Showing posts from May, 2014

Blueberry Bush Fruiting - 2014

While it isn't going to be a bountiful harvest, it is looking like we're going to indeed get some blueberries this year off of our bush.  I netted the plant this year to try to fend off the birds and it looks like it is working.

Here's the first post when I put this particular bush in the backyard.

Purple Clematis Vines - 2014

One of our three Clematis vines is doing well this year as it both creeps up the trellis and really began to flower out big time.  The other two aren't getting as much sun behind the Arborvitae, so they're not performing quite as well.

Japanese Painted Fern - 2014

This is the 2nd year that my purple painted fern has come back.  I planted it back in 2012 (post here) and I was careful to watch it poke through the ground this year.  It isn't easy to spot, so when the mulch goes in soon, I'll be sure to mark it so it doesn't get buried.

New Valco Baby Double Jogger Front Fork

We're back in business!  Just a few weeks after our beloved (and much used) double jogger stroller from Valco Baby lost one of it's front forks to a freak break, the fine folks at Valco Baby came through with a part.

I'm going to get it on the stroller this weekend and see how it performs.

Can You Spot the Ospreys?

Saw three of them flying south from my office window on Monday.  One peeled off to circle around the lake.  The other two landed in the parking lot just south of Soldier Field right north of the black McCormick Place building.
Has to be related to the First Family, right?  There wasn't anything on the news about the President or First Lady being in town, but what else could it have been?  

Tom Cross for Treasurer Frankfort Fundraiser - June 11th, 2014

Nat and I are proud to be a part of the Host Committee for a Tom Cross for Illinois Treasurer fundraiser that is taking place on Wednesday June 11th in Frankfort.

For those of you who don't know Tom Cross, he's running for Illinois State Treasurer.   I've worked for Tom earlier in my career and know him to be a honorable, trustworthy man.  He's exactly the type of elected official we need to clean up Springfield and Illinois.

You can find out more about Tom Cross here on his Treasurer site.

We'd love for you to join us for this event.  If you're interested in attended, drop me a line!  Alternatively, if you want to donate to the event, click here to visit this link which will track your donation coming in from me.

Golden Hops Vine - May 2014

We now have three hops vines in our side yard.  The one pictured here is - by far - the biggest and was planted back in 2012.  It is a Golden variety.  Over on the far right of this photo, you can see another trellis'd vine - that's a Cascade variety, one of the other two we have growing.

Last year, I was pretty bummed out that we didn't get any fruit off the Golden, but I've committed to staying on top of the plant with water and care, so I'm hopeful I'll be able to turn over to my brother-in-laws a bucket full of green hops come this fall.

Sedum 'Blue Spruce' - 3 Planted in the Backyard

I put down three of these Sedum plants behind the fireplace in the backyard this past weekend.  Marking the spot here to document when/where they were put in.

Sunflower Seeds Planted - 2014

Here's the full photos (below) of the varieties that the girls and I planted this week right in front of our fence line on the south side of our house.

It is a nice mix of some giant ones and some smaller, more colorful varieties.

Here's a post on last year's sunflowers.   It looks like some of them re-seeded themselves as we had a few seedlings coming up in the same spot this year.'s a post from 2011 showing the annual sunflower planting.

Bleeding Heart Bulbs Planted - May 2014

I put down these three bulbs on the north side of our house along the walk as that's where our 'shade garden' is growing these days.  They're supposed to pop up this summer, so we'll have to wait and see what happens.  I've had mixed results with flowering shade bulbs, but I'm eternally hopeful.  (aren't all gardeners?!?)

Heuchera Storm Seas Bulbs - Planted 2014

My 'shade garden' grows.  I picked up these Storm Seas bulbs at Costco and put them in the ground this weekend on the northside of our house next to the hostas and ferns.    They're supposed to be a hearty bunch (much like a hosta), so I'm hoping they'll produce some nice (non-green) color on this side of the yard.

3 Hosta Varieties Planted - 2014

Last week, we went to Menards to pick up some plants and I'll be honest:  we were a little disappointed with their selection.  They don't seem to have given a lot of care to the plants and many were already dried out.
In the shade section, however, they had some nice hosta varieties that were thriving.  I picked up three kinds - mostly so I could have a firm grasp on the differences between the ones in our yard.
First is the Brim Cup Plaintain Lily.  Has nice yellow tips.   Planted a few of these on the west side of the fence on the northside of the house in the shade of the Cleveland Pear Tree and south of the walk.  

Next is the Great Expectations.  Light green variations on the center of the plant.  Planted these on the northside, both east/west of the fence.  One in particular is right on the walk in the backyard on the north of the walk.

Finally, is the Fragrant Blue Hosta.  We have some of these around, but I wanted to add a new one for comparison.  This one, I planted …

Three "Autumn Brilliance" Ferns Planted - 2014

My favorite of all our plantings in our yard are my Ostrich ferns.  I've successfully transplanted some of them from the south fence line to the north fence line.  Since then, I've tried to add a few different varieties of other ferns and have only had one come back year/over/year:  a Japanese Painted Fern.  It has come up again this year and I've worked hard to pay some attention to it over the past few years.

This year, I picked up three small containers of these (above photo) "Autumn Brilliance" ferns.  They're adored by fern folks.   I put in all three on the northside of our house, just south of the walkway in between some of the hosta plantings.

From Wayside Gardens:
One of the showiest Ferns in recent years, Autumn Fern 'Brilliance' is a dazzling display of color for every season. The fronds turn from bright copper to soft green to russet-orange again, all on an evergreen habit that looks great in the partly-shaded bed or border!These long, e…

Valco Baby Double Stroller Broken Front Fork

Bad news here at the Parrillo homestead.  Our trusty double jogger had one of the front forks snapped right in two.  I've put in an inquiry to Valco Baby to see if they sell the part.  Fingers crossed.