Thursday, May 30, 2013

Time For The Black Iris

The Black iris has appeared for the season. We are never quite sure if it will show up or where exactly it may be. There are a lot of iris in the wild cultivated gardens. It is hard to keep track of them all. When they bloom well Bulbarella gets a hankering for more.

The unknown roadside rose is having a good year. Whoever it is, it has a good degree of salt tolerance. Growing things along the edge of the road can be a challenge after a winter of many snows.

The only poppy we have. My poppy seed sowing back in February was for naught. They can't compete with the Lush. If I want poppies in this narrow strip between the road and the roadside vegetable garden, the Lush will have to go. Come late fall I may be willing to start over from scratch.

Mountainous rhododendrons now tower above the wild cultivated gardens. One day mine could be this big.

Out at the back of the patch, more Black Iris are swelling, getting ready to burst.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Floral Abundance At The End Of May

This is a self guided tour.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Preventing A Larceny

I stole these Cinnamon Ferns when my neighbor across the byway took a bush hog into the flower bed planted by the former owner that had long since gone bad. I saw no reason that such nice ferns should be bush hogged.

I found these Caesar's Brother iris where they had been tossed into the forest as rubbish at a client's garden. Too many iris is too many. They can't all find good homes. And with daylilies and iris, tossing them out into the woods doesn't guarantee compost. There is a good chance they will root and live on.

I put out a call to the universe. I wanted an Oconee Bell, Shortia galacifolia. The only place I had ever seen them was in two local botanical gardens. I'd see them and have larcenous thoughts.

Lynn Hunt of The Dirt Diaries heard my call and came to visit the wild cultivated gardens bearing a Shortia from the nursery near her that I had been pointed to as a possible source of this rare native plant. Lynn has prevented a potential larceny. It is more likely I'd visit one or both of those gardens again before making the long trip to that nursery.

The new baby Shortia has flower spikes. I think they are post bloom. It is well past their bloom time. Maybe there are seeds in there the baby will disperse.

A Confederate Violet, Halberd Violet and Painted Trillium were also gifted. I think that makes eleven violet species and eleven trillium species that make their home in the wild cultivated gardens now.

Monday, May 27, 2013

If You Came To Visit

A mountain top garden overflowing with phacelia what else would you see?

Our visitors on Sunday and Monday would have seen rhododendron and iris mixed in with the phacelia.

Lorelei iris was in its prime.

Dashes of wildflowers had started to bloom.

There was more iris, viburnum and Dame's Rocket about.

Viburnum that's all I know. I'm sure it would be easy to properly ID if I took the time.

Hundreds of hosta and drifts of the blooming False Solomon's Seal with Columbine sprinkled throughout.

The visitors would have seen massive quantities of the Lorelei iris in bloom.

And the very first Peony.

Rhododendrons that towered over their heads.

In a mountain top garden over flowing with phacelia, a place where the wild geraniums grow.

Just some of what our visitors saw.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Let The Weeding And Yanking Begin

The Lush has reached the stage when weeding around all the baby trees and shrubberies must begin in earnest if they are to have a better chance of success. Every bit of sunlight that touches them in an already shaded forest garden matters.

The editing process must also begin. The unwanted must go before they have a chance to spread or bloom and set seed. The tall and floppy New England Aster gets yanked. I don't worry about the roots so much. I just don't want it to bloom and set seed. When I keep yanking the stems, the crowns eventually give up and die.

In some places I can use the weed whacker to clear around the baby shrubberies with close in weeding done by hand. These newly acquired variegated red twig dogwoods have leafed out nicely.

In other places the clearing around must be done by hand. The remaining edited Lush is meant to be part of the overall garden.

So many of my shrubberies were started as not much more than rooted twigs that I find in my travels. Some are no more than two feet tall at this point. The Lush is already at two feet plus with some of it quickly aiming for six. The baby shrubberies need my assistance.

The grasses would do fine in the Lush, but these border a path that gets whacked. They also have more presence when they are not crowded with six foot tall companions.

One little rhododendron, safe for a couple of weeks. The weeding around will have to happen several times over the season of vegetation.

I kind of bought a red flowered Witch Hazel 'Diane' because I wanted one. I planted it today and now I think I need to find a sunnier spot for it after looking it up online. Once the trees leaf out, what you thought was as least half day sun may be a whole lot less than that. No big deal. I can find a better place for it. Plus, I dug up lots of nice rocks when I planted it in the wrong place.

I will have to be weeding, whacking, yanking and editing in earnest for at least the next four months if I am to maintain any semblance of order, any modicum of control, any notion that what you see out there is indeed a garden.

It helps a lot if I don't think about the fact that all told I have close to three acres of wild cultivation to cover. One weed at a time plus persistence can make a world of difference.

I'm a gardener. I can grow weeds. I can pull weeds.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Growing Weeds Professionally

This is what happens in two years if you don't weed out that one little Buttercup that hitch hiked its way home with you. But lets face it. For most anything to survive in the wild cultivated gardens it must be able to fend off this kind of competition from a host of competitors. Wimpiness is detrimental. So I left that one little Buttercup. It's one more blooming weed to add to the collection we already grow here.

This may be a Meadow Rue, a Thalictrum species. I am not quite sure who it is exactly. It is the only one with this showy flower that I recall seeing. But, we have more genus in this family, Ranunculaceae, growing wild up here than you can beat with a stick. Buttercups are in this family. So is my nemesis the Virgin's Bower, Clematis virginiana.

The Lorelei iris might as well be a weed. If you dig it all up to try to get rid of it, it just comes right back. There is one place where daylilies were being planted and after four years and four tries the Lorelei iris is still showing up. Bulbarella finally gave up being bored with it. It became apparent after giving it away by the sack full she would never be rid of it. Now it is planted in great drifts in new places.

Phacelia purshii has taken over the ridge top garden, wandered down into the sunny utility meadow and a lone scout was spotted in the garden becoming. It only takes one phacelia to get a chain reaction going.

Once they get above the Lush, the rhododendrons are spared most of the competition. The dense shade they create beneath themselves hinders germination.

I love the False Solomon's Seal. It forms thick colonies. Seeds were gathered and tossed into the garden becoming. They have begun to show up.

A couple of pieces of fat rhizome of the Darmera peltata fell off when I was putting the stream back in the stream bed. The stream had moved five feet to the left and become a spring in the middle of a patch of meadow weed flowers and then ran down the slope onto the path. Not good. I planted the Darmera pieces in the garden becoming. Bold foliage is helpful in the green phases of the Lush.

More bold foliage followed me home from work last week. Thinning in a small mature garden packed to the gills with plants does have benefits.

It is more of the Rodgersia aesculifolia (I think) that fell out of the ground and followed me home from the same garden about three years ago. Two tiny pieces of rhizome are blooming plants three years later. Imagine a mature plant in a very confined space. It is easy to see how pieces of it can fall off.

Darmera and Rodgersia are both in the Saxifragaceae family. We have other members of that family growing wild here too. They both like shade and moist soils. I got that. They have been doing just fine with all the weed flower competition we have growing up here.