Planting a Bald Cypress - Front Yard Tree

I mentioned in a post that I picked up a late-season Bald Cypress tiny tree at Home Depot recently, but didn't want to mark it down (officially.  Or as official as a blog post here counts as...) as the 26th tree that we've planted since we moved in.  But, now, you can see in the photo above that it is, indeed in the ground.  So we're now at 26 trees.  Full list is at the bottom of this post.  
As I mentioned in the post when I showed off the newly purchased Bald Cypress, this is a tree that we've been stalking for some time.  I *almost* pulled the trigger on a large one at the Growing Place that had a columnar habit, but passed on it at the last minute.  I have a feeling I'll be back next year to buy *that* tree.  But for now, we'll have to try this little guy.
The reason for the little one is both because it was cheap (sure!), but also because of where I planted this thing.  I wanted it to go in the front yard, between our driveway and the neighbor to the nor…

Hostas are Blooming - White Flowers, Glossy Leaves

I've written about hostas on the blog here than maybe any other plant in the garden.  And I've even disclosed why I think I love these things:  my mother and her willingness to toil year-after-year in our super shady, forested yard where the only thing that grew were hostas.    Today, I'm sharing this photo of some hostas that are blooming these spectacular white sets of blooms just in time for the fall season.  I took this photo back in August, but just getting around to posting it now, so if I look back at the garden diary in the coming years, note to self:  August photo. 

These are simple hostas - not variegated or particularly large.  I also know where they're from:  In the last few weeks before we tore the old house down on our lot, I went over there and dug out a bunch of hostas that were in the front yard and just kind of threw them down in the backyard - in an area that I thought was past the far-reaches of the construction fence.  I put them down in the same …

Work-in-Progress DIY Firewood Rack

Just a few days back, I posted a link to these DIY firewood rack brackets that Menards was carrying on their site.  I ordered five sets and got busy working with three of them.  Here, above, is a work-in-progress show that shows the position of one of the racks that I'm building.  This one is the one right outside of the family room door and I've built the rack in a vertical orientation. 

I ended up using some rough sawn cedar that was left over from my fence installation, but that move caused some issues.  Turns out, rough sawn cedar 2x4's aren't the same size as normal, dimensional construction lumber.  They're a bit bigger.  Not true two inches by four inches, but bigger by just a hair. 

Here's the height difference.  On the left is a traditional, Home Depot bought 2x4.  On the right is a rough sawn Cedar 2x4. 

And the thickness difference.

I first went to Home Depot and the one by us has just an indoor lumber yard, so they have limited supply.  The guy loo…

Neighborhood Anemone in Bloom - 2018

Tis' the season for the arrival of these beautiful anemone flowers down the block from our house.  Just about one year to the day, I shared a similar photo of these blooms that are in the front yard of a house a few doors down.  Those of you who have been with me for a while will know that we had an anemone perennial at our old house in Elmhurst.  And it came about because of a re-do of Nat's wedding bouquet

Earlier this Summer, I shared a photo of the 'teardown haul' that I pulled out of Nat's Sister's yard before they started construction.  In that pile of stuff was a perennial that shared some of the characteristics of the anemone plants - with leaves the same shape.  I stuck that plant in the back of our yard and tended to it just a little bit.  After some shock, it appears to have rebounded.  And is growing foliage, but no blooms.  I suppose we won't know until next year if we do, indeed, have anemones or if I rescued some weed that I unknowingly tr…

Our One And Only Tomato - Mortgage Lifter 2018

What has happened to my green thumb?  I mean, c'mon!  We used to have a huge, lush vegetable garden that threw off more produce than we could consume.  Here's a few exhibits:  2012 version. More 2012.   Potatoes in 2013Rapunzel Tomatoes in 2015.  And even carrots.

The past few years?  We've had no garden.  None.

We've tried container gardening.  It isn't working out, folks. 

This year, I planted just one tomato plant:  a Mortgage Lifter

And see that small tomato on the top of this post?  That's it.  One measly Mortgage Lifter ripened on the vine this year. 

Nat is fed up with my lack of production, too!  She recently mentioned that she, too, is pining for the *literal* salad days of yore when we had home-grown produce.  I posted a photo of an raised-bed enclosure that is my inspiration for a Spring project.  There's a lot to do - including the patio expansion, pizza oven construction, landscape plan fulfillment.  But also this:  a ra…

Cadence Kitchen Downers Grove - Coaster Collection

I've hit thirty in the [coaster collection] here on the blog with the posting and sharing of this coaster from Cadence Kitchen & Co in Downtown Downers Grove.  This is the second in a row of Downers Grove joints on the coaster collection with the most recent one being Alter Brewing Company back in August.  I took this photo on our third visit to Cadence Kitchen and each of them have been nice meals and experiences.  Each of them also was on a date night with Nat, so those meals tend to be a bit more relaxed.  One other thing about this one:  I took this photo of the coaster at the bar - that's where we sat.  At the corner seats of the bar actually.  After a night at SMG meeting the teachers. 

From the sounds of it, we're going to have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to upscale dining/bar options in Downtown Downers Grove soon with the eminent opening of Pierce Tavern this fall.   If they have custom coasters, I'll be sure to add them to the collection he…

A DIY (And Custom) Firewood Rack For This Season?

Last year was our first Winter in our house and was also the first year where we ordered a Face Cord of firewood.  I documented that Face Cord - and the location of the rack - here on the blog.  I set up our only rack in our screened porch, where it was covered and protected from the elements.  But last year we didn't have any furniture in the porch, so it was easy to do.  This year?  Nat has set up the room with a full set of furniture and even an indoor/outdoor rug.  So, that means space is limited inside. 

At the same time, I've considered firewood rack options - including posting some inspiration here on the blog.  The placement of the rack has been bouncing around in my brain for the better part of the Summer.  I want to put it in a place that is protected from the elements, but not too far from the door because I know I'll want to walk out there in my house shoes to grab wood for the fire.  Also, I know we'll end up ordering two Face Cords this year because we b…