Welp, it is official: Our Chanticleer Flowering Pear tree out front by our garage is gone. I n February of this year, I posted a photo and an update on this tree and speculated that I thought it was dead, but we wanted to wait until Spring arrived to see if it came back. The bad news is marked with that pink spray paint on the trunk: marked for removal. I've had (now) maybe seven or eight of these trees over the years and this is one of three we have here in Downers Grove and this is the only one that gave us any trouble what-so-ever. This one is a 3" caliper, so it is a more mature tree while the rest of them have been 1" or less caliper versions, so they might have had a better shot at catching on. It is being replaced like-for-like with another of the same variety. I'll post photos of the new tree once it goes in the ground.
Showing posts with the label on grand gardens
Yesterday, I shared a photo of our eight Frans Fontaine European Hornbeam 2.5" caliper trees that had been delivered . These trees were a long-time coming and we've been planning, talking and thinking about them for almost a year. Today, the trees went in! Here's the guys digging the holes and placing the trees in the holes to check for placement and spacing. We ended up going with six feet of spread between each one and 30" away from the fence. You can tell from the photo above that they are going into a low spot and that our neighbor's to the north truck and garage are pretty visible (right now) from the top of our property. Here's three of the eight placed in their holes. Once we were all happy with the placement, the burlap and rope were removed (well...the bottom of the burlap was left on because our landscaper prefers to keep the rootball intact, but the top of the burlap was cut off and all the rope was removed) and these trees were stuck ba
The anticipation has been killing me. I've been waiting for six weeks for this day: when our Frans Fontaine Columnar Hornbeam trees arrive. That's the pile of eight of them after they had been delivered by the landscaper and before they were hauled into position. These are 2.5" caliper trees and they are about 12' tall and - at their widest - about 30" wide. Up near the top, where they will be showing over the fence, they're about 10" to 12" wide currently. I posted a bit ago showing the markings on the ground where these trees are going including the spacing - which is about 6' apart . And here's a look from the other direction (looking from front to rear yard). The trees are just starting to leaf out, but are already capable of screening somewhat. Look at this photo below that shows how when looking 'through' them, you can see how they screen our house. Also, you'll note that these have limbs about two-to-three f
Here is the third of three Earth Day 2018 trees, but this one, while bought on Earth Day, wasn't planted on Earth Day. The Babe picked this one (for reasons I'll describe), but couldn't decide on the location at first. So it sat on our patio, in the pot for a couple of weeks. Reminder...the other two Earth Day trees from this year are a Red Maple Sun Valley tree that we planted all the way in the back and a flowering pear tree that we planted on the south fence line . This tree is a flowering cherry, but different than our Kwanzan flowering Cherry as this one is a grafted tree that weeps. Pretty sure that this is a tree that - if not for a nursery - wouldn't exist normally. (Who knows...maybe no trees would??) It is smallish and will only get between eight and twelve feet tall and about six feet of spread. Here's the tag that shows the name Prunus x 'Snofozam' PPAF . Also note that it says "attracts butterflies". And that was
I've documented quite a bit of the new trees that we've planted over the past year of living in Downers, but I haven't really documented in my [ garden diary ] any of the existing trees that we inherited with the property. I'd consider the lot we're living on to be 'wooded', so it would be a mistake - in terms of garden diary-ing - to document only the eleven little, young ones I've planted in the past twelve months . One of the trees we inherited is this three trunk River Birch - which according to the Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder is "generally considered to be the superior growth habit for this species." This tree is located on the north side of our lot, about ten feet from the fence, right where the six-foot-fence section transitions down to the four-foot section. You can see the Mason Bee House that I hung on the fence in the background and like many of the other existing trees that aren't clinging to the fence lin
