30 June, 2009

Garden Inspirations, Parkway Planting and Creative Use for Vintage Dishes

Look! Our morning glories and lilies opened within a day of each other. The long, cool spring has been good to our yard.

I'm still working on filling in the foundation beds, which we just started this year, but I'm already debating about what to do with the parkway.

We have a lot of tall trees on our block, not as ancient or towering as some of the giant elm trees that our village is known for, but old and shady all the same. So far, all I've done is plant hostas around them. I haven't even edged the rings yet.

Very few of the parkway plots along my street have any sort of landscaping, other than the trees. But a block or so to the east, the parkway gardens begin. Here are a few pics I snapped on my last walk 'round the hood. I want to create a complicated-looking, but easy-to-care for plots. I think some of these look amazing.

I took this photo because I really like the light green plants underneath the dark purple foliage of the tree. We do have room in the parkway for a few more trees; it looks like there were some cut out in the last decade or so. I need to check with the city to see if I can request new ones, or sneak one or two in like some neighbors have. At any rate, I'd love to try something with purple leaves. (And I should ask them if that red rope actually keeps dog walkers from letting their dogs poop in the yard or trample beds.)

This bed is comprised of annuals, and while I'd have to replant each year if I tried something like this, I do like the bright, cheerful carpet they create.

Okay, this one's not technically the parkway, but I like how they have taken out more than half their grass and planted ivy. I want to get rid of as much of our grass as possible. On a corner lot, we do have a ton of it.

While I'm not overly fond of the shape of the stone or the pillars it rests on, I do like the idea of putting a bench in the parkway that would be too heavy for someone to walk off with.

Ultimately, I think I want something like this. It will be very, very hard for us to achieve this. The frontage for this lot is your average city plot; ours, on the corner, is as wide as this on one side and--I'm not kidding--at least five times as long on the other side. That's a lot of plot to plant and maintain. But it's gorgeous. I suppose I'll try a segment or two each year until it's done.

But this I can try in the near future. I saw them at the Custer fair last week. Garden "flowers" made of antique dishes. The stem was a length of rebar attached to the back of the largest plate; they were all glued or cauked together, I'm not sure what the material was. They came in all colors, but my eyes were attracted to the cobalt blue.

I especially liked the bird bath. What I think I might do is try to find enough vaseline glass to create either a flower or a bird bath, and set it in the garden somewhere with a UV light shining on it. It would give a fun, glowing effect at night from the uranium content of the glass.

Wouldn't that be awesome at night? Time to hit the resale shops!


denise said...

You should definitely check with the city about trees in the parkway — and also ask if they do any cost-sharing. Morton Grove will pay 50% for trees planted in the parkway.

Jennifer said...

I love those birdfeeders/flowers! I'm totally scouring garage sales and thrift stores for those now.

We're struggling with what to do our front patch of lawn, too. Those are some good ideas.

Joanne said...

Denise--thanks for the tip. I contacted the Evanston forestry department today, and they're sending out someone to evaluate the lot to see if we can get more trees on it. If we can support another one--in their opinion--it will be free for a tree up to 2.5 inches wide, or $175 for one 3.5 inches or more. They'll plant it.

Joanne said...

Jennifer--I look forward to seeing how yours turn out! I just bought a bird figurine out of uranium glass that I'll use in the center of the birdbath/bird feeder. I just need to figure out the UV lighting for it to glow.

House Lifting Desoto, TX said...

Beautiful flowers!

<3 Lindsay

Joanne said...

Bummer. The forestry department already thinks we have too many trees on our parkway, and won't plant another even though it was obvious one used to grow in a certain spot.