Hicks Yews Hedge Progress - October 2020

Back last Summer, I bought 15 Hicks Upright Yews in small 2# nursery containers when they went on sale at Home Depot and planted them in a row near the back of our rear fenceline.   I planted them in July and watered them in with a soaker hose to keep them alive.  The first Winter, a few of them were eaten by rabbits, but all of them came out of the cold alive.  By June of this year, they had put off their first full-season growth and last month, a few of them had produced their first arils (berries).  I wanted to document how they stand - going into Winter - this year.  Below, you can see a full photo showing the yews from edge of hedge to edge.  
The gaps haven't filled in much (yet), but I can start to envision what they'll end up looking like and still want to think about pruning them to be kind of like this 'swooping' hedge that I captured as inspiration.

Pre-Dormancy Check - Praying Hands Hosta - October 2020

In mid-September, I bought a series of perennials at the Morton Arboretum Fall Plant Sale including one of a unique, vase-like hosta named Praying Hands hosta.  After putzing around the yard by placing it in various places, I settled on digging it in along the north bed - about half-way back in the yard.  It is adjacent to some of the Guacamole Hostas that I planted this Summer.  I watered it in a few times and now, as we head towards the end of the season, I mulched it in with woodchips.  You can see the current state of the hosta below: I'm hoping that the little bit of layer of protection the wood chips are going to provide will help protect this unique cultivar over the Winter.  Come Spring time, I'll apply a layer of hardwood fine mulch and keep my fingers crossed that it establishes itself and makes an appearance.

Wreath Hitchhiker - Camouflage'd Insect - Fall 2020

Nat spotted a little guy hanging on our front door wreath recently.  He's one a pretty good job of hiding himself - via natural camouflage - amongst our wreath leaves (these are faux leaves) and what I think is hiding from predators like birds.  Can you spot him in the photo below? Took me a second to see him myself.  But, below is an annotated version of the same photo.  Clever insect, right?
So, what is it?  Appears to be a Katydid.

Weeping White Spruce - Winter Protection - October 2020

A week or so ago, I posted some photos showing how I'm trying to protect some of our smaller Canadian Hemlock trees from rabbits this Winter.  I originally planted six of those small trees.  One of them died that first year.  But, last Winter, two of them were devoured by something.  I'm assuming it was a rabbit.  So, this year, I'm being more proactive in trying to protect some of our evergreens from being eaten by those rabbits who are looking for a winter meal. That means that in addition to the Hemlocks, I've taken the same approach with poultry fencing with our Weeping White Spruce tree.  You can see that fencing set up in a ring below:
The goal here is to keep the rabbits from being able to really go at this thing - but I know it won't be fool-proof.  I'm going to ring the exterior of the fencing with some wood chips to try to make it 'burrow-proof', too.

Delayed Hosta Spring Frost Damage Showing Up In The Fall - 2020

Most of our hostas in the backyard are now looking like this one you see below.  It has a blend of seasonal decline (the yellowing) and what I'm pretty sure is frost damage from very early this Spring.   We had a late frost - after these. had emerged and while they didn't show this much damage all year long, based on watching Monty Don's Instagram handle, he mentioned 'frost damage' on his hostas.  Here, below, is one of our hostas underneath the hornbeams in our backyard: And here, below, is Monty Don's post on Instagram talking about frost damage on his hostas: View this post on Instagram The hostas are dying back - but the damage caused by a frost on May 15th only apparent in the past week or so. I have often observed this very delayed effect.A post shared by Monty Don (@themontydon) on Oct 5, 2020 at 12:00am PDT Seems like the same situation, right?  He's calling it a 'delayed effect'.

Frans Fontaine Hornbeams - Pre Fall Dormancy - October 2020

Here's a look at the row of eight Frans Fontaine Columnar European Hornbeam trees that we planted for screening a few years back.  You can see the new house that was built next door to our house on the left and our screened porch on the right.  These eight trees have grown up and out and are providing us with quite a nice screen this Summer and Fall.  
Our neighbors haven't moved in yet, so we haven't really tested how the screening actually works with real people in the house next door, but so far, it has been good.  This is a similar shot from 13 months ago that shows you the growth over the past year.

We Found a Geocache in Wisconsin - October 2020

On a recent hike up in Wisconsin at Big Foot State Park - right on the coast of Lake Geneva - the kids and I came across a Geocache box.  We, umm, stumbled upon it.   We were walking on the "Nature Trail" (there are a few different trails there - red, blue, yellow, etc...including a short "Nature Trail" that takes you from one of the main lots down to the bogs/ponds on the shore of the lake.Here are the two kids holding up their treasure:
We're (currently) not geocachers.  But, I looked up this package on geoaching.comThere's this listing:This geocache has been hidden as a part of the Wisconsin Geocaching Association's State Park series. This geocache is hidden on the Nature Trail, just off of the Red Hiking Trail.I wonder if I'll ever amend that (currently) to the description above.   We'll see if the kids want to find more.