Yesterday, I mentioned that we don't get A TON of fall colors in our yard - mostly due to the variety of trees that we inherited, but posted a photo of our small Bald Cypress in the front yard that was showing some fall colors . We have a couple of Chanticleer Pear flowering trees in our yard (I know, I know...) that normally retain their leaves for a good part of Fall - leading into Winter. There have been a number of years that I've tried to wrap a couple of these trees with Christmas lights to only have to deal with the leaves that have stuck around. This year, however, two of these trees (We technically have four with two in decline) have decided to put on a really great Fall Show with oranges and reds. Here is the one on our north fence line you can see below: I'll get out and measure the caliper of this tree this Winter, but I'm thinking this tree has grown just a little bit this year.
Showing posts with the label #newoldbackyard
This is the first season of this trio of Amber Queen Epimedium (Barrenwort) in our yard. I planted it late this season - in September - and mulched it in ahead of winter with wood chips. The grouping is just to the west of our largest Catalpa tree and with the wood chip mulch, I feel like I've protected these as best as I can before their long winter's nap that is coming. Here, below, is what they're looking like in early November: I'm quite hopeful that they'll do ok this Winter as they've shown NO SIGNS of stress after being planted. They haven't shown much in terms of growth, but I'm thinking that they're satisfied in terms of water as they prepare to head to dormancy. Fingers crossed that come Spring, we'll have three come back and put on their first yellow-flower-show in the Spring.
I haven't done this in year's past, but I thought it would be useful in terms of tracking the leaves and foliage to track an early November backyard tree canopy. We have a couple of large Oak trees that have foliar marcescence - or the ability to keep some of their leaves late into the Winter. You can see some of those trees in the image above. Oak tree on the right and on the left. Up high, on the right side, I'm documenting *some* larger Catalpa leaves are still on the limbs. And the massive hackberry that straddles our fence line on the northside is still flush with dry, brittle leaves.
Back a few weeks ago, I posted some photos showing how Yellow Jackets covering our espalier'd Greenspire Linden trees due to (based on what I found line) what appeared to be aphids infesting the tree. Recently, we had a couple of nights of frost (overnight) and that has killed away all the yellow jackets. So, I could finally get close enough to the tree to inspect what is going on. My assumption was that the frost likely killed off WHATEVER was eating the leaves and causing the Yellow Jackets to feast. But, I was pleasantly surprised when I grabbed a leaf and turned it over. The lace-like leaf had a couple of inhabitants on the underside. Here's what I saw: See them? Here's a closer look: Two guys that are yellow and black striped and hanging out on the underside of the leaf. But, what are they? Pretty sure they are Linden Aphids. The Bug Guide has a photo that sure looks a lot like these things and, ummm, they're on a Linden tree. But, what do I do next?
Our Dawn Redwood is my favorite tree in our yard. It is easy to miss or forget due to it being tucked away in the back of our yard and is still pretty small. This is the replacement tree and I planted this version of the tree in the Summer of 2018 and this version of the tree has done well over the past three growing seasons. It survived in 2018. In 2019, it shot way up. Like 3' of new growth. The tree is putting on a nice fall show with orange needles. You can see it in the photo above. Our yard is mostly yellows and greens and browns come Fall. But this Dawn Redwood is a lovely orange. The last time I checked in with this tree was in September when it was throwing off some new, lush growth after weathering the heat of the Summer. However, I'm a little uneasy on this tree as the orange is a little different than last year - which I know was a positive Fall season because the tree came back this Spring. It wasn't until November - about a month later than today
The last time I checked in on out compost bin was in May of this year before the heat of the Summer worked to heat up the pile. At that time, I had the 3 bin setup in the easement behind our yard. One active bin, one carbon storage bin and one nitrogen storage bin. Earlier in the Spring, I worked to install a passive aeration system by inserting six 2" perforated pvc pipes in the bottom third of the pile . But as fall arrived, I've come to realization that the pile isn't in enough sun, so I thought that I'd move it to a place where I think it can get a little more heat. That meant deconstructing and digging out the full pile. When I dug out the bottom of the pile, I came to the realization that something had occurred. Why? Because we had some black gold. Either time. Or the passive aeration. Or both? Something exerted the right pressure on the pile and transformed our yard waste into that black gold. The other thing that I noticed is the shrinkage. The
I bought a total of eleven All Gold Japanese Grasses from the Fall Plant Sale and put them in the ground in two locations with the aim of making two distinct masses of these grasses. I put five in the front yard - and I'll post about that shortly. And, I put six in the ground in the backyard - in between the largest Flowering Pear tree and the 31" Red Oak Tree on the north side. These are in 'front' of the Apple Tree Belgian Fence . You can see that location in the photo below: The grasses might be hard to pick out, so below, you can find an annotated version of that photo showing the location of these six grasses interplanted with some hostas and our lone Azalea. This is a brand new - this year - bed. You can see it as bare mulch here . I supplemented the soil around these six with a couple of bags of composted manure to try to enrich the soil and give the grasses a good headstart. I'm going to water these in every few days this Fall to keep them establ
