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Garden Photo of the Day

Beautiful Illinois Garden

Evelyn Drake shows off her wonderful garden, located in the Northwest corner of Illinois.

"Here's some photos taken over the last 7-10 days, including the tree peony with its 100+ blossoms opened. The weather in our NW Illinois garden has improved greatly!

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Love the spring evergreen growth.  This was a pitiful rescue plant that is developing very nicely.

Interesting growth on our larch.

Such colorful new growth on this little guy!

Thread leaf peony.  It's loaded, though I've never counted!

Here's the tree peony in full bloom that was posted las time.  The flowers are not huge, but make up for it in quantity.

Tree peony "Lilith".  Her flowers are large fragrant and such a treat.

Sorry for the blur.  The red buckeye is a magnet for the hammers.

Indoors is blooming too!

Just too pretty not to include.

View Comments


  1. PerenniallyCrazy 06/01/2016

    Thanks for sharing your bountiful beauties Evelyn! Those peonies of yours are sure a wonderful treat for us all.

    1. gardeningisfine 06/01/2016

      Thanks so much for your kind words! Peonies are a treat for all of us garden lovers. The more I learn about them and the many varieties the more I want to add to the collection!

  2. diane_lasauce 06/01/2016

    Little Guy was just featured on a Va program last night, and I forgot its name...any recollection, since it is in your garden? Nice peony specimens.

    1. gardeningisfine 06/02/2016

      So, I looked for its marker when I sent the photo. Of course couldn't find it. Will keep looking (or is it possible the memory will kick in?). Thanks!?/

      1. gardeningisfine 06/02/2016

        Figured it out. Picea abies"Pusch".

  3. User avater
    meander1 (Michaele ) 06/01/2016

    Thanks so much, Evelyn, for revisiting and letting us see that previously budded up peony fully opened with all those bountiful blooms. Was a glorious and satisfying sight! Do you conscientiously deadhead when the show is over or just let nature take its course? Lilith is a showstopper...so luxurious and to think it has a sweet scent, also...wow! And, what a beautiful color on the allium...do you happen to know its name?

    1. gardeningisfine 06/02/2016

      I do deadhead. It looks so much neater. Counted this year as I did so. Wanted to be sure I had not overstated. Cut off 125 spent blooms. I believe the allium is globe master. Thanks for your comments!

  4. user-4691082 06/01/2016

    I am amazed at the photo of the hummingbird. That is not easy to capture! I saw a red buckeye in bloom for the first time a few weeks ago. It's a must have, but I don't know where I would plant it.😒 How do you keep your tree peonies from reverting back to herbaceous? Your pictures are lovely. Thanks for sharing.

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/01/2016

      Hi Rhonda. I've never heard of a tree peony reverting to herbaceous. Maybe it is possible if the tree peony is grafted onto herbaceous root stock. I'm so curious now. Have you had that happen? Cheers.

      1. User avater
        Linda on Whidbey 06/01/2016

        One of our tree peonies had growth coming up that looked herbaceous which our local peony expert/ friend confirmed. It just has to be cut off since as you said, Tim, it's coming from below the graft.

        1. User avater
          Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/01/2016

          Thanks, Linda. That's good info to have. I only have a couple of tree peonies, and now that I think about it, instructions were to plant them quite deep so that the grafted tree peony would grow its own roots, hopefully outstripping the herbaceous root stock.

      2. user-4691082 06/01/2016

        I see what Linda has posted and I think that's what happened

    2. gardeningisfine 06/02/2016

      Yes Rhonda, find a home for the buckeye! It will not disappoint. So the "reverting" happened on a TP I have since lost. It has to do with the graft being too hig as they are grafted on herbaceous root stock. Remove the shoots ASAP and I believe planting them deeper will also help. Thanks, I have enjoyed sharing and learn from all of your helpful posts each day.

  5. NCYarden 06/01/2016

    Yes! We get to see the blooms we all anticipated for weeks now. Looks beautiful...and talk about loaded. Do you know the cultivar of the fern-leafed peony - 'Early Scout' maybe? I must agree, that larch growth is interesting. And those little purple cones on the spruce are an adorable treat. Wonderful pictures of your garden, Evelyn. Thank you for sharing.

    1. gardeningisfine 06/02/2016

      The thread leaf was here when we moved in. It has been a wonderful plant. Early Scout it shall be! Thanks for all of your terrific posts, and kind words on mine!

