   She spent several years working for a Chicago metal fabricator, and honed her CAD skills at that time.  Since joining CSG in 2013, Ashley has focused her design skills on rooftop garden projects, and has contributed greatly to the company’s work in that area.

Ashley recently announced wedding plans, so her world will be a busy one in 2016!  She enjoys spending time with her fiance Brendan, their  dog Priscilla, and visiting restaurants and rock clubs near their Bridgeport home.  

Gwyneth Owen-WebberGwyneth Owen-Webber
Landscape Designer/Horticultural Maintenance Manager |

After graduating from UW-Madison with her degree in Landscape Architecture, Gwyneth worked for almost 5 years leading a grounds crew for a large corporate facility outside Madison.  The lure of the big(ger) city eventually called, and Gwyn and her fiance Drew (also an LA) headed for Chicago.  Gwyn landed here at CSG, where her responsibilities includes landscape design as well as running the maintenance side of our business.  That includes designing and planting seasonal containers for our clients, which is the really fun part and let’s Gwyn put a lot of her “wow” factor into her work.

Gwyn and Drew recently adopted a rescue dog, Echo, and they reside in Wicker  Park and love wandering the neighborhood searching out fun food joints  and pubs.  

Rick ConnollyRick Connolly
Construction Manager |

Rick comes out of a construction/metal fabrication background here in Chicago.  He is an experienced Project Manager with his degree in Manufacturing Engineering Technology, and has lots of experience in drafting, CAD, engineering, etc.  Basically, Rick knows how to put things  together really, really well!  Growing up near the former Comisky Park, Rick early on developed a love for the White Sox and still enjoys attending their games.   He is also still a Bridgeport resident, where he enjoys all the open parking spaces.

Rick spends his free time working with friends on their craft beer bar, snow skiing, and going back to his friends’  craft beer bar for tasting sessions. And….he is spending a month in Patagonia this winter!  

Jaclyn CastellanosJaclyn Castellanos
Landscape Technician |

Jaclyn is a Loyola University/Chicago grad and our “Field Tech”. Jaclyn is the one who takes great care of our Clients’ garden and maintenance needs. Prior to coming to CSG, Jaclyn was Crew Leader at Midnight Sun Farms, an organic, family-owned farm in Grayslake, IL. With a few years of landscaping and farming under her belt, she finds that nothing makes er happier than having her hands in the dirt. Except maybe shoes. She also likes to spend her free time antiquing, trying new restaurants, reading and singing jazz!  

Santiago MendozaSantiago Mendoza
Landscape Crewmember 

Santi fills the role of Landscape Crewmember well, having a wide range of work experience in landscaping and related work. He is also a bit of a fitness nut, and swims at the local YMCA regularly when he’s not pumping iron or riding his bike. He also enjoys spending time at home in the Pilsen neighborhood.  

Charlie HoeschCharlie Hoesch
Landscape Crewmember 

Charlie first came to work at CSG in 2009 while he was studying for an education degree. In the intervening years Charlie has 1) gotten his degree 2) gotten married 3) moved and 4) started teaching! So Charlie is our go-to summer help when he’s not filling young minds with his brilliant ideas.