Thursday, May 21, 2015

Another Cracked Pot

I went to my favorite local independent garden center today and came home with another cracked pot for the garden. I have first dibs on cracked pots there.

I already knew where I wanted to put it. When the second cracked pot was placed in the garden the need for and siting of a third one shouted out right away. I told my cracked pot dealer I wanted another big one when it broke.

The first picture is truer to color.

The right side of the Lush in the foreground has had all the New England Aster yanked. The left side is still to be done. I have been snatching and grabbing the aster ever since our visitors left on Sunday and have made it through most of the garden. This is the last and worst section that needs editing.

I'm not sure I was completely ruthless with the aster last year. I may have let this section go. It shows by how much is in there. This year there will be no mercy. There are better asters milling about to fill in the empty space.

It is my garden. I do have some say in what gets to bloom here.

I just don't have much say in how well things bloom. The Yellow Flag Iris has enough bloom stalks that it may put on a bit of a show yet. That would come out to a heavy bloom in one out of every four years. Everything has to go just right for that to happen.

The weathers however prefer to remain decidedly fickle messing with many plants abilities to bloom. It's that one year out of four that keeps a gardeners dreams alive.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Lorelei Gets Around

It was just a quick drive by viewing to determine how long before my next visit. There she was stealing the show, Lorelei, sent off as a gift maybe three years ago.

Lorelei not once but twice, grown into big fat clumps from small divisions. At this point there is plenty more Lorelei to spread around.

But I was far more intrigued by this unknown amaryllis looking lily I spotted across the street from another garden I tend.

I knew there was a crinum in this very neglected garden. I looked to see how it was doing. That is it behind the blooming unknown.

It sure looks like an amaryllis. Amaryllis and crinum blooming and surviving in NC, in the ground outside, after two consecutive below zero winters? My covetous side was screaming. I really should ask politely first before something falls out of the ground.

I looked around on the interwebs and this seems to be what it is. "Hippeastrum x johnsonii is commonly referred to as Hardy Amaryllis, Johnson's Amaryllis or the St. Joseph's Lily."

I am seeing it rated to zone 7 and to zone 6. Would it survive on the mountain top? Boy those are big fat healthy looking clumps. I better ask.

It's not like the wild cultivated gardens really need anything new, but I have plenty of Lorelei I could trade for amaryllis and crinum bulbs

Bulbarella patrols her domain. I know she would trade Lorelei for a hardy amaryllis just to try and see if it would live up here.

That red would clash with a lot of things so we would need to find the right place for it.

Red and white would work, but I know the site for an experiment like this needs to be full sun with a sharply draining soil. Cold wet feet in the winter is not good for a bulb like this when pushing the edges of tolerance.

We have every color and then some. There really isn't a need to worry about things clashing.

This red, double petaled, pom pom azalea is rather different.

There is more yet to come. There are quite a few of the native Flame azaleas which bloom much later than the rest. Even their bloom times are quite spread out.

Lorelei is not the only plant on this mountain that gets around. Quite a few things have jumped the fence into the next county. A little Phacelia purshii can't hurt.

Other natives are not quite so rambunctious. I will be watching this Clintonia umbellulata to see if it makes seed. If it does I should plant them. That adds one layer of protection from the varmints eating them.

I must have more of this. I think it is Actaea pachypoda, Baneberry. I'll need to look closer. Some plants on the mountain are represented by a single member.

There is only one of these yellow and white Siberian iris so far. In a couple more seasons it will be dividable.

If it's anything like Lorelei and its close relation Caesar's Brother, well then, it won't be long until it is all over the place.

The Yellow Flag iris, Iris pseudacorus, has started to bloom. It is looking like this will be a decent bloom year since it wasn't severly frozen by a late spring freeze.

It is blooming at the same time as Caesar's Brother. Now they both need to do a mass bloom in sync that is visible from my front porch viewing station.

It's the loneliest poppy in the world. It's not an iris. For some reason I have been unable to grow more poppies. This one was here when I arrived almost eight years ago. At least it is getting bigger.

