Saturday, August 15, 2009

Roadside Attractions

It starts at one end, goes around the bend with a view down into the sunny utility meadow

And ends at the other side of the property, a multi-colored tapestry of bloom that elicits known and unknown reactions. The passing motorists, unless they are bold enough to stop and some are, won't get to see everything that is blooming in the low spot on a North Carolina mountain top like the lucky viewers of the international Garden Bloggers Bloom Day can.

Even passing by you can miss things very close to the road because they are currently hiding behind the gigantic Cichorium intybus.

Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning Light' and Echinops bannaticus are settling in. I am hoping things will size right next year. The Ox-Eye Daises just do their thing and they have been doing it all summer long.

Stepping back a little shows Verbena bonariensis that I hope will self sow and the Hibiscus Cordial.

Daucus carota, Queen Ann's Lace is blooming everywhere. It is all over the mountain.

It is about to be joined by the Ageratina altissima, White Snakeroot. In another two weeks or less there will be a waving blanket of white froth beneath the forest trees.

It would be impossible to list all the things blooming here or should I say I am not willing to make that list. A fine sampling will have to do. Of course for the real flower gluttons, Bloom Day headquarters can send you around the blooming planet.

Phlox paniculata and Helianthus tuberosus grow well away from the road further in to the wild cultivated garden.

The blooms of Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle' linger as Rudbeckia hirta engulfs it.

Turtlehead, Chelone cuthbertii is beginning to show up. This plant while abundant, is horribly chewed by some bug and rarely looks that good. It has no shame and blooms any way.

A few astilbe linger in the shadier parts of the garden.

The lobelias are here. Lobelia syphilitica, the Great Blue Lobelia is one of the abundant weeds on the mountain.

Only a couple of the Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis have made this place their home. This is the reddest red you could possibly imagine.

Joe Pye does what Joe Pye does best. Even the lighter pink Eupatorium fistulosum is a butterfly magnet. After such a light showing of butterflies this year it is nice to see they are still here.

The cartoon edit function applied to a photograph turns the picture into a colored drawing.

There are some of the darker Joe Pye on the mountain top now. The butterfly flew away when I went to take the picture of this group of Joe Pye. This group fell out of the ground at Client # 1's so I don't know if it is Eupatorium purpureum or E. maculatum. I don't think I care any more.

I stumbled across this Ligularia blooming on the Garden Bloggers Bloom Day tour today. I bought one for myself and I think it croaked. *Note to self, collect Ligularia seed.*

By far the most photographed bloom on this mountain top has to be the common ordinary annual sunflowers in the roadside vegetable garden. Twice this week folks have stopped and asked to take pictures. Those two are just the ones I saw. Another couple stopped while I was digging potatoes to tell me how much they enjoyed the progress of the cozy cabin and how much they liked the design of it. That was nice.

Other eyes watch while I am away.

The mana of Ku'ulei A'ina I hope will cause visitors to look in wondrous enjoyment. Taking some of that wonder with them and leaving only their good mana behind.


Pam/Digging said...

Your new garden has really come into its own, Christopher. Beautiful!

donna said...

This was a very pleasant garden visit. Some of the prettiest gardens seem to be in NC. I'm a big fan of Joe Pye Weed.

chuck b. said...

Really amazing. I'm so glad you made time for Bloom Day. Can you tell this is the kind of "garden" I want for myself by looking at the rather cramped event in the garden that I actually have?

I'm a big fan of the Lobelia cardinalis. There is some California native with the same name, or very similar name... Lobelia cardinale. Maybe it's the same plant w/ very broad distribution. It looks the same. I love it.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I have been admiring that big Lobelia I have seen blooming all along the roads around here. I would like to get it going here. I have tried to get Cardinal lobelia going several times but no luck with it. Your garden looks so lush it is no wonder that people stop to enjoy it.

Nell Jean said...

Thanks for a spectaular Bloom Day presentation. A regular Yellow Daisy Festival with lots of others participating, nice to visit.

I re-subscribed to your feed, now that the worst of the septic tank installation is over.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I'm surprised you don't have car accidents on the road from people rubbernecking at your garden. It's a mountain paradise! How great to have the space to grow such big beauties as those Joe Pyes. I'm not familiar with Hibiscus 'Cordial,' but I would like to make its acquaintance up close and personal. That color adds so much depth to the grouping.

Siria said...

Hi Christopher! Your August bloom day is just beautiful. Those sunflowers look gigantic...they bring a smile to my face!

Anonymous said...

That was a spectacular trip through (part of) your garden; thanks! I have the Lobelia cardinalis in too much shade, but the very few red spikes it sends up are arresting focal points. I almost think it would be too much if there were more blooms!
I hadn't appreciated before exactly how colorful your sun garden is; no wonder you are stopping traffic!


Lola said...

What do you use to make your flowers so large? They are fantastic as usual.
Did you get a good harvest of spuds? They should taste like heaven. Just about anything I ate while in N.C. tasted much, much better than any other place. No taste at all here. Even my brother in Ga. said I may as well throw it all out as there was no taste at all. One can only try. I do love to play in the soil.

Lola said...

Sorry, I meant to ask you what happened to your Mana?

Christopher C. NC said...

Pam my garden is still mostly in my imagination. I have one front bed done. The rest is the resident gardeners doing and wild nature.

Hi Donna. At least here in the mountains, the cool can be a gardening advantage.

Chuck you have done an amazing job having the garden you want in your tiny space. The Lobelia cardinalis really likes it wet. I saw a ton of it while rafting down the Pigeon river and here it grows in the stream.

Lisa, the Lobelia syphilitica is listed as kind of invasive. I bet if you get it established you'll have plenty. Try collecting the seed heads and seeding it.

Nell Jean, I sure hope the worst of the septic system install is over.

MMGD, fortunately this is a country road so traffic is usually light. The Hibiscus Cordial is a breeder from Englands introduction I believe.

Siria, the sunflower in this post is about 9 feet tall.

Bev, the only way to really appreciate the sunny utility easement is to walk it. Mostly it appears green with dots of color. Certain times though the color gets much stronger like in goldenrod and aster season.

Lola the sunflowers were seed of the big ones, plus the mulch makes a big difference. The potato harvest was good. Next year I may need another row.

Mana is the Hawaiian word for the spiritual force found in people and places, particularly the land.

Lola said...

Sorry, I didn't word it right. I knew the meaning. I just wondered what happened to your symbol at the entrance to your wonderful retreat. It looks different.

Frances said...

It all looks wonderful and full of vibrance, Christopher. I remember researching your garden's name and came up with something like beloved land inheritance? Or something to that meaning. Thanks for the mana definition too. I want to learn. :-)

Christopher C. NC said...

Oh. Lola the stack of rocks icon got knocked down a couple of times when the well was drilled and he did not restack in the exact same position.

Frances Ku'ulei does mean my beloved and A'ina means land which is the intended name, My Beloved Land. Ku'ulei can also mean my flower lei so it could also be My Flower Land

Sylvana said...

I try to let nature have a say in my garden design too. Many times nature does better than I would have done.
That cardinal lobelia is beautiful. I use the white snakeroot and oxedaisy extensively in my own garden.