Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Wet Chicory

Some much needed rain fell in the last two days. I wish more of it fell on the other side of the county. It's still way to dry over that side. I like rain. It also scares me a little as the Lush grows high. Floppage is a recurrent problem for tall things. It can be mild to damaging to season ending depending on the storm surge. So far so good.

Or so so depending. The tree does not fall far from the apples. Fortunately I don't care.

Average needed rain, plus a heavy set of apples and a rotten trunk equals one fallen tree.

First came the loppers to cut off all the smaller branches.

Then came the chainsaw to remove the trunk.

It was a wild apple tucked into the forest, so no great loss. However, I did not want it sitting in the bottom corner of the Great Lawn on top of my baby red twig dogwoods.

All cleaned up and tossed back into the forest where it can decompose and return to the earth.

It will all be dry and fluffed back up by morning. I will stop to gaze at the chicory before I start my day.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Freshly Mowed

Can you tell?

It gets harder as the Lush grows taller and obscures the paths.

I have to go down to the Great Lawn for the full mown effect.

One bench is in the cool shade of the forest, a very nice place to rest after a hot mowing.

I keep the mowing to a minimum for obvious reasons.

I can encourage the Lush to look like this.

Editing is easier than mowing and a whole lot more interesting, but that little bit of mowing has a dramatic effect. A strong element of order gives the wild coherence. My maintenance gardener self is able to relax.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

A Place Filled With Chaotic Beauty

A freshly mowed thin line of order leads in. Sister #1 is coming next weekend.

The gardens will be tidied. I can't say the same for either house.

The sunny utility meadow is the scenic path between the two.

There is a lot blooming now.

It is part of the scenic along the byway.

And a repository for Bulbarella's ever expanding daylily collection.

Daylily Hill is behind the roadside vegetable garden.

It's finally growing now that we are hitting eighty degrees of hot.

My curb appeal.

But you see, I don't have a curb.

And the garden is...well. It is what it is.

A place filled with chaotic beauty.

And a nice wide freshly mowed path leads in.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Wild Texture

I garden for texture as much as for floral display. What that means for the Tall Flower Meadow is breaking up the simple leaf syndrome of the dominant aster family members.

The native and autonomous Flattened Oat Grass, Danthonia compressa, is a big help when the meadow is still short. At full height this grass gets lost. In places it forms its own brand of meadow.

Think texture as we stroll the wild cultivated gardens.

Grasses are a big help.

Linear leaves contrast with simple leaves.

A big splash of color doesn't hurt. But I cannot tell a lie. This is Bulbarella's doing. I just borrow it.

Simple leaf syndrome can still produce a bounty of color. This is about to pop.

I've been working on the wild flower end of the roadside vegetable garden. Not being a big priority, it is rather slow going. Last year I added dozens of liatris.

Think texture and blooms.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Deja Voodoo

Balloon Flower has never captured my attention. Don't ask me why. Gardeners can be a fickle lot.

A deciduous tropical bulb with single compound leaf and a flower that smells like dead carrion, now that captures my attention. Three out of four pots of my Voodoo Lily, Amorphophallus konjac have woken up so far. It is a very late riser.

I first encountered this oddity many moons ago in the town where I grew up growing in the ground in the botanical garden where I was a volunteer. I went to visit at some point after my return from Maui and this bulb which very generously makes bulblets on the leaf offered me one.

I grow them in pots and store them in the unheated mechanical room next door for the winter. What started as a single pea sized bulblet is now four pots of Voodoo Lilies. I haven't had a bloom yet, but the plants are getting quite big. Every year I gather the bulblets and pot them up for winter storage.

Japanese Iris, Iris ensata, is quite good at setting seed and self sowing. There is a garden where the seedlings get pulled as weeds. Now I certainly could have stuck a a shovel in any clump I wanted. Instead, a little seedling followed me home. I like the challenge. What color would it be?

Meh. It's white. I better mark some clumps while they have blooms left. I've been meaning to stick a shovel in some for relocation to the other garden.

It happened. 'Clyde Redmond', the deep blue iris of Maui, will be coming to live high on the low spot. I may have accidentally ordered another Louisiana iris 'Black Widow' while I was there. I wanted the 'Deja Voodoo' but it was already sold out. Now where will I put them? I have until August to think about it.

Somebody has been chewing on the Black Gamecock. Damn bugs. They better leave Clyde alone until he begins to multiply.

Iris with a history on Maui. Voodoo from Florida. More iris from a Posh Estate and Tennessee. Rose Campion from Wamboldtopia. Chicory collected along the scenic byway. They come from all over. The garden fills with mana.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Woodland Garden

It must have been looking particularly fetching at seven thirty this morning.

That is when the phone rang.

We were in the woodland garden cutting some flowers for arrangements before the kids arrive tomorrow and I just wanted to let you know how wonderful it looks. You really know what you are doing. It looks so good.

Early morning is a good time for a stroll, I said.

They may not be aware the woodland garden is still a work in progress. I relocated some trilliums last year. They all came up this spring. Some bloomed. I added two viburnum and three yellow twig dogwoods in the sunnier area by the upper road. The dogwoods came as rooted divisions when I cut the parent plants down this spring for new growth. The fall blooming asters are returning under my editing regimen and this spring there was a very nice bloom from the Golden Ragwort. Columbine and Foxglove have started to self sow.

All to often I move through gardens with my head down and a narrow field of vision. I don't stop enough to take in the bigger picture. The woodland garden is looking rather fetching right now. In the low light and cool dew of early morning, it might be breath taking.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Begin Summer

The wildflower surround of the roadside vegetable garden is ready to explode on the first day of summer.

I wish I could say the same about the vegetable garden itself. Oh woe is me, the damn sprouting seed eating bugs have been a real challenge this year along with the scratch and peck turkeys and the hole digger. The vegetable garden is off to a very late start.

Pestilence of all kinds has been very annoying this year. It seems every garden I tend has bunnies. Some have groundhogs. Turkeys are scratching the peck out of things all over the place. Diggers and bulb eaters abound. I blame it on the mild winter.

On the first day of summer at least the roadside vegetable garden is fully planted and growth has commenced.

One of the Yucca filamentosa has three bloom spikes. I even found two seedling yuccas. So far they are not variegated.

This kind of bloom is about to spread across the meadows as the daylilies and wildflowers start their summer. I wish the vegetable garden was this easy.

In shadier places, the Asclepias exaltata, Poke Milkweed, is in bloom. I have never seen monarch caterpillars on these. I don't think they live or breed up here at all.

The low rays of the evening sun catch the rising head of Rattlesnake Master, Eryngium yuccifolium.

Joe Pye grows. Late summer is its bloom time.