Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Field Trip: Rich's Foxwillow Pines

We are BIG pine tree fans here at the 2-flat. Actually to give credit where its due, I'll admit that Steve is the one who has given me the appreciation I have for evergreens. Take a walk with him sometime around a neighborhood in Chicago and listen. Chances are you will hear him say gazing upon some new condo conversion, "They should have planted some pine trees."

Being a native of Michigan, the source of the many a Christmas tree in these parts, it's no big surprise that Steve is loyal to this noble tree. He also spent some of his childhood living on a lake and has a love of being near water. That's why we live 2 blocks from Lake Michigan and why Steve never ever wants to move. In my weaker moments, I would consider moving west to get away from some of the urban headaches, but Steve would never go for it. I love him for that.

Steve is our tree keeper, while I tend the perennials. It's a system that works for us. For several years, he has wanted to visit Rich's Foxwillow Pines in Woodstock- THE place for pine trees. They specialize in specimen trees and smaller sized trees ideal for city lots.

Here's Steve pensively studying the price guide at Rich's under the share of a massive willow tree.

I'm happy to say that things have died down enough with our house projects that we can start doing those things that we have been wanting to do for while. Call it a bucket list if you like- as far as life goes, after 40, one starts to want to "make it count." That's kind of where we are at right now. Some of these things are small, like "visit the new Modern Wing," some are bigger like, "visit the Canadian Rockies."

As I mentioned, Rich's specializes in dwarf trees suitable for smaller spaces. He even has a whole collection of teeny tiny tees. Those of you with only a balcony could make an AMAZING miniature "forest" in a large pot!

The place kind of rambles around and goes on and on seemingly endlessly. At the spot pictured at left, I came across a painted turtle and heard frogs grunting.

And there were robins absolutely everywhere.

If pine trees aren't your thing (God forbid!), he has 500 varieties of hostas also. And he has 35 acres down the road, which he uses to maintain his inventory levels. We met Rich while we were there and he was kind enough to drive us around in his cart and show us a few things. He's an affable fellow and it's always great to meet someone who has found their passion and loves what they do.

We were looking for ideas for adding some more trees to the backyard and we found some. Now we just need the m-o-n-e-y, which we will be able to budget for next year.

So, why do we love pine trees so? Quite simply, they are evergreen and provide year round color, which is sorely needed in a long Chicago winter.

Besides that, they provide a needed structure in the garden, sanctuary for birds, they smell nice and there are so very many varieties, shapes and sizes.

So, that in a nutshell covers our visit to Rich's Foxwillow Pines.

1 comment:

Sandy said...

What a great post! I love pine trees. Michigan is a good place to fall in love with them, LOL. Can you guess where I'm from?