  6. anitaberlanga 06/01/2016

    wow! your garden is gorgeous!!! I'm intriguied by the red buckeye - I didn't know it has those kniphofialike flowers. I'm in Central IL and have been working on incorporating more hummingbird-friendly plants - this is one to consider!!! Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful space!

    1. gardeningisfine 06/02/2016

      Thanks Anita! I would think the buckeye would be a great choice for you.

  7. Cenepk10 06/01/2016

    Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous

    1. gardeningisfine 06/02/2016

      Thanks so much!

  8. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/01/2016

    Such a treat to see your peonies in bloom, Evelyn. I love every one, but the photo of 'Lilith' is just outstanding. Those ruffled petals are so elegant, like a preening cockatoo. I love your blooming epiphyllum cactus. So many flowers. I had one that was a gift from an aunt and I could not make it happy. What a treat to see yours blooming with gusto!

    1. Schatzi 06/01/2016

      Tim, I find that they like it in my cool attached greenhouse. They put up with a lot of neglect from me and bloom anyway. The flowers are so beautiful and I find the plants undemanding. Just lucky I guess.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 06/01/2016

        I'm not sure that luck has anything to do with it, Shirley. You seem to know what you are doing. It does make me sad that I didn't do more research. Mine was a very sentimental plant. Eventually it lost all of the flattened structure and was a tangle of stringy, spiky filaments that never bloomed. I tried refreshing it and caused its demise....There are some amazing hybrids out there. Might be time to try again.

        1. gardeningisfine 06/02/2016

          Shirley and Tim, I have luck with all but one called Ric Rac plant. It has yet to bloom for me. Mine are in a part of the house that is very cool and generally dark through winter. I've always assumed that helps.

  9. Dvngardener 06/01/2016

    Thank you for sharing your garden with us. My tree PNE started blooming the other day. Not as wonderful as yours because my garden is in the process of being re-vitalized and re-energized and re-created.

    1. gardeningisfine 06/02/2016

      Thanks Lily. Yours will get there, and that's an exciting garden stage to be in! I feel like mine is in a constant state of"redo".

  10. GrannyMay 06/01/2016

    Those peonies are beautiful! They're obviously happy living in your garden, to have so many blooms. Thanks for sharing!

    1. gardeningisfine 06/02/2016

      Thanks GrannyMay!

  11. VikkiVA 06/01/2016

    Peonies are one of my favorites and yours are stunning. Love the new growth on the pines. Vikki in VA.

    1. gardeningisfine 06/02/2016

      Try are hard not to love. Thanks Vikki.

  12. User avater
    Linda on Whidbey 06/01/2016

    Evelyn, it's so nice of you to let us visit your garden again now that those peonies are all in bloom. Lilith is a beauty. It's our first year with that one so we were delighted to have 3 blooms. Your fern leafed peony is a type that I've always loved. You see those in the Midwest but I have yet to see one out here in the PNW. Great job capturing the hummingbird on your red flowering Buckeye. Enjoy your fleeting spring.

    1. gardeningisfine 06/02/2016

      Thanks Linda. I'm surprised to hear something does better here than in PNW! Your gardens amaze me (and make me consider moving!). It was a lucky shot with the hummer. He really liked the blossoms.

  13. Sheila_Schultz 06/01/2016

    Spring is obviously in full swing in NW IL these days. Delightful images of the many buds and blooms in your yard, Evelyn, I can almost smell the sweet fragrance of Lilith! Our hummers haven't surfaced in Denver yet, but I can't wait. It's easy to see why they are drawn to the flowers on your red buckeye, from a distance they resemble an agastache.

    1. gardeningisfine 06/02/2016

      Thanks Sheila. I'll have to try some aghastache as perhaps they would be drawn to those as well.

      1. Sheila_Schultz 06/02/2016

        Agastache's (hyssop) are hummingbird magnets! You'll be delighted, as will your hummers!

  14. gardeningisfine 06/01/2016

    Thanks for the kind words. The gnarly tree was on the property when we purchased. It's a bit messy, but it's great character makes it worth it

  15. Schatzi 06/01/2016

    Wow! Lots of my favorites - peonies, new growth on conifers, epiphyllums, hummers - that slight blur is very artistic! Love epiphyllums - I have red, pink and white ones in my attached, unheated greenhouse. Red and pink in bloom now, white earlier. everything is beautiful - great job.

    1. gardeningisfine 06/02/2016

      Thanks Shirley. I really enjoy the epiphyllums also. They are pretty undemanding and really reward with great flowers. So nice to read yours and everyone else's kind words.

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