Saturday, September 29, 2012

Chicago Botanic Garden After Dark Tour

Last night, 16 people chose to spend their Friday touring the Chicago Botanic Garden in my company. We were blessed by the perfect weather: 50s, no wind, and a nearly full moon. Above is the Linden Allee from beneath its sculptural limbs. Below, you can see its geometrically pruned shape from outside and up to the right of the storybook moon.

A participant took these photos with her iPhone; the App that came in really handy was the flashlight as we climbed steps on the hill to the council ring through tactile Switch Grass. At night, spaces assume different characteristics. One totally different garden was the Bonsai exhibition where the back panels provided a luminosity that highlighted plant personalities in a magical way.

I felt magic at work in our animal companions. The tour was initiated at dusk by a heron down at the lagoon shore. Its white stripe of a beak presaged the theatrical light plays to follow. This two-inch spider guided us down the garden path as we left wishing we could alter time, like Charlotte.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Northwest Horticultural Society Tour

About a month ago, I was lucky enough to lead a tour for the Northwest Horticultural Society from Seattle. It's always eye-opening to hang out with gardeners and designers from other regions. This group was especially on the ball, so they kept me on my toes. We started out in downtown Chicago at Millennium Park's Lurie Garden (above). Then, we moved north to Alfred Caldwell's Lily Pool (below).

Finally, we ended up at the Lincoln Park Conservatory, where I got a break. My neighbor, Rick del Visco, led the tour through the Conservatory. Turned out that his favorite and mine (since chidhood) was the Fern Room.
Another favorite garden of ours belongs to friends, Linda Brazill and Mark Golbach, in Madison. The NW Hort Society's tour continued there after Chicago. You can read about it on the August 28, 2012 post from their fabulous blog: "Each Little World" (The link isn't working this second, but try it yourself!). I will be lucky enough to visit them, their garden and some others in Wisconsin this week.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

More Swedish Lichen & Leaded Windows

In answer to Ms. Wis/Each Little World's question in the last post: Where is this lichen growing? It's on the roof tile of an outhouse built in the early 1970s to look like the other log cabins at my husband's mom's home. I don't have a photo of it, but it has leaded windows similar to the ones on this nearby sleeping cabin. Swedes seem not to build additions, rather, they find an old cabin somewhere and move it. Or they build a nice modern one. But when you are a guest (outside a city), you are often sleeping in your own little abode.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Swedish Lichen and Moss

Altoon Sultan's post today, in her marvelous blog about Art & Landscape: Studio and Garden, details lichen in the countryside of Vermont. Reminded me of what we saw in Sweden last month.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hummingbirds and Heptacodium

Last week a client emailed to say that a Hummingbird had visited her Heptacodium (Seven Son Flower). So I had to stop's the large shrub/small tree covered in white flowers. Of course, how could I ignore the luminescent BailTiger Sumacs?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Actual Weeding plus Autumn Cematis

Finally weeded!  Yesterday: just mostly English Ivy,  wild Eupatorium and some giant (7') yellow weed with 6" deep roots as thick as big parsnips.

In two hours, I nearly filled up our recycling green waste bin with five bucket loads.
Even in the daytime, I could smell the fabulous, grape-like fragrance of the Autumn Clematis, whose botanic name, they keep changing. Here it is at night:

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Weeding Inspiration

Usually, I don't mind weeding. In fact, I find it soothing because in this world, there's not much you can do that provides immediate satisfaction like weeding does. But with the extreme drought this summer, weeding was challenging. So, I was looking forward to our seasonal weather shift...which seems to be happening (cooler temps and some rain)...after returning from Sweden. Of course, now I have too much work, so every time I walk our dog, I am tortured by signs of my own pathetic garden stewardship. I put the image above (from my March trip to AFOPADI...see their updated Guatemala) as my iPhone screensaver in the hopes of inspiration.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Swedish Abstract

The fall installation season is upon us which means less blog attention. So, I will try to catch up on some posts about Sweden...starting with this: my favorite image from our August visit. It's from an island in the north section of the Stockholm archipelago.