Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Whatever Comes Up

The sunny utility meadow is the garden that is furthest from the resident gardeners house. Over time it kept getting further and further away. This called for a very relaxed gardening attitude. Perennials were planted. Seeds were flung. A dash of weeding was done. Trees were grubbed out to keep the utility company at bay. After that, whatever happened, happened.

The wild lush here is not shy. It grows with abandon. Because so much of it blooms, the resident gardeners may have actually encouraged it with their minimal methods of intervention. As long as there were plenty of things blooming, that was good enough.

Things have changed a bit since the assistant gardener arrived. Freed from a good deal of regular maintenance, the resident gardeners have discovered they have more time to plant things. Visits to the Biltmore didn't help. They came home inspired. All of a sudden the carefree sunny utility meadow needed to be more garden like. Translation - let's plant more stuff.

Years worth of previous efforts can be seen in the growing green carpet rising through the leaf litter. Thousands upon thousands of Spanish Bluebells, hundreds of daylilies and iris and dozens of clumps of daffodils greet the spring. That is just the tip of the lush to come.

The sunny utility meadow may get a bit more attention now than in the recent past, but still, whatever happens, happens. There are only so many days in a season and a lot of ground to cover.

There is something to be learned in the resident gardeners methods. I had a whole lot of wildflower seeds piling up and it just seemed easier to sow them in bulk and whatever came up would be good enough. There was never going to be time to properly sow them in flats and grow them out for planting. So I went through a big box of seeds and gathered all the best candidates for a mass sowing.

The selected location was first raked of all the leaf litter and remnants of the wild lush to expose the soil.

Then I tossed in the seeds of Golden Trumpet Lily, two kind California poppies, Hollyhocks, Texas Bluebonnets, Milkweed, Datura, Phlox, Columbine, Gaura and Limnanthes and raked them into contact with the soil. Whatever comes up, comes up.

I will do some minor editing primarily of Blackberry, Elderberry and Clematis virginiana, but for now this slope is planted and the new wildflowers can just blend in with the existing wild lush.

I sowed a few more lettuce and radish seed in the roadside vegetable garden. I was supposed to be cleaning house, but that got old fast and it was a gorgeous sunny and 65 degree day. I needed a gardening break.

Now someone forgot to tell this shallow rooted self sown lettuce that came up on top of the wood chip mulch that it would be in for a dire nitrogen deficiency. Not! The vast quantities of nutrients fed into the soil from the decomposing mulch far outweigh any nitrogen used in the process. My soil is getting good.

While down in the sunny utility meadow I found the Iris bucharica in bloom. They were moved to a sunnier location in the meadow from the ridge top garden during a time of inspiration and garden making. I must say they are much more robust looking plants in their new home.

The rare red tulips came up because they didn't get et up. They have bit more of chance now that there are resident varmint catchers patrolling the garden.

It's back to warm now. I wonder how long it will last.

I guess I'll just have to take whatever shows up.


Siria said...

Your wildflower hillside is going to look fabulous! I took your advice and planted some morning glory seeds. And then I couldn't resist and planted some gigantic sunflowers too. Hope the weather holds out and continues to warm up. It should be a nice day to welcome the Resident Gardener and the Building Contractor back to their mountain home!

Christopher C. NC said...

Siria they will be here tomorrow. The garden is ready and there will be time for a stroll since it doesn't get dark until 8pm now.

Lola said...

The Sunny Utility Valley will be gorgeous with all that planting. Seems it is the ideal place for a lot of blooms. I Like that Iris bucharica. It sure will be pretty where the wild flowers were flung.
Some volunteer veggies taste the best.
I plan to plant some dwarf sunflower seed that my neighbor gave me. I hope it's not too late.
A hearty welcome to your parents when they arrive.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

It is difficult to stay inside when it is so warm out. It feels so good to be able to open the windows and feel that fresh air waft through the house. Those iris are beautiful.

Christopher C. NC said...

Lola you can't pass up the sun in the sunny utility valley. It is a rare commodity in the forest. I'm sure it isn't to late to plant sunflowers. I'm seeing them just now coming up in the vege garden though I won't let so many live this year.

Lisa I actually did open the windows to help air out the house and clear out any winter funk. I saw one iris at their old location and wondered what happened to them. I think I should move the one that was left behind to my garden.

Lola said...

I forgot to mention that I love that first pic. It says so much to me.
Setting sun is so nice, so many colors.