Showing posts with the label garden dreaming

A Disney-Inspired Water Feature for 2023? February 2023

One of the things that I've been chasing FOR YEARS in all three of our gardens (two of our own, one borrowed via my sister Vic/Equation Boy/Man when we lived there for two years) is a water feature.  I've longed after one in various forms.  Over the years, I've had two water features that managed to be planned, executed and maintained.  But, each of them lasted for just one season. The first one was this three-tiered acrylic fountain that I had near our garden in our first house in Elmhurst.  The birds loved it.  But, it dried out rapidly.  Then it cracked and was junk.   The second one was this small wine barrel water 'feature' that we had in the borrowed garden/patio .  It was an insert that wasn't quite the right size inside of a wine barrel planter from the hardware store.   I've talked about adding some water - for both the visuals but also the sounds - many times.  I included it on my 2022 to-do list and it was an item that didn't get done.   Wh

2023 PW Plants Of The Year - January 2023

Proven Winners has come out with their 2023 plants of the year recently and the list includes a few things of note (for me) that are worth getting to know a bit. Before I run through the ones that standout to me, I thought it was important to remind (myself) what Proven Winners uses as their criteria.  Now...Proven Winners is in the business of selling A LOT of plants, so what they say are their 'winners' are grounded in that:  commerce.  But... here's what they say are their criteria :   Easy to grow Iconic Readily available Outstanding landscape performance Easy to grow...for who? their greenhouses?  Or, me the intermediate gardener with a shade-filled yard that lacks irrigation in Zone 5b?   Readily available speaks to their ease of growing, so they're really saying 'easy to grow' twice. That last one:  outstanding performance.  This one is the key.  Again...performance of what?   There are other groups who name X of the year - like the Perennial

Retaining Wall Design With Walkway On Top - March 2022

Earlier here on the blog, I posted about the idea of a 'fountain wall' right next to our patio and mentioned that I thought there was an 'order of operations' post that needed to come first to ensure that I had all of the pieces sorted out and that any project that I took on would not have to be REDONE when I moved on to other projects. order to get to that 'order of operations' post, I think I need to lay out a few more of the building blocks/underlying projects that make up the choices I have to make.   One of the biggest ones is to finish up solving the 'entrance' to our backyard.    I've gone around-and-around on how to best solve the situation I'm facing:  a gradient that transverses the path we need to complete from our front yard (driveway) back to our patio. Last year, I put in a gravel walkway that covers half of the area .  And, we love it.  But, I can't simply lay down a gravel walkway for the rest of this walkway b

Garden Water Feature Dreaming: Patio Fountain Wall

What's better than one garden water feature and 'garden dreaming' post on the blog?  Certainly...You could say that: Two of those posts would be better.  But, even better than two?  That's right....three of said posts.  Especially when they run in close proximity to each it serves as a document of the evolution of my thinking on projects like this and allows me the ability to work in draft format in my garden diary. First... I started this series with a look at some available stock tanks that could be used as ponds . Then, a few days ago, I posted about how I learned all about rills and what they are in the garden .  Today, I'm posting about some further inspiration that I've come across that has appeal to me as a gardener.  In terms of location, I'm talking about the patio-adjacent area to the north of our current patio .  I posted some drawings and thoughts about doing a second Belgian Fence in this area .  You can see the location here .   I st

What is a Rill? And Why Do I need One?

There I was....minding my own business scrolling through gardening instagram when I came across this post from....guess who?  Yep.  Erin the Impatient Gardener.  You know....the online gardener who gardens in Southern Wisconsin who I have posted about a bunch and continues to show me/teach me new things.  Here's her post below: View this post on Instagram A post shared by E R I N🌿The Impatient Gardener (@impatientgardener) Wait....What the what?  What's is this?  A Rill?!?!   I am going to admit something:  I have NEVER HEARD of a rill.  Like...this was that time when a girl in like 2nd grade mentioned something called a "Panda Bear".  I was blown away.  Never heard of a Panda Bear.  And...then..... *boom* Suddenly, this cute black and white bear was in my life.   That's how I feel about a garden rill.  This is NEW TO ME.    Sure, I've heard of water features.  Ponds, streams, waterfalls.  Even fountains .  But a rill?  I had to look aro

Stock Tank Pond Dreams At Home Depot - March 2022

Last Winter, I posted a little backyard garden dream about a stock tank pond based on Erin the Impatient Gardener having set one up a few years back .  I thought it was a unique way to add a water feature to the garden - and one WITHOUT fish - but rather focused on aquatic plants.  At that time, the problem that I was facing was access to an affordable stock tank.  Between the supply chain issues and pandemic-induced staying-at-home, stock tanks were either not available or the shipping was a killer.  So, imagine my delight when I walked up to the local Big Box store this past week and I see these beauties out front: On the left are rings.  Not tanks.  Fire pits are the intended use, I think.   The most expensive ones ($129) are these online - 2' wide x 2' tall x 4' wide .  And, despite the HD listing not showing the capacity in gallons, I'm pretty sure it is 100 gallons ( based on this Tractor Supply listing ).   That seems like a good capacity to start on something li

Plant Dreaming: Virginia BlueBells - Yes?

