A quick look at our trio of Disneyland Roses that are in bloom during the month of June this year with photos below. I transplanted the third (or first, depending on how you are counting) of these floribunda roses to the southside of our house earlier this year before it broke dormancy . The other two were planted in the Fall of 2018 and have fared really well without much care. So, that means that one of them is in the fourth (2018, 2019, 2020 and now 2021) season. And the other two are in their third growing season (2019, 2020 and now 2021). First, the two more recent ones - below- with the best performing one located near our gas meter. It is stretching out and up. And here, below, is a look at the other two. On the right is the other non-transplanted rose and on the left is the transplanted one - and it looks like the transplant stress has had an impact on the overall size. Below is a closer look at the transplanted Disneyland Rose. It is flowering, but is significantly s
Showing posts from June, 2021
Since our first (and only) visit to Luxembourg Gardens in Paris a few Summers back, I've planted this large(r) corner container with the same color combination that we first saw there and have used (mostly) the same trio of plants: Red Petunias. Yellow Marigolds. Purple Salvia. Last year, I used the same red petunias. But, used yellow Zinnias and a perennial, more woody Salvia. Here's a look at a different container that I planted with the remnants of the wooden corner box. This year, I used this dark purple Vista Salvia and a yellow Marigold and even tucked in an Elephant Ear bulb into the corner. Thus far, the elephant ear hasn't put up any growth but, it might lend a nice tropical vibe to the corner of this container box. You will also note that in the photo above, the container is still naked lumber - and hasn't been stained just yet. That's #4 on my 2021 to-do list that hasn't been done just yet.
We had 15 steaming yards of mulch delivered in May - and at the time - I knew I needed more, but the truck only held 15 yards. Here, below, is a photo showing off the next eight yards delivered on the driveway. Taking me to 23 total yards for the front and backyard. This was delivered in the beginning of June, but I'm posting this at the end of June. Turns out, I'm a few yards short of what I really needed and should have bought ten to twelve yards instead of eight. I laid it on VERY thick in many spots - in an attempt to make up for some of the deficiency last year. 23 total yards - for this year - wasn't enough.
Back at the end of April, I was sitting at one of the kid's softball practices at a local Downers Grove park when I found these huge seed pods sitting on the ground. A quick search showed me they are from Kentucky Coffee Tree seed pods. How neat. I posted a few times last year about how I found a few of these in our yard (thanks to an Arborist) and learned how they are/were native trees in Illinois . So, I grabbed a few of these seed pods and brought them home. A few days later, I cracked them open and harvested the seeds. Here, below, is a pod cracked in half: And, here, below, is a look at how many seeds I was able to get out of the pods: A look online told me that I could get these seeds to germinate if I soaked them overnight and yanked out any that floated. I had a few that floated, but most of them stayed at the bottom. In the photo below, you can see Soaked at end of April: I took those seeds that didn't float and planted them in a soil mix on the first of May
Last year, I bought a single Waterslide hosta at the Morton Arboretum Fall Plant sale and immediately had regrets of not buying more. It is a pretty green/silver color and has strong ruffled leaves. I planted it around the flowering Cherry tree last Fall and it came back this Spring . When I went to the Spring plant sale, it was sold out, but that just meant that I had to hunt for it. On a trip to Home Depot one night, I found two of them and put them in my cart quickly. Here, below, are the pair of ruffled, Waterslide hostas laid out where I planned on planting them - in a sort of linear drift adjacent to the sedges. Once planted, you can see the difference in the size of the one from last year vs. this year's version with the oldest one on the top right: And, here's another look - below - showing the three Waterslide hostas.
