May 19 2014

News from Kruse

Filed under Kruse House

What a happy day it was!!! We welcomed our new Kruse Museum volunteer, Kerry Perry, on clean-up day. Two truckloads of leaves and debris were hauled away. And even happier news—Kerry is still with us! We look forward to spending many more work days with Kerry.

We spent another session digging plants for the plant sale from the garden. Over the years plants have multiplied. We had also heeled-in plants that were donated for the plant sale during last year. We held them over the winter.

The garden is blooming with spring bulbs, grape hyacinths, tulips. The pasque flowers donated a few years ago by Jeff are exceptionally beautiful. They have developed into sizable clumps, start blooming in time for Easter, and continue blooming. There are still many buds that have not opened. They are in a poor, clay soil with no summer watering.

From checking our plantings we have found winter damage on our cotoneasters, the new, short varieties. The old large shrub variety cotoneasters are doing very well with no winter die-back. The other shrubs are mainly native varieties and withheld well. The shrub roses did well, especially John Cabot, donated by Carole. It is of the ‘explorer’ series and actually roared into spring, feeling right at home to a winter that was like the explorer, Canadian. Rosa Glauca looks very fine, an old rose from the 1600’s.

Some of the euphorbias took a beating, especially the Donkey tail. It should have been in bloom on cascading tails, but the weight of the snow and the wetness caused much damage. Our two newest tree donations, the gingko and the weeping spruce look very much alive and healthy, settling in well.

We saved seeds from the old-fashioned petunia and zinnias. Both grow very well directly sown and quickly sprout when the weather warms. The old-time petunias are a great favorite of some of us. They come only in pastel colors, but one plant will grow 2ft by 2ft. They thrive in heat and need no extra watering. We noticed many of the old time flowers are making a comeback—as seen by some of the greenhouse seeding at Cantigny. People are getting tired of the short and stunted look and remember with nostalgia grandmother’s garden—sweet peas, petunias, hollyhocks, morning glories, iris and larkspur—zinnias and marigolds, probably a Jackmani clematis, a climbing rose or two on the fence, everything mixed together, smelling wonderfully and full of bees and butterflies. There wasn’t much weeding since the plants were tightly grown. Besides, what grandmother had time to weed—she knitted, crocheted, cooked and baby-sat—right?

So much for musings and remembrances—at the museum garden we look forward very hopefully to more bloom, better vistas, improvement in plant combinations, new additions—sometimes anticipated like a new addition to our family of plants. We have many discussions, what to pull, what to move. Is this plant to tall, too short? Can we give Tom free reign to cut? Trim? Shear? OR NOT?

Working in the garden is fun. Everyone is welcome, 9-12AM, Mondays. Join us.

Apr 03 2014

News from Kruse
By B. Childress

Filed under Kruse House

Special Exhibit: Each year the Kruse House Museum has a special exhibit along with the ongoing household and railroad memorabilia. The 2014 display is “It’s A Doll’s World” featuring dolls both old and new, doll accessories, doll houses and furniture and just about anything pertaining to dolls. The museum is open each Saturday from 11 AM to 3 PM starting in May. Stop by for a tour when you can and check out the garden while you’re there. You’ll probably want to invite a friend or neighbor to join you. Continue Reading »

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