Despite it being September, my brain is already thinking ahead to Spring.  That (for me), normally means bulbs.  And I'm working on that - as I type.  But, it also has me thinking about something else - that is new to me:  Spring ephemerals.   One of them that I'm most interested in - after seeing them LIVE in person at Northwind Perennial Farm - is Mertensia virginica - or Virginia Bluebells. View this post on Instagram A post shared by E R I N🌿The Impatient Gardener (@impatientgardener) That post, above, is from Erin the Impatient Gardener.  I've told you how much I like her garden - as she's in my zone.  I don't have many "Spring Ephemerals" that aren't Fall-planted bulbs and this one feels like a good add to my garden.  Here's a document from the Wisconsin Horticulture Department Extension office that talks all about them . A few things jump out to me - see for snippets below : Virginia bluebells can be used in borders or

Juniper in a Wooden Tree Box - DIY Project Idea

I have an idea for a garden-related project that has been knocking around my head for a number of years.  Well...there are tons of those kind of projects, frankly.  But, for this post, I'm talking about one of them specifically.  This one...involves trees.  And...I haven't moved on it - for a variety of reasons including shifting priorities, lack of need, the right nursery stock and the opportunity.   It starts with this post about Hollywood Junipers in 2018 where I posted a photo of a tree in a wooden box for a container .  And, was likely rekindled during one of my trips to Tokyo where I saw all sorts of container'd conifers.  Like this one from House of Bonsai below: Via House of Bonsai . This is not my photo. And, even more recently, I came across a couple of striking conifer trees by the bus stops down at Disney Springs.  They were relatively new (newly planted) and still had their tags on them. Here's a shot of them below: And, below, is a look at the tag reveali

Another Belgian Fence (Maybe) - Defining the Patio Space, Entrance and Screening

Yesterday, I posted a new photo of a Belgian Fence espalier that sits on the side of the Main Street USA train station at Disneyland Park in California and mentioned that I can learn something about spacing by looking at how they put their (non-tree) Belgian fence together to get a 4-wide x 2-tall diamond pattern.  I also posted earlier this month a 'progress shot' of my mixed apple (fruit and crab) Belgian Fence that is in the second growing season .   I was recently reading this piece on espalier design and usage where I came across this little note that made me think (again) about a second Belgian Fence.  From the post :   "Consider using a Belgian Fence to create outdoor rooms. Their design will impress year-round and provide a wall-like privacy when in bloom. During the holidays, they are prime candidates for Christmas lights." What's that you say? Outdoor room.  Hmmm....Interesting. Privacy wall.  Tell me more.   Christmas lights....well... I've spent

Plant Dreaming: Epimedium wushanense 'Sandy Claws'

Yesterday, I posted a [plant dreaming] post about a 'stunning' Hosta:  Brother Stefan - that I came across at the local nursery.  Today, I'm sharing another plant that found on that same shopping trip that has some congruency to the Brother Stefan hosta. hostas, I *have* a few different cultivars of this plant.  And second, it is a show-boat when it comes to foliage.  I'm talking about Epimedium wushanense 'Sandy Claws'.  Here, below, are a couple of photos from the plants at The Growing Place.  First, the foliage.  And second, the sign.  I have five (currently) Epimedium Amber Queen(s) planted already - hence thinking about this particular sport as a new (potential) addition.  I put in three last Fall and two this Spring and - so far - they're pretty slow to grow.  They're about the same size as they were when I put them in.  And, based on what I've read, that's pretty normal.  They are 'slow to establish' plants.   If yo

Summer Plant Dreaming: Hosta Brother Stefan

Earlier this Summer, I was poking around The Growing Place shade section and saw a hosta that (more than) caught my eye:  'Brother Stefan'.  It feels really interesting - corrugated of sorts.  They describe it (on The Growing Place sign) as 'puckered'.   I'm filing this under the [ plant dreaming ] tag - as I now am going to be thinking about adding it to our backyard.  Here, below, is the Brother Stefan hosta and if you zoom-in, you can see the sign I mentioned above:   The folks over at Walters Gardens have a listing up for this hosta, too.  From that listing, I see this list of really nice characteristics.  Some highlights: "large sized".  Check. "moderate growth rate". Check. "most spectacular hosta they have ever seen".  Check. "thick leaves".  Check. "slug resistance".  Check.  "tall".  Check.  "perfect focal point".  Check. "shade garden".  Check.  Oh, my.   New Hampshire Hostas c

Plant Dreaming: Praying Hands Succulent - New in 2021

On Friday, I posted a description and a photo of a columnar tree that was being introduced as "new" by the Growing Place Nursery near us.  It was a columnar cultivar of a Baldcypress called Lindsey's Skyward .   In that post, I mentioned that the tree was on a list of 'new for this season' plants.  There were a few other things that caught my eye on that list including a succulent.   It is striking because of the form - and the name:  Praying Hands.  Here's how they bill it on the Growing Place's site: Quite interesting isn't it?  I can see this being a really lovely container succulent.  Love that they call out how it looks like an artichoke, right?  Walter's Garden has more details including how it is relatively fast growing and is a cross of Agave .   This past Fall, I added a hosta with the same name - Praying Hands - to our yard .  And, yes... I made mistake in buying ONLY one of them .  Thanks for reminding me.  

Revisiting a Backyard Metal Frame Topiary - The Block I

As I often do during the deep part of Winter, my brain starts to think about the garden and the projects that I'd like to take on this season.  I've done a couple of years of to-do lists and those have been good ways of forcing me to focus.  In each of those years ( 2019 and 2020 ), I included trying a metal-frame topiary to the list.  And in both of those years, I never check the idea off my list . But, that hasn't stopped me from thinking about how to pull one off.  And, as I was tool'ing around the Web recently, I came across this Etsy store that sells all sorts of topiary frame s.  They're all really great.  Go have a look at this Pikachu one .  Or this Mickey Mouse head .  They also sell a full-body Mickey Mouse which looks really great .  It is $300, so maybe a little rich for a first-timer like me.  But, there also was one that caught my attention.  It is the one featuring Auburn University's A/U logo.  Here's a screenshot of the listing below.  (Ag