This is a record of my journey in our garden.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Red Lace Leaf Japanese Maple.

I bought this tree 2 years ago and planted it after my youngest daughter left for college. It was my consolation purchase. I was a little nervous about what life would be like with both of my daughters off to college. When I told Kate I was feeling lonely so I bought a tree, her reaction was not positive at being replaced by a plant. Well it survived the winter and so did I. In the spring last year it was full of buds ready to burst out. Then it started to rain and those of you who are in the Chicago area will remember it rained and rained and rained. The buds never bust! I had neglected to pull back the heavy winter mulch and as for as we could tell, it drowned. My husband kept telling me it was dead and I kept saying the trunk was alive. Eventually we cut the top off and waited to see what would happen.

Is it dead?
It survived
So this year we decided it had to be moved, it was about 4ft and now it is more like 18-24 inch soooo.  Now where to put the pot, I knowThere by the front entrance behind the Japanese Painted Fern and the Heuchera.And how has life been without my children, not so bad. I have learned to let them go, celebrating their independence and my own Independence for that mater. Oh and instead of obsessing about my children I have found a new obsession. Its so much more fun, can you guess what it is?

My Redbud the first year.

Last year for my big 50th birthday I wanted a tree for the front of the house. We had removed a large sickly Blue Spruce. We have a large Pin Oak & the neighbors next door have a very large Oak tree, the Spruce, positioned between the two did not have a chance. Our house faces east so even tough there is a lot of shade there is morning sun. It took me a about 5 months looking to find the right tree. when I finally found this Redbud, winter was closing in and I had to wait for spring. My birthday was in April but the nursery would not sell it until it budded out. Finally in May, after weekly trips to the nursery I got my tree, I was so excited. My husband John planted it on Mothers Day while I was at work. So there are no pictures of the planting, oh well. I so love my little Redbud, here are pictures over the last year.
My tree at last
Isn't it pretty
A side view
You can see the Pin Oak in the background
Here we added Pachysandra ground cover
An ice storm 
And in bloom
A nice touch, I was hoping the daffodils would bloom at the same time.
Now next year I am hoping for bushes to go behind the Redbud under the bedroom windows to complete the front. Maybe Fothergilla, a green Japanese maple and something else any suggestions.

New bushes and the last new bed for this spring

We are adding Ivory Halo bushes to the back yard in front of the pine (?) trees. The mature size of this Dogwood bush is 3-5 feet, compact with a variegated leaf and red branches in the winter. If all goes well they will be a lovely addition to the back border and most importantly adding winter interest.
3 Ivory halo ready to go.

Taz ever watchful
Planted & mulched
looks better already

And this is how they look today, they really do brighten it up. I cant wait to see how they look this winter in the snow.

A new home for the ligularia

This will be the 3rd placment for the ligularia. It started in the shade garden where the goutweed was chocking it out. Then moved to a spot that I thought was full shade only to find in summer the late afternoon sun hit that spot at the hottest part of the day, leaving them looking like wet dish rag's. So we try again, third times a charm at least I hope. It took over a year to convince my husband that they needed to be moved.

The muscle, John

The hard part is done

Every thing looks good. Those are sundrops planted on either side.
a link for more info. on Ligularia

Friday, July 23, 2010

More bed expansions

With my husbands help we expanded the shade garden on both sides creating a more defined entrance. This also allows more room for my large blue hosta, which was crowding the coral bell and japanese painted fern.

Now that the bed is moved out, time to move the plants.

You want what, where!
Some one is looking very pleased with himself.

Wow, a month later and it's looking good.

There is a story behind this Japanese lantern. I have had my eye on a granite japanese lantern for 2 years. I figured eventually it would go on sale. Then for my birthday my hubby found this little one and gave it to me. I was very touched but said it was too small. So I put it on the ground next to the ferns were I have envisioned the lovely granite  lantern to show him how dwarf it looked next to the large ferns. John said no problem, reached down and picked it up and placed it on top of the rock. Then he looked at me and said looks perfect to me, and I have to agree. I do love it and as far as the granite lantern, well just think how many more plans I can buy instead. 
And this is my little lantern now

and the expanded shade garden now.

This summers new projects

Expanding the porch bed

                                                               Ta-da the porch bed is now complete with the addition of 5 groups of  tulips, daffodils, coral bells and pansies.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

It is June and I am about to post pictures from April. Oh well here goes

Okay okay I have been very neglectful. I will try do do better, it has been a very busy 2 months. These are pictures mostly from April.
My sister calls these blue bellsThis is Zuzu out for a spring strollAnd Zuzu with his brother TaoThis is the Front Entrance Garden. A work in progress.The Bleeding Heart in the rainin full bloomtrying to fine the right combination


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