Last week, I posted some photos of the process of late-season Catalpa tree seed sowing in a few seed cells that we had on hand and talked about how I hoped they'd germinate and we would (maybe) get a few seedlings to harden off before the frost hits in the next six to eight weeks. I started the Catalpa tree seed project back last last year when I harvested a few Catalpa seed pods and tried to get them going two ways: first by putting them in the fridge for the Winter to get that cold stratification. And, by also popping open some brown seed pods and direct sowing some of them in a couple of spots. I covered that Catalpa tree seed sowing here in a post on Christmas Day . Back late last year, I planted these seeds in two spots: along the fence. And in a large wine barrel planter. Both, frankly...on a total whim. The ones along the fence have never amounted to anything. Between laying on a thick layer of mulch and seasonal weeding, these things didn't have a chance.
Showing posts from August, 2022
A few days ago, I showed how the Bird added a single Carex Albicans to her little backyard garden and mentioned that I had bought a few more of these plugs. I intended to plant all four back by the fire pit border, but she wanted one, so it went in her garden. As I talked about in that post, these sedges are plugs from Northwind Perennial Farm in Wisconsin, where gardener Roy Diblik evangelizes for Carex as the cure for garden groundcover. Below is the sign from his nursery: These Albicans are darker green than the Bromoides that I planted yesterday under the Hornbeams . Below, you can see some of them before planting: Here, below, is the layout of these three. They're close to the fire pit gravel border and will (hopefully) fill in and cover up some of that mulch. I could plant four dozen of these and that wouldn't be enough, so three barely makes a dent. But, every garden has to start somewhere, right? These three additional Carex Albicans now add to the total of care
Just yesterday, I posted a photo showing off the Carex Albicans that The Bird planted as ground cover in her little backyard garden and talked about how that marked the 12th sedge that we've planted in the backyard. I had posted about planting a little cluster of four Carex Bromoides earlier this Summer and included a video from Roy Diblik where he talks about his favorite Carex and how he combines them. In that video, he talked about Bromoides, muehlenbergii & muskingumensis (Little Midge). And how to combine them together with a dominant species and 'islands' of other species in various percentages. That video pushed me to think about how I can use some of these in our landscape and how to create a unique pattern that is unique to our garden and isn't a 'monoculture'. When we were up at Northwind in Wisconsin, I came home with some of the Carexes that Roy talked about: Eight Carex Bromoides. And Two Carex muskingumensis Little Midge. When p
The last plant that my middle child planted in her garden from Roy Diblik's Northwind Perennial Farm was a result of me advocating that she try something that Roy has (I think) made famous: a sedge. Or...a Carex. She picked out a Carex Albicans . Here, below, is the sign from the nursery table up in Wisconsin: It reads: "Perennial sedge that grows in dense, mounded tufts. In late spring, interesting scaly flower spikes emerge. An excellent selection for dry, shaded sites." Below, you can see where she planted her Carex Albicans plug - just adjacent to the Helene Von Stein Lamb's Ear - Stachys byzantina that she planted in July of this year . By my count, I (now) have 12 sedges in our garden. 5 Everillo sedges - planted in 2020 and 2021 2 Carex Pensylvanica under the Hornbeams - planted in 2021 4 Carex Bromides by the Astilbes - planted in Summer 2022 1 Carex Albicans in the Bird's garden - planted late Summer 2022 I also have a pair of Prairie Dropseeds,
We have a couple of clusters of Brunnera in our garden - a trio of Jack of Diamonds on the southside . And a trio of Queen of Hearts on the northside . Both of those sets have done well and are quite striking in their silver-tinged foliage. They work well in shady spots and have seemingly established themselves over the past growing season (plus). Last week, I showed a photo of one of the new perennials that the Bird bought up at Northwind Perennial Farm in Wisconsin (White Wanda Speedwell - maybe White Wands Speedwell... ) and mentioned that she bought a few other things. This post is about a pair of Brunnera Macrophylla - Hearth-leaved Brunnera - that she bought and planted in her little garden in the backyard. Below is the sign from Roy Diblik's nursery in Wisconsin: And, here (below) shows the location of the pair of these Brunneras in her garden. They're planted in front of the Chicago Lustre Arrowwood Viburnum (you can see one of them at the top of the photo. Al
I recently posted about how I began to divide and upgrade the small seedlings of the native Kentucky Coffee Tree that I've been growing for 14-or-so months and talked about how I've enjoyed the process with native tree seedlings. I posted about trying other tree seeds in the past - including Catalpa and Honey Locust - as new projects. That is/was part of one of my 2022 to-do goals : keep working on the seedling project. I didn't jump on the Honey Locust seeds earlier this Summer, but earlier in August, I decided to give the Catalpa seeds a shot. Why? I came across a Catalpa seed pod that one of the kids had just busted open on our patio and seeing the seeds reminded me that I should give it a go with planting them. Here, below, is the pod and a bunch of the white, winged seeds scattered on our brick paver patio: I decided to try to get these to germinate a couple of ways. First...by planting them (like 1/4" or so deep) in a series of uncovered containers.
