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Gladiator Allium Bulbs - October 2022

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October is Fall bulb planting season.  Most years around here, that means tulips.  And last year, it meant planting some new (to me) Alliums like Christophii .  This year, I'm not doing tulips up front because we're doing some work with the large (but declining Norway Maple).   But, I did pick up two six-packs of Allium bulbs at Costco from Longfield Gardens. These are Gladiator Alliums.  And they're new (to me).   MichiganBulb has a product listing and provides some guidance on where to put these : Gladiator allium stand up to 60" tall in flower beds of all kinds, and are delightful when these ornamental garden onions are planted in the back of the border. Back of the border.  Got it.  There are more clues on the back of the packaging from Longfield Gardens.  They compare these Gladiator Allium to a few other ones - including some I have - like Christophii, Drumstick and Purple Sensation. When I bought these, I didn't have a plan for where to put them.  I found th

Lancifolia Hostas Divided - October 2022

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This is the third in a series of posts showing a few of the various hosta divisions that I've been doing lately in our backyard.  First was the two (new) hostas that I tucked in around the big Oak tree in our south border.   Then, the two (new) Bressingham Blue hostas that I transplanted over on the northside by the Doublefile Viburnum treeform .  Today's 'free plants' post shows off two (new) Lancifolia hostas that I took from a three-way division out by the original Autumn Ferns.   Below is a photo that shows the three Lancifolia Hostas amongst some other foliage.  The original location is in the front/center of the photo.  And the two new ones are both directly 'behind' and 'behind and to the left' of the original/mother hosta.   They look droop-y right now, but Lancifolia hostas are vigorous growers, so I'm not worried about them.  They'll show up strong come Spring. Below is the 'before' look at this area.  You can see the trio of

Mickey Mouse Topiary - 18 Months of Growth - October 2022

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The time has come to bring the houseplants in from outside.  We haven't gotten a frost yet, but I know that the first frost isn't too far away.  I don't move too many plants outside, but there are a few including staghorn ferns, my firesticks cactus , Nat's big fern and my standing Mickey Mouse topiary.  This year, I kept the Creeping Fig Vine topiary on the front porch all Summer.  That meant that it received a tiny bit of morning sun, but was in the shade for the bulk of the day.  It was just six weeks ago that I last posted an update on my Mickey Mouse that showed off a good seasonal growth spurt.  If you go back and look at the photo in this post from early August , you'll note that his hands were (at that time) not covered and that there were a few 'shoots' poking out.   Today?  See the photo below for what Mickey looks like after a full season of outdoor growth: This is 18 months of growth and it is pretty well close to being totally full with the fra

Bressingham Blue Hostas - Divided and Transplanted - October 2022

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Yesterday, I posted a few photos of a hosta that I divided and transplanted around the large red oak tree in our backyard.  I tucked in the two new divisions into a part of the border that was bare.  I mentioned in that post that doing the seasonal gardening chore of dividing perennials was/is on my 2022 to-do list and I had planned to do a few more around the backyard.  Today, I'm showing a divided Bressingham Blue hosta that I dug up from around the side of the screened porch and split into three segments. The hosta in question was planted as a bareroot plant in 2018.  That means it has had five full growing seasons.  Here's what it looked like last Summer (2021), when I declared that this had finally reached maturity .  Today, I dug it up. First, below, you can see the current state of the hosta.  It has many stems and is a good division candidate. I split it into three segments and tucked the largest one back in the same spot.  Below, you can see the remaining Bressingham

Pair of Divided Hostas - Under Southside Oak Tree - October 2022

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The time has come to start dividing some perennials.  Why?  Because the temperature has dropped and I find myself with a little bit of time where I can putter in the backyard beds after work before it gets dark.  As a reminder, #12 on my 2022 to-do list was to add more 'free plants' through division - something that I've done the past few growing seasons.   My plan focuses on two different types of plants in our garden:  grasses and hostas.   Earlier this Summer, I went around and identified a few candidates to work on, but I started with a couple of hostas NOT on that list.  I was out by the large, Northern Red Oak tree in the south beds recently and noticed that a couple of hostas that are planted there have grown enough to be considered good candidates for division.  I dug up two - these are unknown cultivars - and split them.   I put one from each division in a hole kind of 'around' the oak tree trunk - in a spot of the border that is currently empty.  See belo

Firewood Delivery of 3 Face Cords - September 2022

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'Tis the season for firewood delivery in our house.  This year, I ordered three Face Cords for delivery from The Grove Firewood out in Sugar Grove.  1 Oak, 1 Cherry and 1 "SuperMix" - which is a combo of oak, cherry, hickory and birch (normally).  They didn't have any birch this season (so far), so my mix was heavier on Hickory. Here, below, is a video of the three face cords being dumped on our driveway.  This is kiln-dried firewood. How does this stack up to previous years? Here's last year's post from early October where I talked about a late September delivery of three facecords .  Fall of 2020, I ordered three , too.   I stacked these three facecords in the various racks - including a big messy pile on the stoop outside my office.  I'll post some photos of the current state of the racks in the coming days/weeks.  For now, here's a look at what the racks look like before I started loading the new wood:

Norway Maple Tree - In Decline - September 2022

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After years of fighting to try to keep our large, signature front-yard Norway Maple tree alive, we've made the difficult decision to have it removed.  We tried everything - giving it a growth regulator , feeding it, pruning it.  But, the tree continues to decline.  Every time we experience a storm of any meaning, we lose a limb .   I'm having a few firms come out to give us a price, but within a couple of weeks, this tree will no longer be gracing our front yard.  I'm not quite sure that I've come to grips with the size of the impact the removal will have on our landscape, but I know it will be massive.   My brain already moves to thinking about what to replace it with - and if we can get the replacement in the ground this Fall.  My normal move for tree planting is to find SMALL trees that can handle the transplant, but this location calls for something else - something larger - as an investment.  That way, we can enjoy the tree WHILE we live here.   I'm also thinki