Did you know that a Right to Garden Act has been introduced in the Illinois General Assembly? Yup. The bill numbers are HB 4704 and SB 3329, and the chief sponsors in their respective chambers are State Representative Sonia Harper and State Senator Scott Bennett.

front garden
Photo from shawnacoronado.com

For my final post on the Denver Garden Bloggers Fling, let’s take a look at the garden of Panayoti Kelaidis. Mr. Kelaidis is a substantial presence in the world of horticulture. For starters, he is the senior curator and outreach director at the Denver Botanic Gardens. He’s also an international plant explorer, an author with a variety of books to his credit, and many other accomplishments too extensive to list here.


The first of the Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) are blooming! This is a heartening development, as they are the first flowers of the season in our garden. They mark not so much the beginning of spring as the end of winter.


We’re really super proud of our Clematis ‘Jackmanii’. Every year it climbs a trellis that stretches up about 12 feet, all the way from the ground to the roof gutters.

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ 

About 2 weeks ago on a mild February Saturday, I decided it was time to prune our ‘Donald Wyman’ crabapple out front. Some people say crabapples should be pruned right after they bloom in order to minimize the impact on flowering the following year. Even so, I went with February so I could see what I was doing.

Before pruning, with our house in the background.

Going back once again to the Denver Garden Bloggers Fling last June, let’s talk about the private garden of Dan Johnson and Tony Miles. I loved it. It was relaxed, joyful, and crammed with goodies.

An adobe wall stands in front of the house. Look at the cactus and sedum in that bowl-shaped container resting on the wall!

Dan Johnson is a serious garden person: Associate Director of Horticulture at the Denver Botanic Gardens. And yet in the GBF program he says that his main garden goal is to figure out where to put all the plants he has acquired. In other words, he is just folks. Possibly he is having a little too much fun here, but I won’t tell on him if you won’t. 

I spent a lot of time over the weekend finalizing my seed and plant orders for spring planting. Though “finalizing” may not be the right word, as I always end up making follow-up orders for every season.

This list would be much longer, but I already ordered lots of stuff that I planted last fall.

From Brent and Becky’s I ordered 25 Caladiums – the white and green ‘Candidum Sr.’ and the more colorful ‘Celebration’. I discovered last year that starting Caladium bulbs inside is much cheaper than buying them at the garden center.

2014-08-09 18.12.50 Calladium
‘Celebration’ Caladiums with New Guinea Impatiens.

What with St. Valentine’s Day coming tomorrow, I thought I would tell the story of how I met Judy, my blog partner and spouse of almost 35 years.

So cast your minds back to 1983 in Chicago. I was working for a political organization, preparing for a regional conference up in Madison, Wisconsin. Judy was an experienced community organizer and between jobs. More on that later.

On the last day of the 2019 Fling we visited the Denver Botanic Garden (DBG). Its 23-acres are located in an urban setting, not far from downtown – unlike Chicago’s Botanic Garden, which is located in the far suburbs.


After a couple of years of Polar Vortex, this winter has felt pretty mild. There’s been cold, but it’s rarely gotten much below 20 degrees (in my opinion, you don’t have real cold unless it gets below 20). And there’s been snow, but never more than a few inches at a time, and often not even that.


A few days ago Judy slipped into the Back Garden with her camera to take some pictures of the light blanket of newly fallen snow. Her attention was taken by Middle Billy Goat Gruff. He was installed as a companion to the Big Billy Goat Gruff (Aruncus dioicus – the native Goatsbeard) and Little Billy Goat Gruff (Aruncus aethusifolius – Dwarf Goatsbeard), both growing nearby. And you see they have a bridge to cross.

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