In the midwest, January doesn’t always feel like a very lively month, at least not in the outdoor garden department. The fall leaves have dried out and plants from last season are sadly drooping under the cold and wet blanket of winter. We are in the thick of hibernation season, but that doesn’t mean that things have completely shut down in the plant world. In fact, this January has been unusually mild and rainy. When I stepped outside to capture these images, I was without a coat wearing sandals, comfortably enjoying the sun and observing the state of the yard. This is not the same January I have grown up to know in the midwest. It’s a little strange that we are seeing some very early signals from spring already, some colorful sites in a generally gray time of year. [Read more…]
Last week we took a day trip to Starved Rock State Park, Illinois. Although it’s only a short 2 hour drive from Chicago, it had been well over a decade since my last visit. Why?! It was a perfect day for a nice hike in the woods, lots of spring flowers, mosses, and ferns to gawk at… oh and the Canyons!
We’ve lived in the same place for 6 years now. When we arrived, it was May and the yard was just beginning to unfold for the summer. The tenant before us had done some planting and landscaping, it was quite nice. I had no idea what was there, but it was a lot of fun to water it and watch it grow. Our yard is full of surprises, there are waves of continuous change over the growing season and I love to spend time with it. Over the years I have spent hours watering it, I’ve pulled billions of weeds and probably some gorgeous intentional plants too, disrupted and relocated many bulbs, allowed weeds to join the party, added more plants, learned about new plants, I have made mistakes, and there have also been many victories. It’s a beautiful yard full of life, at times it is a bit wild and out of control, but I think it’s perfectly imperfect. [Read more…]