We have no blue flowering plants in our yard - so when we came across a full shade, blue-flowering perennial at the Fall Plant Sale - Nat said that we had to buy them. These are NOT on my plan, but since they're Full Shade, they can go just about anywhere. We bought three of these (and one more for Nat's Mom) for our backyard. Walter's Garden describes these as being complimentary to hostas and ferns: This beautiful shade perennial will make you dance with its impressive spring flowers and unique foliage. Starting in mid-spring shortly after Hellebores are finished booming, dainty light periwinkle blue flowers cover a low, mounded habit. After the flowers fade, you can enjoy its dark green leaves that are lightly sprinkled with silver. This plant will thrive in part shade to full shade as long as you provide moisture. Pulmonaria is an underused perennial that grows well in shady gardens. It is especially attractive when planted among hostas, ferns, and brunneras. Its
This is the seventh in the series of plant varieties that came home from the Morton Arobretum Fall Plant sale from last week. The previous six - including some Japanese grasses, coral bells, a couple of hostas and some other shade plants can be found at the bottom of this post. I bought these bright Evercolor Sedges based on the recommendation of the staff at the Arboretum. From the sign at the top of this post, they describe these as having a 10-12" height and 16-24" spread. But, also, they call out Full Shade - which is a key for me. The rest of the description reads: Leaf blades are long, thin and arching, with a golden yellow hue. Adds a burst of color to garden beds, borders and containers. Mounding habit adds texture to many garden areas, especially when mass planted. Best color in locations with morning sun. Below is a photo of the front and the back of the plant tag - where they call this out as a Japanese Sedge. Walter's Garden compares it to other, si
The next up in my purchase(s) at the Morton Arboretum Fall Plant Sale is one of these Chocoholic Black Snakeroot (Actacea 'Chocoholic' ). The sign from the sale is below, but for the short-hand reason for why I bought it? It flowers in Full Shade. And, like it or not, I'm a shade gardener. This snakeroot grows to 4-5' tall and a three-to-four foot spread. The description from the sign reads: Bronze purple foliage is a welcome addition to the shade garden. Rich mauve-pink flowers lighten to white as they age. Forms a dense, upright clump. Below is a photo of the full plant showing the current height and clump size. I haven't thought about Snakeroot before, but when I saw this one flowering, I couldn't pass it up. The ball-like flower buds have started to explode into white flowers. The Chocoholic Version is one of many versions of Snakeroot. Walter's Garden thinks highly of this cultivar : This lovely native cultivar adds wonderful textur
The third variety of plant material that I brought home from the Morton Arboretum Fall Plant Sale last week is the second cultivar of hosta. And it is (maybe?) even more unique than the Waterslide one that has ruffled edges. This one is called Praying Hands Hosta and according to Walter's Garden , it is "unlike any other hosta." It also was "Hosta of the Year" in 2011. Here - below - is the plant tag that shows the height being 14-18" and the spread being 12-16". Here - below - is a look at the plant that I brought home. It is really interesting looking. If you looked closely at the photo of my Linden trees that I posted a few days ago, you might have viewed this hosta at the base of one of them. I've been watching the sun/shade patterns of that area to see if it is the right place to plant this hosta. I'd like it in a spot that can be viewed and highlighted - so underneath those trees feels good right now. I'll do a shade stud
Yesterday, I posted a photo of a multi-trunk (3-trunk) River Birch tree that continues to grow up in our backyard and mentioned in that post that you could peek at a few of the Guacamole Hostas lined up alongside the bed the River Birch clump is located. Today, are a couple of photos showing the rest of these large (and one small) Guacamole Hosta. We had six of them purchased for us at Hinsdale Nursery earlier this Summer - five really large ones and one smaller one. I toyed with the idea of planting a few of them out front under the large Maple tree , but after seeing them there, I decided to plant them in the backyard. And back in July, when I planted the contorted Harry Lauder Walkingstick tree, I took one of the larger ones and planted it in the bed next to the tree . As for the other five, this post shows their current state and location. At the top of the post, you can see three more - two large ones and the one small one - planted in a small cluster on the northsi