Eeek! On a total whim, I bought this seemingly scrawny tree. You can see it in the photo above and it doesn't look like much. But, it *is* something! And that something is: a weeping Himalayan Cedar 'Emerald Falls' tree. And it wasn't in the price range of my normal Menards trees. Nope. This one cost $69.99. And, right now, it isn't much to look at, I know. I bought it at Home Depot in Oak Brook and here's the tag that came on it: And here's a look at it in our garage before I planted it. In the photo above, you can see that the lead was starting to outgrow it's existing bamboo pole, so if you look in the very top photo, you can see that I subsidized it with a larger, 8' bamboo pole and then proceeded to tie the lead up in various places to keep it running vertical. So, why this tree on a whim? Welp, it isn't totally a whim. If you've been reading along at home, you might have peep'd this post from last fal
Mulch delivered, installed and spread for the year: Done and Done. Here's the post (with the same title) from 2011 including a video of the steaming pile being dumped on our driveway in Elmhurst. Here's the post from 2013 showing our (then) beds being freshly mulched. And here's the post from 2015 . Weird that I posted them every two years, despite mulch being applied every year. But, in that post from 2015 , you can see some of yard that I had worked at for six years to get it to a place that I was starting to be happy with in terms of plants and landscape. We had daylilies, some HUGE stands of Ostrich Ferns, a happy bunch of variegated hostas, a really beautiful (if just for a week or so) crabapple tree, a Ginko tree, an out-of-control Pussy Willow and even a fruiting Pear tree all in that one shot . I took the photo above in this post from our front porch and it shows three of our Strawberry Vanilla Hydrangeas and six of our Green Velvet Boxwoods. The
Along with the various other tubers that I've planted (Dahlias, ferns, hostas) this Spring, I also put down our first set of Peonies in our #newoldbackyard out on the north side of our backyard - about halfway between the house and the back fence. These are of the pink Sarah Bernhardt variety that you can see in the top photo. They're of the 'double peony' type that Nat adores. Welp...she actually loves *any* peony, but based on what she cuts and brings in, it is this delicate, double flower kind that I think she loves the most. And, that's why I bought them: as a landscape gift to her - the love of my life. At our old place in Elmhurst, we had a series of peonies that we were gifted, bought and took (from a tear down) that bloomed every year. There was one plant in particular that Nat was given from her Aunt that (I think) was from her Mom's Grandmother's garden. That's the one that we dug out and transplanted out in Naperville where Nat'
For Earth Day last year, we planted a tree: our Dawn Redwood . This was while our #newoldfarmhouse was being built, but we still had access to the backyard. This year, we planted a couple of trees on Earth Day. This post chronicles the first one: a Chanticleer Cleveland Select Flowering Pear tree. I took the kids to Home Depot on Earth Day and had each of them pick out a small tree. They were running a sale on tiny trees like the one you see above for $15 each. This is the one that the Bird picked out and that's here in the photo showing off her new tree after she helped me plant it. We put it on the south fence line in an open spot. This was a nice Earth Day activity for me and the kids. The Bird was so excited to help plant the tree. She's my gardening buddy, so she knows how to get plants (and trees) out of their pots by beating on the pots and then she also helps rough up the roots to help them get started. She's also in charge of helping amend the s
Over the weekend, I started to plant the first few pieces of our backyard landscape plan - starting with the rear foundation plantings. I posted the landscape plan for this area back in October of last year that shows a series of hostas, grasses and boxwoods. The central area - right underneath our bird feeders - called for five staggered grasses. Karl Foerster Reed Grasses to be precise. So, when I came across them at Home Depot, I grabbed up six of them. Six. Yeah...because I didn't have the plan in front of me and I thought it called for six. Turns out, the plan calls for five of them here, but five more in a different spot. Thus, I ended up planting just one of that other set of five, but will get the other four later this Spring. The photo you see above shows where I put them in the bed. That green wire laying around is for our Automower. His dock is right in front of this bed and that is the excess boundary wire and the lead wire that terminate at the doc
