Monday, July 6, 2009


There are rare times when the camera simply refuses to see what the eye sees going on in the sky. Last night the very air itself was infused with a golden orange glow that reached from the horizon, through the clouds, right into the tree tops before me.

I did capture a couple of off color scenes after angling the camera in all kinds of directions. The true color was more golden, but the entire sky was suffused with this tone of light.

Today's late evening stroll under cloudy skies tested the camera operators abilities to get good color and sharp images. A discerning eye can still pick out many of the plants in this scene, Coreopsis, Hosta, Astilbe and a variegated white Filipendula in the back.

Liatris blooms with many companions. Artemisia has crept across the path. Virginia Creeper winds it way throughout. Yarrow and Goldenrod compete for space. A weeping Spruce tries to keep its head above the fray. We know all these plants.

Blown up to full size many gardeners could pick out countless species in this image despite the poor lighting. Astilbe, Ligularia and the first of the Bee Balm are blooming. The big leaved Darmera peltata got super sized this year. Responding to the monsoon no doubt. Asters, Goldenrod, Angelica, Clematis virginiana and Impatiens pallida are just a few of the other plants mingled in there.

When attempting to grow a wildflower meadow you need to know what is good and what is a weed or considered a weed. The editing process no matter how lax or down right impossible to a point of completion can determine how much you get in the way of actual wildflowers. Yarrow, Stokesia and Asclepias tuberosa bloom now. The Goldenrod and Ageratina altissima come later.

Every single plant may not be known by name, but the vast majority are known by whether or not they have a good enough flower not to be subject to removal.

Sadly there are people in this world for who it is clearly impossible to see plants at all. No matter how much room you give them and say please don't muck up my replanted Mugo Pine, they just have to squash something in order to feel like they have done their job right.

The pump was dropped down the well and the electric and water line trenched to the cabin. My poor Sedum cauticolum 'Lidakense' is now mush for the year. The remaining daylilies had to be half stomped for good measure. The Mugo Pine was at least only half buried in dirt. Oh why, why, don't these people see plants?

Tomorrow I will run another electric conduit pipe for a second electric line in case the well head should ever need an electric blanket for a cold spell. The electric line can also be used in the future for lights and one of them fancy gates that opens and closes automatically. Then I can fill in the trench and repair the damage once more. At least I am getting some new rocks out of this mess.

I will take my comfort where I can get it. On Sunday I yanked out the Caterbury Bells that were done blooming and divided the Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning Light'. The other front bed is finally planted as I have envisioned it. Will it last?

Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning Light' will dominate the bed. A Picea abies 'Nidiformis' will add winter interest. Cichorium intybus, Echinops bannaticus 'Blue Glow', Verbena bonariensis (hopefully it will self sow) and Iron Weed, Vernonia noveboracensis will add blue and purples in their time. Ox-Eye daisy will wander about and bloom early to late summer. The bold, yellow candelabras of the Eremurus will strike a golden note in a waving sea of blues, purple and white.

At least that is the plan.


chuck b. said...

People are such retards. "Canterbury Bells" is wonderfully beautiful to say. A nursery catalog came today selling orange, pink, and yellow Eremurus... Verbena bonariensis is one of those plants that self-sows so prolifically as to be a weed for some people. I've actually bought it a few times as a freebie/volunteer in a nursery pot along with the plant I actually wanted to buy.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a gorgeous plan to me. During a home renovation long ago, I was fussing with the mason running the backhoe, and he said, (from W. Va.) "you sure do like your flars."
It's been a family joke ever since.


Frances said...

Hi Christopher, at least it's done. Maybe the little sedum will grow some new leaves and still be presentable, there is lots of growing time left. Bev's comment about the workman speaking about her love of *flars* is something I hear from nearly every hired person that comes here. Like I was from Mars or something. Flars from Mars. Sort of like your gorgeous orange sky. Great capture of it, although it was probably prettier in person, it always is.

Christopher C. NC said...

Chuck I am hoping the V. bonariensis will self sow and survive up here. How much cold can the seed take? It would be a nice addition.

Bev when they first started drilling, the well man's wife stopped on the road, they live close by, and said why are your drilling in his flower garden? She knows at least.

Frances I collected all the mushed and broken sedum stems this evening to sprig in to the ground. It may regrow some this year, maybe I'll even get a little bloom. Next year there will be even more. Ah yes, the orange sunsets of Mars.

I have been getting comments on my flars from several people. Plenty of them must notice the eccentricities when they drive by.

Lola said...

It's a shame that people don't watch where they plant those big feet. I don't think it's necessary to be so destructive.
Love the way you've planted the flowers. They will look much better when settled in.
What color is you Stakosia? There is one in particular that I would like to get as it has my mother's name. I believe it's yellow.

Cindy, My Corner of Katy said...

You have not only my sympathy but my empathy about the big-footed destroyers of the garden. I'm married to such a creature and it can be a major bone of contention. I try to keep him out of the gardens as much as possible.

Based on what I've heard from gardeners up north, the V. bonariensis seeds can handle the cold. If you need more seeds, though, let me know. I always have them to share.

Christopher C. NC said...

Lola, the Stokesias here are mainly blue and white. I have two friends who don't even think to watch were they walk even when I am showing them the garden. I've had to correct both of them.

Cindy, that is terrible. You haven't been able to retrain him to stay out of the flower beds yet? That's good news on the verbena. I bought one and Frances gave me a bunch of seedlings that have settled in and started to grow.