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Has Achieved Nirvana
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One of my all time favorite areas at the Chicago Botanic Garden, the English Walled Garden.

quote:
One of the Chicago Botanic Garden’s most enchanting and popular places is the Helen and Richard Thomas English Walled Garden, which was designed by renowned English landscape architect John Brookes, Member of the British Empire (MBE). Step past the sleepy stone lion, breathe in the cowslip primrose, and listen to the water trickle into an eighteenth-century lead cistern—the feeling is as timeless as the tiny thyme plants growing between the hand-pressed bricks.

Each of the six unique garden rooms evokes a different mood, featuring elements of English garden design through the centuries. Try the Cottage Garden—overflowing with fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers—for a sense of playfulness (Beatrix Potter, anyone?); or the wisteria-covered Pergola Garden—with flowers and foliage in cool blues, purples, and silver—for a sense of romance (Jane Austen, anyone?).


Here's a tour, though it's only one photo for each "room" with some descriptions.

https://www.chicagobotanic.org...nglish_walled_garden

A virtual tour but not really; it only shows you the gate to the walled garden. A teaser to get you to Chicago...

https://www.google.com/maps/@4...3312!8i6656?hl=en-US


I love this kind of feature to provide a sneak peek of what's on the other side:


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Take only what you need and leave the land as you found it - Arapaho proverb

Bazootiehead-in-training



 
Posts: 34870 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I want some flowering ground over to cover some of the mulch and I’m leaning toward “Blue Star Creeper”. It seems to overwinter well and the flowers are nice and bright.

Pros and cons?


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Life is short. Play with your dog.

 
Posts: 33252 | Location: Yorba Linda, CA | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Not familiar with it so I looked it up. Most of the references I saw say it's suitable for zones 6 to 9, and I'm in zone 5, so that could be why I haven't run across it. I also don't hang around nurseries much just window shopping, so if it's being introduced around here, I would have missed it.

Looks intriguing.


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Take only what you need and leave the land as you found it - Arapaho proverb

Bazootiehead-in-training



 
Posts: 34870 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I see a lot of it in landscapes around here so it must be pretty tough. Fills in nicely.


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Life is short. Play with your dog.

 
Posts: 33252 | Location: Yorba Linda, CA | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The lake is your friend as far as moderating winter temps.

https://www.plantmaps.com/hard...s-for-cleveland-ohio

edit: And in other news, the first potato plants just popped through the dirt! I had the pots sitting off to the side in a lot of shade and just moved them to full sun yesterday. Guess they like the sun and heat.

Potatoes ahoy!!!

Cool


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Take only what you need and leave the land as you found it - Arapaho proverb

Bazootiehead-in-training



 
Posts: 34870 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Broke high temp record today; got up to 90 and tropical-level dewpoints in the 70s. Same tomorrow and Friday. Ugh. We worked outside during the morning but it was brutal. It's come on so suddenly my body hasn't adjusted to the change in weather yet.

I think I'll head to the garden center tomorrow morning and pick up some of my veggie plants.


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Take only what you need and leave the land as you found it - Arapaho proverb

Bazootiehead-in-training



 
Posts: 34870 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The portable herb garden is in!


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Life is short. Play with your dog.

 
Posts: 33252 | Location: Yorba Linda, CA | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Every second house in this tract has a utility island. Most people mulch a circle around the boxes and plant some tightly pruned shrubs here and there. Every now and then you'll see someone who has planted big bushes to surround the boxes without regard to how much those bushes block the rest of the yard.

Here's how mine sit. You'll see I am not pruning the little shrubs and would like them to be larger and shaggier.





I'm not crazy about those shrubs - the yellow "False Cypress" look anemic and the one between them upsets the flow. The brown stumps on either side are some sort of 6' rush that's real popular. When they grow back they'll do little more than picture frame the fact the utilities are there, as does highlighting them with an oval of mulch.

Here's another view:



My most current scheme is to eliminate the little strip of grass between the two planters and make it in to one big planter, making it easier to mow and fertilize and to de emphasize the utilty boxes. I'd also pull the front of the utility planter over to the right to allow planting a dwarf Redbud tree at Sharon's request. What do you think?

Once that's done, I need to deal with the utility boxes. My first idea was to paint them to mimic the Cleveland skyline and put in a little road, cars, etc. like a miniature cityscape. The tall one, for example, looks very much like Terminal Tower and the short cylinder looks like another building I saw downtown. Sharon absolutely hates this idea and I doubt the HOA will be impressed so it's probably a non-starter. Cool

Irony, perhaps. Everyone wants a faux Colonial with a white picket fence and lots of flowers, right? My idea is to buy a section of white plastic fence (to coordinate with the plastic house) and install it in front of the utility boxes. I think it would look pretty good even if no one gets the reference.

