Posts

Three More All Gold Japanese Forest Grasses In Curved Border - May 2021

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I added three new All Gold Japanese Forest Grasses to this little curve in our backyard bringing the border total to six with three more in the back.  Back on May 9th, I posted a photo showing how I moved three of these to the edge of the new bed .  These three new ones are from the Arbor Day Plant Sale from the Morton Arboretum.   Here's what the sign looked like at this most recent sale - where they were asking $18.95 each. I bought eleven (11) of these last Fall at the Morton Arboretum Fall Plant sale for $16 each .  That means that I now have nine of these back in this spot and five up front - in between two driveways.  I have these planted by themselves in a border, but seeing them now I think I should move the back three a little closer to these front three to make more of a drift.  This pdf describes a drift as 'a colony' and I kind of like that description.   Here's what I'm thinking in terms of some transplanting in this area with last year's grasses i

Weeping White Spruce - New Leader + New Growth - May 2021

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When I planted the small Weeping White Spruce in our backyard in 2019 , I noticed at the time that the tree had a sort of dual-leader-thing going on.  I think that's pretty common for young trees that are shipped to retailers:  tree nurseries are likely keeping small trees with ONE STRONG leader in the ground at their nursery because those trees have the strongest likelihood of growing big, tall and straight.  So, we see a lot of trees that have double leaders.  Despite noticing it, I didn't do anything about it.  My habits in terms of tree pruning have changed A LOT in the past four years.   How so?  Well, I was taught by my Dad to limb-up trees.  You want them to grow big and tall, so any energy that they dedicate to the bottom is wasted.  And, I did that.  Making a bunch of immature trees almost lollipop-looking.  And I lost some.    And decided to take a step back and NOT prune trees very much.  This Weeping White Spruce has been the benefactor of that new practice.   I too

Aphid Control on Greenspire Lindens - Spring 2021

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Last week, I posted a photo of my horizontal cordon espalier Greenspire Lindens as they were about to break bud for the Spring. The trees are starting to really fill out and look like I wanted them to look - now in their fifth growing season.  But, last year something happened.  These trees were swarmed by yellow jackets .  And, after a little bit of research, I discovered that the trees were inhabited by Linden Aphids - which is (apparently) quite common.   Last Fall, I took the first step to trying to treat the Aphid infestation - and figured out that there are two ways to treat trees:  with either persistent contact treatments or systemic treatments . Persistent contact sprays - they kill what they contact.  And they'll last from a few hours on the leaves up to a few days.  They're good for more immediate results, but they have some downsides in that they may harm non-targets (meaning...they will kill not just aphids). That's what I tried to use November .  My thought

Pre-Bonsai: Bird's Nest Spruce - May 2021

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I had four bonsai-related items on my 2021 to-do list for the yard and garden .  One of them - Number 10 -  was to buy some pre-bonsai materials that I can purchase as smaller stock (and thus, lower prices) to use in later seasons.  Number 10 on the list reads: That idea of buying some pre-bonsai is something that I've done before by buying nursery stock and sticking it directly in the ground.  The guys at Bonsai Empire have a page up about pre-bonsai where they give you some tips on how to do it; including what to kind of look for when buying nursery stock.  I currently have three pre-bonsai junipers that I've picked up over the years - two in the ground and one in a larger container .  My plan for this year - #8 on the list - is to 'work' those three this season.  That means digging them up, pruning them a bit and likely sticking them back in the ground to overwinter in their pots at the end of the season.   But, this post isn't about those old pre-bonsai tre

Kanzan Cherry Blossoms - May 2021

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2021 marks the second year in a row that we are being treated to some pink peony-like Cherry Blossoms on our Japanese Kwanzan Flowering Cherry Tree (or... as the Missouri Botanical Garden points out...it is also called the "Kanzan" vs. "Kwanzan" .  I'm thinking I'm going to start calling this a Kanzan from here out...) in our backyard.  Our tree was bought from Menards after my first trip to Tokyo in 2017 and we planted it right around Earth Day that year.  It was blooming when I bought it.   This was the first Japanese-inspired piece of our garden puzzle - that have been subsequently complemented with the Japanese Maple tree, ferns and some grasses.   So...let me do a list here: 2017: Bloomed (when purchased) in mid-May . 2018: Bloomed that first Spring after being planted in mid-May . 2019: No blooms.  Looked like it wanted to in mid-May .   2020:  Bloomed (during the pandemic) in early May . 2021:  Bloomed in late April (photos in this post were taken

Autumn Ferns Planted - May 2021

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The fourth piece of this little newly planted bed section on the southside of the property are a trio of Autumn Ferns.  First, I transplanted 15 green hostas .  Then, I planted a dwarf Japanese Maple Tamukeyama tree and just yesterday, I posted photos of three Dolce Apple Twist Heucheras .  All in the same section.  Dryopteris erythosora is the cultivar of these Autumn Ferns that I planted from 1# nursery containers that you can see below.  I bought these at Home Depot and thought they'd be a nice fern diversity away from Ostrich Ferns. The Missouri Botanical Garden has a nice listing for these - and mentions that they have a Japanese-gardening-related name: Japanese Shield Fern.   Dryopteris erythrosora , commonly called Japanese shield fern or autumn fern, is an arching, evergreen (semi-evergreen in cold winter climates) fern that grows in a vase-shaped clump to 2' tall and as wide. It is native to woodland hillsides and mountain slopes in Japan, China and Taiwan. New frond

Dolce Apple Twist Heucheras - Three Planted May 2021

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Yesterday, I posted some photos of our new Japanese Maple tree and included in those photos was a brief look at three of these Dolce Apple Twist Heucheras that I bought at the same time.  Again...not planned - which may have been a mistake - but also, I bought three (not one!).  Here's a look at the 1# nursery pots that they came in: And here's a look at the back of the plant tag showing the height (10") and spacing (20") and a description of the colors (changes with the seasons).  It was their color (chartreuse) that drew me to them thinking that they'll be a nice contrast against some other items in this section. I planted these three in a row on the new border - just outside of the Japanese Tamukeyama Maple and surrounded by some transplanted hostas.  These (below) are the first four of the (ultimate) 15 hostas that I transplanted and posted about last week.  Also, on the left are a few ferns - some of the items listed as companion plants on the tag.  More on t