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Brookfield Zoo Big Year Birding Field Trip

Birding Events at the Forest Preserves - Sat, 12/17/2016 - 8:00am

Bird the grounds at Brookfield Zoo and along the Forest Preserve Nature Trail at Swan Lake. Contact team leader James: james.mckinney@czs.org or 708.688.8475. Trips last 2 hours.

The post Brookfield Zoo Big Year Birding Field Trip appeared first on Forest Preserves of Cook County.

Evening Owl Hikes

Birding Events at the Forest Preserves - Fri, 12/16/2016 - 7:00pm

Join us for an informative talk about these nocturnal hunters. Afterwards we’ll hike our trails to look for these unique predators. Call to reserve your spot.

The post Evening Owl Hikes appeared first on Forest Preserves of Cook County.

Birds of Winter

Birding Events at the Forest Preserves - Sun, 12/11/2016 - 1:00pm

Learn about birds with Chicago Audubon Society representative John Elliott. Includes a short walk, weather permitting. For adults and teens.

The post Birds of Winter appeared first on Forest Preserves of Cook County.

Winter Birds at Your Feeder

Learn about birds that visit your feeders and how to attract winter birds. For adults and teens.

The post Winter Birds at Your Feeder appeared first on Forest Preserves of Cook County.

Bringing Wonderland Express Home

Garden Blog - 11 hours 47 min ago

Some of the star attractions of Wonderland Express at the Chicago Botanic Garden are the dozens of beautiful dwarf conifers used to create Chicago in miniature. What you might not know is that many of these conifers are great plants for the Chicago area and can easily be incorporated into your home landscape.

Dwarf conifers are a good way to add four-season interest and wildlife habitat to your yard, and with their unique colors and growth habits, they are practically living sculptures. I’ve selected four of my favorite interesting and unique conifers (found in Wonderland Express—go check them out) that are hardy in the Chicago region.

Picea englemanii 'Bush's Lace'

Picea englemannii ‘Bush’s Lace’ features elegantly draping stems.

Picea omorika 'de Rutyer'

Picea omorika ‘de Ruyter’ displays bright blue needles.

Engleman spruce (Picea engelmannii ‘Bush’s Lace’) is a tall, powder blue spruce that is grown for its upright habit and pendulous side branches. Unlike some evergreens, this spruce will keep the gorgeous blue color throughout the year. This tree thrives in the extremes of Chicago’s summers and frigid winters. It is a vigorous plant and will often put on two feet of growth in one season, so make sure to plant it somewhere where it has some room. Engleman spruce are happiest in full sun with well-drained soil. A mature specimen of this tree can be found in the Dwarf Conifer Garden.

De Ruyter Serbian spruce (Picea omorika ‘de Ruyter’) is another spruce that will thrive in the Chicago region. Serbian spruce typically feature dark green needles with silver undersides that shimmer in the breeze, but on this variety, the silver is on top, making for a pop of silvery blue on each branch. This is a slower-growing cultivar, often growing only six to eight inches a year in a loosely conical shape. Because it is a spruce, it requires full sun and well-drained soil to look its best. There is also a large specimen of De Ruyter in the Dwarf Conifer Garden.

Pinus mugo 'Tannenbaum'

Pinus mugo ‘Tannenbaum’ holds its beautiful green color all winter.

Tannenbaum mugo pine (Pinus mugo ‘Tannenbaum’) is a twist on a classic mugo pine. Most people are familiar with mugo pines as the little round pines that often resemble boulders in the landscape. Tannenbaum, as the name suggests, is an upright form that grows as a perfect green pyramid, with the classic Christmas tree shape. It is a relatively slow-growing plant—approximately six inches per year—and holds its dark green color all year. Mugo pines are amazingly hardy and should do well throughout the Chicago area, provided they receive full sun and have relatively well-drained soil.

Glauca Prostrata noble fir (Abies procera ‘Glauca Prostrata’) grows as a creeping mat of icy blue foliage. Weeping blue noble fir makes an unusual addition to the landscape due to its rounded needles, unlike the similar weeping Colorado blue spruce, which has incredibly sharp needles. This makes it a far better choice for placing near walkways. This slow-growing plant averages four to six  inches of growth a year, eventually forming a clump about two feet tall and about six feet wide. As with other conifers, this noble fir prefers full sun and well-drained soil.

Abies procera 'Glauca Prostrata'

Abies procera ‘Glauca Prostrata’ stands out among the surrounding greenery.

Top tips for keeping your conifers happy:

  1. Most conifers prefer full sun and have very little shade tolerance. All of the trees in this article prefer full sun.
  2. Conifers are generally adapted to areas with well-drained soil. Avoid places that stay wet to prolong the life of your plant.
  3. Avoid windy locations. Because conifers keep their needles all year, it is best to site them in less exposed places so they don’t dry out and lose their needles.
  4. Water thoroughly in the fall. You only have once chance to make sure the plant has enough water before the ground freezes and you can’t water it anymore. If we have a dry fall, it is helpful to water your newly planted trees until the ground freezes so they have enough water to last the winter.

