Garden(er) Inspirations

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Last week while shopping at Rich’s Foxwillow Pines Nursery in Woodstock, Il, I met a lovely gentleman named Art Tanimura. Art is a part-time salesperson at Rich’s because, he explained, “It’s a hike out here in traffic, but I really like the plants and the people I meet.” That’s a plenty fine reason to take a job, right? Art has a two-acre property in Long Grove, and as you can see, he’s done a remarkable job as a gardener. And, yes, he is a really good salesperson (very patient, very knowledgeable) of dwarf conifers, Asian maples, and the other wacky plants sold at Rich’s. By the way, Rich and Susan Eyre have a personal goal of building sixty hospitals in South America. (Don’t you LOVE people who think like that?) Your purchases of hostas and conifers are the backbone of making their dream come true.# PS If you would like to make a collage of your garden, however “modest”, send it here for posting. It can be your 15 minutes of fame!

Tanimura Garden, Long Grove, IL

Tanimura Garden, Long Grove, IL

News Briefs from around the World…

Posted on by weedpatchgazette in Conservation and Ecology, Social Impact of Horticulture, Uncategorized, Weather | 2 Comments

In case you missed these stories…

. TWIGITECTURE: my new favorite word and my new favorite garden idea. Gotta have my own nest! Check out this NYTimes story by Penelope Green. People are soooo creative…

Jayson Fann's nests

. Conserving water is very important, especially when Illinois is in drought and, despite a lot of rain this year, Lake Michigan is 19″ below where it should be. I live in Lake Forest, which borders Lake Michigan, where we have a daytime “sprinkling ban” by which half the town (even-numbered houses) gets to irrigate between midnight-10 am or 8 pm-midnight on one day, and then the other half of homes gets to irrigate the next night. We don’t have automatic sprinklers at our house because I think they waste more water than they save, and my plants don’t need equal amounts of water. Thus I hand-water–in the morning. Usually. Maybe on an even day. (So arrest me.)

But, according to the NYTimes, the water-parched City of PHOENIX, AZ doesn’t have such restrictions. “There is no limit to how many times someone can wash a car or water flowers in a yard…that’s just myopic”, says Phoenix’s Policy Advisor for Sustainability. Instead, it uses strategies such as “graywater” from bathrooms and washing machines to irrigate, or uses treated wastewater to cool a nuclear power plant and a man-made wetland. Water use is a factor in zoning decisions. While Phoenix does not, other cities such as Mesa, Las Vegas, and Tucson give rebates for residents who remove grass and xeriscape, harvest rainwater, or use graywater for landscaping. Some towns regulate homeowners’ trees, shrubs and flower choices. The article does not say how much residents pay per gallon of water, but these strategies appear to be working: in 1990, Phoenix residents used 250 gallons of water/day. Now they use 123. H’mmm…

Los Angeles' residents use 123 gallons/H20/day. How much do you use?

Los Angeles’ residents use 123 gallons/H20/day. How much do you use?

. NYC aims to make recycling mandatory by 2016. Wow, good! That means 1.2 million tons of food waste will be made into COMPOST!

. CHINA is moving 250 million (yes, you read it right) farmers off their land and into high-rise apartment buildings in newly-made “cities”. The hope is to create 250 million CONSUMERS. Can you say, “worldwide social, moral, cultural, and economic DISASTER”?

. NYC has released its Climate Change report which predicts that 800,000 people will live in the 100-year flood plain by 2050, more than double the current 398,000 currently at risk. The number of days with temperatures above 90 degrees is expected to jump from 22 to 48/year by 2050.

. LOURDES, FRANCE is under flood water. They are hoping for a miracle.##

Lourdes photo

A WEDDING GARDEN

Posted on by weedpatchgazette in Landscape Architecture, Plants, Public Gardens and Parks, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It’s June! Time for graduations (congratulations to our Leah for graduating from UCLA!) and especially for WEDDINGS (congratulations to my husband, John Drummond, for marrying me 25 years ago. Smart move.).

In honor of June weddings, I thought it would be fun to design a garden that celebrates weddings. A “Wedding Garden” would be so exciting to design and install at the Chicago Botanic Garden or other venues so that brides could be surrounded by plants that add to the joy by virtue of their names. (I’ve designed but never installed a Dentists Garden and a Candyland Garden full of “sweet sugary” or “toothed” plants).

