How do our Frans Fontaine European Hornbeam Trees look this season? Like this photo below- showing the green foliage covering the upright, columnar habit of these trees planted along the northside of our property as a screen between our house and our neighbor's property. You can see part of the gable of our neighbor's house at the top of the photo below: One of the most comment questions that I get on the blog is from someone making a comment asking about these trees. Things like: How do they look now? Any update? How far are they spaced? Someone (locally...who grew up in Naperville, but current lives in Barrington and is planning on putting up some Frans Fontaine Hornbeams in their yard) just posted a comment on this post - asking how they're doing . Last Summer I posted a detailed history of the trees - showing their growth and how they closed in the last remaining gaps between the trees. I have not pruned these at all - other than the random branch or two tha
September is firewood-figurin' season around here. It is the time when I typically place our seasonal order for firewood for the Winter. I went out to look at how things were shaping up (currently) and then I figured I'd wander through the archives to see what history tells me. Lets start where we were a year ago and where we are today. A little bit under a year ago - pre-order - the racks looked like this . The two outdoor - side-of-garage racks were empty, the rack on the top of the stoop by my office was empty. And the inside-the-screened-porch racks were mixed (small one half-full, large one was full on bottom and half-full on top). I ordered 3 Facecords in September of 2022 . Oak, Cherry and Hickory. We used a lot of wood last year - here's January's status . Today, here's what those racks look like: The two outdoor side-of-garage racks have been emptied of the kiln-dried wood. The stoop rack is empty, too. Inside the screened porch, the small rack
I've cut and brought inside flowers from time-to-time. Disneyland Roses. Hydrangeas. Even Zinnias and Peonies. Last month, I cut three things: Zinnias, Floribunda Roses and Anemones and combine. them . That was my first real attempt at mixing things. But, I've haven't - until now - tried to bring in a variety of flowers AND foliage (and even seed heads) while attempting to make an arrangement that would sit on our kitchen counter. Here's my first attempt - featuring only things from our garden beds: Everything from Euphorbia to Ferns to Hostas to Coleus to Dusty Miller to Disneyland Roses in one container.
One of the items (#16) on my annual to-do list was to keep working on 'seasonal tasks' and #24 was to 'try to get cuttings to root'. I've been after a container-based tree nursery for a few years now and have posted about it from time to time. The most recent post was this Summer . I started in 2021 with Kentucky Coffee Tree seeds and seedlings. Then, last year I tried with Limelight Hydrangea s. And this past Fall/Winter, I went a little bit further. I collected a variety of seeds (acorns mostly) and put them to bed in a damp sand container that I stashed in the fridge to simulate cold stratifying . After the Summer, it appears that I have birthed a handful of oak tree seedlings. And, have seemingly kept the Kentucky Coffee Tree and Catalpa trees alive. I've also succesfully rooted a Limelight Hydrangea and a Boxwood evergreen shrub. Below are a few photos showing the current situation. First..the larger, 1# containers of two-year-old trees: Th
Took these two photos (below) earlier this Summer - June - after I cleaned up the sets of espaliers in the back and side yards. First, the Apple trees in Belgian Fence. Then, the SugarTyme Crabapples in horizontal cordon (for now). This was post-pruning and they (now) look much more shaggy with new growth all over the place. The Belgian Fence needs to still have a couple of replacements. Note to 2024 self.
Now, for the floor that you're walking on, I chose this Bolivian wormwood. I think it works well in here. I have the Viking range here and the twin Sub-Z's. Yeah, they open up right there. Oh, I get it. Like hidden. Yeah, kind of blend in. Great. Are you a homeowner, Greg? No, no, I rent. Oh. This one is right up there with the Stern Show drop "I find you highly disgusting" . At least for me and the lolz.
A couple weeks shy of five-years-ago, we planted a tiny Bald Cypress tree in our front yard . At the time, i was dealing with a 'clay bowl' or ' bathtub effect' in the area (on a different tree), so we went beyond in terms of digging a 'five-dollar-hole'. Five years later, I can saw - without a doubt - that this Bald Cypress is the most successful tiny tree that we've had since we started here in Downers. Not only has the tree survived, it has put on A LOT of size. Height and width and even caliper . I last measured it a year ago when it was just about a 3.5" caliper tree. Today? I haven't done the caliper (yet), but by the eye-test? It has grown even bigger. See below for the current - late Summer state of our Bald Cypress that sits in-between-two-driveways. Having learned my lesson on pruning small trees, I've left this one alone totally. Not a prune. At least on our side. Turns out...when our neighbors built their new driveway, th