Saturday, March 31, 2012

Art Project With The Blue Pot

It was always my father's wish that something be done with the Blue Pot. Well today that effort made it to the top of the list of things to do. I needed to go to town for a 3/4 inch threaded nipple for connecting the hose bib on the outside of my stock tank well head cover - didn't work. I need one with continuous thread and no stop point in the middle so it protrudes far enough inside for another connection - and stopped to harvest some bamboo along the way.

The Blue Pot is now filled with bamboo.

My real job today was turning the resident gardener's house back on for her return next week. It involved cleaning and finishing putting the house back together from the flooring work done last fall.

The cherry trees in the wild cultivated garden are starting to bloom.

After a short mild heat wave, cool is set to return by the end of the week. Maybe the cherry trees will still be blooming when the sisters deliver Bulbarella to her mountain top. The Dogwoods may be in full bloom by then.

I visited Chuck B's blog who has been having a wonderful spurt of blogging this week. Must be spring break. I totally stole this idea from his visit to the sculpture gardens at Sierra Azul Nursery. If you visit Chuck be sure to click to the main page. He has visited Filoli and UC Santa Cruz Arboretum since this post.

Next, wine bottles will be placed on the ends of the bamboo poles. Art project complete. Unless I decide to shorten the poles a foot or so. I have to study it some.

It is still a bit upsetting that my father won't be coming back to see his Blue Pot art project completed. He would understand though. There are so many projects and never enough time.

Plants he chose for the garden to replace ones lost in the Great Easter Freeze of 2007 will remind of us him.

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Weeds I Should Have

I stopped in at the native plant garden in Lake Junaluska today thinking if there was any hope of catching spring, I'd better get there now before the June like weathers arrive. They have the kind of weeds in their garden that I want in mine.

So far Bluebells, Mertensia virginica have been unsuccessful here. Another attempt has been made and a single leaf has appeared.

The Celandine Poppies, Stylophorum diphyllum that followed me home last fall are doing quite well. The seeds will need to gathered for flinging.

There is a purpose to my editing out the thugs in the garden becoming even if they are native plants. There are better native plants to have as weeds.

We do have a few meager stems of the woodland phlox, Phlox divaricata around here. I think it is being out competed by the other wild things. Its meager showing has prevented me from buying more. Maybe if I give it a space free of thugs.

Got plenty Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis, though not this petal variation.

Got four species of trilliums at least, but neither the red or yellow flowered kind. I don't have the trilliums where I want them. Some of them will need to be relocated.

Got Iris cristata.

Both the white and blue. It really is weed like and forms big fat colonies from small transplantings. All I need to do is keep spreading it around.

A pink version of the woodland phlox?

We have the Foam Flower, Tiarella sp. I am not sure if we have tried the Jacob's Ladder, Polemonium caeruleum. I do know where I could get some to fall out of the ground and follow me home.

Working on more of the native deciduous azaleas. I can always find a place for them.

The little Silverbell, Halesia carolina I planted died back to the ground, but has resprouted. Hopefully I can grow it into a tree. I know where an entire mountain side is covered with Silverbells now if I need to get another. Last fall I was weeding them out of beds they set so much seed.

I'll just keep editing out the thuggish things I don't want. One day I'll have all the weeds I do want.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Rogue Tulips

I spent five hours this morning doing nothing but digging out Clematis virginiana vine with my CobraHead Weeder. My soil is soft fortunately. The clematis has a root system of steel cables. That little weeder did great.

Then I went on a plant hunting expedition.

And noticed an inordinate number of tulips in bloom.

Tulips are supposed to be avoided because they do not reliably perennialize and more often than not end up as food for the varmints. Maybe the Spots are working. They spend most of their days next door now.

In my steel cable extraction and wandering I also noticed a large number of newly planted species tulips coming up. Most of them have not bloomed yet.

I returned home with a sack full of crocus and six rooted stem cuttings of rhododendrons.

I felt there was room for some more evergreen screening between me and the scenic byway. The crocus were a bonus I found hiding under a huge juniper.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Forest Stirs

I haven't taken the time to go on a proper walk through the forest as it stirs back to life. So many other things vie for my attention. But I don't have to walk far in places to enter the forest's realm. I can even look in and see the large white flowers of Bloodroot scattered among the trees.