By the way, having reviewed long lists of plant names, my research reveals that plant hybridizers have their preferences (who knew?) in names. “Wedding names” mostly come from people who hybridize daylilies [Hemerocallis]. But other types of growers make some interesting choices. For example, Hosta hybridizers like…FOOD. There’s Hosta ‘Guacamole’, Hosta ‘High Fat Cream’, Hosta ‘Golden Waffles’, Hosta ‘Candy Hearts’, Hosta ‘Cherry Berry’, Hosta ‘Donahue Piecrust’, Hosta ‘Spilt Milk’, Hosta ‘Vanilla Cream’, and Hosta ‘Regal Rhubarb’.

On the other hand, rose hybridizers prefer proper names, especially if you are a Duke, Duchess, Queen, Dr., Frau, General, Kaiser, Lady, President, Princess Prince, Sir, or Saint. Check out this amazing list of Rose names: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rose_cultivars_named_after_people

 
Nonetheless, here’s my list of perennials, shrubs and trees that are good candidates for a WEDDING GARDEN: (If you have photos or more plant “wedding names”, please send them to me.)

SHRUBS and TREES

Abelia grandiflora ‘Silver Anniversary’: (Zone 6): a 3’x3′ shrublet with white-margined foliage with white flowers

Halesia tetraptera ‘Wedding Bells’: (Zone 6): 20′ tall rounded tree with white bells

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Pink Diamond’: (Zone 4): 10-12″ flower clusters open cream and age to pink, rose and red

Hydrangea ‘Wedding Ring’: (Zone 5): 3-4′ shrub with reblooming bi-color lacecap flowers

Spirea thunbergii ‘Mt. Fuji’: (Zone 4): This is “Bridal Veil” Spirea, blooming white in spring

Syringa reticulata ‘Ivory Silk’: (Zone 5): ivory-white flowers in summer

Syringa vulgaris ‘Bridal Memories’: (Zone 4): Fragrant, creamy-white single flowers

 

 PERENNIALS

Agastache foeniculum ‘Golden Jubilee’: 2o” lavender – blue spikes, July-Sept

Aster nova-angliae ‘Wedding Lace’: 36″-48″ white daisies in Sept-Oct

Astilbe arendsii ‘To Have and To Hold’: 28″ purple-pink plumes in June-July

Astilbe arendsii ‘Diamonds and Pearls’: 28″ silver white plumes in July-Aug

Astilbe arendsii ‘Vision in White’: 18″ conical white spires in June-July

Astrantia major ‘Ruby Wedding’: 28″ dark red frilled flowers from May-Sept

Buddleia davidii ‘Attraction’: 36″ magenta-red flowers from July-Sept

Chrysanthemum ‘Bridal Bouquet’: 6-10″ double ruffled white shasta daisy from June-Sept

Cimicifuga simplex ‘Black Negligee’: 60″ lacy black/purple leaves with white flower spikes in October

Delphinium ‘Sweethearts’: 36-60″ with pink/white flowers in June and Sept

Dianthus hybridus ‘First Love’: 15-18″ white aging to rose from April-Sept

Dicentra eximia ‘Burning Hearts’: 10″ dark red hearts from May-Sept

Dicentra spectabilis ‘Valentine’: 24-30″ red hearts in May-June’

Echinacea h ‘Fatal Attraction’: 26″ rich pink with dark stems in July-August

Echinacea h ‘Secret Desire’: 36″ multi-color pink and orange from July-Sept

Echinacea h ‘Secret Joy’: 24-28″ double pale yellow poms from July-Sept

Echinacea h ‘Secret Lust’: 25-31″ fiery-orange double poms from July-Sept

Echinacea h ‘Secret Passion’: 18-27″ coral cone with pink rays from July-Sept

Echinacea h ‘Secret Romance’: 28″ salmon-pink double flowers from July-Sept

Athyrium ‘Lady in Lace’: a 12″ frilly fern

Gaura lindherii ‘The Bride’: 36″ white flower aging to pink from June-Aug

Helleborus h ‘Sparklyn Diamond’: 12-14″ double white from March-June

Heuchera villosa ‘Autumn Bride’: 24″ heuchera with fuzzy lime-green leaves and white sprays from Sept-Oct

Hibiscus h ‘Heart Throb’: 48″ plant with 10″ wide burgundy-red flowers from July-Sept

Hibiscus h ‘My Valentine’: 48″ plant with 9″ wide deep red flowers from July-Sept

Hosta ‘Bridegroom’: 18″ green pointy leaves with purple spikes in July-Aug

Hosta ‘Everlasting Love’: 14″ blue-green leaves with wide cream edges, lavender spikes in July

Linum perenne ‘White Diamond’: 12″ dwarf white flax from May-August

Lychnis chalcedonica ‘Burning Love’: 16″ dwarf red clusters of flowers from June-Aug

