{dirt 60631} Park Ridge Garden Walk

{dirt 60631} chronicles Yvonne's garden journey in a Zone 5, Chicago city lot.

The stage was set for the Park Ridge Garden Walk with temperatures in the low 80's, a slight NE breeze, and sunshine, sunshine, sunshine!  Just a picture perfect day which brought out 150ish visitors. We talked hosta; we talked shade gardens, we talked caring for the soil and pollinators; we talked moss, and so much more.

Here's a recap in photos.

above.  Clematis 'The President'

above left.  Fuchsia 'Lena' | above right. Geranium 'Grandeur'

above.  Clematis 'Niobe'

above left. Datura metel | above right. Hosta sieboldiana 'Elegans'

above left.  Nepeta racemosa 'Walker's Low' | above right.  Alchemilla mollis

above left.  Hydrangea petoilaris | above right.  Digitalis lutea

above.  Hydrangea 'Quick Fire' and Hosta sieboldiana 'Francis Williams'

While I answered a lot of questions, there were five plants that stood out and had the most questions:

Ariseama ringens, commonly called cobra lily, is a woodland perennial native to Japan. It is closely related to the Jack-in-the-pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum. When mature, it grows to 12-18" tall with a single stalk containing two glossy green trifoliate leaves, each leaf having three ovate to elliptic leaflets 6-8" long. From the center of the leaf stalks rises a showy, green and purple striped, cobra-like flower in May.

Rodgersia aesculifolia, is a clump-forming, perennial that grows to 3-5’ tall and wide. It is native to moist woodlands in China. It has crinkled, coarsely-toothed, palmate leaves, growing to 12" across that resemble the leaves of the horse chestnut. In June it has large creamy white, astilbe-like, flowers 24-36” tall.

Centaurea macrocephala has bright yellow 2"-3" thistle-like flowers enclosed in light brown bracts on stiff stems. This wasn't yet in bloom but had a lot of interest due to the 'straw cobb'.  This picture shows it in bloom, which will be in a few more weeks.  It blooms for 2-3 weeks in mid-July.

Aruncus dioicus is a native plant that is a tall, bushy, clump-forming perennial typically growing 4-6' high which has showy, plume-like spikes of tiny, cream colored flowers in June. It is somewhat similar in appearance to astilbe.

Petasites japonicus 'Variegatus' has huge leaves that form a dense spreading clump 3’ tall and 5’ wide. It is native to Korea, China and Japan where it is typically found growing on wet stream banks in woodland areas. It has long-stalked, kidney-shaped, variegated leaves  12-16” wide. Yellowish, daisy-like flowers appear in March before the leaves emerge.

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