My love of shade gardening is well documented here on the blog. After all, it is what I grew up with and what my Mom was doing down on Overlook Court East. We had a wooded lot and she cultivated - as best she could - shade gardens featuring hostas mostly. At our new spot in Downers Grove, we too, have plenty of shade. We were blessed with a few volunteer ferns that came with our lot and I've begun to incorporate hostas into the mix that I both have bought ( this year ) and scavenged from a tear down ( last fall ). In addition to my love of hostas, I've posted quite a bit about one of my other favorites: ferns. We've fostered some ferns in Naperville (which I need to dig out!), planted some ferns at Equation Boy/Man's and Vic's house before we moved out , transplanted some survivor/volunteers in our #newoldbackyard , confirmed with the University of Illinois Extension Office that we do, indeed, have Ostrich ferns , and documented them coming up over the
Last week, I picked up these two different ferns from Menards because of two reasons: 1. I love ferns. 2. They were on sale at just $2 a piece. So, both the Japanese Painted fern and the Autumn Fern came home with us and they're going here online in my [ Garden Diary ] so I can look back over the years. I planted a Japanese Painted fern back in 2012 in our old house in Elmhurst and documented it here in 2014 when it came back. It never got all that large, but it did re-emerge after the winter - as long as I didn't smother it with mulch - so I figured I'd give it another go. The other one - the Autumn Fern - is new to me. I've had other ones called "Autumn Brilliance" before , but don't think this one in particular. They totally tolerate shade and basically require it, so I was looking for a spot that would guarantee that and ended up putting them in the little bed on the north side of the screened porch. There's about 2'
One of my Sisters gifted me this "Swiss Alps Bee House" for my birthday this year and with the weather turning, I decided to mount it outside on the edge of our 6' fence line. This photo was taken in the morning, so you can see that it gets morning sun. I've been seeing these bee houses the past few years at garden centers and have been intrigued by them, but always wondered what they attracted. Turns out, it is Mason bees . Mason bees don't sting (well, the males don't at least) and are good for the garden. I put this on the northside of our backyard, down near where our dry well is located. That area is the lowest point in our yard and is often wet/damp (by design), so there will be a plentiful supply of mud for the Mason bees to use to plug the holes. Morning sun + fixed spot + mud supply = hopefully a good spot? From Gardeners Supply : Mason bees (genus Osmia) are a type of native bee that’s quite common throughout most of the U.S. They ar
I picked up this bag of 10 hosta bulbs at Costco recently and while I'm eager to get them in the ground, they have a specific purpose in our landscape plan: placed at the base of the new European Hornbeams that are going in along our north fence line . If you look at the landscape plan image in this post , you can see a series of plants at the base of the trees in the green area. Those are Hostas. 15 of them or so. But, if you've read any of my gardening posts here on the blog, you know that I love hostas. They're my favorite plant. Along with ferns . Actually...any kind of shade gardening. I've planted plenty of hostas over the years. I mean...we even fostered our giant Hosta over at Nat's Mom's house in Naperville the past few years . I also dug out - what I *think* were a few hostas out of our neighbor's yard before they tore down the house . I'm hopeful that those will emerge this Spring. Back to these Bressingham Blues. They
This is the fifth chapter is a series of our landscape plan posts that show off various portions of our #newoldbackyard in the planning stages. The other four are here: 1. Part of the southern fence line that includes some hydrangeas, hostas, ferns, allium and Canadian Hemlocks. 2. Part of our rear foundation planting areas , right outside our breakfast nook/kitchen windows. Grasses, boxwoods and even a peek at one of the rhododendrons that *this* post is all about. 3. The hornbeam/privacy hedge on the north fenceline near our screened porch . 4. Far southwest corner by the trampoline that includes some Canadian Hemlocks . This fifth chapter covers just two plants that you can see in the sketch above. They are both PJM Rhododendrons that occupy some foundation beds on either side of our rear stoop heading to our back patio. Here's a look at those beds that I took this past weekend: You can see the two beds are good-sized and fall on th