©2016 Chicago Botanic Garden and my.chicagobotanic.org

Perennial plants [electronic resource] : the quarterly newsletter of the Perennial Plant Association.

New Book Arrivals - Wed, 11/30/2016 - 9:08pm
Perennial plants [electronic resource] : the quarterly newsletter of the Perennial Plant Association.

Wonder plants : your urban jungle interior / Irene Schampaert & Judith Baehner ; translation, Joy Philips.

New Book Arrivals - Wed, 11/30/2016 - 9:08pm
Wonder plants : your urban jungle interior / Irene Schampaert & Judith Baehner ; translation, Joy Philips.
Author: Schampaert, Irene, author.
Call Number: SB419.25.S33 2016

Women, modernity, and landscape architecture / [edited by] Sonja Dümpelmann and John Beardsley.

New Book Arrivals - Wed, 11/30/2016 - 9:08pm
Women, modernity, and landscape architecture / [edited by] Sonja Dümpelmann and John Beardsley.
Call Number: SB469.375.W664 2015

The wood book.

New Book Arrivals - Wed, 11/30/2016 - 9:08pm
The wood book.
Author: Zamora, Francesc.
Call Number: SD434.Z36 2016

Rock gardening : reimagining a classic style / Joseph Tychonievich.

New Book Arrivals - Wed, 11/30/2016 - 9:08pm
Rock gardening : reimagining a classic style / Joseph Tychonievich.
Author: Tychonievich, Joseph, author.
Call Number: SB459.T93 2016

Rainbow dust : three centuries of butterfly delight : with a new preface / Peter Marren.

New Book Arrivals - Wed, 11/30/2016 - 9:08pm
Rainbow dust : three centuries of butterfly delight : with a new preface / Peter Marren.
Author: Marren, Peter, author.
Call Number: QL544.M37 2016

Plants can't sit still / Rebecca E. Hirsch ; illustrated by Mia Posada.

New Book Arrivals - Wed, 11/30/2016 - 9:08pm
Plants can't sit still / Rebecca E. Hirsch ; illustrated by Mia Posada.
Author: Hirsch, Rebecca E., author.
Call Number: QK49.H57 2016

Orchid fever : a horticultural tale of love, lust, and lunacy / Eric Hansen.

New Book Arrivals - Wed, 11/30/2016 - 9:08pm
Orchid fever : a horticultural tale of love, lust, and lunacy / Eric Hansen.
Author: Hansen, Eric (Eric K.), author.
Call Number: SB61.H36 2000

The life in your garden : gardening for biodiversity / Reeser Manley and Marjorie Peronto.

New Book Arrivals - Wed, 11/30/2016 - 9:08pm
The life in your garden : gardening for biodiversity / Reeser Manley and Marjorie Peronto.
Author: Manley, Reeser, author.
Call Number: SB454.3.E53M36 2016

Ancient trees of the national trust / Edward Parker and Brian Muelaner.

New Book Arrivals - Wed, 11/30/2016 - 9:08pm
Ancient trees of the national trust / Edward Parker and Brian Muelaner.
Author: Parker, Edward, photographer, author.
Call Number: SD383.3.G7P37 2016

Roberto Burle Marx : landscapes reflected / Rossana Vaccarino, editor ; with essays by William Howard Adams [and others].

New Book Arrivals - Wed, 11/30/2016 - 9:08pm
Roberto Burle Marx : landscapes reflected / Rossana Vaccarino, editor ; with essays by William Howard Adams [and others].
Call Number: SB470.B87R63 2000

Früchte des Feldes / herausgegeben von Hans Wegener ; Mit 32 farbigen Zeichnungen von Franz Schmidt-Kahring.

New Book Arrivals - Wed, 11/30/2016 - 9:08pm
Früchte des Feldes / herausgegeben von Hans Wegener ; Mit 32 farbigen Zeichnungen von Franz Schmidt-Kahring.
Author: Wegener, Hans, editor.
Call Number: SB185.W45 1935

Mosses and lichens : a popular guide to the identification and study of our commoner mosses and lichens, their uses, and methods of preserving / by Nina L. Marshall. Sixteen plates in colour, thirty-two in black and white, from photographs by Hannah C....

New Book Arrivals - Wed, 11/30/2016 - 9:08pm
Mosses and lichens : a popular guide to the identification and study of our commoner mosses and lichens, their uses, and methods of preserving / by Nina L. Marshall. Sixteen plates in colour, thirty-two in black and white, from photographs by Hannah C. Anderson ; and many text illustrations.
Author: Marshall, Nina L. (Nina Lovering)
Call Number: QK541.M37 1908

Italian gardens of the Renaissance : and other studies / by Julia Cartwright.

New Book Arrivals - Wed, 11/30/2016 - 9:08pm
Italian gardens of the Renaissance : and other studies / by Julia Cartwright.
Author: Cartwright, Julia, 1851-1924.
Call Number: SB466.I8A39 1914

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