chicago, IL, US

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Romancing the Snow

An early March 2013 snowstorm hit Chicago and the midwest leaving 6 to 10 inches of heavy snow.  What to do with all that snow? Turn the garden into a romantic place.  Add some candles and you have...

Happiest African Violets

Rosella has propagated African Violets for over 50 years.  Many of which have found their way to loving homes.  Taken with my Panasonic Lumix DMC GF2 My color expressive setting.

Butterfly of Wimberley Texas

Frequent visits of Blue and Yellow Swallowtail at The Point, Wimberley, Texas on - March 25, 2011. Taken with my Panasonic Lumix DMC GF2, using My Color Expressive setting. 

Robin Family, 4 babies, eyes shut, quite hungry

I took these with my Panasonic Lumix DMC GF2 using My Color Expressive setting on 7/2/11, nest is outside a bathroom window on Harvard in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Family of 4 babies just days old...

Patriotic Neptune

Patriotic Garden - Orland, Illinois. Taken with a Canon Elixim 8.0.

White clematis at night

The white clematis exploded with blossoms this year, probably due to the copious amounts of rain in the midwest.  Tomatoes are off to a good start. The potting bench holds the kid's birdhouse...

Recent comments

Re: Susan's front yard makeover in Illinois

Thank you skevanston for the recommendation kind comments and suggestions. Breaking the mold is absolutely true in Chicago neighborhoods. We were considering removing the shutters too. The sills were painted black for years, and it just looked dated, so we painstakingly had them chemically and physically stripped. (see the before photo shot). We are considering a darker shade for the shutters/sills (if they are not removed) --and a lighter shade for the window trim (using the brick & limestone color palate). This curb appeal makeover was certainly a gut-wrenching challenge but very rewarding for myself and my neighbors.

Re: Julie's garden in British Columbia, Day 1

Your garden is on steroids! Triggering fond memories of visiting Butchart Gardens probably a stone's throw away from your lush garden. I'll be there for a spot of tea.

Re: Susan's front yard makeover in Illinois

You are not the one wearing the cop hat :) I appreciate all your advice.

Re: Susan's front yard makeover in Illinois

Happy hour is right now seven days a week! Life is too short. LOL.

Re: Susan's front yard makeover in Illinois

Many thanks to all of your positive and encouraging comments. I enjoyed planning the "big step" makeover and held off on the paint until this summer. Thanks to all for the color ideas. Careful consideration was taken regarding placement of the trees due to 1. The llocation of drain pipes, 2. previous costly issues with tree roots invading the pipes and 3. maintaining an unobstuctive view when exiting the "concrete" driveway. My Japanese maple is gloriously happy In its present location, thank you very much. The 6 vinca plants are only at the foot of the stairs not throughout the garden. I'll keep an eye on it for sure. My neighbors love the new look and the makeover bug has caught on. Tntreeman you are right on! The pavers had to be cut and set before any railing measurements could be made and manufactured. A time consuming process indeed. You will love the look of the pavers. It brings new life to this old house. You will surely reap the rewards and not uncle Sam. Thanks to Michelle for the words of encouragement. Everyone, except the landscape cop, are invited to see the backyard blooms. :) Happy gardening season to all.

Re: Romancing the Snow

Thanks, it also appeared on our local NBC5 10 p.m. news on 3/6/13 as part of a gallery of weather photos submitted by viewers.

Re: READER PHOTOS! Susan & Richard's Japanese tea garden in Illinois

Thank you all for your wonderful comments. We are thrilled to be able to share our ideas and our small oasis with you. Response to Tractor1: the tree trunk you see in the 3rd photo is indeed a live 60 foot spruce. The lower branches have been trimmed from time to time leaving a nice open area.