See those green things popping through the mulch? Those are my favorite plants in the whole yard: our ostrich ferns. What started as some left-overs from when the Wicked Witch moved out of our house and took with her what she thought was ALL of the perennials, became a few hostas and two of these ferns. They're multipliers, so we now have about eight bunches of them and I've even managed to give one away.
They've quickly become my favorite plant in the garden and I can't wait for them to spread out even further.
Earlier this winter, I wrote about the old Lou Malnati's menu and mentioned that as I was waiting around for my pie to finish up, I spied an old Chicago Tribune article posted on the wall that included the original Lou Malnati's Italian Salad Dressing Recipe. The Tribune reporter called it "prized". We were set to host a little pizza party over the weekend, so I figured I'd give it a shot. Here's the article as seen through my mobile phone's camera. I'm not a wine drinker, so the fact that the recipe called for Burgundy wine didn't strike me as odd. I went shopping at Angelo Caputos in Addison - a really incredible shopping experience - and when I got to the wine section I found Burgundy wine was carried ONLY in those HUGE jugs. And they were dirt cheap. The only issue is that needed just 4 ounces. We ended up with a whole-lotta-wine that Nat won't drink. I've taken the recipe and modified it a bit by eliminating the percentage
September is a good time to divide some perennials in our growing zone - 5b - due to the cooler temperatures, the little bit of rain we get and the warm soil temperatures. I have a few plants in our garden that were planted in 2017 that haven't been divided to date - so that's five growing seasons without dividing. And, when it comes to some ornamental grasses, it seems that they do BEST when you divide them every three or four years. My Fall dividing plan starts with these Karl Foerster grasses that were planted next to our driveway and our front way. I just posted a photo of these grasses last week showing the trio of them being full and wide . That's about their total, mature size. Coupled with the fact that I noticed some 'center rot' this Spring , I knew it was time to dig these out and divide. I started with the grass closest to our garage - you can see it on the right in the photo below: I dug it up and divided it into quarters - with four sections t
Late last week, I posted about the idea of building a 'garden nook' or a secluded area that draws you in as something that is 'on trend' this year and maybe something to consider for our backyard. In that same post, I made a reference near the bottom of Japanese Moon Gates . I included the moon gate as a way to potentially create a 'nook' but after looking around the Web, I now realize they're so much more. From this Old House Online story , you can find out the details of the structure: A moon gate is a circular opening, usually in a garden wall, which acts as a passageway. In China, where the gates were built in the gardens of wealthy nobles, various parts of the form and its ornamentation carry meaning. More generally, though, a moon gate is thought to offer an auspicious welcome or fortune to those who pass through. English gardeners borrowed the idea from China in the late 19th century. American gardeners immediately followed suit. A moon gat