It can take a while to get to my cabin construction site from the resident gardeners house when I walk through the woods. I see things in there. At this point I am up to recognizing five different species of ferns. I have not ID'd them yet. I'll need a book or another information source for that.
A Humpback whale was swimming through the forest and surfaced near by.
I have way more orchids in North Carolina than I ever did in Hawaii. They actually grow wild here and I have been finding more and more patches of the Putty Root, Aplectrum hyemale. The leaf appears in the fall and lasts through the winter. Then they bloom in May and June after the leaf has shriveled and disappeared.
A huge fossil tree rests on the surface.
By the time I get to the top of my drive where I am slowly working on the installation of a new planting bed, I am wondering why I am even attempting to tidy up nature, thinking I can make it look better.
The split rail fence presents a challenge for a good planting design for this bed. It is a visual barrier to smaller low growing plants and a physical barrier for maintenance access. It's purpose though is paramount and that is to keep cars on the road. On a scenic byway with next to no shoulders people will pull off the road any place there is a space. I want a garden with some curb appeal, not the curb.
I was back in there today because one of the resident gardener over indulged in bulbs and I received some of the overflow. I was the lucky recipient of some Foxtail Lily, an Eremurus species. I need to get the package with the label out of the trash and write the full name down.
This bulb needs full sun in a well drained soil and well the resident gardeners are already full on bulbs and short on full sun. I just happen to have a whole new piece of the mountain to plant. This front garden is also a side arm of the utility easement and has been and will need to continue to be kept clear of trees.
My thoughts are that I need to limit the plant palette and plant a few large drifts of things that will have some presence behind the fence. So far I have put in the Bird's Nest Spruce, Picea abies 'Nidiformis', front and center right, Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning Light', top left as the bed curves and narrows and now the Eremurus, out of the picture above, about eight feet forward of the Spruce.
I found two clumps of an unidentified sedge, a baby allium of some kind and the Ironweed, all of which I am leaving and will try to multiply with the Miscanthus and Eremurus to help fill this bed. The Blue Aster, Goldenrod, Blackberry and assorted others are being discouraged for now. I need me some mulch.
Below this bed is a tangled mess on a steep slope filled with Blackberry, Aster, Clematis and Pokeweed, at least that is what I can see on the surface. It also contains a solid row as if they were planted by someone, of the native Hydrangea arborescens that extends well into the trees as you move down along the road. The hydrangea need to be uncovered and saved and a new plan put in place for this slope. I am thinking Rhus glabra, Smooth Sumac for its different leaf texture, nice inflorescence and great fall color as the backdrop for the upper bed.
This bed could look so nice it might slow people down enough to safely enter and exit my driveway on the sole straight away on this curving road right after it tops the mountain and starts heading down hill. Local people seem to be in a hurry or is that just how it is done on the mainland?
It can take just as long to get back to the resident gardeners house from my cabin construction and new garden site as it does to get there when I walk through the meadow and woods. I see things in there.
The maples by far have the most diverse color range.
Oh yea, there was that front gate I was going to build too.
The Solomon's Seal just quietly withers away with very little drama. A few still hang on, leafless, with their pawn shop balls dangling in the wind.