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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Click on photos to enlarge.) The good, in bloom right now, is Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum). (photo by Ben Schwarz)  Wild Geranium begins to bloom in early to mid-May as the Virginia Bluebells fade.  Clusters of lavender-pink, five-petaled, anemone-shaped flowers bloom at the top of  1-2’ hairy stems […]

Early Spring Savanna Garden

Early Spring in My Savanna Garde My lack of trees does limit my early spring flower display. When I bought my house there were more trees shading the back yard then there are now: a clone of 5 Mulberry trees lined my next-door neighbor’s  back yard along the north side of my property.  They fell […]

Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

Where Have All the Flowers Gone? Hundreds of Bloodroot covering a north-facing slope in Bliss Woods Forest Preserve in Aurora, IL.  4/9/05.  Absolutely stunning! Sunday, 70; Monday, 34; Wednesday, 50; snow today–not unusual for April in the Chicago area, but the spring flowers are not blooming in their normal sequence.  2 clumps of Bloodroot (Sanguinaria […]

Wild Blue Phlox–Success at Last

Wild Blue Phlox  I have tried in vain to grow Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata) that would last for more than one season;  I was never successful until now.  I have replanted more Wild Blue Phlox than any other plant in my garden.  No, make that more than all the plants I have replaced in […]

Redbud Trees

Redbud My first acquaintance with the redbud dates back a quarter a quarter of a century. It was on an excursion to the historic spot of Starved Rock on the Illinois River.  Everywhere the bluffs were colored with the blossoms of the redbud.  To me, who had never seen this plant before, it we a […]

Double Bloodroot

  Double Bloodroot  Many years ago, I designed a display garden for the Plain Dirt Gardeners of Batavia for their entry into the Chicago Flower and Garden Show. at Navy Pier.     It featured a waterway representing the Fox River, native woodland plants (all grown in a greenhouse during the winter),  Indian artifacts, and, […]

Spring Woodland Savanna Garden

Spring Woodland Savanna Garden On Mother’s Day, 2009, my son and daughter-in-law and Joey and Kate took me to the Chicago Botanic Garden.  It was on May 11, and was rather cool–in every sense of the word–that day and Spring was late then as it is this year.  While we visited most of the garden, […]

For Everything There is a Season

For everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: Ecclesiastes  3:1 This is a pictorial record of  my prairie gardens at the corner of my front  and side yard, overlooking the intersection.  Spring is coming, and so is Summer, Autumn, and then Winter again, each with its own weather, […]

Another Excellent Native Plant for Shade

Another Excellent Native Plant for Shade  Sedum ternatum is the Chicago area’s only native sedum, and unlike the sun-loving, non-native Eurasian sedum, it thrives in shade.   It is found mostly in limestone bluffs, but in my experience, it grows well in any dry shade situation. I first discovered it at The Natural Garden and […]

WILD ONES WALK IN A SHADE GARDEN

  My liking for gardens to be lavish is an inherent part of my garden philosophy.  I like generosity wherever I find it, whether in gardens or elsewhere.  I hate to see things scrimp and scrubby.  Even the smallest garden can be prodigal within its own limitation.      V.  Sackville West   Wild Ones Walk […]