Ten days ago, I shared a photo of the (now) going-on=two-year-old Kentucky Coffee tree seedlings that I've kept in small 1-quart nursery container since they germinated. In that post, I talked about how each of the small containers contained multiple small seedlings and it was time to both separate them and upgrade them to larger containers. With the planting of a few new items in the garden, I found myself having a few 1# nursery pots that I could re-use. I got started by pulling the seedlings out of their current homes (14 months since germination) and began to split them up by tearing the root masses apart. Below, you can see one of the seedlings root system after I divided the clump: I started with just ONE set of the trees to ensure that they can handle the division of roots. I figured there were two routes here: divide the clumps. Or, simply transplant the double seedling and cut off/prune down the weaker of the two. Here, below, is the first of those two divided
It seems like Menards Halloween has come back this year. After a down year (at least it appeared to me to be 'down' and likely due to COVID + Supply Chain issues), it appeared that - on our visit this month - they had TONS of new stuff. This post is going up in late August, but our visit was on Saturday, August 13th, so they had all of their stuff up mid-August. I've covered this in the past - here's last year . Below is a look at their Halloween village. Of note, they've TOTALLY phased out all Lemax Village buildings and are now showing their own house brand of Pumpkin Hollow Halloween buildings and structures. Menards always has a good set of holiday inflatables and this year they're showing a new (to me) Disney licensed Halloween inflatable featuring the three Sanderson Sisters from Hocus Pocus (and soon... Hocus Pocus 2 ). It is just five feet wide, but costs more than $100. Dang that Disney license. Menards is also selling a couple of tabletop Hal
Earlier this month, I was able to (finally and properly) identify that I have a creeping bentgrass problem in my backyard that includes a spreading (and concerning) amount of Nimblewill . I decided to apply Tenacity as a post-emergent in an attempt to begin to control the grassy weed ahead of overseeding this Fall. I mixed up a couple of gallons and applied it with a pump sprayer. What does it look like after a week? I'm seeing what I hoped to see: some white emerging from the bentgrass. See below for some photos showing the white tips. Turns out, I have A TON Of creeping bentgrass back there that needs to go. Look at all this white showing up: Everything I've read tells me that Nimblewill control isn't a one-shot deal. It will take a few applications the first season and a multi-year treatment plan with herbicide control (Tenacity as a selective post-emergent). But, so far...I'm happy. And seeing signs of progress here. My plan is to lower the deck on m
Last Spring, I bought three Butterscotch Amsonia from the Morton Arboretum plant sale - after reading about how they're texture superstars in the garden. I planted them as an intermediate layer - behind a row of Fanal Astilbes and in front of a series of Oakleaf Hydrangeas. I spaced them out pretty far (based on the recommended spacing). What do they look like today? They've filled in and starting to put on size. See below: They're all kind of leaning towards the east - where the sun is located - but are doing what they're supposed to do: add a fine leaf texture to the garden. Compare the size to what they looked like in October of last year (when they were yellowing for the first time) and you can see that they've put on both height and width.
