rough bloazing star in prairie

Rough Blazing Star

One year I had 71 flowering stems  of Rough Blazing Star  (Liatris aspera) in my gardens–it was gorgeous, but I don’t have a photograph.  They eventually petered out and I now have only a few plants I added to a border last year. This is a photograph taken several years ago at Morton Arboretum of […]

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blue fortune hyssop mwgc

I’m Back!

I’m back! My book Design Your Natural Midwest Garden sold out this Spring and the publisher, unfortunately, has declared bankruptcy.  I have no more books to sell but there are still copies available at Amazon. I haven’t just been lolling around all summer, eating bon-bons–I have been working on my new book.  The working title […]

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pansies 2017

What’s in Bloom in my Garden Today?

What’s in Bloom Today? Violets–Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia) and Confederate Violet (Viola priceana) grow in the garden and the lawn.  They are considered weedy and some people try to rid their lawn of them, but I consider them delightful wherever they are.   Dog-tooth Violets or Trout Lily (Erythronium albidum) are abundant now.  Karen […]

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Squill neighbor

Has the Sky Fallen?

Has the sky fallen? No, it’s Siberian Squill (Scilla siberica), a European lawn weed that has naturalized in the lawns of large older historic homes in near northwest neighborhood in Elgin.     An abandoned house in my neighborhood last spring, contained not only Squills. but daffodils and Penn Sedge, as well. Two miniature, cobalt blue […]

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sedge early spring

Signs of Early Spring

Signs of Early Spring Winter Aconite (Eranthus hymelis) is in full bloom.  It is native to Europe, but it came along to this garden via a Red Trillium I transplanted from my old garden.  A member of the buttercup family, its golden cups are the earliest perennial to bloom in our area, sometimes as early […]

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pin oak

Mystery Oak Trees

Mystery Oak Trees There are three mature oaks from the Red Oak group growing on the parkway of Gertrude Street a couple of blocks from my house.  Tall and full-grown, they retained some of their leaves throughout the winter.  I could tell they weren’t Red Oak (Quercus rubra) or Black Oak (Q. velutina) and assumed […]

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blue beech starved rock

What Do These ThreeTrees Have in Common?

What do these three trees have in common? They are all called Blue Beech  (Carpinus  caroliniana) 10/28/07 Trout Park  Elgin.  Blue Beech growing wild next to the trail Blue Beech at Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe 8/30/09 Dick Young describes Carpinus caroliniana as “a light gray, smooth-barked tree to 30’, with undulating, muscle-like ripples in the […]

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