Monday, July 25, 2016

Out Riding Fences

I have been driving by this vision of loveliness on a near daily basis for weeks now. It makes my chicory look small.

It is a good thing that fence lines are hard to mow and hard to whack, not that it is even a priority in a cow pasture. Let the cows eat it.

Fence lines and guardrails quite often have some very nice grass and wild flower arrangements.

This is one of my favorites at the moment.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Tunneling Through

Triple this space. Double that amount for my assistant duties. Then add on a few more chunks just to be safe. That about covers the wild cultivated gardens.

So I ask myself, is the garden big enough?

Apparently not. I have been tunneling my way much deeper into the forest.

You see, all that land on the slope below the dung piles is mine. The larger property extends a bit beyond that first ridge line of trees on the right

I like wandering through the forest. It is a whole lot easier to do when there is a cleared pathway. I've been down below lopping my way through a thicket of rubbish, blackberry and tree saplings.

Making new paths through the forest would have been a lot easier if the hemlocks had not died, but they died. They were partially logged and the tops and all the branches were left with me. The rest are slowly crashing to the ground. The missing forest canopy caused an explosion of growth when the sunlight hit the ground. Decades of bird deposits sprang to life.

So I am making a path. The process of editing will begin. This time I will be editing trees.

A good number of Magnolia fraseri, Mountain Magnolia, have been coming up in the explosion of growth. I think a grove of them would be nice. Those are being saved.

The plan is to make a path, edit and tidy as I go. The more I walk it, the more will get done. There are already mature rhododendron and a number of other interesting plants down there. I don't have to make a garden. I just have to make a strong impact on the one nature will make. My input should also speed up the process by selecting the trees and giving them room to grow.

As shade returns with a forest canopy, the job will get easier. Give me five years. It will be lovely.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

In A Wild Garden

There is no place in the wild cultivated gardens safe from competition. 

Even the fancy discard lilies jostle and mingle with the Lush. Editing is the only salvation and that is not a one hundred percent given. I do what I can.

Nature's imperative is a singular effort to fill the space.

My efforts are largely geared towards selecting the ingredients being used with much less input on exactly where they get used. I have watched things I planted get up and move to a different location more to their liking.

This is what you see when you drive by. How many people see a garden I wonder?

Step one in a new ingredient is getting a plant to blooming size. Step two is waiting to see if it will settle in and naturalize.

I grew a tray of Verbena hastata from seed. Verbena bonariensis wasn't making the cut. They were planted out after reaching small plant size. Many were immediately attacked by some leaf sucking bug. The leaves were skeletonized and curled up in distress. They are still alive. I hope the bug moves on.

It is a wonder that in an ocean of Lush, widely scattered, newly planted verbena were targeted for being sucked. This one has escaped so far.

Any concerns I ever had about my garden looking out of place in the wilderness can be put to rest. The Lush is more powerful than me.

When you enter an awareness comes that something different is going on. A gardener has been manipulating the ingredients. I do have an impact.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Sunshine On Bloom Spikes

It has been steamy all week. Widely scattered thunderstorms have been rolling through daily.

All is well, then in the course of half an hour the sky turns black, thunder rumbles and lighting flashes. It could very easily just be a loud tempest signifying nothing. These storms are small and it takes a direct hit to get any water out of them.

But when you do it comes in buckets.

Then poof, it's gone. The sun comes out and steam begins to rise.

I don't stay out there with the lightning and thunder. In these parts we are much closer to the clouds. I manage to get thoroughly drenched anyway. Drip, drip, drip, the steam rises and the sweat pours down.

Steamy is exhausting. It wears me out. I've had to take a few naps this week.

When the sun gets low, hopefully it cools a bit and the steam subsides, a post nap stroll is nice. The garden doesn't seem to mind steamy.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

In Hiding

There is quite a bit of liatris in the garden this year, the best ever. But the truth is, it is a bit too short for the Tall Flower Meadow to make a proper showing.

It is time for me to make a concerted effort to cull the too tall Solidago canadensis. Not to worry, that will leave me with three other Goldenrod species, maybe four.

If they are going to be pink, it is best to go all out. Too fat clumps are loaded with flowers. These lilies are happy tucked into the Lush.

Rudbeckia fulgida is another wild flower that is a wee bit short for the Tall Flower Meadow. The blooms don't quite reach the top layer. They are undeterred and have been spreading vigorously. I didn't plant them. Maybe I tossed out seed? The good thing about them is they can form colonies dense enough to suppress competitors. Eventually they might remove the higher layer on their own.

The under garden of winter interest is pretty much lost. I should do another weeding around those plants soon. The difficult thing is it is hard to get to them without leaving evidence in a meadow that is getting ready to enter full bloom.

There is so much hiding out there in the garden.

At this time of year its essence can't be properly absorbed by viewing it from above. Now mind you I still love that view and it will sure come in handy when the meadow reaches peak bloom. But it takes a walk in the garden to understand the temporary defiance of impermanence.

It takes a walk in the garden to see leeks laying down for the next generation.

There is a lot going on out there.

Much of it hiding in plain sight.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Moods In A Meadow

It's pink. I can't imagine me buying a pink anything even if it was on the discard rack. I need to find the tag. I swear the lilies are all turning pink.

There is no deliberate pink in the meadows. It is hard to look at them and even consider the word deliberate. The best that can be said is that I set them in motion.

As you move through the garden, the mood of the meadow is constantly changing. Plant populations gather more thickly in specific locations.

The Purple Coneflower is kind of pink, but not an annoying pink because of the slight purple tint. I guess there might be a number of off pinks that aim for burgundy and purple.

Sister #2 came bearing gifts. She is practicing her craft and curio skills for the Roadside Possum Stand that will supplement our meager gubmint checks in our decrepitude.

I like it.

I did say it needs a stick and behold, there is stick receptacle. The glass flower can join my metal flowers in the garden.

The rudbeckia took over the strawberry patch at the far end of the roadside vegetable garden and reclaimed that space for meadow.

Queen Anne's Lace has made a mighty stand towards the middle of the garden.

A different angle shows another mood.

In the first light of morning, the chicory joins in.

The chicory put itself here. The meadows are in constant motion.

And it was done.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Peak Lily

This is the service entrance's finest hour. It is at peak lily. The aroma is mesmerizing.

One would think more lilies in the garden would be in order. They are. But. Lilies are a favorite snack for the bulb eating varmints. Planting them is a risky and at times heart breaking endeavor.

These service entrance bulbs are surrounded by a stacked block wall on two sides, the gravel parking lot and septic tank on the other two. There is no easy way to tunnel in. These lilies are slightly safer.

That did not save them from some stem boring insect two years in a row. Then I got wise and started dousing them with cayenne pepper when they first pop up in the spring.

Further down in the same some what protected bed, more lilies are ready to open. I think they are pink. I also think lilies can morph over several years to a more standard species type than what they originally came as. I can live with that if they are willing to grow bigger and keep coming back.

This butterfly was following me around.

Out there in a meadow, Rudbeckia blooms.

At mid-summer Joe Pye is starting to bud. I have been finding more liatris in purple. One species of Goldenrod has the first wash of yellow. The Tall Flower Meadow is stirring.