Monday, June 29, 2009

A Wandering Look


At Lilies

Yarrow, Spirea and Lilies




Roadside vegetables looking good

The Show Stopper Eremurus

Taking on its namesake, Foxtail Lily

Miscanthus and Ox-Eye Daisy

Hollyhocks and friends

Closeup of the Foxtail

Frances do you recognise this Daylily?

The current view from my front porch

A wall gains footing

And grows

And grows

Despite the rain that now misses us.
The monsoon has ended.

And there is more opportunity to wander.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Things Fall Out Of The Ground

Random lilies are popping up all around. Were they planted or did they self sow? Much of what grows here is a mystery as to source. The shrubs are a bit easier to recall. A few form suckering clumps and there can be a few random seedlings. These are easy to place to a source.

Some sources of shrubs can be far from the mountain. Client #1 has been on a thinning binge in her garden. She likes the just planted look and does not like plants that touch or merge. Even different forms of Hosta must show a separation between plants.

So I was in there thinning and discovered that the Aesculus parviflora, Bottlebrush Buckeye, had tons of rooted branches that had been covered in mulch over the years. They needed to come out. It was in full bloom and looking fabulous. I'm sure I could find a nice home for some of the rooted stem cuttings.

This native Buckeye is a fairly large multi-stemmed shrub with palmately compound leaves that turn golden yellow in the fall. The mid-summer bloom is very showy.

So I planted six of them. Four went along my lower property line as the beginning of a property and garden definition screening. Three of those are in the shade and one in full sun. Another went smack dab in front of the cozy cabin in the middle of the future planting bed. If it is happy there it could fill 80% of this bed in time. You can see it just to the right and behind the rock.

I wanted some height and substance there to help connect the cabin to the ground. Some choice small conifers in the foreground for winter interest and a few select perennials will help fill out the bed.

Many things in the garden are ephemeral and could be used as filler while the permanent shrubs grow and claim space. Like this pole bean who is being stingy with setting beans. Next year I may forgo the pretty flowers and aim for a large yield.

The wildflowers have no trouble filling space temporarily and I get better and better at distinguishing who is who at younger stages.

Occasionally even a bulb has been known to fall out of the ground when planting something new. Sometimes you can tell what a simple naked bulb is by its shape and color.

There can be advantages to being a peasant gardener.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sunset Series

It got to late to start a post on another subject,

Aesculus parviflora.

I zoomed through the sky

And could not decide

Which it should be.

Friday, June 26, 2009

New Well Cleanup Therapy

I'll start with something pretty because there is not a whole lot of that in the following tale. This is about beginnings, about what could be if I plant well.

A rough re-grading around the new well head was done and the Mugo Pine replanted. I was a little concerned that the pine may have to go elsewhere, that there would not be enough room anymore. The pine is a good six plus feet away. Even at maturity that should leave plenty of room to access the well head.

The pine was not something I wanted to leave out of the ground for any length of time, but that is all I can do for now. The water and electric lines for the pump need to be connected and trenched from here. I hope they can finish the work without mangling the Mugo.

The front half of the well head bed got a little stomped in the process. That was tidied. All the small Sedum 'Lidakense' clumps that had been dug were replanted in a more forward location. My blogger icon got knocked down. I stacked him back up again, but I don't know how much longer he will be around. I want something more substantial one day.

Big clumps of daylilies and Dwarf Crested Iris wait in the shade of the trees. And drat, there was a fat Foxglove tucked into the woods that I forgot about that still needs to be replanted. It can can be replanted elsewhere. Who knows when they will be back to finish the well.

My own private lava flow. All kind slime poured down the drainage during the drilling of the well. This looks like it could have cement like tendencies.

With the repair work done that could be done and more destruction to follow, garden therapy that looks to the future is the perfect way to move into a another realm of mind. It just so happened I had buckets filled with plants from a visit to Fairegarden the previous day.

Frances loaded me up with:
New England Aster
White Astilbe
Sedum cuttings
Daylily and
Louisiana Iris

(Also gifts from the gravel)
Verbena bonariensis
Penstemon 'Husker Red' and
Muhly Grass

She wonders why I kept saying no to more plants, no more, none of that.

