Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sometimes a little slow, but I do get there eventually; if you want to get more serious about your garden, but don't know where to start, or are serious about your garden already and want unbiased, accurate information, go to www.renegadegardener.com.  He is a delightful nutjob prone to ranting.  My kind of gardener.  Enjoy.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sweet Lord, a viburnum bud! If this is Armageddon for the planet, what a way to go!

This is a viburnum carlesii that we inherited with the house when we bought it in '98. It was always a treasure. But it really needed to be spruced up, and last summer, I bit the bullet and took it completely to the ground (you can see one of the old trunks at the base). This was really a small tree, not a shrub, maybe 10' tall and spectacularly graceful. And I came along with a sharp saw and a lot of caffeine. Couldn't be helped--the trunks were rotting.
But look at it now! Already 4' in some places. And blooming. Be bold. Be in charge. And forget about the old wood/new wood flowering confusion, just prune as soon after flowering as you can, to preserve the next year's blooms. But then, I just prune when the pruning saw is sharp :) So satisfying, and easier than divorce.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

So, I am trying to avert panic; if it's like this now (83!), will we be frying in June, Oh my god, the watering bill this summer, that whole thing.  But, as in most of life, 1) there's no way out but through; and 2) be where you are.
So what am I thinking about doing in the garden right now?  Already I am weeding, and I marvel at the size of the weeds.  But I also see nepeta springing out of the ground like...weeds.  I plant only the (supposedly) sterile forms, but still they seem to sleep around and reproduce.  As well, the ones actually planted get WAY bigger than the literature says.  So, I am already hacking back and dividing.  If you divide now, or soon, the plants will recover so easily you will never know you did it.  Wait until later, and they seem resentful all season long, and turn in for the winter long before they should.  So go get yer spade on.
OTHER THINGS: I am rereading, as I do every early spring, Roy Diblik's "Small Perennial Gardens: The Know Maintenance Approach."  His plant recommendations make for gardens that are filled with both beauty and common sense.  And he's right here near Chicago's North Shore, in Burlington, WI. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Corneliancherry dogwood (cornus mas) a few weeks early, but...okay!

How can this be March?

Hello World!

Mid spring under the birch tree
Welcome to my blog...
This is the first post that links to www.calafia-design.com.  Here's where I might talk about what's going on in my own garden, or something interesting I saw in someone else's somewhere in Chicago or the North Shore maybe, or an aspect of a project I'm installing, or...whatever is in the landscape of my mind.  But filtered.
Check in once a week or so.  I look forward to meeting up with you!