Osmocote Advertisement

Saturday Surprise


It helps to go out and look at your garden every day. After a Saturday morning spent hacking out purple violets with the dandelion weeder because 1) there doesn’t appear to be an organic herbicide on the market that deals with violets and 2) I worry about the after-effects of whatever strong chemical a licensed professional might apply, I decided to catch my breath with a leisurely stroll through the front yard. And there I discovered a treasure — a lovely pendulous apricot-colored brugmansia.

Just a couple weeks before I visited the garden of Richard Tilley, the 87-year-old horticultural whiz of Wicker Park, and on departing, he gave me two 15-inch tall potted brugmansias that he had grown from cuttings. He does this every year, overwintering 20 or so plants under lights in his basement.

Photos: Ron Capek

I placed the pots in a full sun border by my front fence, a little behind some taller phlox, but no matter. I didn’t expect flowers from plants this young; I only wanted a spot where the plants could grow.

So it was just happenstance that I ventured into that border this morning to prop up some culver’s root and, upon turning around, saw a splash of apricot. It’s not a color I usually have in my garden, and I was taken aback by the size of the bloom. About 6 inches.

So I’ve moved the pot to the front steps where any passer-by may see it, and I’m hoping the other plant might now feel inspired to follow suit with a blossom of its own. You can be sure I’ll be outdoors to look tomorrow.

categories

popular

Article Thumbnail
Columns
The Numbers Game

I was reading a gardening book the other day (yes, I occasionally do research – don’t start on me this early in the column …


Article Thumbnail
Columns
Gardener’s Guilt

I’m feeling guilty. Perhaps that’s because my column was due last week and I’ve now written, let’s see, 18 words. But I’m ...


Article Thumbnail
Features
Moss: Rescuing Its Reputation

A garden clad in lustrous green velvet – what could be more beautiful? Time to reconsider moss.


Article Thumbnail
Blog
Walk this Way

Need a little inspiration or just a break from weeding? Garden walks abound this time of year, and there’s plenty to see.


Article Thumbnail
Blog
Birds and Beans

All the snow we’ve had recently brought many more birds to the feeders outside our kitchen window. A lone starling was ...


questions

Which flowers can we plant that the bunnies won’t eat? My pansies and marigolds are all eaten.

At the end of every winter, there are many shrubs growing along sidewalks that are dead and damaged either by salt, wind or dogs. Are there any shrubs that I can plant in these more exposed situations and expect them to survive?

What are some trends in gardening you see becoming more prevalent in the next few years?

ChicagolandGardening Advertisement