Papaver ‘Royal Wedding’: 30″ poppy with white flowers in May-June

Peony ‘Bridal Gown’: 32″ double creamy white flowers. Midseason

Peony ‘Bridal Grace’: double bomb with a deep creamy infusion inside and some red flecking outside; 32″

Peony ‘Bridal Shower’: Ivory white double bomb framed by white guard petals; 34″

Phlox subulata ‘Maiden’s Blush’: 4″ pale pink flower with a lilac eye in May and Sept

Rose ‘Burning Love’: I couldn’t find a description: coral red, I think, but…

Saruma henryi: 12-16″ heart-shaped downy leaves topped by soft yellow flowers from May-Sept

Scabiosa japonica ‘Blue Diamonds’: 6″ lilac-blue flowers from June-Aug

Veronica ‘First Love’: 12″ bright pink spikes from June-August

DAYLILIES

Hemerocallis ‘Bride’: 40″, early-mid season, fragrant, yellow

Hemerocallis ‘Bride Elect’: 36″, mid-season, fragrant, coral pink

Hemerocallis ‘Bride to Be’: 28″, late, cream melon pink with gold edge and yellow pink throat

Hemerocallis ‘Bride’s Bouquet’: 30″, mid-season, very pale yellow

Hemerocallis ‘Bride’s Dream’: 21″, early, lavender wine spider with wide green and yellow throat

Hemerocallis ‘Bride’s Garter’: 26″, mid-season, fragrant, cream with purple eye and purple gold edge, green throat

Hemerocallis ‘Bride’s Halo’: 30″, mid-late, fragrant, orange pink blend with orange halo and green throat

Hemerocallis ‘Bride’s Kiss’: 36″, early-mid, rosy red

Hemerocallis ‘Bridesmaid’: 42″, mid-season, red

Hemerocallis ‘Bridesmaid’s Gown’: 28″, early, fragrant, light pink with gold edge and very green throat (Author: Bridesmaid’s Gown: this plant must be really ugly!)

Hemerocallis ‘Dayton’s Last War Bride’: 32″, mid-season, very fragrant, yellow with rose halo and green throat

Hemerocallis ‘Diva Bride’: 30″, mid-season, fragrant, ruffled cream with pink blush and butter yellow edge and throat

Hemerocallis ‘Fairy Bride’: 30″, mid-season, fragrant, orchid pink with yellow throat

Hemerocallis ‘Filipina Bride’: 30″, mid-season, blue pink with a slightly darker eye and yellow throat

Hemerocallis ‘Gypsy Bridesmaid’: 20″, early-mid season, rose edged white with green throat

Hemerocallis ‘Hopi Bride’: 28″, early, fragrant, cream with burgundy eye and yellow green throat

Hemerocallis ‘Journey’s Bride’: 32″, mid-season, fragrant, pink bi-tone with gold edge

Hemerocallis ‘June Bride’: 34″, mid-season, yellow

Hemerocallis ‘June Bridesmaid’: 25″, early-mid season, fragrant, light pink bi-tone with darker pink edge

Hemerocallis ‘Princess Bride’: 36″, early-mid season, very fragrant, white with green throat

Hemerocallis ‘Quaker Bride’: 44″, mid-late season, fragrant, yellow

Hemerocallis ‘Radiant Bride’: 29″, mid-late season, fragrant, red wine with chartreuse green throat

Hemerocallis ‘Sabbath Bride’: 14″, mid-season, white to cream with yellow to green throat

Hemerocallis ‘Seminole Bride’: 36″, early-mid season, fragrant, strawberry pink with darker pink eye and green throat

Hemerocallis ‘September Bride’: 36″, early-mid season, fragrant, light lemon yellow

Hemerocallis ‘Siloam Blushing Bride’: 23″, mid-season, light pink with green throat

Hemerocallis ‘Siloam Bridesmaid’: 20″, mid-season, pale pink with rose eye and green throat

Hemerocallis ‘Siloam June Bride’: 20″, mid-season, pale pink with green throat

Hemerocallis ‘Snow Bride’: 20″, early, fragrant, diamond dusted near white with green throat

Patience, please

Posted on by weedpatchgazette in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Hi from Rommy & her Webmaster –  Just a short note from someone who knows the web, but is new to figuring out RSS-driven-blog-subscription!  To all of you new subscribers, please don’t give up on us yet; I think we have it figured out.  The next email you receive should be correct, and you will see Rommy’s latest post in your inbox.  Also, you will receive it ONE time, and not multiple times. Thank you for your patience, and thanks for subscribing!

