Viburnum, Vegetables, and a Hawk

November 24, 2013

We had our coldest night of the year last night in Chicagoland.  It was predicted to go down to 7 degrees F.  I wondered if my greens would survive under the plastic hoop, but I just went out to pick a little lettuce and do some watering and everything still looks alive though growing very slowly.
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Behind the hoop on the left are my two viburnum dentatum ‘Chicago lustre’ shrubs, which are growing together into one large area frequented by the sparrows.  On the right, behind the palm-like collard plants, is the compost leaf pile.  Dan mowed up the grass and leaves with the mulching mower.  There were a lot of leaves to mulch, but not many more will fall now.

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‘Raspberry tart’ viburnum dentatum.  None of my viburnum were very spectacular this autumn.  A few weeks ago I took this picture of three red leaves on the raspberry tart viburnum bush.  The rest of the leaves were more yellow.  The viburnum seem to be the last shrubs with leaves, except for the common lilac.  Viburnum are great four season shrubs.  I love the dark green, thick foliage in the summer.

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Berries on ‘raspberry tart’ viburnum dentatum.  In order for berries to set you need two different cultivars of viburnum that flower around the same time.  This will be good bird food.

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Yet another picture of my brussel sprouts.  I see them in the super market and I think, “Hey, I am growing those at home.”  This is my first time.  I have been picking a dozen or so at a time and putting them in with a soup or stew I am cooking.  So far they have survived the weather outside the hoop.

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On Saturday we chopped up the brussel sprouts, collard and kale in the picture, along with another big bowl of kale.  Mixed with some beans, onions, corn, and carrots, it made a vegetarian dish that will last a few days.  We bought an extra chef’s knife so that both of us could chop at the same time.

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Here is my last garden tomato of the season.  It was picked green before the frost on 10/14/13.  Does it have any vitamins left?

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While I was in the kitchen looking out of the window I noticed this Cooper’s hawk on the back fence.  Is it sunning or watching for the squirrels that are busy back here?

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I just got one quick shot of the Cooper’s hawk preening its feathers in the sun before it flew away.

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I was taking the hawk pictures from an upstairs window.  Zooming out you can see our little bare back yard.  The picture was take a little before 1 pm and you can see the dense shade of the roof and the silhouette of the silver maple tree’s branches, from the front yard, reaching over the back yard.  We still have a month until the shortest day….


15 Responses to “Viburnum, Vegetables, and a Hawk”

  1. merindyandjason said

    I like the hawk. =-)

  2. pbmgarden said

    We’re down in the twenties tonight–would not want to match your 7F! The vegetables look so nice. It is hard to believe we haven’t reached the shortest day yet, as it seems so dark so early. Stay warm.

  3. Congratulations, dear Pardonmygarden
    I have nominated your blog for the Blog of the Year 2013 Award.
    More about this nomination is at

  4. Nice. I am envious (in a good way)

  5. lundygirl said

    Very impressed by your veggies!

  6. I see Cooper’s hawks around here sometimes, hanging out in our big Norway maples. Said maples are why I’ve pretty much stopped growing vegetables (shade and roots). I’ll have to do what you’ve done and have them removed. One of these days…

  7. Some of the best things together in one post! The visit from the hawk to your garden is spectacular. Glad to see your hoop house for veges. Viburnum. Brussel sprouts. All the signs of a life of abundance. – The Healing Garden gardener

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