Posts

Crabapple Palmette Verrier Espalier Beginnings - Spring 2022

Image
Earlier this week, I showed off a couple of photos that featured the pair of Sugar Tyme Crabapple trees that were in (what I then called) a pre-espalier form .  These were planted last Fall along the southside of our house, in front of our gate.   Since they had already bloomed, I thought it was time to take out the pruners and remove all the non-necessary limbs to allow the trees to focus growth on the limbs that I cared most about.  I started with a top haircut - pruning off the apical meristem or leader on both.  That usually has a strong impact on the tree where it signals a bunch of NEW growth.  I used the siding boards to get them the same height.  From there, I went two siding boards down and removed all the little, starting limbs in between those two segments.  Then, again two boards down.  And so forth.   I still am not sure what form these will take, but - for now - I'm training them horizontally.  See below for what are (now) four-level horizontal cordon espaliered craba

Late Starter: Totem Pole Switch Grass - Mid-May 2022

Image
Most all of our other grasses have woken up already.  But, up until the last few days, I was worried that we had lost the one Prairie Winds Totem Pole Switchgrass that we have planted in our front yard.  It is kind of 'behind' the Norway Maple.  I bought it from the Morton Arboretum Plant Sale last Spring .   By early August, it was putting on some growth, but certainly didn't live up to its billing:  super tall .   Later in the month, it was able to withstand the heat of August and be in fine shape .   But, all Spring, there was NO Activity.  Not a single blade.  And then...we had a heat wave.  Last week, the temperatures were in the 90's all week.  And guess what?  That pushed everything along.  Including this Totem Pole Switchgrass.  See below for how it looks in mid-May: Oh...and see that Lemon Coral Sedum?  It is back for another season.  Groundcover is on my 2022 list , so I should think about more of this, right?

Three New Ivory Prince Hellebores Planted - May 2022

Image
I brought home three Ivory Prince Hellebores from the Morton Arboretum Plant Sale and was able to get them into the ground in the border that held our lone ( previously purchased ) Hellebore.  You can see them in the photo below:   the three Ivory Prince Lenten Roses / Hellebores are now planted in a triangular shape *around* the existing Sally's Shell (now planted in the middle).  This area is bordered by a large/mature Catalpa tree (you can see a peek at the trunk on the far left of this photo below). In the coming days/weeks, I'll mulch these in and have the edge of the bed cleaned up.  With four (now) in this spot, I'm hoping for some self-sowing (according to the Web...that's a thing.  But, it hasn't happened for me just yet) and spreading.  This area calls for ten total Hellebores , so we're getting close to half-way there.  

Crabapple Pre-Espalier Trees in Bloom - May 2022

Image
Last Summer, we planted a pair of Sugar Tyme Crabapple trees on the side of our house - the south side that gets a lot of sun - right up against the foundation.   I watered them in a bit, but we were (mostly) past the heavy heat of the Summer (mid-September is when they went in), so I kind of let the trees just figure things out on their own.  I didn't train these very hard last Fall because of that.  I left them as is and didn't prune anything off of them.  I did, however, put a couple of limbs out horizontally with some light bamboo poles, but otherwise didn't touch them. Earlier this Spring, there was a peek at one of them (naked) in this Disneyland Rose protection post from mid-March .   What happened this Spring?   They woke up.  And put on a really nice show.  Pink buds opened up to white flowers with pink centers clustered all over both trees.  See below for a pair of pre-espalier crabapple (Sugar Tyme - Malus 'Sutyzam') trees . This post is going up on May

Trees Breaking Bud Timing - Spring 2022

Image
Last week, I posted a couple of photos showing the timing of the Cherry Blossoms in our backyard on on small Kwanzan Flowering Cherry Tree .  This was the fifth of six growing seasons where we able to experience Cherry Blossom season.  Kinda nice.    Before we get too far into the Summer, I wanted to post a few photos in the [ tree diary ] showing the timing of some of our trees breaking bud this year.  These photos were all taken on Monday, May 9th.  So, we can call that early/mid May, right? First up - Dawn Redwood.  By May 9th this year, the needles were beginning to show up.  See below: Here's another look at the Kwanzan Flowering Cherry Tree.  Leaves and flowers by early/mid May: Below is the "Grampy Tree" - the first London Planetree in the far back of the yard .   The three smaller ones I planted at the end of last season that I'm planning on PLEACHING aren't this far advanced.  That has me a bit concerned.  Below is the small Pagoda Dogwood tree that we a

Hakonechloa Macra Hakone Grass Back For First Spring - May 2022

Image
Last year, I bought three Japanese Forest Grasses - Hakonechloa Macra Hakone Grass - from Northwind up in Wisconsin and planted them right at the base of the big Northern Red Oak tree - the tree swing tree amongst some hostas.  These grasses are similar to the All Gold variety that I have in a few places, but these aren't as 'lime green' color, but rather a darker green.  They're also (per the signage) more vigorous.   This is their first Spring and all three of them have emerged from the mulch.  You can see them (below) tucked into the border with some hostas (Frances Williams and others) above them.   My plan is to let all of these things come up and then decide if I need to transplant a few things around.   The bare root hostas are starting to get to a more-mature size and as they fill in, I think there might be a few more than necessary here.  

Carex Pensylvanica Black Seed Heads - May 2022

Image
Last year, I planted a few Carex Pensylvanica in our backyard (under the Frans Fontain European Hornbeam trees) that I brought home from Northwinds Perennial Farm up in Wisconsin.  It doesn't look like I planted anything about these being in the garden last growing season.  These were the the pilot plantings of Carex under these trees and they seemed to do fine last year.   Carex Pennsylvania can be planted as close as 1' centers where they'll knit together to create a carpet.  Mine are planted 10-plus feet apart, so there's, ummm, no 'knitting' going on.   But what *is* going on?  A really lovely Spring seed head show.  See below for a look at one of these Carex showing off dark colored, almost-black, seed heads with the flush of new Spring growth. I've taken different approaches with all three of these sedges in terms of Spring cleanup.  This one (above), I've left as-is.  No trimming at all.  One of the other ones I ran over with the lawn mower and