Dawn Redwood

IMG_0130A Dawn Redwood grows amongst Cleome and sunflowers in the front parkway under mid day light.   I bought this tree for $10 at Aldis and it spent its first year as an inside plant.  Being a redwood I thought it couldn’t survive Chicago’s zone 5 climate but upon further reading the tag this wasn’t exactly like the redwoods you find around San Francisco but one that can survive our climate.  It is doing much better outside than it did inside.

According to the tag this tree can grow to 75 feet tall which will make for a nice replacement for the tree they chopped down to put in a stop sign.

Raspberry Cage

IMG_0250North front parkway raspberry cage in sunset light on July 3, 2015.  The sun is quite far to the north at this time of year.  This cage was built this Spring to support raspberry bushes.  It will be moved 2 feet north at the end of this season.  Two feet of raspberry bushes need to be cleared in that quadrant.


IMG_0261These cages keep the raspberry bushes growing straight up and not onto the sidewalk or street.  They use basic post and beam construction with 2x2s from 2x4s ripped in half and painted.  The beams all connect using single screws so angle braces must be used to maintain a proper square and support vertical and horizontal loads.  None of these cages are tied into the ground.

Front Parkway Timelapse

Haven’t updated this site in awhile and am behind on posting pics. I have been taking a timelapse of the front parkway since March 24 and put together a current cut for the Bucktown Garden Walk.


IMG_0014Tulips are in bloom.  I planted red and purple tulips last October in the front parkway from bags of 35 that were on sale at Home Depot.

14 packets of seeds from the Dollar store (American seed brand) were planted in front parkway.  Catnip and raspberries are strong.  Front parkway may take center stage again this year.  Bought 20 cu.ft. of good pine bark and 5 cu.ft. of mushroom compost so all set for planting in the next few weeks.  Might be able to skip a trip to Gesethemane this season.

Forsythia Blooms 4/13/2015

IMG_9877Forsythia bush is back from the dead.  It did not bloom last year due to dust from road construction that seemed to have killed this 30+ year old bush.  It spent all of last summer regrowing branches and all those newly regrown branches have bloomed and it looks like this bush may be back from the dead.    Forsythias are the first bush to bloom around here in zone 5 Chicago.

IMG_9818Here’s another shot and past articles from 2011, 2012, and 2013.  No pic was taken in 2014 because it didn’t bloom.  In 2012 it bloomed on March 22 and in 2013 it didn’t bloom until April 28.  Forsythia blooms are the official kick off for spring gardening projects.  So here we go…

Note: The banner header of this Forsythia with Magnolias in the background was taken in 2012 when we had a very early Spring.  The Magnolia isn’t blooming now and doesn’t always sync up with the Forsythias.