Posting this photo in the garden diary as 'something to watch' come Spring: the boxwoods that we have planted out front are currently weighed down by some heavy snow. I've cleaned them off in other years and one of them suffered some die back in an early year we were living here, but this year, I'm just going to leave them be. I'll let this snow melt off and then we'll see if there is any serious splaying that occurred and any long-term damage to the shrub. These Boxwoods have NOT thrived, but I'm fairly confident that their lack of really taking off is related to the Norway Maple that I took down last Fall. With less shade and the root system not having to compete with the mat of Maple roots, I'm hoping they will hit the gas pedal this season. This area is VERY MUCH my #1 priority for the year , so the outcome of these boxwoods will factor into what I decide to plant here and/or move around.
Showing posts with the label snow
This week, we woke up to a white-out in our backyard with fresh snow on the ground and clinging to every branch and limb in the yard. Made for a pretty view. Until I had to go out and shovel. Multiple times. While it feels awfully far away from gardening season, it sure seems like I have to start sorting my priorities in the next few weeks as late Winter/early Spring tasks will soon be upon us.
I used to not mind rabbits. Now? I do NOT like them at all. Earlier this month, I showed off some Oakleaf Hydrangea damage from some critters . Today, I found a LITERAL MOUND of evidence of who is doing it: a bunch of stinkin' rabbits. How do I know for sure? Well...Here's a look at what they left behind - right next to the Oakleaf Hydrangeas. Bunch of jerks. They gnaw off my hydrangeas and then leave their turds all over the place. Why I oughta....
I posted about this same situation last year (a little later into February) where I talked about how, due to the somewhat narrow strip of land between driveways, the snow tends to pile up pretty deep . First up is the Red Fox Katsura tree that you can barely make out. It is a narrow, thin trunk. I planted this when I thought that our flowering pear tree was failing. Now, they're close together and we're going to have to make a choice. I know (already) which way I'm leaning. Next up is the Bald Cypress tree that experienced a ton of growth this past year. This tree was once as skinny and thin as the Katsura, but has bulked up and now is clear to make out in the photo. The snow for the Bald Cypress is about four inches or so BELOW the bottom branches. Looks similar to last year . These big piles of snow certainly help provide a D E E P watering once we start to see melting. That will be a good thing. I also have to start thinking in more detail about what I nee
During the past week or so, I've been poking around doing research into evergreens for this year and think about shrubs and trees that might work in certain spots of our garden. While I was doing that, I thought that I should do some level of an informal audit on what is in place. Of course, there are the Hicks yews (in multiple places), but also a couple of Junipers and just last year, I added a Bird's Nest Spruce that I left in the nursery container . But, when I went out in the yard to have a look at what else there was, I realized that I planted another conifer that I failed to document in the [ garden diary ] this past fall: a Mugo Pine. When I was planting some of those tiny Boxwoods , I also dug in a very small Mugo Pine. While I failed to post about the small Pine going in, I *did* mention it during my 2021 scorecard post . While that's just fine, I do think this small conifer shrub deserves a post of its own. What is a Mugo Pine? From Monrovia : A popula
I've posted about my pair of horizontal cordon Greenspire Linden trees a number of times over the years - talking about their structure, how I train them, what I train them with , etc. Most of those photos are show during some part of the growing season when they're covered with leaves or buds . But, winter interest is a lot of why I've fallen in love with the idea of espalier. I've always thought that the structure is never more clear than when the trees have shed their leaves. Just look at this post from last month . But, it turns out, there's a little nuance there. See below, a photo that I took a few days back. I'm not certain that I have a new answer: when do espalier'd trees show the most structure? When they're dormant, yes. But, more so: when they're covered in a little bit of snow. Set against the grey cedar fence, the snow capped branches are highlighted and stand out. I have a few other trained trees that are years behind thes
Posting a couple of photos in the [ garden diary ] to start the new year to mark where I've spread out some of our hardwood ash in the beds in the backyard. The two photos below in this post show the thin layer that I've scattered on top of the snow in the south bed in the backyard from the Oakleaf Hydrangeas to the newly planted Hicks Yews . I've done this in the past (bringing out the wood ash from our fireplaces) and scattered it around the yard. In 2019, I applied a thin layer to the base of our Frans Fontaine Columnar Hormbeam trees . This year, I had a bucket-and-a-half and chose the south beds to amend the soil over there. Currently, it looks a little strange. Grey patches on top of pure white snow. But, once we get a melt/thaw then freeze cycle - or...another snowfall, I'm thinking this stuff will disappear from view. The word on the Web is mixed in regards to adding ash to the garden, yard and compost bins. It seems that in a limited way, there's no
Last week, we were snapped back to reality with a heavy, wet snow. False Spring had come and gone. But, what remained after the snow fell were still some signs of Spring including these tulip starters that had come up from the mulch. With the snow laying on top, it suddenly became VERY easy to figure out how many of these tulips were up and where they were located. I suppose you can call that a silver lining, right?
