Archive for May, 2009

Spring Fling, Day 1

Icelandic poppies at CBG

The first day of Spring Fling had a couple of glitches (including my forgetting my camera), but it was otherwise a fine day. I met all sorts of interesting people whose name I may not remember and saw some amazing things at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Above is a field of Icelandic poppies near the walled English garden, taken with my phone.

CBG Japanese garden 2

I’m a big fan of Japanese garden design, particularly the concept of making a space look much larger than it actually is (very key for a small yard like mine).

CBG Japanese garden

The irises near the zigzag bridge are much more stunning than my phone’s camera reveals.  And I think I want to go live in the Shoin building.

Thank you, CBG, for hosting us and thank you, Spring Fling bloggers, for venturing through the streets at rush hour to take the train up there! Tomorrow’s bus ride should involve a lot less schlepping.

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Baptisia blooming

You wouldn’t know it from this blog, but the garden is looking really nice this May.  I can only blame all the planning we’re doing to make sure that Spring Fling will be fantastic!

Baptisia blooming!

The blue false indigo (Baptisia australis) is finally blooming – I planted it several years ago and haven’t seen any flowers on it until now.  I’ve seen ones that were 4 feet tall and 5 feet across, so it still has some growing to do.

Grape woodbine is getting out of hand

Pruning is on the agenda for the holiday weekend. The grape woodbine isn’t the only plant that needs it, but it probably needs it the most before the whole back yard gets engulfed by it.

Hungry goldfish & corkscrew rush

The pond is looking great now that the filters are cleaned and it’s been restocked with bacteria. The pickerel rush and lizard’s tail is just emerging above the surface of the water. On an expedition to buy more shubunkins, we also snagged this corkscrew rush. I don’t believe the fish are actually interested in the rush so much as they think a person hovering around the pond ought to toss in a few food flakes.

Bloom Day – May 2009

The bulbs are done, the native spring ephemerals are finishing up, and the perennials are going great guns.  It’s May!

In bloom:

    Loads of Solomon's seal

  • Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum biflorum)
  • strawberry
  • Gigantic wild columbine

  • (wild) columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
  • Dutchman's pipe in bloom

  • Dutchman’s pipe (Aristolochia macrophylla)
  • Wild geranium by the waterfall

  • wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)
  • Celandine poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum)
  • violets: both ordinary and Labrador
  • Prairie trillium

  • prairie trillium (Trillium recurvatum)
  • ornamental allium
  • lilies of the valley
  • Blackhaw viburnum

  • blackhaw viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium)
  • Shootingstar, after a thunderstorm

  • shooting star (Dodecatheon meadia)
  • Jacob’s ladder (Polemonium reptans)
  • bishop’s cap (Mitella diphylla)
  • Last of the Virginia bluebells

  • Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica)

This is roughly where we were a year ago, although I swear the columbine are particularly huge this year. Coming soon: peonies, irises, baptisia (for the first time ever) and even more from the Celandine poppies and wild geraniums.  The forsythia never bloomed this spring despite loads of buds.