Tag: Virginia Bluebells

Chasing Crabapple Blossoms At The Chicago Botanic Garden

Catching the Crabapple at peak bloom at the Chicago Botanic Garden (CBG) involves some tricky timing, but we gave it another try last week on the first day that worked. Last time we visited the buds looked as if they were just getting ready to burst. Passing the Regenstein Center, CBG’s building for indoor displays …

An April Visit to The Chicago Botanic Garden

On Friday Judy and I visited the Chicago Botanic Garden (CBG); it’s been a great place to visit since the pandemic struck. Since last June, CBG has been open to the public on a time-reserved basis. Getting our entrance passes online has been easy each time we’ve tried it. Here’s a link from our first …

Virginia Bluebells: Friends and Foe

How can you not love Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)? They are coming into their own in our garden right now. The clusters of soft blue tubular flowers are fantastic, especially combined with the pink and purple buds.

Adventures in Foundation Planting

When we moved into our current house, the front foundation planting consisted of clipped Japanese Yews (Taxus cuspidata). One of the first things I did was cut down the Yews and replace them with a planting of Ostrich Ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris) and various shade perennials.

Keep Your Grubby Rabbit Paws Off My Virginia Bluebells

A couple of years ago the rabbits in our garden discovered that they had a yen for our Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica). This was more than a little upsetting, as Virginia Bluebells are probably my favorite native spring ephemeral.

Garden Plagues for Passover

A dramatic high point of the traditional Passover Seder is the recitation of the 10 plagues visited upon Egypt. On this last night of Passover, it occurs to me that there were at least 3 plagues visited upon our garden this week. And while they all were a lot milder than the ones cited in …

4 Spring Flowers for Shade That I Love

Let’s talk about spring-blooming native plants that like shade, specifically those that have been catching my eye lately in our garden. With one exception, these are all plants that Midwestern gardeners should be using a lot more.

A Lurie Garden Bulb Walk

Yesterday we were lucky enough to go on a tour of Lurie Garden’s spring bulb display with Jacqueline van der Kloet, who designed Lurie’s original bulb plantings in 2006. She’s in Chicago now to update those plantings, and will return in October to oversee the planting of thousands of new bulbs.

Before the Storm

So we got back from Tennessee on Friday afternoon, and the garden welcomed us back with a fabulous show. However, the weather gods were preparing a more malicious welcome, namely the 3-5″ of snow predicted for the following day.

Early Spring at the Lincoln Memorial Garden

Last Friday I stopped to visit Springfield’s Lincoln Memorial Garden on my way out of town. It is one of the few gardens designed by Jens Jensen (a hero of mine) that still retains the essential elements of his plan, which included only plants native to Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. There was not much in …