I like to make an attempt to plant the right plant in the right place the first time. My baby garden needless to say is not a prepped, civilized, suburban yard. It is a wild forest. Knowing the basic flow of the land, future paths and intended garden spaces I can make informed choices about where to plant things.

I just have to clear a hole in the wild first. Here are a couple of the six Babtisia that were planted on the sunny slope behind the roadside vegetable garden.

Then if I can get to it, I need to mulch with wood chips to keep the wild at bay and give the new plants a fighting chance at some sunlight. Things can be swallowed up quickly this time of year.

These white astilbe will light the entrance to a path through the forest trees.

The new kind New England Aster were planted on the telephone pole slope. Their cheery purple and rosy pink will combine nicely with the yellow of Stella D'Oro and the red and pink of the Knockout Roses. Not. I think Stella will need to be moved on day. Once the aster blooms and set seed, they can be spread to the upper sunny utility meadow or wander where they will.

The daylilies joined another group on the slope below the garden access road. This slope has the beginnings of mulch and the thick clumps of grass that was seeded to help hold the hill is being pulled as I go.

The Louisiana Iris 'Black Gamecock', I think she said, joined the previous yellow ones Frances had sent me in the mail. The women is very generous.

Dianthus and sedum went on the dry sunny hillside below the cabin and wall #1 where another grouping of dianthus can be seen as the grey haze in the background.

Madame Stappers was feeling lonely and needed some summer time company. The anemones were planted next to her the following day.

It felt good to plant all these gifts and continue to make progress on the baby garden because more destruction is coming.

The water and electric lines for the well pump have to be trenched on the left side of the drive all the way down there. The main electric line will also have to be trenched from the pole down to the cabin.

It's a long way up to the road side of that tree line on the right.

But the vegetable garden was spared and I am grateful for that.

It is the garden that gives me the most pleasure right now because it is the most organized and has the most controlled surround of colorful wildness.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Life I lead

Of a gardener
Is naturally filled

Each moment of sunlight
If only in observation

I finish as the sun slips away
The timing is perfect

Faire Heat

I had read a headline online, "Record Heat Grips Southern States" and heard some grumbling from Florida, but that was not going to deter me from leaving the cool mountain highlands for a trip down to the low valleys of Tennessee. I put on shorts for the first time of the season, packed a cooler with liquids and made good on a rendezvous with the sweet and generous Frances of Fairegarden, Tennessee.

It was indeed sunny and warm. Not the best light for picture taking of gardens or of a welcoming front entrance. Not that I entered this way as a guest. Instead I was taken round back and through the corridor of the "revenge on the tall people" and the gardener's rear entrance.

Of course I had to admire the stacked rock facade. Just look at all those uniform flat rocks. Straight edged rocks, what a concept.

The heat was on and the garden was bursting with life. When I first stepped out of my truck, I was greeted by the sweet fragrance of dozens of blooming lilies.

This deep port red one in the black garden caught my eye.

What is this? A purple aster blooming in the summer. Frances told me it was a New England Aster and it would re-bloom in the fall. Some of that would be nice in the sunny utility meadows. It does not look like any of our fall blooming blue asters or what I call the New England Aster here. Aster confusion is typical.

A nice cool spot in the shade of the tall pines with 'Annabelle' hydrangeas in full bloom.

Even the juxtaposition of the fiery daylilies against the cool white couldn't break up the shady cool and calm feeling in this corner.

At the end of a day that passed rather quickly, we gabbed quite a bit about many important things, we posed and hoped for the best. I had gotten a bit sweaty gathering and unloading a few things.

(Photo by the Financier)

Back home on the cool mountain top, a well had apparently been drilled as deep as it needed to go. The next disturbing process is to run the water and electric lines all the way down to the cabin.

Buckets filled with all kind of choice plants were also brought back to the cool high mountains. Fairegarden is a true smorgasbord and the head gardener generous to a fault.

More on them later, since I spent the day planting most of them and starting the repair and cleanup of the flower bed the new well took out.