I've been tracking our small (but growing) Dawn Redwood tree for a number of years - since planting it (as a replacement) in the 2018 growing season . That means, we're in the midst of the fifth growing season ('18, '19, '20, '21, '22) and the tree continues to kind of creep-along. It put on massive growth in 2019, but I haven't been tracking it that closely ever since - because the height is now out of reach for me. But, every year - in late Summer - I've been seeing a 'flush' of new growth. This usually happens on the tips of the limbs with new needles emerging in late August. See below for an example of this year's flush of needles: Here's the post showing the same growth spurt in August of 2021 . And, here, in very early September 2020 shows the same flush . And the first Fall - 2018 - it had a similar flush but a little later. I'm overdue for a full caliper measurement of all the trees (including this one), but I hope
Ah, yes. The King of Clubs cold pack cheese. We meet once again. Do you like Merkt's? Then, you'll fall head-over-heels for King of Clubs. It is - for me - the best of the cold pack cheeses on the market. I first posted about it in 2017 and have made a trip to the Mars Cheese Castle on the regular ever since. King of Clubs is the house spread of the Mars Cheese Castle and comes in 2# and 5# pails . Yeah...pails. ( ...at least that's what I call them. They're technically called 'tubs' on the Mars site, but if you're buying five pounds of cold pack cheese spread, then that's coming in a pail. ) There's no shrinkflation going on with the King of Clubs. 16 ounces is still 16 ounces. If you find yourself stopping at the Mars Cheese Castle on your way up to Wisconsin (and...let's be honest...you're going to stop, right?), grab a one pounder of the King of Clubs Sharp Cheddar. Even if it isn't your thing, your Dad will love it.
My middle child is my gardening partner. She has created a little garden of her own in the backyard and each time I take her to the nursery, she's picking up a plant or two to add to her little patch. She's 'getting to know' some of these plants. Some work, some won't. The last time we went to Northwind Perennial Farm up in Wisconsin, she came home with this cool Lamb's ear . This trip, she bought a few different things including this Spike Speedwell below. The sign - you can see it in the photo below- calls this Veronica 'White Wanda' Spike Speedwell. But....I can't find anything called White Wanda out there on the Web. Plenty of 'White Wands' like this one at Walter's Garden . But...maybe this is a Northwind creation - they named themselves? ( Being a Marvel family, I'm not going to lie: the name White Wanda kinda was a draw here... ) The sign above talks about this being a 'perfect height' for behind low-growing
Last Spring - May of 2021 - I bought and planted three lime green heucheras named Dolce Apple Twist and planted them along the border in the south beds of our backyard. I quickly transplanted some found hostas around them, filled them with ferns and a few months later added three companion (yet contrasting) purple heucheras named Palace Purple . I interplanted these two by alternating the Apple Twist and Palace Purple. That meant that last year....there were six coral bells (or Heucheras) in a little cluster. This post is about the Dolce Apple Twist varieties. These were from Proven Winners and bought at the orange big box nursery. And, you can see in the photo below that there's just ONE left. That means two have died and are gone. I've long thought about doing an 'In Memoriam' post at the beginning of every Spring that lists everything that didn't make it. I should add these to the list. Heck...maybe I need to do a list like that in the Fall, too.
Last week, I shared here on my lawn diary a little breakthrough. For the past 18-or-so months, I've been watching a grassy weed creep along and begin to migrate from my far backyard to closer to our patio. And, after reading about various grassy weeds, I came to the (initial) conclusion that I was dealing with Poa Annua - or an annual Bluegrass. It was showing some of the signs like being lime green. But, after observing the lawn this Spring, I noticed that the parts affected green'd up later and seemed to handle the Summer better than the balance of my Bluegrass. I was planning on doing a complete renovation in the back by killing EVERYTHING off and starting from scratch with a new layer of seed this Fall. As I prepared for that, I went in to see if I could learn more about what was back there and how much I *really* needed to kill off vs. just overseed. When I went in and pulled a mature stalk of grass, I discovered it had this sort of horizontal branching structure.