This year's snow totals were pretty high - in particular the month of February. I posted a photo showing the big pile in between our driveways and mentioned how many thing had gotten buried under the snow. In most cases, I figured that being buried was going to be fine. But, there are some instances when the splaying from the weight of snow caused some concern. In particular, the Gold Cone Junipers - which have a history of splaying - and the boxwoods. For the Gold Cone Junipers, once the snow melts, I'll get out there and see what the state of them is after the long, hard winter. I un-wired them , so I'm concerned about the snow. Here's a look at the boxwoods just about a year ago showing that they had seen some winter burn , but no branching issues. And, in particular, the boxwood closest to the front walk had a pretty large gap starting to show up that I'm concerned will only get worse with Winter splaying. As for the front Boxwoods, they were show
I normally don't mind shoveling our driveway, front walk and sidewalk that much. We don't have a ton of square footage to do and I find the shoveling to be somewhat therapeutic - especially this season as I' not getting out of the house too much. I *had* a snowblower, but sold it on Craigslist because I found that I wasn't using it, it was getting old and cranky and it took up A LOT of space in the garage. I use a wide shovel from Menards that I bought last season and I've found that good shovels have a life of a couple of seasons before I want to replace it. Usually the metal edge gives away. But this year? We've had A LOT of snow. In the past month, we've had A LOT of snow. And that means a lot of shoveling. And I'm kinda getting tired of it. It is becoming hard to find spots to put the snow now and our driveway is probably six or seven feet narrower than it is normally because I stopped clearing to the edges. I wanted to mark the snow si
We had a weird Fall this year - with some warm temperatures then cold temperatures then back to warm. And then there was the early November snow event that came when many of the trees in our neighborhood still had almost all of their leaves on the limbs. That caused a bunch of snow damage including taking down a good-sized major limb from one of the big Oak trees in our backyard . When I say 'good-size', I'm talking about 40+ years old. Check out the photos in the post to see the growth rings . But that tree damage was just one part of the lasting impact on the yard. The other you can see in this photo above. When the snow arrived, I did like I do pretty often: created a little path out back for Lizzie. If I don't make her a little path, she doesn't get out in the yard to do her business very easily. Yes...she's a wimp. Through and through. And...I also normally cut or shovel a path that gets us to our bird feeder so we can fill it in the mornin
I posted a [ house maintenance ] post recently talking about how I applied a coat of concrete driveway sealer earlier this Fall as part of just trying to keep up with things around the house. Back a week or so ago, Nat had to drive the kids to school one morning when it was snowing. And after she got the van back into the driveway, she sent me this photo showing her - ummm....nonlinear - route up the driveway. I had recently brought our van in to the tire store and the guy told me that the tires were fine. They had about half of their life left on the treds. Yet, she had a tough time getting up our inclined driveway. So...that has me wondering: have I made my driveway slicker than it would be without the sealer? I imagine that it would be the case, right? I mean...if the water beads up and there's a little bit of a glossy coat on the concrete, isn't it going to be slippery when wet? I've tried over the past few Winters to use as little salt on the dri
A couple of weeks back (the day before Halloween), we had a snowstorm that came on while many of our trees had almost ALL of their leaves on the branches and limbs. The photo at the top shows some of the trees and how there are still TONS of leaves on them. It also shows a big limb that came off of one of the big/mighty Oak trees that we have in our yard. Those two things go hand-in-hand. The heavy, wet snow on trees that were still carrying all of their leaves caused a bunch of tree damage in our neighborhood. I worked hard to clear as many of the low trees as possible of the snow (using my blower), but this is the damage that we incurred. Some of our neighbors lost similar branches and I saw one tree crack right in half up the block. That limb might not look like much, but after the snow melted I started to cut the thing back up so I could get it out of the yard. It was all alive and therefore HEAVY. Full of life (and water). Too bad, right? I cut a cro
