Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Lovely Day in Central Illinois!

I apologize to any and all who saw this post before I added my text. I hit publish instead of save. DUH!!!

Today was almost a spring day. The temperatures have moderated a bit, the sun was shinning and the humidity was down in the low 40's. A wonderful day to go to lunch and shop.

I took Rose for a belated birthday lunch and we had time to just visit with each other. We talked of family and friends....but mostly we talked of garden blogs. "Did you see so and so's post on...Yes, and did you read about..." Well, you get the idea. We spend hours on the computer visiting our cyber friends and then we spend hours comparing notes on what we've seen and read. We laugh at the humor, marvel at the flowers, and are agog over the photography! It's so much fun.

As Rose has said numerous times on her post, we don't really shop-shop any more. We plant shop. And even though both of us have spent the next year's grocery budget on plants already, we just had to check out our favorite garden stores to see if they had any sales. They did! We really didn't get carried away, but oh how we enjoyed looking-still.

When we pulled up to one rather expensive nursery, we were greeted by this planter. It's 48" long and must weigh a ton as it is making the iron fence sag a little. But wouldn't that make a statement hanging on your fence or deck.

After several stops at nursery's we decided to go to the 'Idea Garden' at the U of I. It has only been a short month since we were there last, but we couldn't get over how much it has grown and how the plants have filled out. This was in the children's section. A little hard to tell from the picture, but it is a lion. I love his mane.

The elephant was just sooo cute, and has a blue streamer coming out of his trunk, just like he is spraying water!

Honeysuckle, 'Dutch' it was called.

An oval garden with annuals in the middle and a border of Sedum Angelina. I have that. Bought it this year. That's what I am going to do-make and border of it on the bottom edge of one of the burms.

Hen and chicks-no name with this one. I am really infatuated with these.

And this one is huge! Echevarria, 'silver spoon'. We saw so much more and spent longer than we intended to, but every time we went to go, we would see something else and have to go look-you know how it is.
When I got home, I waked around my gardens, and while not as extensive as the ones we saw today, I am happy with them.

My yellow Asiatic lilies are ready to pop.

I have my first cone flower of the season.

Don't let anyone tell you these are hard to grow, or that they don't self seed like crazy. This started out as one plant 3 years ago!

My 'bearded tongue' is blooming and it, too, has self-seeded in 3 or 4 spots in this bed. It is a gentle self-seeder and has done better at placing itself than I could have.

Yesterday, I weeded. And weeded. And then I weeded some more. The thing about all this rain we've had is not only does it make the plants grow-the darn weeds are loving the rain too!

I finally got around to a project I have been wanting to do for a couple of years now. Doesn't the edge of this bed look horrible?

Now, This is better! But, and that's a big but-it was a lot harder to put that edging in than I was led to believe.

Do you see any lilies in this picture? No? Just the dreaded false sunflower that I have been trying to eradicate for 3 years now.

Okay, now the lily has some room to breathe and bloom.

Corn update! This picture was taken 3 weeks ago.

This is the corn today. And this is on high ground. Just out of view, over a little rise-there is what is left of a big pond that formed from all the rain. No corn growing there now. It will have to be replanted.
I hope your garden gets what it needs this week, whether it be rain, or sun, or dry or warmth or cool!


Rose said...

And a wonderful day we had! Just checking out your pictures to make sure I don't repeat the same ones:) I realized when I downloaded my photos, though, that I forgot the names of some of the plants!
Your edging really looks great! And I can't believe you have a coneflower already--I am so jealous.

beckie said...

It was a really good day! I hope I didn't use any you wanted to show. I know, we should have made an effort to take pictures of the ones we wanted to remember. Thanks about the edging. It was worth the effort(she says as her muscles ache!) Just one-the others look like they are going to be a while yet.

Karen said...

What beautiful pictures! I especially love the animals such a cute idea don't you think?

Beckie you have been tagged for a meme, please visit my blog for details.

Gail said...


