I was doing some weeding in one of our backyard beds, and came across this small tree seedling that you can see in the photo below. It is about 10" tall and has oval, pinnate leaves. Looking around at my neighbor's yard, I know they have locust trees. A bunch of them. They flower in Spring and have lots of leaves on them. But, I'm not sure if they're Black or Honey locusts. Both are native to Illinois, but the Black Locust - sometimes called "Chicago Blues" is now considered invasive ( The Morton Arboretum has it listed as "not recommended" ). One other key trait of the Black Locust trees are they they carry thorns - especially when young. Right now, this little seedling has no thorns, so I'm going to leave it alone. If I see thorns develop, I'll lop this one off and remove it.
Nine months ago, when our yard and garden had gone dormant, I posted a 'plant dreaming' post about Toad Lilies that Erin, the Impatient Gardener had introduced me to via her Instagram handle. "You should know Toad Lilies" she wrote. I included a mention of Toad Lilies in my 2021 to-do list (#18) and came across them earlier this Spring at Hinsdale Nursery. In early June, I had three of them on hand and planted them in the far back - behind the new fire pit area . I've watered them in a little bit, but I'll say that they seem to be doing just fine without being baby'd. Here, below, are a couple of photos of the trio. First, you can see the variegated edge on all of them is really bright and clear. Love that. What's interesting is that the photo at Hinsdale Nursery shows a white edge , whereas ours are much more lime green. I spaced these three out in a little cluster as I understand they'll sort of naturally colonize. Below is anoth
I've talked about this before, but mid-Summer 50% off perennial sales are my love language. That kind of sale typically happens at the big box stores garden centers, but it seems random based on the department manager. Even at Home Depot - which we have three that I shop from regularly and a fourth that I pop into when I'm going to my parents - I've noticed that some stores do sales differently. I'm talking hand-written signs vs the normal printed signs that you normally see. When I come across a hand-written sale sign, I glom on to the stuff. But, I also was turned on to a whole new thing recently: Lowes. We don't have a Lowes close to us, but I took the kids to a batting cage in a town a few over on a recent weekend and discovered that the cages/mini golf place is right behind a huge Lowes. So, I went in, of course. And I was surprised. A step up from Menards, for sure. The plant material was (mostly) taken care of and not all dried out. They had a
One of the things that I had on my 2021 to-do list (#25) was to 'buy a conifer of meaning' . I feel like I *did that* when I planted the Weeping Nootka Falsecypress that I bought this Spring from Wannemakers. That was the 55th tree planted in total since we bought the lot and the third of this year. And after cleaning up the full list this Spring , I had 34 alive. We then added this Emperor 1 Japanese Maple - bringing total to 56 total, 35 alive. Fourth tree for the 2021 season. Since then, I planted two Harvest Gold Hargozam crabapple trees as replacements in our Belgian Fence espalier - but I didn't include them in the 'official count'. So, I'm doing that now. 58 total, 37 alive, six trees for the 2021 season. Which brings me to the tree in this post #59 total, 38 'alive' and seventh tree of the 2021 growing season: another conifer 'of meaning'. A dwarf Japanese White Pine. I've been thinking/dreaming/watching/considering a
Last year, I planted a couple of drifts of Allium angulosum 'Summer Beauty' and I've been really happy with them in our backyard. I posted recently a look at both sets here . Over the course of the past few months, I've been looking at them and reading about various hybrids including Millenium. I think it was on YouTube where someone introduced me to Allium 'Serendipity' and called it "strap-y". That descriptor stuck with me, so when I came across a trio of these on a big discount this Summer, I plop'd them in my cart and brought them home. 3 for $9.99 for 1# perennials is my love language. I put the three in different, various spots in the backyard and left them there to consider. Each place I wasn't happy. They'd work there. But they weren't right. I tried maybe four of five spots to place this cluster of three. The tag lists this as 'FULL Sun/part Shade', so it gave me more options than I normally have with our bac
I don't think I've posted photos of our front porch container in the past here on the blog. We've done a mix over the years of DIY and even one year Nat had a pro fill our container. This year, I went to the big box nursery and picked out some shade-loving plants to use including a big, dramatic fern on the left. Along with some coleus, a purple sweet potato vine and (although they're hard to see, they're there) a few peach-colored Rex Begonias. The Coleus is putting on a nice show and the vine is beginning to spill out a bit as the container hits its stride in the end of July. I don't seem to have taken a photo of the tag for the fern, but I think it is a Cinnamon Fern. Here's a look at the flowers before we planted them below. The watermelon-striped plant and the Rex Begonias - which were the stunners pre-planting that you see below have been somewhat swallowed-up by everything else. Our front porch gets some early morning sun, then is in deep
Earlier this Summer, we planted a mixed border of Lemon Coral Sedum and Red Begonias in front of our boxwoods outside of our front porch. The inspiration for this pairing was the entrance planting at the Morton Arboretum last year and after growing a variety of annuals in this bed, I thought I'd give the idea of creating a 'carpet' of the sedum a try. I ended up planting 20 sedum and 24 begonias . The ones in the inspiration photo are taller begonias than the ones I bought, so I've learned something. If you go look at this post from when I planted these in early June (scroll all the way down for the initial planting photo), you'll see how this started. Here, below, is how it is going right now. The sedum has created that carpet and knitted together really well. It is spreading out upwards - towards the begonias and creeping just a little bit towards the edge. I'm really happy with the sedum. The Begonias are doing really well, too. Nice red flowers