Sunday, June 22, 2014

2014 Fox Valley Master Gardeners Garden Walk: Part 1

Yesterday I went on a Garden Walk hosted by the Fox Valley Master Gardeners.  I did not visit their Community Garden, but the private garden I visited had a lot to see.  There were some great plant combinations, some well placed unusual accessories, and some unusual plants.  Almost every one of these gardens had some spruce on the adjacent property to theirs with spruce tip fungus.  It seems pretty widespread in the Valley.  One Master Gardener confessed to me she lost every shrub and tree in her front yard, including a Harry Lauder Walking Stick (which can't grow in my garden just 30 miles west, and is probably marginal in hers, although I did see one that must have been nearly twenty years old, damaged, but alive after our brutal winter.).

I'll let the pictures of this first garden tell their own story.

A great color combo, cheddar tollius, hosta aureo marginata, and theat orange pixie Asiatic lily.

The seemingly ubiquitous and required bottle tree.
It was almost over-accessorized, but then it had some great plants and few annuals.  I forgave her.

I am always jealous of the gardeners who seem to have this particular foxglove perennialize for them.
Smokebush 'Golden Spirit', the largest I have seen.  Mine will not be allowed to get this big.

I liked this millet with the new growth on the (I think) abies 'Concolor'.

I turned back to take another look at the back garden as a whole and saw this critter in the neighbor's yard..  Time to design a screening hedge, I think!

A bit of winter burn on a 'Blue Star' juniper growing as a low standard.

'Crimson Queen" Japanese maple, I would have taken the time to trim out the dead growth tips from the winter kill because of its prominent spot in the landscape and because it is still manageable at just 6' to 7' tall.  I would also prune in a bonsai style to keep it only this tall, wher it fits perfectly in her corner between the house and abutting garage.
I enjoyed this garden, and was able to tall to the gardener, herself who was very knowledgeable.  She had a beautiful yard and lots of unusual plants.  She had lost a couple larger trees and shrubs over the last couple years, but had redone these sections well to compensate for the losses.  I did not notice these things until she pointed them out; the really large hosta under the very small redbud, for example.

It was a beautiful yard.


  1. Visiting the gardens of others can give you ideas but some of the ideas certainly are what you would change. Fortunately you see some things you like and it gives you stuff to seek as you shop around in nurseries and online. Also sometimes the gardener will give you starts of things although this didn't happen for me last weekend and now I have a plant to look for and I don't even know the name.

    I like that creamy foxglove...

    1. So, my mother and I play this "game". She describes it and I guess... you could also try using a photo you might have taken and use the Google IMAGE search option; it looks for similar pictures, Linnie.