Photos From the April Instameet

Taking Pictures in the Rain

(Press Play if you would like a little music while you read)

After a week of unseasonably warm, Chicago, April weather, Mother Nature delivered a traditional April day: rainy and cold. But that did not stop the photographers.

Taking pictures, drinking tea, more pictures, and loosing feeling in our trigger fingers! And even a few tours of the gardens for our new visitors. Was it worth it? We think so, but decide for yourself. Take a look at some of the pictures.

Instagram

Here are a few from our @KeelerGardens Instagram account

First pic of today’s Instameet. #smokebush #keelergardens #connectwithnature

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#lamium from the front garden. #keelergardens #connectwithnature

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Working hard while we play. #keelergardens #peonies #ants

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And one from my personal account @xperientialed.

Enjoying the great weather at the #keelergardens instameet. #hellebore #connectwithnature

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Plus here are a few from one of our guests.

And for you, our loyal readers, here are a few that we did not post anywhere else.

 

We had so much fun we will have to do this again.  Based on so many conversations about cameras, technique, and even some technical details we are tweaking the program a little. Make sure you sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook to be the first to know about the next Photo Day at Keeler Gardens.

Thanks for connecting,

Ed

Welcome!

May Flowers at Keeler Gardens

So we are taking a walk through the gardens again.  It’s mid-may and we have Ajuga in bloom, tulips making a relatively graceful exit, and the peonies are on their way.  You may have seen this video live on Facebook, when we featured the front gardens in bloom.

This is the premier of the second video though, of the rear gardens, where the poppies are budding along with the many roses we hope to show you in a few weeks.  There are many spring blooms to see, now, and in the upcoming days.  Stay tuned for more…

 

Building a New Garden

I just finished a nice-sized garden for a friend and wanted to share the process with everyone.  Here is what the space looked like when we started…

As you can see there is no garden, just lawn.  My friends had a specific design in mind for the new garden.  They wanted a break between the porch and the yard, since there is no railing, multiple levels of plants, and color all season long.  Oh, and the ground needed to be raised near the house and sloped away since flooding can be a problem in their area.  This meant adding a good 4 to 6 inches of soil in a large part of the garden to build it up and create a slope away from the house.

The first task was removing the grass.  The outline of the garden took shape once the grass was gone.  Then, as plants were added soil was also, to bring the ground up to the desired level.

I put together a design that offered tall plants on the flanks and smaller plants in the middle so as not to block their big front window.  I also included a multitude of bulbs for the spring and perennials for the entire season.  Many of the plants are evergreen or offer winter interest.

Here is the garden now, after the plants were installed and the ground graded…

On the far right is a Cotinus ‘Grace’, under which is Carex ‘Ice Dance’.  The three round shrubs are boxwoods and tucked in the back is a barberry ‘Rose Glow’.  The large shrub on the left is Viburnum ‘Mohican’, which is surrounded by daylilies on the left and Siberian iris on the right.  There is a small shrub in the front that is hard to see, oak leaf hydrangea.

There are many other perennials, including Sedum, Hellebore, Campanula, HostaPeonies, Grasses, and ground covers like Lamb’s ear, creeping buttercup, chameleon plant, and periwinkle.  And under all those perennials are many spring blooming bulbs.  We chose Tulip ‘Cashmir’, Corydalis ‘Greg Baker’, and Narcissus ‘Segovia’ for one area; Camassia accented with Muscari ‘Blue Magic’ for another area; and Triteleia ‘Starlight’ to accent the Hellebore mix.  Oh, and there is a carpet of 100 Crocus “Cloth of Gold’.  They will have flowers from the bulbs all spring and as that foliage dies away the summer perennials will take over.  Next year is going to be stunning for them.  I will be sure to post pictures as things start to bloom.

Hope you enjoyed the before and after pictures, it was an exciting project to design and install.  As always let me know what you think, comment or suggest, I am up for anything.

GG