That's our 'Welcome' sign as it sits today in a kind of nook on the side of our temporary home at Vic/Equation Boy/Man's house.  It is around the side of their front porch on the driveway side.  And I planted it there right after I took it out of our yard when we were leaving our old house.  And it has stayed there ever since.

Here's a post showing the same sign over four years ago when we got it.  Kind of poetic, isn't it?  That the same sister who gave me the sign has given us her home while they're gone?  And the sign basically came home?

And thanks to Google Photos, here's a collage photo of them both together:
The sign has aged a bit and has some rusting/pitting on the front of it, but otherwise has stood up pretty well to the conditions.  It has spent all four seasons planted outside.  Hoping, once we figure out what we're doing, it'll come with us to our new home and find a spot in the front to welcome our future guests there.
That screenshot of an email, above, is the note I received back from "The Master Gardener" at the University of Illinois Extension office in DuPage County.  And...now, I think we can put this mystery to bed:  we have Ostrich Ferns.  Confirmed.

Yesterday, I posted a few photos of them at my mother-in-law's house and those are the photos that I supplied to the Master Gardener.

No more guessing about Cinnamon vs. Ostrich ferns for all the ferns that I have in Naperville.  But, what about the one I bought at the plant sale this year?  It was marked as a Cinnamon Fern, but could the gardener who brought it in be confused like I was?  Time will tell.  But, that one is planted in Elmhurst at our temporary home, so it won't be transplanted anywhere else to get confused going forward.

I feel good about this.  And, I feel really great about the Master Gardener.  What a resource!  I'm going to use it whenever I have a gardening question going forward.  And you should to!  You can reach them at the email address on this site.

#ThanksMasterGardener
That's a shot of Nat's Mom's backyard where she has a - now - pretty sizable stand of ferns.   They look really great.  But, what *exactly* are they?  Take a close look at the fern fronds below:
They look A LOT like these that are called Ostrich Ferns, don't they?

But, what about these? They're labeled as Cinnamon Ferns.  They look pretty right on, too, don't they?

I'm starting to think that we do, indeed, have Cinnamon Ferns after all.  This map shows where Ostrich Ferns are present in Illinois.  I think this indicates wild versions, but my hunch is that if they're that 'rare' in terms of presence, we don't have them.  But, at the same time, when I look at the photos of Cinnamon Ferns as they grow, they don't look like what we have.  Weird, right?

And over at Dave's Garden, it sure seems like we have Ostrich Ferns after all?  Might need to bring one in to the University of Illinois Extension office for clarification?  Do they do that?  There's a "Master Gardener" email address listed on the site.  Maybe I should send them a few photos?
I don't know about you, but I love me some rools.  Almost as good as some gardiner.   But, we should probably get takeout because we have to get home to run our O Gage trains, right?

You can get this sweet deal in the Elmhurst City Centre on the west side of York Street at the Elmhurst Sushi Nest.  See you there, dudes!

Coming on Wednesday, June 8th to the York Theatre in Elmhurst is the film 'Peggy Guggenheim, Art Addict' as the latest in the Art @ York series.  You can see all the history of the Art @ York series here on the blog.  This one is a documentary.  And...it doesn't (like last month) feature one of my favorites:  Rachel Weisz.  Too bad.

From the Classic Cinemas' site:
This documentary is a portrait of a patron of the arts extraordinaire who transformed a modest fortune into one of the premiere collections of twentieth century modern art.
The girls and I planted these Phlox in a couple of pots that my sister had laying around her yard over the weekend.  We, of course, had to go out and add some 'thrill' and 'spill' to them, right?  So, we picked up the old standy-bys of a Spike in back and a Sweet Potato Vine dangling in front.  Not super creative, but we checked all three boxes of your typical planter setup.  They're perennials, but I'm not sure they'll over-winter in the pots?  Maybe if I pull them into the garage?

These Creeping Phlox call for full sun, so we put them on the driveway right on either side of the big garage door.  The girls now both have watering cans, so I'm thinking they'll get well watered this summer.
Saw this as I walked by the Chicago Theatre this week on my way into the office.  While I know she's a legend, it was her stop on the Stern Show that made me think about her.  So...seeing her selling out three shows at the Chicago Theatre just made me smile.   Glad she's still be appreciated and that *she's* still creating.
Yesterday, I posted about the Cinnamon Fern that we picked up at the Elmhurst Garden Club Plant Sale that I planted at my sisters house but today I'm sharing the details of another plant that we bought:  the Hosta Venusta.

This one, however, isn't going to go in the ground in Elmhurst.  Nope...it's fate is destined for Naperville where we can tuck it in next to our other orphans like the giant hostas that we transplanted last year.

Here's a better look at the Venusta Hosta plant.  It is classified as a 'miniature'.
Based on the  reviews of the ladies selling these things in Elmhurst, this sounds like one of the very few miniature hostas that you can actually plant in the ground and it *will* come back.  Around the web, you can find people commenting that they're 'very hardy' and 'spread just like bigger hostas', so that's good.

So, this weekend when we're out and about, we'll make a stop in Naperville and get this thing planted and cross our fingers that it'll thrive - enough so - that we can perhaps think about leaving some behind while we take some with us when we're ready.

The Cinnamon Fern that I mentioned in yesterday's post about our trip to the Crestview Ladies Garden Sale in Elmhurst has found a new home: on the southside of the yard of our current place. I put it right next to a few hostas that my sister has planted and just past their hammock setup. It is a pretty shady spot and based on what I *thought* I knew about Ostrich and Cinnamon Ferns (which....based on this being a Cinnamon Fern, I may know NOTHING!), I know they like to stay pretty wet and out of the sun.

When I planted this after work, it was totally shaded and based on the trees overhead, I'm thinking this will be in the shade most of the day.  Look at those hostas behind it:  they don't seem to be drying out/burning out in the sun.  So, I'm thinking we're safe.

In the past, these ferns have multiplied pretty rapidly.  I would have one set of shoots come up and by the end of the season, there'd be two or three more.  Planting this one in mid-May, I'm not sure how/if it will multiply this year, but I'll be baby-ing it to make sure it survives through the summer.  By next Spring, it will (hopefully) have some buddies that pop through the mulch.  And then?  My Sister and Equation Boy/Man will come home from Switzerland to a few new ferns in their shade garden.
Over the weekend, we stopped by the Crestview Garden Club Annual Plant Sale on St. Charles Road by York High School and despite the weather (it was cold!) we wandered through the selection and picked out a few plants.

I wrote about the same plant sale three years ago here on the blog.

This time, shopping was a little different because we don't have our own house right now.  So...we were there to buy some plants, but with a mind of either planting them to add something to my sister's yard or something that we can plant in Nat's Mom's garden with the hope of being able to transplant them next year or beyond.

I went there seeking out a fern that I could plant here in Elmhurst and came away with two ferns:  one for my sister's yard (the one on the right) and one that we'll plant in Naperville (on the left).  The one on the right is listed as a 'Cinnamon Fern'.  Which...I think I've confused with Ostrich Ferns!  This is a pretty profound moment here for me:  have I been wrong about Ostrich Ferns this whole time?  Just look through the archives here.  I've written about them a lot.  But, have they always been Cinnamon Ferns?

Either way...I'm hoping that this one will take root here in her shade bed on the south side of her backyard and eventually reproduce like the other ferns I've had.  Wouldn't that be a nice surprise to come home from Switzerland to in your yard?  A bunch of beautiful ferns?!?!
I also bought a miniature hosta variety that can grow *in the ground* and not required to be in a pot.  I'll post about that later and include a photo, but I'm thinking that one will go off to Naperville, too.
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