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Cast Iron Urn Planted 2020: Blue Salvia, Wave Petunia and Foxtail Fern

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Documenting here, in the [garden diary] our front yard cast iron urn that I've planted the past few years.  I bought it off of Craigslist from a lady in LaGrange in the Spring of 2018 and we've kept it adjacent to our driveway ever since.  I'm not sure it is the best location, but for a variety of reasons, it has stayed put.  One change this year:  it is now sitting on top of a larger, square paver to give it a proper base.

Here's what we had in the urn last year - which was a bit more colorful.

This year, there are three plants in the container - with two of them being replicated from our backyard container that is based on a color pattern we saw in Paris at Luxembourg Gardens.

This has a larger Blue Salvia (Salvia farinacea), in front a red Wave petunia, and tucked into the upper left is a small Foxtail Fern.  We've had Foxtail Ferns in containers the past few years and have had mixed results - depending on how tightly we've packed them into the containers. …

Yew Hedge Update - August 2020

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A week or so ago, I mentioned that I threw down some pavers to form a makeshift walkway behind the tiny yews that we have at the back part of our yard.  You can see in the photo here that all of the yews have settled into a pretty dark green color after experiencing some bright-green Spring growth this year

As of now, all of the Hicks Yews have seemingly established themselves despite having some trouble this Winter with some frost/cold damage

There are 12 total Hicks Yews back there that I bought last Summer and planted shortly there after.  My inspiration for this hedge is this swooping one from Bunny Williams.  We're now one year in and I'm hoping that by year three, we'll see these things begin to grow closer together and close some of the current gaps.  I was thinking that I'd leave these to grow to about three feet tall before I get out the hedge clippers to start shaping them.

This is part of what I've called "Priority Area #3" in the backyard…

Five More Guacamole Hostas - Backyard Summer 2020

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Yesterday, I posted a photo of a multi-trunk (3-trunk) River Birch tree that continues to grow up in our backyard and mentioned in that post that you could peek at a few of the Guacamole Hostas lined up alongside the bed the River Birch clump is located.  Today, are a couple of photos showing the rest of these large (and one small) Guacamole Hosta.

We had six of them purchased for us at Hinsdale Nursery earlier this Summer - five really large ones and one smaller one.  I toyed with the idea of planting a few of them out front under the large Maple tree, but after seeing them there, I decided to plant them in the backyard.  And back in July, when I planted the contorted Harry Lauder Walkingstick tree, I took one of the larger ones and planted it in the bed next to the tree

As for the other five, this post shows their current state and location. 

At the top of the post, you can see three more - two large ones and the one small one - planted in a small cluster on the northside of our …

River Birch - Inherited Tree - Summer 2020

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The last time that I posted a photo of this three-trunked tree was back in the month of May of 2018 when I included it (for the first time) in the tree inventory of our backyard.  It was Springtime, so the tree looked sparse at the time.  I'm sharing this photo in the [tree inventory] tag here on the blog to show how the limbs have leaf'd out and is providing some new lower-hanging screening and some branching that is starting to extend out over the lawn.

The other thing to note is the big change the area around the tree has experienced over the past two seasons - back in 2018, this tree was surrounded by turf.  Today, it is tucked into a mulch bed with a series of Ostrich Ferns at the tree's feet.

This is one of two multi-trunked trees in our yard - the other one being up in the front yard with our Saucer Magnolia.

I'm going to grab the calipers of these three trunks this Fall when I do the balance of the trees in our backyard.

The other things to note in this photo:

Purple Coral Bells - Container Transplant - August 2020

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Last year, we filled our cast iron urn that is out front adjacent to our driveway with a variety of annuals and perennials including a purple Coral Bells or heuchera plant.   In our zone, Coral Bells - which prefers part shade - is typically a perennial, so when I was cleaning out the urn at the end of the gardening season (before we swapped it out for Mums), I stuck it in the bed next to our garage on the north side of our house.  This area is - almost entirely - shade, so I figured it might be something that could grow there.

Fast forward to this Summer and have a look at the maroon/purple Coral Bells that you see in the photo at the top of this post.  It seems that the plant made it through the Winter and has come out the other side with some new growth and even some tiny flower stems that have shot out the top.

I actually am NOT sure what the specific name is, but I bought it at a big box garden center - and I'm guessing it is this Purple Palace variety that Monrovia lists on…

Christmas Tree Hosta - August 2020

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Yesterday, I posted a photo of a teardown hosta that I've determined is a Ventricosa Hosta with deep purple flowers, and today, I wanted to share another photo of a unique hosta that we have in our backyard:  the Christmas Tree hosta.  I planted this Christmas Tree hosta back in May of 2018 after finding it at the garden center of Menards

What is a Christmas Tree hosta?  From this listing on New Hampshire Hostas, they describe it like this:
'Christmas Tree' Hosta produces dark green leaves with a thin yellow margin that fades to creamy white in the summer, and occasionally streaks to the center of the leaf.  Forms an attractive mound of rounded leaves that are cupped and heavily corrugated. This is the third growing season and while the plant has grown, it isn't a massive clump just yet - so I haven't attempted to dig it up and divide it just yet.  It is planted around the large Oak tree (with the swing) on the side of the tree that is facing the yard/patio.  Th…

Ventricosa: Purple Hosta Flowers on Glossy Green Foliage - August 2020

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This hosta is planted in the far back of our property - where I put down a base of wood chips earlier this Spring.  Based on where it is planted and how it is pretty unique in color/texture from the rest of our hostas, I'm thinking that I dug it out of Nat's sister's lot before she tore down her house.  Here's a photo of a garden cart full of stuff that came from there.  I don't see any hosta leaves in the photo, but I, do, mention them in the post.  I also mention ferns in the post and I know the "teardown fern" that I post about is from her lot - and it is adjacent to this hosta.  Hence...my pretty strong suspicion that it came from across town. 

In terms of gardening debate, I think that hosta flowers might be the 'hot button' between Nat and myself.  They are something that she just doesn't care for.  Me?  I love them. 

Now, I can't be certain, but I'm pretty sure why I love them goes back to my Mom.  And my childhood.  I posted …