Friday, April 24, 2009

April: UIC Memorial Grove

I left my camera at my office all week, which means no pictures of my daffodils or tulips, and I know you're all upset but you'll just have to wait!
What I do have is pictures of the Memorial Grove on the University of Illinois at Chicago campus. It's not clear what it's a memorial to; perhaps to the two ethnic neighborhoods that were bulldozed to build the campus in the early 1960s. On a campus designed to reflect the stark rectilinear shapes and traffic flow of the downtown and expressways nearby, the Memorial Grove is a pleasantly organic space.


Staircases at SEO


Fagus sylvatica, European beech, I think a copper beech. A tree with wonderful bones but I still favor the American beech, which sadly is rarely planted ornamentally.

Tie-in with my dissertation project: Tilia (basswood) that has been well-loved by sapsuckers.

This fine example of absurdist topiary (I believe it's an oak) is pointing at the Science and Engineering Lab building. If you put on your x-ray specs you will see my lab!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April: psyche, it's actually a flashback to September 2007

My entry in the GardeningGoneWild PictureThis native plant photo contest:

Sky blue aster, Aster oolentangiensis, an Illinois prairie native that has naturalized in my Chicago garden. When in full bloom it makes solid masses of lovely lavender flowers like drifts of oddly colored snow. It's a plant that makes me feel like a gardening rock star, but of course my secret to success is it's supposed to be here.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

April: Sun Star

Today was supposed to be snowy and sleety and awful. While I did get pelted with a bit of sleet when I ran my errands, I didn't mind a bit and now the sun is shining. I had an Evil Scheme to buy an Easter lily at the grocery store but when I got there, they were underwhelming (except for the sickly-sweet scent, which was overwhelming) and it occurred to me that they are one of my least favorite lilies so why did I want one?

However, this followed me home from Home Despot:
Ornithogalum 'Sun Star', probably O. dubium, family Hyacinthaceae as if you couldn't tell.


It's a bulb so must be treated as such. I often lose patience with indoor bulbs after the first die-back but I couldn't pass this one up!

HD also had the most gorgeous anemones but it's TOO EARLY so stop tempting me!! Even HD knows it's too early, had them on carts indoors. Hopefully they'll still be around in a month.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

April: no fools here!

March came in like a lion... and went out the same way. April also started cold and blustery but by this afternoon it was sunny and windy, good kite weather if I had a kite. Miss Foley got her cast removed this morning and can finally go outside without her clunky boot. I met the last of several deadlines at school this morning as well so we went outside to celebrate the removal of our respective burdens.

Not much to see in the yard right now... lots of greenery coming up, which is exciting for me but makes for underwhelming photos. The World's Most Pathetic Forsythia is already past its peak, but bigger and better things are on the horizon!

Juncus spirales that I nearly killed over the winter - fingers crossed!

Sedum morganianum, burro's tail

Philodendron 'Xanadu' - sans stately pleasure dome. $4 at Walmart!

I remember a time when I was able to actually eat at that table...

Foley blisses out in the sun