Last October, I picked up 10 Purple Sensation Allium bulbs and planted them around a big oak tree in our backyard. That initial planting post is here . Over the weekend (before the snow came in on Monday morning), I spent some time out puttering around the yard and discovered that - just like the tulip bulbs that I planted at the same time - that some of these allium have emerged. This one in the photo above, is right at the base of that mighty oak and I'm hoping will continue to grow and give us a little 'show' with the purple orb. Along with hostas and ferns, I have a soft spot in my gardening heart from allium. As I wrote last fall : I first wrote about Allium bulbs all the way back in 2011 , when the first set of shoots broke through the mulch that Spring. I planted those in 'secret' as a little surprise for Natalie. I then chronicled their appearance in 2012 , 2014 and 2015 . At the beginning of April, I mentioned here on the blog that we
I came across these Hollywood Junipers on Fast Growing Trees (that's their product listing above) and then wandered down a Juniper-related wormhole into the world of topiary arts. And, I ended up landing at this Monrovia page about their Hollywood Junipers that features a secondary photo that looks like this: Above photo via Monrovia's product listing page And I've now suddenly decided to take on a new gardening project that involves me blindly ordering trees online (yeah...online?!?) and figuring out how to either build or buy some big enough pots to keep a couple of these on our patio. Having just visited the Flower and Garden Festival and seeing their topiaries of different styles/sizes, I've kinda fallen hard for them and think they'll both add a little interest and provide some activity for me and the kids to putter around the yard this season. The Fast-Growing-Trees site sells 3'-4' trees , so they're not very big, but if the site
Woot, woot. Spring has sprung in our New Old Backyard/Garden . Or at least...signs of Spring have sprung. Last fall, I planted 30 bulbs near the fence line on the southside of our property . 15 Yellow Triumph Tulips. And 15 Orange Darwin Hybrid Tulips. And on a recent walk around the yard, we discovered these tips emerging from the soil. Above, you can see a close up a two of them. And down below, you can see many more of them. I didn't count them, but it didn't seem like 30 bulbs had broken through. What is interesting to me is that the tips are coming up red. They almost appear like peony shoots , don't they? I've documented tulips (and other bulbs) emerging from the ground for the past few Springs. Here's a look at them from 2017 that I posted in late February . These mature bulbs are way further past the new ones in this post. And here's the photo from 2016 . Both of those were at Equation Boy/Man's house. And speaking of
As you guys know by now, we've become bird people . We're now running four different feeders, a birdbath and even installed a water wiggler to attract the birds with moving water . And while we have plans to install even more landscaping , trees and (gasp!) even a water feature , we have quite a bit of existing trees , shrubs and brush in our #newoldbackyard. We're pretty lucky to live on a mature and wooded lot with close proximity to a big pond ( Barth Pond ) and a creek that runs north from the pond behind some of our neighbor's houses. That water source is a big factor in our neighborhood being able to attract and support wildlife. Some of it is great! Like birds and owls and hawks and rabbits and even foxes. Some not so great? Skunks and coyotes are also around. Little Lizzie was skunked last fall and I'm sure it won't be the last time. Now listen...we're not camping people. Or at least I'm not a camping person. But, I do love cr
Two weeks ago, I posted about the new fly-through bird feeder that we added to our backyard birding setup and mentioned how we had not yet witnessed it being used (but...knew it was due to the bird poop on the squirrel baffle). I've posted two visitors to our feeders here in the [ bird visitor log ] tag but they were on different feeders. First was a red-bellied woodpecker on our suet feeder . Then just last week, I posted a photo of a house sparrow on one of our hanging gravity feeders. When we put up the fly-through feeder, I was hoping for Cardinals. Guess what? We had a few visitors! While these photos aren't awesome because they're with my phone all zoomed in and through Winter windows with screens, I'm hoping you can make out what is happening. First...this beautiful red male cardinal. If you look closely, you'll see he's on there with a House Sparrow chowing down. And like two minutes later, he took off and stood guard. So his lady co