The violets, too many in number and kind to keep track of, peak up through the leaf litter.

The pilfered fern from across the byway survived its rescue.

My little Serviceberry tree blooms. I hope the recent thinning of the front section of the forest will let this little tree grow stronger.

It is the garden becoming that gets more of my attention than the wild forest. That is as it should be. The garden becoming needs more editing and organizing.

The wild forest will tend to itself. All I really plan for it is to make some paths and straighten up all the fallen branches and logs a bit. At least that is all I plan so far.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Few Flowers Before Bedtime

Steady work kind work has been wearing me out. It doesn't help that I keep working here when I am not working out there. I'm going to bed.

It was another beautiful day. To perfect to pass up an evening stroll. I had a camera in hand and the whole time I was thinking I should ditch the camera and bring my CobraHead Weeder. A real gardener is never too tired to weed.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Waking Up

Life arises from the brown earth. Yellie Mums and bargain basement Asiatic lilies wake up to fill the sewer line bed. Further on down the bed are a Japanese maple, rhubarb and hellebores.

Baby viburnum shrubberies are leafing out. It is always reassuring to see new plants wake up after their first winter. They have survived.

The Mayapple has arisen. In reality this large swath of fresh green Mayapple may be a single plant. It is all connected under ground by a deep, thick, fleshy rhizome. Yes it is native. Yes it has a nice leaf for deep shade through mid summer. The single flower is so so. But it can be a pest. I am always a little shocked to see it for sale in a nursery.

Strappy green leaves of iris rise through the wild things.

At the bottom of the slope are brown piles of the edited castoffs. Over the last two weekends I have gotten some major editing done. For now I concentrate on the thugs like Clematis virginiana, Elderberry, Blackberry and baby birch trees. The summer time will be spent pulling more Clematis virginiana, Symphyotrichum novae-angliae and Impatiens pallida and I. capensis hopefully before they get five feet tall. There are good things in all this mess that I won't mind having as weeds. The thugs just have to go.

The Seven Son Flower, Heptacodium miconioides is almost fully leafed out. It better not freeze again.

It may face mostly north but I do believe there is going to be sunset action in my new view, particularly in the summer time.

A new garden begins to wake up to its first spring as a real garden becoming.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Garden Marches Into May

It was a cold wet and dreary day. Very spring like.

This cool cold arrives too little too late.

In the weeks of warm that preceded it, the garden has moved on.

Freak out. The first Hyacinthoides hispanica, Spanish Bluebells have started to bloom. This grouping is always the first, but that is supposed to be near the end of April.

Hosta appeared over night.

The Bulbapaloozathon is winding down as a green blush envelopes the ridge top garden.

I have to say what I have been thinking. This year's Bulbapaloozathon was a dud. Even with early, mid and late daffodils blooming all at once, it just seems many of them had far fewer blooms and some no blooms at all. Can you blame it on the winter that wasn't or is this just a normal cycle of things? Bulbarella stays on top of her fertilizing and dividing. It must have just been an off year for daffodils.

There are still daffodils blooming and daffodils yet to bloom. How could there not be 10,000 daffodils always in a state of multiplication.

There are other bulbs too.

The late blooming daffodils are here now. In March, not April when they are supposed to bloom.

Tulips in March? At least the species tulips are holding off a wee bit longer.

I think the PJM rhododendrons are pretty much on schedule. At least this year they won't get frozen. We have cool in the extended diagnosis, not freezing cold. So far at least.

The garden marches on to a speedier rhythm. I think I would be most pleased if April and May stay wet and cool. No hard freezes. We are past the point of no return. The cherry and Dogwoods are getting ready to bloom. If the rhododendrons and their accompanying flora bloom weeks early this year it will be a disaster. What will the 90 plus garden bloggers see in the third week of May?

The daffodils will be gone.

The spring ephemerals in the wild forest will be history.

I'll just have to tell them, you shoulda been here two weeks ago. The garden was magnificent back then.