I am glad you have picture of the Idea garden...when you mentioned seeing the mullein there I went immediately to their website and wanted to see more than the photos they had!

I am crazy about coneflower, too!

Good news about the corn and that Illinois is drying up send that rain this way!

clay and limestone

Roses and Lilacs said...

Yesterday was a nice day here too. We can be thankful for at least one sunny, dry, day with moderate temperatures.

Cornfields here have huge washouts.

Cheryl said...

Hi glad that you and Rose had quality time together, oh to be that fly on the wall.
I think hens and chick is the house least that is what I call it. I have some in my alpine trough.

Your blooms are looking good and well done on the edging, it does make a difference.

Thanks for showing the corn.....I really love seeing it....can't wait for next update. Its good to see that farmer will have some growing, after all the flooding that you have had.

Lovely post.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

No apology necessary about posting before you wanted to. I have done that more than a few times. Ha..

It sounds like you and Rose had a great day. I would love a day out with a friend about now.

It is wonderful that you have the Idea Garden to peruse. I am sure you get great ideas for your garden there. I always find some idea for my garden when I go to another garden. I come home thinking "I could do that".

Your edging looks great. A job is always more difficult than the professional that does it often thinks it is. I have been caught in that trap many times.

walk2write said...

You are lucky to have a friend like Rose, who shares the same interests: gardening, blogging, shopping (for gardening stuff, what else?), and visiting other gardens. I got to visit U of I not too long ago with my husband. He needed to access some information at the Geological Survey on campus. Unfortunately, though, the visit was in winter, and the Idea Garden (if I had only known about it then) was probably buried under the snow. Next time I go up there, I will try to see it.

beckie said...

Karen, I thought the animals were really cute too. Will go back in a couple of weeks to see how they have filled out. Thanks(I think) for the tag. I will get to it soon.

Gail, believe me you can have all the rain you want. I will see if I can't get a picture with a name next time we go to the garden.

R&L, lots of ponds here too with replanting to be done. Hope these bad storms and heavy rains miss you tonight. Thanks for visiting!

beckie said...

Cheryl, house leek. I will write that down! I wish you had been with us, but in a way you were. We talked a lot about you and your wonderful gardens and your love of nature and caring for all things. I'm glad you are enjoying the corn.:) It is interesting to see others' crops. Hope your weekend is a good one.

Lisa, when I realized what was going on-duh!! But thanks for the email on it. Rose and I have known and been best friends for longer than either of us care to admit. And now we have more interests to share-gardens and blogging! I just knew that edging would only take a few minutes to do. 2 hrs and a sore back later...You will have to come up some time and visit the gardens at the U of I. They are really something to see.

beckie said...

Walk2write, thanks for dropping by. If you get here again, be sure to visit the gardens at the U of I. There's the Idea Garden and the Japan House and gardens, rose gardens. Lilacs, cannas, trees and on and on. Rose and I have only been to a small part of them, but plan on seeing more this summer. And they change so much with the seasons. As I have said, Rose and I go way back-raised our kids together, cheered each other on and helped each other through difficult times. It is a true blessing to have a friendship like that. And now-gardening and blogging!

Jane Marie said...

It's wonderful that you have Rose to go plant shopping with. I have a friend that has a lot in common with me, also. It was a few years after we met that we discovered we both loved daylilies. We then started visitng daylily gardens together and sharing plants. It's a ritual that we now wouldn't pass up for anything. It's rare to find a friendship like you have with Rose and I have with Lamb.

beckie said...

Jane Marie, friendships like our are so special, I'm glad you have a friend like that too. Day lilies are wonderful aren't they? I can't wait til mine start to bloom. I have several new ones this year am excited to see what they look like and how well they bloom.

Laura said...

Sounds like you and Rose had a wonderful day! We are due for rain soon- I can hear the thunder right now!

Do you know when those gardens were planted at U of I? I don't remember them when I was a student. Of course the campus has changed a lot in the last 19 years!

Alyssa said...