Just yesterday, I shared a photo showing a six-week update on some bare root hostas that we picked up at Costco this Spring. On that same shopping trip, we bought some bare root Astilbe plants - these Gloria Purpurea purple varieties that I planted underneath the larger Chanticleer Pear Tree in our backyard. I arranged them around the trunk of the tree and hoped for the best. Here, below, is how they look now - with (by my count) four bare root plantings up with green leaves and the two on the right side showing off their first flowers. The package said there were six, but I'm not sure if I planted them in five groups or six. I believe there should be one - that hasn't come up - to the left of the tree trunk. Seeing them packed in with a hosta in front and a hosta in back makes me realize that there is too much going on in this little area and I'm thinking that I need to remove both of those hostas and transplant them somewhere else to allow for these Astilbes to b
Back at the end of April, I planted eight (or, so I said in that post) bareroot Bressingham Blue hostas that Nat picked up from Costco. I planted them on the border of the newly created curved bed on the north side of the backyard. At the time, I wasn't sure what the success rate would be for these bare root hosts, but with a little bit of time behind us now, it seems like the first few months have yielded seven hostas that have come up. One of them - the second from the left along the border - is SUPER tiny...just barely above the ground. But, it *is* indeed there. The other ones have popped out of the ground a little bit and are small, like 4-5" plants. You can see the seven hostas (well...six plus one you can't really see in the photo) below: The reason that I'm questioning the success rate (it might be 100%) is that I can't find the root structure of the last one that would likely be to the right of these. It just isn't there. I'm going to ke
Like I've done in year's past, I decided to use Jobe's tree spike fertilizer in and around some of our trees in the yard. These were (surprisingly) hard to find this year - and I ended up buying them online at Home Depot . What struck me was the pretty BIG difference in the quantity of the package that Jobe's has brought to market. Take a look at the photo in this post showing that they had boxes of 15 spikes last year (2020). The, flip back here and look at the pile of spikes I bought this season below. The boxes had just 9 spikes in each box. I bought four packs of 9 - 36 total spikes for deciduous trees. And one box of 15 evergreen spikes (below): I used the evergreen spikes around the new Falsecypress tree , the Weeping White Spruce and the hedge of Hicks Yews - where I wasn't able to put down spikes for every shrub. Same thing on the decidious spikes - even with 36 spikes, I ended up short of feeding all of my planted trees around the yard, but tried
At the beginning of June, I posted a photo of the newly transplanted "Indiana Street Iris" that I received from my Sister Vic via her next door neighbor Wes and Suzie. I'm calling it my Indiana Street Iris since it hails from Indiana Street. After getting it in the ground, it surprised me by blooming pretty quickly - and you can see this purple bloom on the Iris in very early June - see the photo below:
I bought a large cast iron urn planter off of Craigslist a few years back and have planted it with a combination of annuals and perennials the past few seasons. I kept it right next to the driveway in front, but at least once a season, Nat would comment about how she thought it wasn't the right spot for the large, black urn. For history, here are a few posts showing off the various different plantings that I've made in this urn. 2018: I don't think I captured the planting. 2019: A dark coral bell, a begonia and some tropical flair . 2020: A foxtail fern, Blue Salvia and red petunias . This year, I decided to move it to the backyard - in a bed - and to plant a monoculture. For the planting, I went with (wait for it....) a couple of fountain grasses. These are reddish in color and called Fireworks Fountain Grasses - Pennisetum alopecuroides. These were $9.98 at Home Depot and I bought two of them. And, here's what they look like in the urn: I put the urn on to
The photo you see above shows a trio of Brunnera Queen of Hearts planted in the north side rear bed surrounded by some transplanted hostas in a sort of 'ring' or 'hoop' shape. How these Brunnera got to my yard is a story about YouTube gardening and the influence of creators like Laura @ Garden Answer. A few weeks ago, I watched this video where she talked about 15 perennials that every garden should have that included a mention of Brunnera . So, it was suddenly on my radar. And, when I found myself at Home Depot on a recent visit where I came across this Queen of Hearts cultivar, I grabbed three of them and knew where I'd plant them - despite them NOT being in our plan. Here, below, is a look at the tag from the Proven Winners version and what it looked like in the nursery container: As I mentioned above, the plan doesn't CALL for these, but this area is what I called Priority Area #2 from this year - the woodland area. These are now to the east of the n
Marking down a few items in my [lawn care diary] for the season with this post that have taken place over the past few weeks. The last time I posted a lawn update was when I put down Hydretain at the beginning of June on the front lawn and 'between two driveways' strip. This post is marking four other applications that I've done and figured it was best to wrap up in one post. The first (that I don't have a photo of) was the application of 2 total bags of Grub Control from Menards on the front and back lawn and even some of the beds at the very beginning of June. Then, I put down a second spoon-feeding of the Sea Kelp, Biochar, Iron and Humic from The Andersons. At the end of May. Here's a look at the bag of this stuff in the garage below. I think I'll get two more applications of this still this Summer: #3 at the end of June. #4 at the end of July. In June, I put down two new products: First this Slow Mow Lawn Conditioner - a growth regulator - to
Last November, I posted a 'plant dreaming' post about Japanese Toad Lilies that I came across for the first time (i.e. new to me) via Erin the Impatient Gardener's Instagram handle. Here's that post where she talked about growing Toad Lilies and said: "You should know and grow Toad Lilies. " Ever since that post, these have been on my radar. In fact, I mentioned them as part of #18 on this year's to-do list when I talked about the continued expansion of Japanese-inspired gardening . So, when I saw them being sold at Hinsdale Nursery this Spring, I knew I had to buy some of them for our yard. Here, below, is the listing at Hinsdale Nursery - for 'Gilt Edge' Japanese Toad Lily - Tricyrtis fomosana 'Gilt Edge': They're 'shade-loving' and will 'naturalize'. Love both of those things. Here, below, are the three 1# nursery pots as they began to break dormancy recently: ...And here's a look at the plant tag that came