A Potpourri of News…

Posted on by weedpatchgazette in Landscape Architecture, Plants, Uncategorized, Weather | Leave a comment

Can you believe it’s June 1st already?! Sorry to have been out of touch…planting season…our farmhouse gardens to be photographed for Country Gardens Magazine

Country Gardens magazine's photographer shooting June garden

Country Gardens magazine’s photographer shooting June garden

…family…volunteerism…Leah’s college graduation…technical issues with this website…such a busy time of the year. Even the local wildlife is busy. When I drove into our driveway today, there were six (!) chipmunks running around like nut cases on the asphalt. They were glutinous, eating the seeds of maples, a phenom I had never seen before.  BTW, we are assured that those little seed nuggets are entirely edible, tasting like peas. You first.

Gardening world good news: tulips, redbuds, and big lilacs are done, but smaller (Syringa meyeri Palibin, Miss Kim, and ‘Boomerang’) lilacs are blooming with the azaleas. Huge amounts of foliage clothe all the shrubs and trees this year–even a lot of the ash trees aren’t as dead as I expected them to be. Wild geraniums, iris, wild phlox, hawthorns, variegated Solomon’s Seal, shooting stars, tree peonies, primroses and dogwoods are glorious. Fringe tree [Chionanthus virginicus] is about to “feather”. Did I mention the foliage and growth of the Beech trees–amazing! The bad news is that my (formerly) incredibly shaped Seven Sons Flower tree (Heptacodium miconoides–I love saying the name of this amazing tree which you must put in your garden) took a big hit from the winter wind (I think) and I had to chop it all to hell. Also, a big Redbud, a fragrant Viburnum carlesii, and a Juniper s. ‘Skyrocket’ died from drowning.

Did I mention the elegance of my all-time favorite shrub: Viburnum plicatum? Read more

Planting Irish (?!) Seed Potatoes

Posted on by weedpatchgazette in Plants, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Three weekends ago I planted 15 potatoes in our vegetable garden. I bought the seed potatoes at Paquesi’s Garden Center, and was drawn to these packages because they carried the “certified organic” label of the USDA. Never one to trust, I discovered that they are packed by Irish Eyes Garden Seeds. Here’s how I think: Irish? Potatoes? Starvation?

If you are strapped for space, experiment with growing potatoes in a container: http://info.irisheyesgardenseeds.com/index.php/grow-100-lb-of-potatoes-4sqft. This looks like a lot of work to me, but hey, it also promises to yield a bumper crop of spuds. And you could use the extra cash, right?

By the way, the varieties I planted are: Purple Majesty (purple fingerlings for soups and salads); Sangre Red (round, hot pink, good for roasting); and Yellow Finn (sweet buttery taste). Some “new potatoes” (yum!) should be ready in our garden by August, but by letting the vines die and not watering much, I read that harvests are more plentiful, later. I must also remember to hill them up every two weeks (OMG: I have to do this immediately–the plants are already “plants”!) and water the foliage with seawood fertilizer (I added cottonseed meal to the soil when planting). Go organic! Go Irish! Don’t starve! ##  Read more

Too Much Water and a Cold Snap

Posted on by weedpatchgazette in Conservation and Ecology, Plants, Uncategorized, Weather | Leave a comment

This morning’s simpering heat, combined with a brief uptick in the wind and quickly clouding dark skies, made it easy to think about the tornadoes that ripped across Oklahoma and Kansas yesterday. Sadly, more tornadoes, hail storms, and slow-moving thunderstorms (ie a lot of rain in one place), including some aimed near Joplin, Missouri and north to Minnesota, may occur today (Monday). Remember that the Chicago region [link to map] is already in a Federal Disaster Zone because of the devastating rain storms of April 18th, just a month ago. Lots of Chicagoans are still mopping up and cleaning out, unfortunately. [Here’s a link about how you can help and/or donate to Chicago flood clean-up efforts by the American Red Cross.]

Profuse blossoms on 2013 fruit trees

Profuse blossoms on 2013 fruit trees

There’s good news and bad news about the amazingly full blossoms you are noticing this year on crabapple trees and other fruit trees. Read more

Hmmm, yes, but what should we do to help?

