Blog: Seasonal Considerations

 
  • November 19, 2020
    kelsay

    Fall planting before winter grips us

    Though we’re late into the year and winter is creeping into view, it is never too early (or too late) to plant for next year. The soil is still a bit warm and it’s not frozen quite yet, which makes for perfect dormant tree and shrub planting.

  • February 07, 2019
    stephanie

    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??

  • February 20, 2016
    kelsay

    Ode to Yellow Birch

    One of my favorite trees for winter interest is Yellow Birch (Betula alleghaniensis). The bark is not white like its brother, or even yellow like the name would suggest, but cherry which exfoliates to copper and gray, dappled with white lenticels. The bark becomes brown and platy as it gets older.

  • June 01, 2015
    kelsay

    The Birds Are Coming...

    Spring is but a fridge date on the calender, but it is coming and so are the birds. All over Illinois, the landscape is changing due to homes, roads, removed wind rows and a general toppling of habitat and food sources for our welcomed feathery friends. Now for those of us that are a bit lucky and have habitat existing in our yards, a simple addition of key species and water will do the job. But those that have to start from scratch are in a tricky spot: “Where do I begin???”

  • October 20, 2012
    kelsay

    Weather Adds to the Challenge

    Some of you may have read my post last winter about collecting acorns and all the idiosyncrasies of the different types of oaks as well as the other consumers I have to contend with to get my job as propagator done. Well, here I am starting my fourth year at Possibility Place Nursery and I have another set of circumstances to make my job more challenging and interesting: a too-mild winter followed by one of the driest springs and hottest summers on record.

  • February 21, 2012
    kelsay

    From Acorns to Oak Trees

    The process of growing trees from seed always amazes me. In the fall as I collect the different types of acorns off the ground they seem so unassuming; just the litter from oak trees that many people complain about. I have to watch the trees for that exact right day or two that I can convince the squirrels to share as they dart through the canopy chattering their annoyance with me as their movements send more acorns to the ground.