Daffodils and Bitternut Hickory

There is a lot of green, yellow and white in the garden these days.  Daffodils are a favorite for me and are not bothered by the squirrels.  The shrubs have not bloomed yet, but the serviceberry, plum, and crabapple are getting ready to blossom any day.

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I really like the clean colors of this white daffodil with a yellow center.

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All white daffodils

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Yellow daffodils with orange centers.

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Narcissus is the scientific name and “daffodil” is one of a number of common names.  This group of standard daffodils multiplies each year and makes a bright spot as I look out of my office window.

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I planted a few “Ice King” daffodils last fall.  So far the result has been underwhelming.  The flowers are so heavy they bend down.  Maybe in a few days they will perk up and look good.  Here’s hoping….

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Our big activity today was planting this bitternut hickory (Carya cordiformis) in the front yard.  We went to Possibility Place Nursery and discussed our choice with them, and came home with this 5 foot tall hickory.  Once the tree was planted I put some soil down on the lawn to try to even it out a bit and will sow grass seed in a day or two.  Hopefully that will take care of the front yard for a while, except for watering the tree and grass…

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A closer look at our bitternut hickory, a tree that is native to Illinois, and one that was historically common in the area around us, but is not often planted now.  It is predicted to grow at least two feet each year and maybe more.  We tried to plant it in the hole from the silver maple we cut down, but the root system and tree base were too hard to cut through there, so we planted it a few feet away.  When we were planting it almost all the soil fell off the roots, as predicted by the guy who sold it to us.  It was not pretty as we tried to get it correctly in the ground, but I think it is settled now and will do fine.

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As evening approaches the male northern cardinal sings a beautiful song for us.

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I have enjoyed having dark-eyed juncos in the yard every day, but have had a lot of trouble getting good pictures of them.  This is the best I got as I zoomed way in across the yard.  They are winter residents, so will probably be leaving us soon.

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West of the Chicago area there was a serious tornado this week.  We did not have a tornado, but the clouds were fantastic this week.  We were thankful for about two inches of rain this week.

Spider:  As I was looking at the little leaves emerging on the crabapple tree, my head almost bumped into a very delicate but complete spider web and a tiny spider waiting for me to get out of the way so it could enjoy its supper waiting at the center of the little web.  The bug/wild life is getting going now!

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