Posted on by weedpatchgazette in Conservation and Ecology, Plants, Social Impact of Horticulture | 1 Comment

Here’s a link http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=221570 to an article in the Medill Journalism School website. I’m not sure we needed a gigantic study to know that black populations live where there are few trees. The article quotes a representative from Chicago’s Friends of the Parks and I have NO IDEA what that representative meant (if you figure it out, please comment). Anyway, this article makes me think that when nurseries donate trees to communities at the end of the summer season, perhaps instead of donating them to wealthier communities like the one I live in, they should donate them to tree-less communities. This makes me wonder how many nurseries donate trees at all, and where they are going. Does the IL Nurserymen’s Association know? If not, who does? If you are a nursery, do you donate? Do you have a nice story to tell us or a story about why you do not donate trees?## Read more

Last Minute Garden Snoop Event…

Posted on by weedpatchgazette in Historic Places, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Oh, if you can re-arrange your whole life to attend the Rare Breeds show at Garfield Farm Museum (west of St. Charles) on this Sunday, by all means you should do so. If you love animals, you will love this show. The show features some kind of Colorado Mountain horse that is the prettiest thing I ever saw. I’m going to try and go to this show because our farm really really needs some new chickens (we now only have one, poor lonesome hen) and Garfield is where Black Java chickens were bred back into existence. Besides, if you’ve never been to Garfield, you don’t know nuthin’ about Chicago and you should be ashamed of yourself!

newinn

Here’s what Jerry Johnson, Exec Dir of Garfield, informs: “Staff and volunteers have been busy setting up for Sunday’s Rare Breeds Livestock & Poultry Show. Over 27 exhibitors plan to come and there will be lectures and demonstrations on Lippitt Morgans, dog sheep herding, and sheep shearing. The schedule for lectures and demos is as follows:

Gate Opens: 11:00 AM    Lunch by Inglenook Pantry
Tours of the Inn: 12-4 PM
Sheep shearing: 11:30 am until done.
Demos/Talks 11:30:am   Lippitt Morgan demo
12:00 pm    Dog sheep herding
12:30 pm    Lippitt Morgan demo
1:00 pm     Dog sheep herding
1:30 pm    Lippitt Morgan Lecture (1842 Barn)
1:30 pm     Ox Driving in Paddock
2:00 pm     Dog sheep herding
2:30 pm      Lippitt Morgan Lecture (1842 Barn)
3 & 3:30 pm    Dog sheep herding

MAKE THE EFFORT. YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.##

The Garden Snoop’s Calendar…

Posted on by weedpatchgazette in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I do not promise to report every plant sale or garden tour, but if they look oh-so-interesting, I will post them as you alert me to them. Here are a few:

 

Nautilus by Deidre Toner

Nautilus by Deidre Toner

Adler Pike House 955 street shot 5-16-2013 1-23-40 PM 512x341

 

  • May 18: Native Plant Sale to benefit Lake Forest Open Lands Association. I just came home from attending LFOLA’s Annual Meeting. This is a land trust whose organization should be emulated nationwide. Amazing programming and ability to excite people about land conservation. Anyway, one reason to come to this plant sale is to see the original gates and gate house to the famed Armour Estate, “Mellody Farm”. (The original mansion is at Lake Forest Academy–find it off Route 60) and to walk on some beautiful trails. The original estate was designed by landscape architects O.C. Simonds and Jens Jensen. [Please help Queen Bee to promote the preservation of the amazing original brick/green tile capped wall that is getting destroyed by sending a note to the Lake Forest Academy.]
Gates at LF Openlands "Mellody Farm"

Gates at LF Openlands “Mellody Farm”

Gate House at Mellody Farm

Gate House at Mellody Farm

Save this amazing brick wall!

Save this amazing brick wall!

  • June 27:Tour of Ragdale. Ooooh, I swoon when I visit Ragdale, the summer home of iconic architect Howard Van Doren Shaw and now an international writers retreat. Sponsored by the Lake Forest / Lake Bluff Historical Society, this tour is a rare chance to see this “farm”. BTW, thanks to all who are donating toward the $3m restoration of the original Ragdale house. Make sure to see the beautiful elm tree with branches that drape to the ground, the amazing vegetable garden, the log cabin and the original Shaw prairie.
  • June 30: A bike tour of the former Lasker Estate is not to be missed. Get your tickets asap from the Lake Forest / Lake Bluff Historical Society. Albert Lasker was the founder of modern advertising. He invented copywriting that convinced consumers that products could work magic: for example, Lucky Strikes could make women skinny. His radio campaigns for Pepsodent, Palmolive, and Kotex added up to a 480 acre gentleman’s estate and 18 hole golf course in Lake Forest. Thirteen of the buildings, including the original mansion, still exist. I’ve been on this tour (sans bicycle) and it is fabulous.
  • July 13: Come meet…MOI! The Queen and King Bee’s 7 acre farm in Richmond, IL will be on a tour hosted by the McHenry County Master Gardeners. Here’s a photo of our “weedpatch” to whet your appetite. Our house was built in 1852, so that in itself makes our landscape auspicious, yet still a modest farm-ish place.##

Richmond Veggie Garden 5-14-2013 1-58-31 PM 4320x3240