Tag: Northern Sea Oats

Foliage Day: July, 2015

I am a flower-centric gardener, and so it is useful to be reminded that a garden is about more than blooms. Which is exactly the service performed by Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day, sponsored by Christina at My Hesperides Garden.  At this point in the summer the warm-season grasses start to assert their presence, especially the …

Light in October

In September, Autumn feels like a vacation from Summer. The cooler weather and softer light are both refreshing. At a certain point in October, though, it starts to feel as if you are preparing to leave a beloved place. The sun is so low in the sky that even the middle of the day feels …

Switchgrass Switching Places, Again

And now for the saga of the nomadic Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum). Today I dug out a slice of turf along a corner of the Sidewalk Border in order to create a sunny spot for said switchgrass, which had already been moved once. Digging up grass is one of my favorite garden chores. I use an …

A Monarda Moment

In mid-summer the Monardas take center stage in the Sidewalk Border. The blue and purple salvias retain a bit of color, but are mostly done. The ‘Husker Red’ Penstemon (Penstemon digitalis) and golden Alexander (Zizia aurea) have been cut back. Now come the Monardas in red, lavender, and purple (yes, purple). The Monarda that demands …

Perennials for Fall Color

We usually think of fall color in terms of trees and shrubs. But there are many herbaceous plants that also offer good color in autumn. Here are a few in my garden right now. Starry Solomon’s Plume (Smilacina stellata) has long-lasting golden yellow foliage. Deep red berries add contrast, though most of the berries are …

GBFD October 2013: Grasses In Their Autumn Glory

So a few days ago the weather turned genuinely cold. I hope that means we will soon see some fall color. However, these pictures were taken just prior to the shift. At that point there wasn’t much foliage of interest in our garden except for the grasses.   The most impressive grass at the moment …

GBFD: September Foliage and Fruit

The colors of autumn are only starting to settle in here in Chicago. Grasses often have more of a fall look than does the foliage or flowering perennials. The ‘Northwind’ Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) are displaying their airy panicles, though the leaves are still blue-green.   The ‘Northwind’ Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) are displaying their airy panicles. …

Foliage Follow-Up: July 2013 (Now With Elderberries!)

Foliage Follow-Up is a meme sponsored by Pam at Digging which highlights the importance of foliage, and also helps us avoid putting all our mid-month photos in the GBBD post. So, I got some real nice foliage for ya! First of all, you may remember how I cut back my Blue Star (Amsonia tabernaemontana) and …

The Front Island Bed: A Wildlife-Friendly Spot Full of Bold Plants

The Front Island Bed lies between the Sidewalk Border and the low retaining wall of the expanded Foundation Bed. It is filled mostly with taller plants that enjoy lots of moisture, since the soil is a moist clay loam. It gets almost full sun, even though it is on the north side of the house. …

The Sidewalk Border: A Herbaceous Report Card

About seven years ago I dug up an L shaped length of turf, with the longer section along the front sidewalk and the shorter one along the property line with the neighbors. The result was a border in almost full sun, 4-5′ wide and about 25′ long. The soil was rich and moist, even before …