Monday, March 28, 2016

Garden Time Approaches

It's officially spring according to the calendar and even judging by the temperatures and vegetation here in northern Illinois.  On our morning walks, we've noticed more activity from groundhogs and muskrats.  The robins are back, the chipmunks are out, and a pair of adorable rabbits have made themselves at home in our yard (which, however, has not been great for my flowers).

Bad bunnies!  See how they've been eating the daylilies?  They've also sampled the crocus and pansies.

I'm always thinking about how to improve the general looks of the garden -- what to move, what to add -- and recently I've become kind of enamored of willow fences.  Then the other day, I was in a local home improvement store (Menards) and saw peeled willow screen panels (46" high by 36" wide).  The wheels started turning.

We live in a fairly typical in-town location with neighbors on each side.  Our rear neighbors have a wood stockade fence which provides a perfect screen to the back.  Our side neighbors' yards are more open to ours.  On the east side, we have a small area by the garage that years back we converted from very spotty lawn to purple wintercreeper.  It thrives there.  I have flower beds on either side of the creeper.  My long bed of daylilies, however, just sort of mushes up against the neighbor's yard, which is a combination of ground cover and smallish trees.  I decided the willow screens would be perfect for adding some structure to that area of the garden.

I'm really pleased with how it looks.  Right now, I admit, it does look a little like it's just stuck in space there, but the hydrangea to the rear will leaf out and fill in shortly, and we decided to extend just to the birdhouse as a logical stopping point.  If we had kept going, we would soon have had to wrangle our way around a fair sized walnut tree.  Plus, at $16.99 per panel, six panels seemed like plenty!

We attached each panel to its neighbor with zip ties and anchored each panel into the ground with those green metal plant stakes.  I like the fact that it's not at all permanent and we can easily take it out in the fall (or before if I decide it doesn't work after all).

For the most part, I plan to leave it unadorned, but I may let some morning glory vines grow on it.  I have some sprouting that I hope to train up the birdhouse pole.  Maybe a few on the screen would be nice too.

I'm so glad it's warmed up enough to get outside.  Now when will those daffodils bloom???

Morning glory seedlings!