Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Dirty Dozen - Plants to keep out of your garden!

Keeping invasives out - to make room for these beauties!
I'm making my spring garden to-do list and I notice that many of the tasks involve getting rid of plants rather than planting them! These are my "dirty dozen" of plants I wish had never rooted on my land. Managing these highly aggressive / invasive species is a major chore.  These plants expand via fast-growing roots or rhizomes or expel dozens of seeds annually. So over time you may get much more than you planned!  Many of these are plants I purchased at garden centers or picked up free online through Craigslist or similar sources. Getting plants free should have been my clue that these plants go CRAZY!  Others I inherited with the garden when I first moved in- nearly 12 years ago, this challenge started with Bishops Weed and honey suckle. I pulled them out, cut them down and still they return year after year. I spray them and abuse them. They can be very B-A-D. I'm still at it - and there is not much left. Man some of those roots are tenacious! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Clearly the former owner of my house LOVED her buckthorn and honeysuckle greatly. Fellow gardeners in my neighborhood love some of these and readily take up the debate as to why I'm pulling them out. My response is always that they are taking space, resources and time from the plants that I really want to flourish in my garden.
So, here's my "Dirty Dozen" of plants I would like to bite the dust and never return. Your experience may vary - but I encourage you to think twice about putting any of these in your garden.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Outrageous Orchids! (Flower Show Review)

I visited the Orchid Show at the Chicago Botanic Garden. This was a wonderful respite from the snowy day. As a friend said - this winter White is the new Black. :D  I very much enjoyed seeing all the bright colors of the orchids.  I recall the first time I ever saw an Orchid was at the Joaquin Antonio Uribe Botanic Garden of Medellin, Colombia.  I was 12 years old and the 34 acre botanical garden in the middle of the city was so impressive! More so was the massive collection of orchids in the unique architectural space called the Orchidiarium. All I can say is that it was simultaneously overwhelming, impressive and memorable.  While the exhibit at the Chicago Botanic Garden pales in comparison - it's much easier to get to than Colombia, and well worth the visit!
Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show - 2014

Monday, February 17, 2014

2014 Upcoming Flower and Garden Shows - Midwest

This weekend I visited the Orchid show at the Chicago Botanic Garden - which made me think about updating the list of events that culminate in the beginning of spring and ethnic fest etc. in Chicago. 

As I did last year, here is a listing of events from Iowa - Wisconsin - Illinois - Michigan.  All links and information was accurate as of 2/17/2014  If you find other shows or errors herein please note in comments! Thank you

Heart shaped leaf with promise of Spring

Even my dog is tired of the winter!

Today I'm recalling those beautiful orchids and thinking of spring!

Teresa Marie