Here's the tally from last night's visitors in Downers Grove: 32 kids we know. 20 kids we don't know. 15 adults with costumes. 3 kids no costume. And 3 Adults no costume. That would be a total of 73 with a pretty big asterisk. Last year, we had 24 total. All kids we knew . And that was a pretty sad number. I think it is safe to say that these numbers are in dispute. For sure, the numbers in the red circles below, I think we can just simply throw out. It was snowing like crazy and we don't live in Elmhurst any longer so there were no Adults and no babies out there like there have been in some years. So, let's throw out those numbers. Minus 21. Takes our 73 down to 52. That seems plausible. We did the whole 'bowl on the front porch' thing when we were out, so there's no counting those kids. But, like we do every year, Nat has a little party at our house after trick-or-treating and there are more than a dozen kids that c
We give Lizzie her breakfast and water in the morning. Every morning. It is part of our routine. I wake up, go downstairs, let her out of her crate, take her out. Then we do a food/drink dance. After she eats and drinks, if I'm going downtown to the office, I shuffle her back into her crate for the morning. Actually, she runs into the crate herself. Then, a couple of hours later when Nat and the kids are up and around, they let her out and she has run of the house. She's different than Maisy when it comes to food/drink. Maisy only ate and drank when you were in the room with her. We kept her food and water bowls in my office - where she lived. I'd fill them up every day, but some days it seemed like she would barely eat. And only eat when we were sitting in the office together. Lizzie on the other hand devours everything you put down. On the spot. That includes water that she guzzles. So, we don't leave a ton of water out for her. She gets it at cert
Well, look what we have here: a dusting of snow covering Chicago's lakefront when I arrived at the Aon Center this morning. This is the view - looking south - from the 64th floor. I have been planning on planting perennials and digging beds in the backyard. But instead, we have snow and ice. Add this to the pile of weather complaints that everyone seems to have these days.
I was gifted this leaf blower upgrade for Christmas this year and with the thin, light powder that came down this week, it was a perfect time to try blowing the snow away. No back strain. No work involved, actually. Worked really well. Won't do the trick when the heavy stuff comes down, but for now? Loved it.
Chicago's 'front yard' is a winter wonderland this morning as a bit of snow dropped on the parks. The last time I posted a snow picture of my view from Edelman was last year in February . We've been fortunate with very little snow this winter and normally I'm all for bad, snowy winters. But this year, since we've been building the house during the bulk of the winter, we've been hoping and (so far.... *knock on wood*) have had a super mild winter. Now that our house is all button'd up with a roof and windows , snow like this doesn't affect us one bit. And that's kinda nice.
Last night, Indiana Street in Elmhurst looked like a winter wonderland. With the big snowfall, we went out to clean the sidewalks and driveway and while I was out there, I snapped this photo of our Front Yard Tree. This is the seventh Elmhurst Front Yard tree that I've posted on the blog and the second one in front of Vic and Equation Boy/Man's house down the street from our old place. Although you may not be able to tell, this year's tree is a really nice-sized tree in terms of height. I put one strand of C9 LEDs on it, but Nat didn't think it was bright enough, so she went out and picked up two more strings of C9 LEDs and now there's 150 lights on that thing. Here's the post showing our 2015 tree out front of Equation Boy/Man's house. Here's the post from our 2014 tree out front of our old house (sad face). Here's my post from our 2013 tree . There's no snow in the photo of our 2012 tree . Here's my post from our 2011 tree .
One of the prettiest sights these eyes have ever seen: snow falling on the beautifully decorated Hollywood Boulevard while some appropriate-era Christmas song is playing over the loudspeakers. We were told about this 'snow' by my friend Adam and he recommended this time of year for a visit. We've taken him up on his recommendation a few times now and it never gets old.