Late March Blooms at the Lurie Garden

Friday was one of those days that inspires people to ignore the calendar and don short sleeved shirts and the like. After a mostly wintry March it was most welcome, and so I took the opportunity to walk over to the Lurie Garden during my lunch break.

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A Movie About the Cats of Istanbul

The other night Judy and I went to see a movie called Kedi – a documentary about the cats of Istanbul. We visited Istanbul at the end of 2009, and had loved many things about the city – including the omnipresent cats. Judy took the photos in this post during that trip.

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Signs of Life in the Garden

March has been such a tease. February was so mild I began to suspect that Chicago had been magically transported to a more southern latitude, but then March brought us back to reality with a snowstorm. Then the snow melted. However, every time I was tempted to feel a little comfort and joy in the garden, March would give me a rude poke with cold winds and a hard frost.

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Daffodil foliage

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Spring Cleanup Begins

Today I cut back the dead plant material in the Sidewalk Border. It’s been another exceptionally busy spring at work and I’ve hired the same landscapers for this year who did the cleanup last season. However, I’m not sure when they’re coming and I was getting itchy fingers. There will still be work for them when they show up, I’m sure.

March 19`a, 2017
Sidewalk Border spring cleanup underway

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Why Crocuses Are Better Than Snowdrops

In my last post I may have ruffled a few feathers among some readers. (Or at least, feathers were ruffled among those readers who have feathers. For readers without feathers, I may have raised a few hackles. Among those who have neither feathers nor hackles, the impact of my words has yet to be determined.) In any case, what provoked this reaction was my statement that, compared to Crocuses, Snowdrops can be a bit dull.

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Bees enjoying Crocuses during last year’s balmy early spring. 

Now, I’m not saying that Snowdrops aren’t garden-worthy bulbs, in a slightly inferior way. They are really quire nice. I’m just saying that Crocuses are better.

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March Bloom Day, More or Less

So this isn’t exactly a Bloom Day post because these pictures were taken on the 12th, the Sunday before Bloom Day. On Bloom Day itself, everything was covered with snow. DSC_0613

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March Madness

It’s not that a March snowstorm is unusual for Chicago. Chicagoans may react to snow even in April with just a weary shrug. It’s just that the preceding February was so warm that people were walking around in shorts, for crying out loud. I am not making that up.

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Container Tulips yesterday

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A New Tool for Wildlife Gardeners

Native Plant Finder is an online resource for people who want to attract more wildlife to their gardens. The website is sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation, with support from the University of Delaware and the US Forest Service. It draws on the work of Douglas Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home and Professor of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology.

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Bumblebee on Bluestem Goldenrod

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Okochi Sanso

Another garden we saw in Japan is called Okochi Sanso, near the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest on the outskirts of Kyoto.

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Project BudBurst!

Here’s another opportunity for you Citizen Scientists out there. Project Budburst is a national effort that collects and analyzes the observations of gardeners on the timing of leafing out, flowering, and fruiting. It was started in 2007 to document the effects of climate change on plants, and is currently coordinated by the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Virginia Bluebells
Virginia Bluebells

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