Archive for the ‘Barrington IL gardening’ Category

Early Spring Planting-Sugar Snap Peas

All vegetable gardeners are eager for spring planting in the garden.  After planning new gardens and features in January, cleaning up, starting seeds and pruning in February and March, we are ready for planting as soon as possible.  The real fun begins in our area in the end of March, when, if the ground is […]

Mardi Gras Season 2016

A couple of Saturdays ago in the midst of the deep freeze we were honored to have a group of our gardening friends join us for a Mardi Gras-themed gathering. The Carnival season begins on 12th night–Epiphany–and ends on Mardi Gras Day which is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent in […]

Bayberry Candles for the Holidays

Every Christmas when I was growing up my one of the grandparent presents was a package of gifts from the Vermont Country Store.  These were mostly things that reminded them of their younger Christmases that they wanted to share with us.*  Among these were bayberry candles.   Bayberry candles are made from the wax covering the […]

Forsythia behaving badly

  Our hugely overgrown forsythia bushes (probably Forsythia xintermedia which gets to be 8-10’ high by 10-12’ wide—and ours is that large) are behaving badly and about to be entirely cut to the ground.  Forsythia are only pretty for the few weeks when they bloom in spring.  The rest of the time they have wild, […]

New additions for 2015–Hardy Bulbs

Last spring, one of the better things I did was take the Hardy Bulbs course at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The course offers wonderful detail on over 60 plants that are great choices for our area. It includes sections on daffodils and alliums (both wildlife-resistant options with unusual varieties) and a section on tulip varieties […]

January Gardeners Have Green Hope

Don’t despair January gardeners! Walking around the garden in the expanding hours of sunshine with snow melting I think of this time as Green Hope. There are a few things we expect to be green in the winter. This year they are green, in good form and and looking fine. The boxwoods are green and […]

Forcing Forsythia Branches

After the holidays I enjoy the bare, clean look of the house for about two weeks.  After all the dust-catching clutter of ornaments, trinkets and greens, it’s a relief to see some clear space.  But then the house starts to feel empty (of plant life, we have almost too many dogs) around here. Houseplants* are […]

Purple Beautyberries in the garden

It’s been two years since I planted a pair of American Beautyberries (Callicarpa Americana) in the peony beds. I wanted to add something that would give interest later in the season in these two raised, full-sun beds. There are a few geraniums and other perennials in the beds now, but we wanted a bigger show […]

Replacing winter-damaged yews and boxwoods

With the delayed Spring this year, we’ve had the advantage of extended bloom times on spring-blooming bulbs while enjoying the regular festival of blooms at this time of year.  Unfortunately, many of the bulbs in my front gardens were only visible next to completely windburned boxwood bushes (an ugly beige color) and horrible orange winter-damaged […]

Harvesting and Storing Butternut Squash

In 2013 we selected a hybrid seed called Dick’s Pick Hybrid Butternut Squash (from Jung Seed) this year for butternut squash.  We planted it in late May when the soil was warm.  This variety required 100 days to maturity.  Pictured here is one of the plants almost ready for harvest.  (Please disregard the powdery mildew […]