A Back Garden Update With (Mostly) Natives for Summer Shade

And this is what the Back Garden looks like in mid-July. The Back Garden sits under the shade of Silver Maples and Siberian Elms, not everyone’s favorite trees, I know. But they give a high, dappled shade that I appreciate.

Birds, Butterflies, and Bison at the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

An hour’s drive southwest of Chicago is an 18,000-acre prairie preserve called Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie (pronounced Mi-DAY-win). The preserve was created mostly out of lands that had belonged to the now-closed Joliet Army Ammunition Plant. Today the land is part of… Read More

Monarch Caterpillars!

We believe strongly in doing our bit to help the Monarch butterfly, whose migrating population has declined about 90% in recent decades (you can read more about saving the Monarchs here). And so we have lots of Milkweed (Asclepias spp.), which is… Read More

Blue Days In The Garden

June is a month for blue flowers. High summer is a time for reds, oranges, and (especially) yellows. But the transition to summer is a quieter time, notable for blues and whites. Let’s look at some of the blue flowers currently blooming,… Read More

To Chop, Or Not To Chop

Late May and early June are the days to cut back your tall perennials in this part of the world. I’m talking¬†about cutting back before flowering, not after. Which is to say, cutting back to achieve a more compact, bushier, and less… Read More

Soggy Delights At Mettawa Manor

This past weekend was a rainy one, but Judy and I weren’t going to let that deter us from going to a garden tour of Mettawa Manor, organized especially for members of Lurie Garden.

Back And Sides

Most of the horticultural drama around here is in the front garden. But we shouldn’t forget that on either side of the house there are narrow strips within our property lines. And then there’s the back garden. Let’s take a look at… Read More

Spring Onions and Geraniums Gone Wild

These days if you walk by our house the first thing to strike your eye will be the ‘Globemaster’ Alliums blooming in the Parkway Bed.

Celandine Poppy Is No Shrinking Violet

There’s a lot of Celandine Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum) in our garden and they’re blooming right now. Some people will warn you that this plant is too aggressive. On the other hand, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center calls it “… a fine… Read More

Weather Whiplash In The Garden

In several recent posts I have discussed the glacial (pun intended) pace of spring this past April. On Tuesday and Wednesday, though, temperatures suddenly jumped up to the upper 80s (about 30 degrees Celsius for you foreign types). On Monday morning, it… Read More