Hi Beckie - How great it must be to have a friend to garden, shop, and gab with! Your day together sounds wonderful and the pictures are so pretty.

I like the topiary animals (I especially like the elephant !). I also have Angelina sedum and it's really nice - I always think of Angelina Jolie when I look at it!

I DO have trouble with Coneflowers growing in my Main Garden. They seem to die out quickly, but, in the Prairie Garden (which I neglect completly) they thrive. They have a strong wild background.

Things have been pretty wild around here with this soggy, over-the-top weather! The basement was just beginning to have less water draining in when we were hit again yesterday! Now it's back to square one! But the gardens and plants look great - I guess we can't have it all....

Have a great weekend Beckie and relax after all that weeding. The new edging looks very neat and tidy. But what a pain in the you-know-what!!!

beckie said...

Laura, I assumed you were getting rain today, just hope it's not storming.
What I found out about the gardens: 160 acres Hartley is a 3 acre sunken garden and has trial grounds for All American selections of annuals and perennials built in 1994. The Japan house and Zen garden were built in 2002-03. The arboretum has been under construction since 2005. Nothing on the Idea Garden, but It's been there at least 15 years. I remember going there early-late 70's maybe and it was just row after row of different annuals.

Aylssa, I've been wondering about you. We've been hearing so much about flooding in Wis. We do have a lot of fun, Rose and I. And as I have said, even more so now that she has time for gardening. Wonder why your cone flowers do well in one spot and not the other? Stay as dry as you can!

Mary said...

Hi Beckie!

Wow. I haven't seen corn crops since I live in Delaware. I guess there's corn in NC but...not too pretty past few years :o)

I love those baskets to hang from a fence! You put a bug in my brain...hmmm.

It's nice to have Rose nearby to visit and to shoot the breeze with. One day I hope to have time to visit with fellow bloggers in NC. (when I retire)

Your gardens look plush and pretty. One of these days, you'll have plenty of warm sunshine and I'll have soaking rains. I'm feeling positive about it. Can you believe THAT?


No Rain said...

Nice review of what sounds like a great day!
Across the road from my house is a corn field, and my son-in-law, who's from Pennsylvania, just had to take photos. I asked him why, and he said that back home the way to tell if the corn crop was going to be good was 'knee high by the
4th of July', so he couldn't believe the corn here is already over 7 feet high. He wanted to send the photos to his friends back home.

beckie said...

Yes Mary, I do believe! I would love to have a place to put a planter like that. But you could on your front porch. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a great weekend.

Aiyana, I had no idea they grew corn in Arizona! I've heard that saying ever since I've lived in 'corn country' too. 7' tall! No wonder he wanted pictures. Have a great weekend.

Amy said...

What a fun outing you had with Rose. I had to laugh, because my mother and I are constantly asking, "Did you see this on so-and-so's blog?" Your edging is looking great, but isn't it horrible to put in? I had a terrible time getting mine installed.

Laura said...

Thanks so much for the info Beckie! I think when I was down there they called it the Trial Garden. Unfortunately I never got a chance to go (I don't know why- probably too busy???). If gas prices weren't so high I would take a drive down there to visit the gardens (darn that SUV I drive!!!)

beckie said...

Amy, it is funny! Gossiping in cyberspace. Hope you are doing okay. I worry about you doing what you are supposed to. Just take advantage of the time down and blog!

Laura, I think that is what is was called, and it was very small. Yes those darn gas prices have put a crimp in my lifestyle as well. :)

Wendy said...

Hi Becky,
Sounds like you and Rose had a wonderful day - garden center hopping and blog-gossip (the best kind).
You garden is certainly coming along. The cone flower is particularly pretty - and I can't wait for the lilies to open. Mine are just buds.
Also loved the animals - cute!

beckie said...

Wendy, Thanks we did have a great do-always do. The cone flowers are just coming on. The lilies opened just in time for bloom day. My day lilies don't have any buds yet and I am anxiously awaiting them as I have several new ones this year.