We have two Praying Hands hostas in our backyard shade garden. They are both planted close to each other in the hosta bed underneath the large Northern Red Oak tree swing tree and tucked in amongst some other known varieties like Frances Williams and Christmas Tree as well as a bunch of other, unknown varieties - some variegated, some not. I planted the first one of these in Fall of 2020 . At some point, I acquired a second one. I don't seem to have posted about this second planting, nor how I transplanted the first one, but those two things did, indeed happen. I originally planted this back by the colony of Guacamole Hostas, but I moved it because there's a little path to a kids picnic table there and this was going to be trampled. Here, below, is a look at both of them. First, the larger of the two. I'm thinking this is the 2020 version below. You can see ferns and other hostas in the photo. As well as the tray of Kentucky Coffee tree seedlings that I have tuck
The last time I posted photos of the tray of Kentucky Coffee Tree Seedlings was in May of this year when they were just emerging from Winter dormancy and putting on some leaflets . I overwintered this tray of native tree seedlings by digging them in the ground and wrapping chicken wire around the base to protect them from the dang rabbits. That seemed to work. I've kept all of the seedlings in their original small (quart) nursery containers so far and have put the tray underneath a large Oak tree to provide filtered light. And...get them watered when I water the perennials in the area. Here, below, is what the tray of seedlings look like in mid-August 2022: By my count, I see eleven small KCT seedlings. And one Elm tree. And some other weed. This is their second full growing season and they've all had their stems/trunks put on real wood. They're all very small, still. And...they seem to have outgrown their containers and have roots emerging from the bottom. He
Yesterday, I posted a photo and an update on the line of three Hakonechloa Macra Hakone Japanese Forest Grasses that I have planted as a border under the tree swing Northern Red Oak tree in our backyard and remarked at how much size they had put on in just one year. While I was over in that section of the garden, I grabbed a photo to document in the [ garden diary ] the current mid-Summer state of the stand of Hakonechloa macra All Gold Grasses that are planted right around 'the corner' from the other grasses. The last time that I posted a peek at these grasses was in this post about my Drumstick Allium . But...the last time I posted the details of these grasses was just a week more than a year ago - August 2021 . And... before that was when I planted three additional grasses in May of 2021 . At that point, there were nine of these grasses planted in this slice of the garden. By August, I had noted that there was one in decline and had eight remaining . What do these
Right around Labor Day last year (2021), I planted a little cluster of three Hakonechloa Macra Hakone Grasses that I bought at Northwind in Wisconsin . These were planted on the border of the north bed right around the Tree Swing Northern Red Oak tree. They seemed to do fine during the Fall last year and then went dormant for the season. This Spring, I marked their reemergence in May of this year and was happy to see them come back for their first true growing season in the garden. What do they look like 11 months after their initial planting? Here, below, is a photo showing how they've all put on size and are doing well in their spot. The one furthest to the right is the smallest and is currently competing with a bunch of small Frances Williams hostas . I'm really liking these and think I can see even more of these repeated in a few spots. They prefer shade, so I can't put them close to the house, but in the beds in the back, there's tons of room for a little p
I've grown my lawn care practice in various ways over the years based on things I've learned from the Web (mostly YouTubers) including how I (now) cut my lawn pretty high (5 on the mower), have added Tall Fescue to our KBG lawn to try to provide it more heat resistance and even using a blue pattern spray in my herbicide treatments to 'see' where I've sprayed . My most recent project is focused on controlling a new (to me) warm season weed grass called Nimblewill. In order to do that, I'm going to use a selective herbicide named Tenacity. Tenacity seems like pretty great stuff and can be applied as either a pre-emergent or a post-emergent. The difference is that you have to also use a surfactant if you're going the post-emergent route. For this Nimblewill control project, we're talking post-emergent and actively growing grass. That meant that I had to go find a surfactant. The most readily available one was this Liquid Harvest version available on Am
Yesterday, I posted about the lawn care breakthrough that I had in properly identifying and diagnosing our lawn with hosting a warm-season bent grass weed called Nimblewill . In that post, I talked about trying to work my way through a process to both treat the Nimblewill, help some of our other tough spots and overseed the backyard this late Summer/early Fall. Back in March of this year, I posted my 2022 lawn care schedule and included the idea of a renovation in the back. Turns out...(if you read yesterday's post on Nimblewill ), I don't have Poa and don't need a renovation. I just need to remove the Nimblewill and overseed. Here's how I'm approaching the process below. My plan starts with controlling the Nimblewill through a herbicide application. Followed by aeration to part of my lawn then overseeding and finally amending parts of the backyard with compost to help improve the conditions. I touched on some of this in my 2022 lawn schedule post from this S
I had a little lawn care breakthrough this past week. Turns out....I don't have Poa in our lawn. We have a bent grass called Nimblewill . Since last Fall, I've talked about how I needed a plan to deal with what I thought was Poa Annua in our backyard . I s ketched out the notion of a full back renovation and even included the idea in my 2022 to-do list. But, as I was thinking about the timing of killing that (presumed Poa), I started to dig a little deeper on the Web. I pulled a blade of my invasive grass and compared it to what I found on the Web. It wasn't looking like Poa. Then...I found this page from Purdue's Turf Science Department that talks about Nimblewill . Purdue describes Nimblewill thusly : Nimblewill (Muhlenbergia schreberi) is a warm-season perennial grass found throughout the northeast, southeast, and Midwestern United States. ...It grows well in moist, shady areas but it is also found in dry, sunny areas. Nimblewill spreads vegetatively t