Sunday, May 2, 2010

Wildflower Break

The pretense of civilized cultivation exists along the perimeters of the low spot on a North Carolina mountain top. Gardening is done within the many parameters set by the wild forest.

But there is a certain line that is crossed and the forest remains fully in charge. No human editors are allowed.

It is like having someone else's garden right next door that I can visit whenever I want.

A place where the mystery of many violets resides. This is one of the white violets, Viola canadensis. The other is deeper in the forest and I did not go there on this visit.

I did discover a new violet species here, Viola striata, the Striped Cream Violet. It isn't the big white one above.

And it isn't the big yellow one, Viola pubescens. Our particular tall yellow violet looks to be the less hairy and recently reclassified Viola pubescens var. pubescens. The smaller yellow one was finished blooming.

The purple violets, Viola sororia don't send up flowering stems. I think that is all we have in purple species. There is just wide variation in the size and color of the petals. More exploration and closer examination could easily change that.

The Jack in the Pulpits, Arisaema triphyllum have begun blooming.

They come in black and green and all manner of gradations in between. There is never just one kind of anything in the garden next door.

Diphylleia cymosa, Umbrella Leaf is making a good showing this year. It is either spreading itself about with seed or continuing to recover from the Great Easter Freeze of '07'. There just looks to be more of it in more places. New plants from seed could easily go unnoticed until they reach a certain size. This leaf form is repeated endlessly in the large swaths of Mayapple.

I actually did wander over to the neighbors today. I have seen several cars parked along the road and people wandering up the long drive to the house. I finally went to check on things to be sure nothing was wrong. This is ramp and morel mushroom hunting season. I tend to assume this trespassing activity is related to that.

Their Anemone quinquefolia are bigger than ours.

Lordy! Look at all the Larkspur.

We have a few measly Larkspur, Delphinium tricorne in the wild cultivated garden and some in the forest. They have a whole hillside swimming in it.

I didn't wander to far into their forest, but from what little I saw, we have more trilliums.

Next it will be back to the happenings in Bulbarella's garden where more things are going on than I can adequately document without making it a full time job.


Anonymous said...

Where is Uncle Ernie? Did he survive the winter?

Christopher C. NC said...

Uncle Ernie is in his regular place poised and ready for action at the right end of the garden. He has his camo outfit on in that picture. His hair is a bit frazzled after two days of gale force winds ... and not a drop of rain.

Lola said...

We must leave some of the forest to enjoy it's many surprises. No 2 feet will ever be the same.
Glad Uncle Ernie is ok.
It won't be long till you can wonder over & partake of all the gardens' bounty that you wish.
We had tornado warnings on Fri night. It got a bit rough.
Need to get the peach & apple trees in the ground but have to wait till my back & good leg calm down. The trees were a gift from brother.

Anonymous said...

I love violets.I know some people think they're weeds because they spread but I say, enjoy them!
Your forest "garden" has its own beauty. Those trilliums, swoon!


Phrago said...

Hey Chris, I bet you are lovin the Spring weather, Nice photos... Patrick

Amber Pixie Shehan said...

I love violets! I eat them in my salad, both the flowers and the leaves are quite edible, as well as high in Vitamin A!

I also use the leaves for a face wash since they are high in salicyclic acid.

Thanks for the tour of the "wild garden!"

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Drool....drool....dark Arisaema...

Les said...

I would love to be able to wonder out the back door to see gems like these. It is great that you can do that, especially now that so much is popping up while the ticks and chiggers are still sluggish.