So I guess what i should be saying that instead of central Wisconsin being a black hole, it's actually the white space between everyone else.
I have been thinking a lot about the plants I want to grow, and those I actually do grow. Especially when it has been so bone-chilling cold as it has been the last few days.
The thing is central Wisconsin is where the cold from the Artic sort of drips down into the lower 48 states. And as there are large bodies of water nearby, one doesn't have to travel to fair to jump a zone or more. The closest botanical gardens are in these areas. The result is I don;t have to travel too far to get huge cases of zone envy. Camera in hand, I have taken pictures of many of these, like the rose Eureka above that grows well in Olbrich Botanical Gardens just 90 miles south.
The other plants in this post also fall in that, "I can't quite grow that zone".
Eremurus - foxtail lilies
One of my neighbors has a snake bark maple closely related to this one. It has made its way through at least one winter, so this might be a possibility-- if I had room for one more tree. It has survived for the people over at the Paine Art Museum.
Japanese silver grass
I tried this one one year with several plants. None survived.
This is the more likely candidate for a place in my garden, maybe this will have to make the short wish list, if I come across it on sale.
I have started to notice I seem to have a micro-climate on one side of my house, between my house and the one neighbor I never talk with. There is a fence between us with good cause. This space is approximately 12 feet wide, 4 feet of it covered with a pea gravel path.
My son and I have lately talked of making this accessible through his room by exchanging a window for a French door to a landing and maybe a hot tub. I have often thought of adding a hot tub or outdoor Finish sauna to our landscape here. It is one of our more private spaces in the yard. Not a goal for early this year with the garden walk looming, surely, but it is an idea we often discuss.
Needless to say, this area in my yard is scheduled for change or perhaps evolution.