Sunday, April 26, 2015

Where To Look

There is a lot of garden out there already. There is also plenty of room for more. My expansion plans are only in the initial exploratory phase. I go exploring and do some minor editing while I plot the placement of paths and case the forest for interesting plants.

It's easy to plant things and forget them or where exactly you put them in all this space. Sometimes you have to know precisely where to look. Looking a lot helps. That doesn't prevent surprises.

After a while one hopes a tiny twig will grow large enough to become obvious and hunting for it won't be necessary anymore. This is the best bloom the baby Fothergilla have ever had. They haven't even been frozen by a late freeze, as is so often the the way it is up here.

The relocated Showy Orchis is looking mighty fine. It is small, so you do have to know where to look.

A red Japanese Maple with Mayapples. Will this be the year the Japanese Maples don't get zapped and actually have a chance to grow? The new growth gets frozen so often in the spring I was beginning to tire of them and give up.

I spent another three hours editing the east end of the sunny utility meadow. I hadn't quite made it down to the far end this year. The slope below the roadside vegetable garden was keeping me busy.

The meadow is looking pretty darn good, even tidy, the best I have ever seen it in all these years. It is off to a good start for the season. I have been noticing more diversity of plants and what could be a bumper crop of Beebalm this year. I'd like to start seeing some of the seeds I have been adding showing up as plants.

I edit like an obsessed person and this is what the forest does without me. The big difference is the amount of sun. Deep shade is its own form of weed control. In sunnier places, stronger measures are needed.

In the deep forest I can garden just by making a path and picking up sticks. That will be the bulk of the garden's expansion. In there I can look every where without hunting for anything. It will all be a surprise.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Edit This

I skipped work kind work because it was supposed to rain all day. That was my excuse. Actually I just didn't feel like going to work today. The alleged rain made it easier.

When the rain did stop this morning I figured it was best to put the hole in the rain to good use. I have to get most of my editing done before the Lush cranks into high gear.

I have been over the slope below the roadside vegetable garden four times this year yanking my garden nemesis, the Clematis virginiana. Hate it. I did the same last year.

No more rain arrived and the sun actually came out. I kept editing.

And I kept on editing. I ended up spending almost six hours pulling clematis from the sunny utility meadow for the most part. That is how much of it there is. After four years of continuous eradication there is certainly a whole lot less, but it ain't gone yet.

Granted I was moving at a leisurely pace and may have been distracted a few times. I had already picked up the trash along a half mile stretch of the scenic byway before I even started editing. There was no hurry. I have the rest of my life to edit. I just want to get the clematis out now. I can save the easy weeds for my decrepitude.

There is another reason of course. Left undisturbed the clematis forms a thick smothering mat that inhibits most every thing else. Goldenrod is about the only thing that can penetrate it.

Goldenrod is fine enough, but I want more colors, more species and a longer bloom time than two weeks of yellow.

When I edit nature fills in behind me and I have been assisting by tossing copious quantities of wildflower seeds into the sunny utility meadow. I often gather seeds in my deadheading chores in the gardens I tend.

I want to see this, violets in the spring, not a mat of clematis.

There are a few chores involved in the making a botanical wonderland.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Dreamlands Two

Between work at the Inn and dealing with three bodies of pond scum, I have had to sneak in some quality tending time in the gardens at the Posh Estate. The woodland garden is coming along nicely in its second spring.

I have been applying lessons learned in a wild woodland garden to the more cultivated one, that is, edit out what I know I don't want in there and leave the rest. Interesting things show up all the time.

How cool is this? I forget what fern this is at the moment, but I liked them enough to plant some in the woodland garden at the Posh Estate.

I foraged this Clintonia, soon to find out which species, from the deep forest. I should go foraging in the forest there for the woodland garden. I feel quite certain I would find some interesting garden worthy plants.

From one dreamland to another with two cats in the yard, sometimes three.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

While I Was In The Forest

I saw a Uvularia.

It was a Uvularia grandiflora, Large-Flowered Bellwort that wanted to come home with me. So it did. It is now safely tucked into its new home.

The forest I was in was just outside the border of the garden where the Showy Orchis was rescued. Not only did I see a Uvularia, I found a half dozen more Showy Orchis. I pointed them out to my client when requesting permission to borrow her Uvularia. She liked what she saw and marked them to know where they were and so as not to spray them dead.

This Showy Orchis is the one I moved from the deep forest up here into the garden. It is almost ready to bloom.

I have a plan. That is to fill the garden with as many of the native spring ephemerals and woodland perennial wild flowers as I can find. Editing has uncovered an astonishing array of them that were already here. Given air and some elbow room they have begun to multiply.