The story of our contorted tree starts with a trip to Phantom Manor in Disneyland Paris back in the Summer of 2019 . Nat and I spent a day there during our visit and we were both struck by the trees and foliage that the Imagineers planted and nurtured around their Haunted Mansion. The queue is outdoor like at WDW, but it winds through a garden full of weeping and contorted trees and shrubs. It gives off quite a look - one of decay, dying and ill-looking horticulture. Based on that trip, I included the idea of buying a 'contorted tree' on my 2020 to-do list . #13 on the list was to buy a weeping or contorted tree . I suppose that I could have crossed that off my list when I bought the tiniest of tiny contorted trees online this Spring with my small Cortorted Hortsmann Recursive Larch . But, I couldn't stop at one contorted tree. So, when we were doing a "drive through" nursery run to the Growing Place during the early stages of Covid quarantine and s
Yesterday, I posted a photo of a miniature hosta that I transplanted from the far back part of our yard to underneath the Oak tree swing trunk and mentioned that I was watching it to see if it was healthy enough to divide into multiple plants. While I wait for that....I wanted to post about a few other hostas that were certainly *healthy enough* to divide. You see them above in the photo. These are all "teardown hostas" that I grabbed in the Fall of 2017 and was surprised in 2018 when they all emerged. Hostas, are indeed, hearty perennials. This post shows the location in question and the landscape plan that was drafted : it includes 4 Hadspen Hostas that wrap around the corner of our house. If you look at the photo at the top of this post, you'll count five (5) hostas. And...in the middle of that photo, you can see one of them is bigger than the rest. I'm thinking my plan is to dig out the two 'middle ones'. That would be the largest one and t
After seeing some Winter damage (and rabbit damage ) on some of our Hicks Upright yews that I planted last year, I was happy to see that the shrubs are showing off some growth this Spring. All twelve (12) of these small yews have new, fresh Spring growth on the tips. I planted these in mid-Summer of 2019 and baby'd them with a soaker hose. I stuck some of the Jobe's fertilizer spikes in near the northern-most shrubs in an attempt to see if they work. If you recall, my goal is a wavy shrub like the one this post. I posted some photos of these yews in my garden walk-around earlier this Spring and gave them a heavy mulch.
A couple of weeks ago, we had a tree arrive on our front porch from an online nursery that had what appeared to be a challenging trip via FedEx and when I opened the box, it looked like this: Snapped in half. Womp Womp. It was a Lavender Twist Weeping Redbud - which Monrovia describes as : Rosy lavender-pink flowers completely cover bare, slightly contorted, weeping branches in early spring. This truly unique selection can develop a beautiful umbrella of cascading branches covered in heart-shaped leaves if trained when young. A captivating small specimen tree for a focal point in a shrub border or entryway. Deciduous. Back in Elmhurst, our neighbors to the north had a big, beautiful Redbud that put on quite a late Spring show with the purple flowers. And I remember planting one of own - a small one - in our old backyard, but I don't think I posted about it. One of the kids wanted to get a RedBud as one of their Earth Day trees, but due to the whole COVD-19 thin
Yesterday, I showed off some new growth on our Yews in the rear yard and today, I'm happy to show one of our tiny Canadian Hemlocks showing some new light-green growth. This is back in the 'rabbit damage' area that I posted about in March of this year . You can see one of the Ostrich Ferns on the right side of this photo and - in terms of documenting this location - this is the furthest right (north) of the three that I initially planted. This one was the least damaged by rabbits, but I now need to get round to protecting it with some chickenwire/poultry wire to keep the critters from munching on it. The other ones have a little bit of growth, but not like this one. I'll post some photos of the other set later this Summer.
A couple of weeks ago, we planted a fast-growing Lombardy Poplar tree in our far backyard and had high hopes that it would provide a little bit of screening in a quick way. But, today I went by to inspect the tree a little and was surprised to see it was having some trouble. Look at the photo above to see the leaves that are wilting and browning out. This is certainly NOT a good sign, but I'm not calling it yet with this tree and I hope it can bounce back. I'm pretty certain that this was a recently-planted bareroot tree that came in a burlap sack. This was the first tree that we received in one of those burlap sacks and I decided to NOT plant the sack. I think that was a mistake. It *could* be frost damage like what we've seen on some of our ferns , but I'm not sure. On the next tree - which I'll post about soon, I trimmed the burlap sack down to be pretty small and planted the sack to try to keep the soil around the tree roots a bit more. I'
We planted our first Oak tree in our yard this month. You can see it above - it is a Northern Red Oak tree and it is REALLY small. I'll get the caliper dimension later this Summer, but I think this might be the thinnest tree that we've planted. Why an Oak tree? Because of this Washington Irving post from last year . I know we won't be living in our home by the time that this tree - if we nurture it - grows up to be significant. In ten years, it will be a small tree. In 20 years, it might be an eight inch or 10 inch caliper tree. We'll be gone from here. But, we have two huge Oak trees on our lot - that planted a long time ago. And we are the ones - the future ages - that are enjoying the trees. We plant this small tree without the expectation that we'll enjoy the shade that it will create. But, this little tree will 'benefit mankind long after we shall have ceased to tread our yard'. We planted it on the south side of our lot, behind