Friday, January 27, 2012

Back To The Snake In The Grass

What is the story of Creation without the serpent?

I really wasn't liking how the tear in the fabric of Creation was turning out. It still felt off. I gazed down upon it trying to think new thoughts when an old idea filtered back in. At one time I had seen a snake in the grass made from all these boulders. The leaning rocks were reminding me more of a reptile's backbone than a toothy smile. I wasn't wanting a toothy smile anyway.

So I changed my mind. I was going to find the inner snake in the grass hiding in these boulders.

I think I found it.

I ended up having to move the too big to move rocks on the left that I was trying to avoid moving that had started this whole thought process. I like my snake in the grass better though. It was worth it.

It took two hours to wiggle the snake's head uphill and into place. That was one heavy rock. Now it needs to rain again and wash all the mud off.

I just may need to replant an apple tree to finish off this metaphor. I cut them down in the more sun making process. They were old and misshapen. I sacrificed them for the garden to be.

The hard part of all this may be what comes next, changing the six foot tall denizens of the wet crease in the sunny utility meadow to a short blooming carpet. Some of the possibilities being considered for that effort are Buttercups, Ranunculus bulbosus, Forget-Me-Not, Myosotis sylvatica, and Japanese Blood Grass, Imperata cylindrica.

Just give me time. I'll get there.


Jason said...

I like what you've done with the stones. Where I am in the midwest, if you want a big rock you have to buy one.

For your groundcover, have you thought of wild blue phlox (phlox divaritica), foamflower (tiarella cordifolia), wild strawberry (fragaria virginica), or siberian bugloss (brunnera macrophyla)?

Christopher C. NC said...

Thanks for the plant ideas Jason. This is a full sun almost bog situation so anything planted will have to like wet feet and sun.

With the wild strawberry and a similar in habit, but yellow flowered cinquefoil (Potentilla canadensis) the choice is leave them or pull them. Both run rampant here. We have the phlox too, but it is rather wimpy and not near aggressive enough to out compete a host of intruders. The foamflower is definitely worth trying. I have a new one that is a real thug.

Lola said...

I like the serpent much better. I do think a few apples would go nicely. I knew you would come up with a terrific idea.
My piggy back wild strawberry that came in with the iris is looking really good, so green. I treasure that.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I like the serpent on the hill much better. It seems alive, senuous. Well done.

gogo said...

Christopher, I felt a distinct frisson as I read about your considering Imperata cylindrica . . . cogon grass . . . for your garden. Cogon grass has already overtaken more acreage in the SE than kudzu, and states are desperately trying to find some way to slow its spread. Its a horrid, horrid weed. Have you come across info suggesting I. cylindrica is actually not a threat?

gogo said...

Sorry - I got so caught up in my cogon-grass-panic I neglected to say what a great pleasure reading your adventures in your mountaintop garden has been. It's a surprise and a delight to keep track of the passage of the seasons and the development of a gardener's vision in such a personal way. Thanks.

Christopher C. NC said...

Gogo I have read that Imperata cylindrica is aggressive and thought if I give it the wet feet it wants maybe it would be. So far I can't keep it alive. I have never seen anything about it being worse than kudzu or a bane to state's eradication efforts.

Both the Buttercup and Forget-Me-Not are naturalized European immigrants in these parts, roadside weeds we'll never be rid of.

I am certainly open to other suggestions. I just need aggressive that will take wet feet, full sun and can out compete or hold its own with New England Aster and Goldenrod. Think no mow meadow lawn.

Sorry to cause a Blood Grass panic. Glad you like reading otherwise.

gogo said...

Christopher- I found a couple of links re: cogongrass/bloodgrass that might be useful. I realize I must seem like a troll, but we SC Master Gardeners have been enlisted in the attempt to get Imperata at least under control. The first link is to NC State's site ( has the added benefit of suggested alternatives. The second is to Clemson's site, with links as well to further info. The point being, it's not just invasive; its introduction and establishment is impossible to restrict just to your garden, and its environmental consequences are truly dire.