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The Weedpatch Gazette

Welcome! My favorite part of this blog is the interactive aspect of it. Click on the blue titles to view the full article. This page is where you can pin, tweet, share, and best of all, COMMENT! I like comments! ~ Rommy Lopat

CHICAGO PLANTS, LANDSCAPES, PARKS & PRESERVES

~ and the people that create them ~

Darn Those Landscape Architects!

If I heard it once, I heard it a million times: "The final landscape plan shall strive to be a model for the community with a focus on removal of invasive species and planting of indigenous species". And then something like this follows: "Species Palette: Birch, Eastern Red Cedar..." NOT indigenous (birch) except maybe to a ravine, and thisclose to invasive (cedar). Or I read, "Our plant palette includes coneflowers, black eyed susans, sky blue asters, and prairie...

Sure Signs of Summer

9:33 am. Location: Lake Forest backyard, sunny perfect day, having coffee and reading Chicago Historical Society journal and the NYTimes, while texting to see if anyone wants to see A Midsummer Night's Dream with me tonight (no one (so far) does, how is that possible!?) being staged by Lake Forest Openlands Association and Citadel Theater Company. Action: a movement across the way, in the birdbath, a robin taking a rambunctious bath, lots of splashing, flies off. 9:35...

Upcoming Garden Tour(s) in Lake Forest: Cultural Landscape Foundation

One of my favorite reference books is Pioneers of American Landscape Design, edited (2000) by two luminaries of landscape history, Charles Birnbaum and Robin Karson. They began compiling biographies of noted landscape architects back in 1992 (about the time I started publishing The Weedpatch Gazette and wondering why it was so difficult to find histories of people like Alfred Caldwell and Jens Jensen) and never looked back. Today Charles and Robin run the prestigious...

How Did July Come Around So Fast?

Thanks for your patience, everyone, while I (and others) wrestled with a developer who wants to bring Whole Foods to Lake Forest. Yes, the same Whole Foods which, "in an effort to save trees" doesn't publish quarterly shareholder reports, is asking us to let them (wait for it) CHOP DOWN 400 mature oaks and hickories to build a new store. The company also wants to DEMOLISH a landmarked house. There are technicalities in the zoning law that might still allow the developer...

Field Notes

As I walk past the towering lilies backlit with sun and enter the field messy with helianthus and brambles I hear the raucous yells of crows in the woods near the old spring. What did they find? Are they mad or jubilant? Then silence. Walking down the mowed path I come across one, then two, then three feathers, turkey by the looks of 'em. And suddenly, a rustle. Then many beating wings flying, flying up into the oaks. Six, seven, eight maybe twelve turkey fledglings and...

Watch Jens Jens Documentary (complete with his voice) TONIGHT

Hi, Weedpatch fans. So sorry I've been SO SO out of touch: I am devoting a lot (!) of time to trying to save 400 mature and reproducing oak and hickory trees on an 8 acre site in Lake Forest. A shopping center developer, Bill Shiner, has arrived in town and wants us to waive or s-t-r-e-t-c-h every ordinance to accomodate four outbuildings (maybe Chase Bank, Starbucks, ChickFilA, don't know he's not sayin') plus Whole Foods (maybe). The lure of tax $$ is great, but to...

Garden Markers: The Best Product Yet

Who among you hasn't been really really irked about plant "markers"? You know, the ubiquitous white plastic tags that snap in half after a season stuck in the dirt next to your plant? Or the sales tags that don't offer botanical names and are stapled to pots? Or the ones that are threaded thru a slot in the pot and break off when you try to remove them (and/or are bigger than the plant itself)? Or...there's the disappearing marker. I have never actually caught one of our dogs...

Trout Lilies: Durable Little Woodland Stalwarts

This is a very sweet and interesting post about our woodland Trout lilies by Elgin blogger Pat Hill, who is also the author of the 2007 book, Design Your Natural Midwest Garden which you can buy via her website, naturalmidwestgarden.com. I don't think I've ever met Pat, but judging from her website, we are complete birds-of-a-feather. She was nice enough to feature on her website another new Chicago blogger, Monica Buckley. Monica is owner of Red Stem Landscapes in...

And Now for my Substitute Guest Editor or…

A View from A Broad! I have always been a HUGE fan of the Divine Miss M's and, obviously having too much time on my hands today, I landed on Bette Midler's website. Actually, I was looking for tickets to the Carole King show in NYC, but that's another story. Anyway, Queen Bee burst a gut reading Miss Manifesto's bloviating blog: she thinks like I do. (And you do.) So here it is for you: http://bettemidler.com/. Oh, what I wouldn't do to share a laugh and a Cosmo with...

Spring Has Sprung–and my dam is leaking!

Way, way, way oversubscribed--that's me. But that's IS me--God better be careful about letting me into heaven, because I will find a zillion projects to distract myself from enjoying, well, joy. Even when joy is partaking of all life has to offer. As happens in springtime.There's a zillion gardening topics floating around in my head to tell you about--plus an awesomely interesting trip to Cuba, but I just wanted to let you know that I'm alive and kicking and I'll post more...

MISSION

The Weedpatch Gazette is written for people who believe that beautiful landscapes should emphasize diversity and richness in plant material and be especially sensitive to landforms, ecology, economy, wildlife, and the wise use of land, water and soil. TWG aims to present information succinctly, with candor, detail, and humor. Submissions of content, well-reasoned criticism, and ideas for stories about landscape and the people who make and appreciate them are always welcome.

 

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