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A Sunny Backyard in Skokie

Planted in the Summer of 2007, this garden is well on its way to looking full here in June of 2008.

The sunny backyard features a Rain Garden irrigated by the downspout. Southern Blue Flag Iris, Iris virginica shrevei, (center) and Bebb's Sedge, Carex bebbii, grow well in the stream bed.

Original Courtyard

Cleared Space

The tall red spikes of the Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis, attract hummingbirds that pollinate it. In the foreground right are the snowball-like flowers of Nodding Wild Onion, Allium cernuum.

Notice how we have four flowers superimposed on one another, yet all are distinct individuals.

The side of the garage, usually a throwaway space, is now bright and cheerful.

In the background center is a Catalpa, Catalpa speciosa, a fast growing beautiful tree with large yellow-white flowers in the Spring and large yellow-green heart-shaped leaves which do not change color and cigar-like seedpods in the Fall. Catalpas have a magnificient stature.

Think of how stark and barren this scene would be without this little bed along the side of the garage.

Different plant forms and shapes make for interest and excitement.

Stout Blue-eyed Grass, Sisyrinchium angustifolium, is a great plant to use in the sun or light shade. It is very small (under one foot) has beautiful blue flowers and can be easily divided so you can give some back to your landscaper or friends.

This Purple Meadow Rue, Thalictrum dasycarpum, is only about two years old. It has an insignificant cream-colored flower in the Summer, a unique fragrance, beautiful leaves and purple succulent-looking stems.

This beautiful Catalpa tree, Catalpa speciosa, has doubled its size in just two years.

Well designed wildflower garden beds should have free-formed curves. Straight lines are for rows of corn.


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