Smoke Rings

New rose, miniature “Smoke Rings.” I don’t normally plant a lot of orange, but this one does a very cool color-changing effect, which isn’t evident on the blooms right now, but I really like how it’s *going* to look. So we’ll have to be a little patient to get the full effect.

It is still cute, though. 🙂 As a bonus, the name makes me think both of nights by the campfire, and Gandalf blowing smoke rings for Bilbo…

Garden Log 5/8/21

So, after yesterday’s exuberant shopping binge at Sunrise Greenhouse, I have a lot of plants to plant! The temptation is to just start bunging them all in, but there are a few good steps to take first:

a) check the weather and see if it’s going to be a good day for planting. Today, it’s a little chilly, but sunny, so that should be pleasant for exertion. More importantly, it’s supposed to rain overnight, so that’s going to save me a lot of time that I’d otherwise have to spend with the hose, watering them in well. Woot! So it’s a great day to plant, and I’m going to clear some time in my schedule for that. Tomorrow I can do the computer work, while gazing out the window at the fruits of my labors. (If it somehow doesn’t rain, I might be out at 11 p.m. with my headlamp and hose, but it says 100% chance of rain, so I think I should be okay.)

b) move them around to where they go, trying to keep in mind sun/shade requirements, because if I don’t, they’ll never thrive there. I’ve a shady little area where I’m hoping to put a pond in a pot — I’ve got some heucheras and tropicals for there. I’ve got a shady hosta stretch where I’m trying to get the effect of mixed hostas overlapping, so three more added to that — and yes, I mostly picked “Vulcan” because of its name, sneaky plant namers know me too well. Rose impatiens for a full shade planter, begonias for a full shade planter in an area I water less often (begonias can take that, whereas the impatiens need more regular water). Etc. and so on.

c) As I’m placing them, look at what’s there already, see if there are any changes I want to make. If I’m digging already, it’s a good time to shift things. I already pulled out one dead plant that didn’t make it over the winter, alas. Right next to it is a rose that’s struggling — I was pushing it with the placement, and it’s just a little too shady for happiness. I’ll pull it forward in to the sun, and if I lose a little more grass, oh well. Now that they’re older, the kids can always go to the park to play soccer. 🙂

Sometimes I leave things in their pots for a few days, giving myself lots of time to consider, move things around, etc. But given the incoming rain, plus a fairly cool night where the plants will be happier in the ground than in pots, it’s probably better if I get these planted today.

I’d already thought through what I wanted before going to the garden store this time, so there are very few surprise plants in the mix. Two daylilies leapt into my cart unexpectedly, and I’m going to waffle about where they go for a while, but the rest are pretty set. I’m just going to let the day warm up a little bit more, do a little computer work, and then this afternoon, ALL the planting.

Garden Log 5/7/21

Road trip! Well, tiny road trip. Road excursion? I convinced Roshani to come with me to finally check out Sunrise Greenhouse in Grant Park, which is a 1.5 hr drive away, because various people in the local garden club said it was a) huge and b) cheap. So off we went in her minivan, and reader, I am here to testify that in fact Sunrise was both a) huge, and b) cheap. 🙂

It’s definitely a haul from Oak Park, and I don’t think I’d do it more than once a year, but I think I’ll probably go back next year. (Probably a bit earlier in the year, as they obviously had had some areas pretty well cleared out by Mother’s Day weekend.)

They seem to be particularly strong on bedding plants, and the kinds of things that landscapers are likely to put into larger gardens, which is not surprising considering people probably on average have more land attached to their houses in more rural areas than we do in Oak Park.

I was impressed with their selections of coleus, hostas, and heucheras (shade gardeners, go wild!) and their hanging baskets were large, well-filled, and pretty affordable. I also got a few flats of groundcovers; my garden is still somewhat short of ground cover, and I end up putting in a lot of mulch as a result, and really, I’d rather have plants / flowers.

As you can see, between us, Roshani and I jammed the car pretty well full, even though we mostly refrained from buying larger shrubs and trees. (Okay, we each got two shrubs. But they weren’t huge. Little shrubs. You’ll barely notice them.)

And as a bonus, there’s a cafe there with various food options. You can get actual food — hot dogs, tacos, etc. But I may have subsisted on popcorn, lemonade, and funnel cake. The last time I had funnel cake was at the Minnesota State Fair. I am happy to report that it continues to be delicious.

We are both very tired now, but happy.

Tomorrow, we plant.

NOTE: Saturdays are apparently a zoo, and Sundays they’re closed. I would avoid garden stores in general on Mother’s Day weekend, as they’re likely to be very crowded.


Under the white bleeding heart lies Greyhaven, where two sister fairies live. (The elder is Diana; the younger still needs a name.) Nearby neighbors are the bunny siblings, whose favorite activity is taking their leaf canoe up and down the Esthely River….

I keep thinking I want to write little fairy stories to go along with my garden, and stick them in the little free library for local kids to enjoy. The Fairies of Serendib House? Not that I don’t have enough writing projects.

Really, what’s stopping me, is the coming up with names. NAMES are the bane of my writing existence. So many people need names, and they should be good names, the right names… I can’t just call everyone Kate and be done with it. 🙂

Feel free to suggest names for the bunny sibs. I don’t know their genders yet.

Bun-Buns in the Garden

Since we have actual bunnies in our garden who chomp down on my flowers and veggies every year, it’s perhaps not surprising that some bun-buns have taken up residence in the parkway fairy garden.

I could’ve sworn that Ent was over by the grey stone house; I guess when the river mysteriously appeared this morning, he decided to pick up roots and walk over to a new streamside home.

Location, location, location…