(Really) Last Look At Sideyard Locations For Columnar Hornbeams

Back at the beginning of April, I posted a photo of the sideyard where we've been planning on putting up a privacy hedge/screen consisting of European Columnar Hornbeam trees.  At the time, I called it a 'last look' at this area, but here we 50 days later and guess what?  Still no trees.  Still no privacy in the screened porch.

But that pink paint you see above?  That's a good sign!  The trees are on their way.  Working with Chris Paul of Green Grass Landscaping (did I mention that Chris was the Consul - aka President - of my Fraternity House in College!) just marked out the locations of each of the eight trees that are being installed.

The photo above is the one looking east towards the front of our house.  In the top right, you can see our screened porch.

The pink x's painted on the grass are where the tree trunks are planned to go:  6 feet apart and 30 inches from the fence.  That will allow them to spread a bit and - over time - become a hedge.  Take a look at…

Vintage Dan Hampton and Coach Ditka Bears Photo From Platteville 1986

My parents moved out of my childhood home a few years back.  I posted about it here on the blog in January of 2016.  Right before they left, they had an Estate Sale that featured a bunch of their stuff, but mostly my Dad's collections.  Oil cans, automobilia, pottery, toasters, radios and plenty of junk.  There were also a few boxes that he had brought home from his office at Governor's State decades before that I didn't ever see or come across in digging through his stuff like up in Michigan and what-have-you.  
In those boxes were a bunch of Chicago Bears memorabilia - pennants, glasses and this photo featuring my favorite player Dan Hampton and (in the background) Coach Mike Ditka (in a great pear of coaches shorts).  
The writing on the matte say it is from August of 1986 in Platteville Wisconsin.  
I've posted another Dan Hampton photo here on the blog from my childhood.   He was my favorite and I'm thinking he was my Dad's, too.  
Back to the estate sale.…

River Birch - Inherited Tree Spring 2018

I've documented quite a bit of the new trees that we've planted over the past year of living in Downers, but I haven't really documented in my [garden diary] any of the existing trees that we inherited with the property.  I'd consider the lot we're living on to be 'wooded', so it would be a mistake - in terms of garden diary-ing -  to document only the eleven little, young ones I've planted in the past twelve months

One of the trees we inherited is this three trunk River Birch - which according to the Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder is "generally considered to be the superior growth habit for this species."  This tree is located on the north side of our lot, about ten feet from the fence, right where the six-foot-fence section transitions down to the four-foot section.  You can see the Mason Bee House that I hung on the fence in the background and like many of the other existing trees that aren't clinging to the fence line are mo…

Kwanzan Cherry: Flowering in Spring 2018

Spring flowers have hit our yard.  And also our flowering trees.  That includes our Kwanzan Flowering Cherry tree that is planted in our backyard.  The photo above is of some of the blooms that have emerged recently on the upper branches.  The history of this tree starts in March of 2017 when we bought it after a trip to Tokyo where I took in the Cherry Blossoms.  It lived on the driveway for a few months while we built our #newoldfarmhouse and we finally planted it at the end of June

It survived the Winter and this Spring, buds started to open - despite the brutally long cold weather.  And now, it seems like it is on a good trajectory with new growth and seemingly happy in terms of sun/location in the yard.  Even after we added the one new bed to the south fence line, this tree is still kind of out on an island.  We laid down a ring of mulch (but not a volcano!) around the tree and so it feels anchored, but will have to wait until next year when we add another line of beds to the …

Me on Google Maps: 4M Photo Views

I've posted about my participation in the Google Local Guides program where you provide reviews, ratings and photos of local businesses and places.  I've been doing it for a couple of years and have hit a few milestones along the way.  This week, Google emailed me this note you see above:  my photos have been viewed 4M times.  Yeah...four million.  That's crazy, but with Google's scale, I guess it shouldn't be surprising.

In February of 2017, I shared the previous milestone:  2.5M photo views.  So, it took me 14 months or so to get the next 1.5M views.  In March of 2016, I hit "Level 4" on the platform.  Today, I'm a "Level 7".  And guess what?  This email made me go back into the system and add a few more photos and engage even more.  Nurturing at it's best, right?

Clematis Vine Planted In Container - Spring 2018

I'm giving Clematis another go of it - this time in Downers in our new yard.  Welp, actually, I'm giving it a go in a pot.  With a trellis embedded into the back of the pot.  In the photo above, you can see the vine as it was when I got it from Home Depot.  Below, you can see the tag that shows of the variety: Clematis H.F. Young.  The photo above only shows the small trellis that came with the container, but you'll have to trust me here that the larger trellis is, indeed, in place.   

I grew Clematis in our old house in Elmhurst.  Here is a photo from 2014 when one of our then three Clematis was taking off.   I had planted the vines directly in the ground then, but this time, I'm trying a pot. 

Why?  Because, I'm hoping that the trellis plus this climbing vine will provide some level of screening for our patio and give us a sense of privacy.  I found this piece that provided some tips on the best way to grow Clematis in a container (hint...larger containers are b…

Tulips Blooming - Spring 2018

After a long, cold early Spring, we finally have some color popping up in the #newoldbackyard.  However....I only count 24 of them, though.  (I planted 30 tulips last fall.)  I also posted about these very tulips emerging for the first time earlier this year.  They're located along the fenceline largely because that's where we had available space last fall because the area in front of them was lawn.  But, as you can see in the photo above, we expanded the bed (and relocated the Automower boundary wire), so this fall I'm planning on relocating these bulbs from the fence to the front of the bed.

Also, interesting, is the blue-ish flower growing behind the bulbs.  Our neighbors have it running in their beds and it has crept across the fence.  I'm pretty sure it is Virginia Bluebells, and it is quite striking, so I'm not unhappy about it migrating northwards.   I'll keep an eye on them this Spring and perhaps if they continue to creep, they deserve their own post …