A year ago, I planted twelve Fanal Astilbes in the backyard - in the south bed - according to the placement spec'd by our landscape plan. They suffered some transplant shock and had a tough go of it for the first month or so. I baby'd them for the rest of the Summer in hopes that they'd come back this Spring. By April of 2021, I was starting to see them come back and emerge from their dormancy . I knew that I planted these in the wrong spot, so when I expanded the new backyard beds, all twelve of these needed to be transplanted out closer to the border in May of this year . I've been watering this area in pretty good this Summer because there are a series of things that have been transplanted (these + the Oakleaf Hydrangeas) and some new items ( Butterscotch Amsonia that I planted in May, too ). And, all that watering has paid off with these Fanal Astilbes as many of them have come up big and bold with red flowers and quite a bit of foliage. See the photos below
Here, below, is a look at the pair of Little Henry Sweetspire (Itea virginica 'Sprich') that was planted back in the Summer of 2017 when our house was built. This shrub puts off these lovely, white flowers that have a really nice smell and the foliage puts on a show all year long. This sits in a bed tucked in between our front walk and the driveway and just kind of keeps performing without much care. The last time I posted about these Little Henry's was back in September of 2019 here . I water the front yard during the Summer heat, so this shrub likely gets a little bit of that benefit, but I haven't fed it directly - to date. But, I've noticed that the foliage is a little bit light green - not dark green currently. I mentioned on Monday that the Rhododendrons seemed to need a little bit of iron , so I went out and picked up a bag of this fast-acting Iron soil supplement from Menards to see if it will make it happy and darken things up. I'm going to use
I first spotted something called a Totem Pole grass at Hinsdale Nursery earlier this year. It was billed as a grass that can get to six feet tall. I was intrigued. So, when I saw this Prairie Winds Totem Pole Switch Grass at the Morton Arboretum Spring sale, I knew I had to buy one. (I know, I know...I shouldn't ever buy ONE of anything. But, I broke *that* rule for this grass due to the size and sun requirement. ) In the photo below, you can see this grass in the nursery container in a spot in the bed kind of tucked behind the tulips and the Norway Maple tree and kind of straight out from the corner of our screened porch. Here, below, is the front/back of the tag: The back of the tag reads: A sturdy, durable ornamental grass that withstands adverse weather conditions. Grey-green leaves form a strictly upright column of steel blue foliage. Golden seed heads in fall. And...note the 72" height listed at the top of the back of the tag. Walter's Garden has a listin
We have a pair of Rhododendrons planted on either side of our rear stoop that we put in the ground in 2018 as part of our plan . I have never pruned them, but have protected them a little bit in Winter using Wilt-pruf a couple of times. These are evergreen shrubs and they put on a nice flower show most years. But, this year these shrubs looked a little sad earlier this Spring. They were yellow, drooping and leggy. I bought some Epsoma Holly Tone this year to feed my hydrangeas and these Rhdodendrons and it seems like they've responded a bit. I'm pretty sure they have an iron deficiency - as outlined here by Ortho. Purdue University Extension office has a post up about this yellowing - called chlorosis . I have started to feed these with a little bit of coffee grounds, but I think that I'm going to need some more drastic action to correct the iron. But, back to this season: these two shrubs are flowering right now with light purple flowers. Here, below are the pa
I've posted dozens of times about peonies. Nat's favorite flower. By a bunch. We had a series of lovely and productive (flowering) peonies in Elmhurst, but in the past four growing seasons here in Downers Grove, we have yet to have ONE peony flower. I think it has to do with all the shade we have and where the peonies are planted. To try to solve that, I transplanted some of the peonies closer to the house in an attempt to get them some Sun. But, for Mother's Day, we also bought Nat a new peony. It is this "Duchesse De Nemours White Peony" that you can see on the tag below: This particular cultivar is white (which, we normally don't have) and comes with some credentials. From White Flower Farm comes this description : A century-and-a-half after its introduction, the fragrant double 'Duchesse de Nemours' remains a standard by which all other white Peonies are judged. Strong stems give the blossoms an aristocratic bearing; a touch of yellow at t
Every year, we've planted annuals in our front bed to add a little pop of color to the front of our house - with mixed results. Last year, we used 24 Devine Lavendar Impatiens in the bed . The most plants we've put in this area. The full progression looks like this: Our first full year - in 2018 - we planted some Ranunculuses - about eight of them. In 2019, we planted 16 orange marigolds. +8 plants yoy. In 2020, we planted 24 Impatiens. +8 plants yoy. The second goal (beyond the color) is to help improve the soil in this area as when I got started it was solid clay - from the foundation backfill. I amended the soil with Gypsum and have added some biochar/humic acid to the area, too. And, of course I've added mulch to these beds over the years. First, with hardwood fines, then in 2019 and 2020, I laid down cocoa bean hull mulch . The thinking here is that nothing aerates and breaks up clay soil better than roots growing. Every year that I plant here will make t
There are (now) four Purple Sensation Allium that pop up in our front bed between the Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea and our boxwoods. I say "now" because when I planted these in the Fall of 2018, there were five of them in this location . Seeing the photo below, I'm now thinking I should buy more of these this Fall and line the whole row between the hyrangea and boxwods with a row of Allium bulbs. They provide a nice pop of color and come alive in between when the tulips have expired and when our annuals begin to fill-in. I could see 25 or so more planted here to fill in the area. Note: like other posts, this one is live in June, but this photo is from late May 2021.