In fact, I saw this version today and I rather like it. The proportion of the fence is off - or perhaps deliberately over-scaled - but the general idea could work. I'll have to stop by and asked them how they came up with the the idea. The flowers are "Blue Star Creeper":



I think this whole yard is well done, although I'd let the boxwood balls grow together and let them shag up a bit. I might also plant daisies in front of the fence in a nod to tradition. Perhaps a bird bath or a white plaster duck would seal the deal.

Sharon is not fond of this idea either, and neither is Kim. I like it though and might forge ahead. The fence would be easy enough to remove if I get too much grief and Home Depot sells it cheap.

Your thoughts?


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Life is short. Play with your dog.

 
Posts: 33252 | Location: Yorba Linda, CA | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Back to this picture:



I have some more spherical box bushes in the back yard to remove and if I transplanted them to join with the ones under the window I could have a little hedge. Box isn't my favorite hedge but it's tough and I already have the plants. I think they'd look good about a foot taller.

The brown rocks to the left of the window are the ones I gathered up in various parts of the desert on the drive out to try to keep the tarp on the trailer from flapping so much. I like them as much for the story as anything else, and no one has complained.

The three bushes under the little tree are "Spirea" - I don't know which one. The internet shows nice flowering mounds which should look good, although they can make 10 ft. tall over time and will require some shearing. I think they can stay, and more Spirea in the utility island might be just the thing.


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Life is short. Play with your dog.

 
Posts: 33252 | Location: Yorba Linda, CA | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You could try to hide one or more of them altogether. A few examples...





Artificial boulder:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/De...ray-107-FS/203330339

We had a plastic boulder over the well head at our vacation home. It looked out of place when we put it in but it was covered in moss and dirt in no time and ended up looking like it had been there forever.

More serious ideas to follow.... Big Grin


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Take only what you need and leave the land as you found it - Arapaho proverb

Bazootiehead-in-training



 
Posts: 34870 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Very clever! ThumbsUp


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Life is short. Play with your dog.

 
Posts: 33252 | Location: Yorba Linda, CA | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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As I mentioned elsewhere, I'm a fan of evergreens that look like they haven't been trimmed; flat shearing is not a look that I'm fond of. If you let those boxwoods go for a bit they'll get shaggy. But it's good to prune them occasionally so that they stay dense; otherwise you end up with an empty center with green just on the ends of the branches.

There are tons of different varieties of spirea, some that only grow to a couple of feet and others that get quite large. I used to have a lot of spirea of various sizes but ultimately got rid of all of them.

Pluses: Nice looking shrub. Bulletproof. Early to leaf out and they have nice flowers.

Minuses: You either have to cut out the dead wood or mow them down to the ground in late winter and let them send up fresh shoots or they end up looking scraggly. I also found it was a pain to clean the leaves out from under them in the fall, and the Goldmound spirea I had self-seeded so I was forever and a day pulling up baby plants.

Guide to spirea:

https://www.provenwinners.com/learn/how-plant/spirea

I wish LL were here...her garden designs are to die for....


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Take only what you need and leave the land as you found it - Arapaho proverb

Bazootiehead-in-training



 
Posts: 34870 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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So those stretchy bags that cover the utility boxes have my mind going.

Grandma had the same sort of thing on the toilet tank and a contour rug on the floor. What if I made each box look like a bathroom fixture? Pink? Lavender? Seafoam?

The mind reels. Cool


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Life is short. Play with your dog.

 
Posts: 33252 | Location: Yorba Linda, CA | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Minor Deity
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I planted a Red Bud last season..worked so hard to plant the place, species, height...

Squirrels were at it immediately and chewed thru to large branches..

It is not thriving..not dead yet but...Might give it another year.. Frowner


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"Wealth is like manure; spread it around and it makes everything grow; pile it up, and it stinks."
MillCityGrows.org

 
Posts: 11209 | Location: Massachusetts | Registered: 22 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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So I was at Lowes today and saw this that made me think of Steve. Also of Macbeth and Birnam Wood. Big Grin


https://www.lowes.com/pd/natur...n-Trellis/5012911329


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Take only what you need and leave the land as you found it - Arapaho proverb

Bazootiehead-in-training



 
Posts: 34870 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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