Latest Blog Posts

 
  • February 07, 2019
    bshah

    Surviving Winter

    It’s cold outside today…like, really cold. And while our solution to keeping safe in these temperatures is simply not to engage, our plants just don’t have that option. From the cozy warmth of my insulated home, I gaze out at my perennial garden and think about the lush green plants that will begin to pop up in the spring. Year after year, they endure freezing temperatures and still manage to emerge in all their glory when the time is right.

    Part of the joy of planting native perennials is knowing that they are cold hardy to our climate zone. In Illinois, our cold hardiness zone is 6 for the northern part of the state and 5 for the southern half and the small area surrounding Lake Michigan. Native plants of our region have evolved to survive the harsh winters in these zones, but how exactly do they do that??

  • August 02, 2018
    ppadmin

    Rate of Growth (Just a quick note)

    We recieved a call just the other day from a person looking for for a "fast growing" tree and that a smaller starter plant would be preferred. I offered up a Quercus muehlenbergii (Chinquapin Oak) and ran down the list of superlatives that made it why I'd plant that for his needs other than many others that might work for him. I was stopped half way through; "Woah, woah, woah. Oak trees don't grow fast. They're oaks. They grow slow. I want a sugar maple." After a brief exchange, I was left thinking about why people continue to think oaks grow slowly. So I thought I would post a very quick note.

    It has been our experience that many oak species grow as fast or faster than many of the maple species that they are so often replaced by. Our oaks grow at a rate of 30 to 48 inches or more in a given season, where our maples might give us half that number. 

  • October 02, 2017
    admin

    Small Window into using a Native or a Cultivar for Pollinators

    Several months ago I was talking to a friend of mine from the east coast, and we were discussing pollinators and the plant lists that seem to be leaping from every corner of the web from all kinds of sources. We both agreed that the whole idea of gardening for pollinators is a good thing and that the use of natives were improving, along with understanding of native plant needs and importance. But many of the sources included or were dominated by non-natives or cultivars.

  • September 12, 2016
    ppadmin

    Downers Grove Oak-tober event.

    The Downers Grove Park District will be giving away 70 one gallon oak trees from Possibility Place Nursery to start the celebration of Oaktober in Downers Grove. The trees will be given away to help celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Park District, and the initial Harvest Festival at Fishel Park on October 1, 2016. The species that have been choosen are Bur, White, Red, and Chinquapin Oaks. Please check with the Downers Grove Park District for further details on the event. And if you get an oak, give it some love and it'll grow great for you!