So I had the nice fortune to satisfy a fellow avid gardener not too long ago. His title is Mike Miller and he lives within the adjoining city of Wilmette. He was good sufficient to ask Judy and me to go to his backyard. As quickly as we pulled as much as the curb, I might see that it was one thing particular.
Mike, a center faculty music trainer, and his partner moved right here six years in the past. Within the entrance backyard, a dense mixture of largely shorter grasses and flowering perennials offers a canvas from which emerge taller perennials, roses, dwarf conifers, and Hydrangeas.
The plot has the advantages and challenges of full solar all through.
I believed the parkway planting was excellent. Right here you may see hybrid Moor Grass (Sisleria ‘Greenlee’), Allium ‘Summer season Magnificence’, and Calamint (Calamintha nepetoides).
One other view, with Blue Grama Grass (Bouteloua gracilis) in foreground.
Alongside the sidewalk reverse the parkway, extra Allium ‘Summer season Magnificence’, Little Bluestem, and a few form of compact Fountain Grass (Pennisetum).
I believed this backyard was very a lot within the spirit of Piet Oudolf’s Lurie Backyard, not solely within the alternative of perennials but in addition in how the textures knit collectively so nicely. And but it additionally had a great deal of originality, as turned much more clear behind the home.
All the pieces was very lush regardless of our tough summer time. Mike inherited an underground irrigation system, although it has been a combined blessing because it was not designed for the sort of backyard.
Alongside the entrance of the home, I really like this mixture of poppy seed heads and a compact number of Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum).
On the way in which to the again backyard, right here we’re trying over Chinese language Astilbe (Astilbe sinensis) and a few type of pink Japanese Anemone. All the time a pleasure to check notes with one other plant individual.
OK! Now we’re in the back of the home. The again is enclosed by tall fencing that retains out the rabbits, although not the raccoons. There may be additionally some hedging with Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis).
There are two water options, this small pond with goldfish, and a shallow fountain towards the again of the backyard that permits songbirds to take a sip of water after they wish to.
Wanting again to the home. Judy was madly jealous of these huge image home windows. There have been two primary seating areas, one nearer to the home and within the open and one other underneath a pergola with a movable display for shade.
Mike mixes in a good variety of Hydrangeas, which glow within the afternoon solar. Among the many varieties he favors are ‘Dharuma’, ‘Tardiva’, and ‘Little Fast Fireplace’.
The again backyard plantings have extra top to them. Right here you may see the Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea), ‘Karl Foerster’ Feather Reed Grass, and Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), amongst different issues. Mike favors softer colours – blooms of pink, purple, white, and lavender.
In the case of vegetation, Clematis are Mike’s chief ardour. He grows a whole bunch of types, in case you depend those he breeds himself and is rising in pots. Whereas many sorts within the backyard sported a number of blooms for our go to, we had been nicely previous peak Clematis season. I hope to return to this backyard subsequent 12 months when the Clematis are of their glory.
In every single place, Clematis are educated up tomato cages, arbors, and the encompassing fences.
This backyard is laid out on an unusually deep lot, about 50′ x 170′. Towards the far again, past a picket fence dividing the yard, the final quarter or so of the area is an intensive vegetable backyard.
Although even right here there are many Clematis, particularly on the vertical surfaces.
We spent about two hours in Mike’s backyard, speaking and taking all of it in. There’s a lot that this put up doesn’t embody. Total, although, I cherished the stability right here. There was a wealthy range of flowers mixed with a unity of design, abundance mixed with magnificence. How nice to find a backyard like this virtually proper across the nook.