I assist by introducing new species of native plants that I haven't found here. Imagine walking through an undisturbed Eden brimming with botanical wonders not seen in ordinary gardens.

Last year's additions are all returning this spring. I must have good transplanting skills.

Did I just find another new species of trillium in the deep forest? The flowers are on the small side and are more upright than the Nodding Trillium. I may need to move some over to the garden.

Trillium grandiflorum is my favorite. There are thousands in the deep forest. I could always relocate more to speed things up.

The tiny Bird's Foot Violet, Viola pedata, is doing well in its new sunnier location. Damn bugs have been gnawing on it though. It needs to set seed and multiply to prove that it really likes it here.

I have a plan for the wild cultivated gardens. I'll keep adding the more interesting and showy ingredients that nature says should grow here and see what happens. It is guaranteed to cause beautiful chaos.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


The Posh Estate #2 will now be known as the Inn, The Inn at Tranquility Farm to be precise. The wedding gazebo is coming right along. The big sweeping bed that was across the lawn from the gazebo is no more for all intents and purposes. It has been chopped into so many pieces there isn't much of it left.

The plantings will have to be completely rethought once all the construction is done. A patio for pews in front of the wedding gazebo is yet to come.

The main entry beds have been left undisturbed for the last few weeks, thank you. I planted some roots and tubers of summer things a while back that arrived from an online order, but have been hesitant to plant other perennials. There are still too many people walking through the beds like nothing's there.

I need to do edging and a flagstone/gravel pathway around the fountain and through the beds. By then my summer things should be poking up and construction will hopefully be winding down. Then I can add more.

It isn't hard to imagine the vision of loveliness that is taking shape. The gardens at The Inn will be stunning.

Look. Fish.

There have been three plantings of fish now. The first were from the koi pond at the Posh Estate. I thought they all went make, but half were just ho'omake. So I bought a sack of feeder goldfish to test out the waters and they did just fine. Then I saw the missing fish from the first planting. They weren't all dead after all.

Then I went bold. I bought two, thirty two dolla butterfly koi. That's the two bigger fish in the middle of the picture. They have been in there since last Saturday.

All is well in the fishes world.

From one dreamland to another, such is the life I lead.

Where high on the mountain top the phlox is in full bloom.

And Magnolia 'Jane' did better than expected after a couple of hard freezes post bud swelling.

Hundreds and I do mean hundreds of Jack-in-the-Pulpits are popping up every where. In the presence of editing they have been multiplying like crazy.

Primrose line a path in the garden next door.

And the first pink deciduous azalea has started to bloom, in a dreamland.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


One kind


Three kind, my favorite

Four kind


Maybe six kind, maybe not. It can be hard to tell

Six kind for sure.

There is a lost Painted Trillium out there so that makes seven kind for sure. Then there are a host of variations in petal size and how the bloom hangs, which may or may not mean more kind. I don't see how they can't be cross pollinating and making more kind. I'd have to pick them and pose them side by side for a closer examination in order to decide.

That's all fine and good, but what I want is for the trilliums in the garden to be as showy and plentiful as they are in the deep forest. They are multiplying. The garden is headed in that direction.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Monsoon Flow

After an already full week of rain, it rained the entire day on Sunday. I looked out at a wet garden turning green from the covered front porch unable to tend to any chores. A sweeping view from left to right takes in most of the garden.

I enjoy viewing my garden from the front porch even when it isn't raining.

There was one short break in the rain and I took advantage. Over the winter I decided to annex control of another fifteen feet of the adjoining property below me; that still with brown section below the row of evergreen leucothoe. With a minimum of input I can change the inhabitants of this piece of the utility meadow and make it more floral and a better backdrop for the garden. It will also make another obvious visible demarcation before the garden for the utility company's plant killers.

Step one was cutting down the blackberry, elderberry and tree saplings. Done. Step two is a clematis weeding binge. Step three is let nature fill in behind me. Step four is let it grow tall for the season. Repeat annually as needed. In two to three seasons it should be as floriferous as the Tall Flower Meadow.

It was a very soggy Sunday.

The baby shrubberies don't mind it one bit.

Three tiny twiglets of Fothergilla that followed me home a few years ago have grown into small shrubs and are blooming quite nicely this year. The parent plant has great fall color.

My unknown rescue is now know. It is indeed a Showy Orchis. I have two patches of them in the garden now. I wonder how many times it was sprayed and lived? It has some recuperating to do.

This is how a Showy Orchis should look. I moved this one out of the deep forest only last year. Not only was it unfazed by the move, one plant became four, and it is loaded with flower buds. Maybe next year the rescued orchid will look this good.