There's not just one Lorelei. It has spread throughout the county and beyond. I think Lorelei has made it from this mountain top to several other states as well. And there is plenty left.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Hiding In Plain Sight

There is something about the roadside vegetable garden. Every time I have been up there working this year one or more cars have stopped to compliment the garden or one of my roadside attractions. My wildflower surround is not quite tall enough to hide me while I am up there yet. I keep thinking I need me some bib overalls, no shirt, to enhance the scenery even more. Don't I wish.

Perhaps almost eight years of effort are really starting to show. The passersby can't contain it anymore and have to stop and comment.

I planted the tomatoes and peppers and seeded parsnips before the company came on Sunday. The potatoes were planted almost two months ago. Lettuce and what not was seeded a month ago. Germination on that was rather poor. I should do another sowing.

Did I or did I not sow carrots? I thought I did, but I'm not seeing any.

The cucumbers and squashes are seeded in four inch pots in trays. I have better luck with that than direct sowing.

That big tall thing in the garden is a clump of unharvested parsnips getting ready to bloom. I leave them for my amusement and the pondering of the passersby.

The strawberry beds crapped out over the winter. They need to be redone. I have two and a half empty rows left and I'm not sure that will be enough for all I have yet to plant. I'll just have to stuff it all in some how.

In another month I'll be able to hide in the roadside vegetable garden.

A pretty little allium Bulbarella gave me last fall is blooming. I like it. I sure hope it is a repeat bloomer and multiplier.

Lorelei is ready for her closeup. I didn't plant this one. It just showed up. I haven't seen any signs that this iris sets seed and self sows. It is more likely a small piece of it was accidentally moved or dropped during a harvesting operation.

I have waited four years. The Kousa Dogwood is finally going to have a decent bloom.

I have never noticed the tall pedicels the flowers are on before.

Already rising high above my head, the franken asparagus might be missed in the burgeoning Lush. This odd herbaceous vine is Smilax herbacea, the Carrion Flower, so called for its odorous fly pollinated flowers. Funny, I have never smelled it and I walk right by it on a regular basis. I'll give it a sniff this year.

There is evidence of my editing binge. I need to do it a couple more times before things progress much further, but was just too tired for another round today.

Is there any ancient archeological site of former human habitation where broken crockery has not been found? I don't want to disappoint anyone a thousand years from now. I decided the ancient looking dry stack stone walls that form my basement patio needed some broken crockery. They go together.

They are out there, eccentricities plainly visible in the garden. Quite a few are visible from the scenic byway. But you have to look to see them. Apparently many people do. More of them have been stopping to leave a comment.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

They Left With Lorelei

Bulbarella is single handedly going to populate the entire county and beyond with Lorelei iris. Half or more of the visitors to the wild cultivated gardens eventually leave carrying some Lorelei. It is one prolific iris that blooms no matter what.

My part of the garden was toured first. It is still pretty much all green. The really big show starts when you head down the driveway of the ridge top garden next door.

Over there it is spring time floral abundance. Some geraniums.

The Phacelia bipinnatifida with a few rhododendron blooms.

We stopped to visit the Lady in Yellow.

The Phacelia purshii runs through it all. It has even escaped into the next county.

Bulbarella shows off her garden. She is looking an awful lot like her, lived just a few weeks shy of 103, father in this picture.

There were deciduous azaleas blooming.

Among all the rhododendrons.

And beneath the rhododendrons. Some of the rhodos are rather large.

And a nice viburnum that has produced an offspring which is on my list for relocation.

Multiple choice paths wander all through the garden. It was a very enjoyable tour.

And when they left I went on a killing spree. I had weeded and planted the roadside vegetable garden with tomatoes and peppers and had started weeding the hosta before they arrived. My intent was to finish weeding the hosta.

I finished that and ambled along doing a little snatch and grab weeding as I went. Then Bam! A full scale weeding frenzy took hold.

My target was the New England Aster. It gets way too tall, five to six feet, and falls over the very moment it starts to bloom. It wants to grow tall fast and forces everything else higher with it.

I don't try to dig it up by the root. I just grab and pull the stems and usually get a good piece of rhizome with it. Removing it gives everything else more sun and elbow room, hopefully keeping them more compact and less likely to fall over. It does keep the final height of the meadow a foot and a half shorter.

The visitors came and went. The gardens looked good. I can stand the mess on my newly whacked paths until the sun dries them up to nothing when the ultimate goal is worth it.

I foresee another editing binge in my near future. The New England Aster is on its way out.