Tuesday, July 14, 2015

It Begins And Ends With Editing

I did not plant a single bit of this concoction of wild flowers. What I did was create the conditions suitable for wild flower germination - in my strawberry patch. Then I did not have the heart to remove the good things, just the bad. I was thinking I would transplant them out of the strawberry bed later - after they finished blooming.

It is later. I don't have much of a strawberry patch here anymore.

The roadside vegetable garden has become a wild flower breeding ground. That bare fluffy soil in full sun between the produce aisles makes for excellent germination. That is what the wild flowers want to spread themselves around. Without the mulch, it would be out of control.

I do have to be some what ruthless if I actually want produce. I culled quite a bit of Ironweed this spring. Last Sunday, the finished lettuce and giant parsnips gone to seed were removed. Time is running out. My okra needs the sun. My squashes need the room. The roadside vegetable garden is running late this year.

I have certainly been inspired by the now old gardening trend of a more natural meadow style garden based on perennials, grasses and select shrubs. I even played with that theme in the tropical landscapes of Maui. That style is particularly fitting to my current conditions of gardening in a utility easement in the wilderness.

I have had to make some adjustments though. Unlike a Piet Oudolf garden or any of the current trendy designers, my garden did not start as a blank slate or with any sort of a budget. I had an existing meadow full of native plants, good and bad, and no money.

A grand design that laid out thousands of carefully chosen plants was not going to be happening. I had to sculpt the meadow I had.

I also had to live with the forest I had. I was willing to thin it and clear the underbrush. I was not willing to chop it all down. Once the forest was cleaned up, new plantings could begin.

The now tidy forest slowly began to reveal its secrets that had been hidden for so long. By mere chance three summers ago I discovered there was a smoke belching fungus.

I must have startled it while editing and it belched at me. What?!!! I poked it again and a few more times. It keep puffing smoke until I wore it out. This is Moose Antlers or Rabbit Ears, Wynnea americana. It lives in my forest and seems to be multiplying.

The garden currently ends at the forest edge here. I am ready to change that and bring this section into the garden's orbit. Last Sunday I ventured in for another round of editing, the removal of the known unwanteds. That has been done once or twice annually for several years just to prevent it from getting out of control.

My focus was to create a path from which this section of forest can be regularly patrolled. A regular patrol makes for more editing and more tidy. I want a path that leads to a different view of my Gold Rush Dawn Redwood tree.

The primary targets for removal are unwanted tree saplings and blackberry. I want to see the inhabitants of the forest floor.

The death of the hemlocks, the clearing for my house, a bit of logging and assorted unintended damage added a lot of sunlight to this section of the forest. Where there is sun, there will be a whole lot of tree saplings and nasty blackberry. Blackberry just sucks and I don't need that many trees. I have been selecting some oaks, magnolia and maples to remain.

Already I have discovered a number of interesting plants hidden in there that will do better if they are not smothered.

When I remove the known unwanteds, it allows for more interesting things to arrive.

It allows me to add new plants that would never arrive on their own.

I did not plant this, but I created the conditions that allowed it to happen.

Then I keep on editing to allow it to spread and prosper.

Then I go to the big box for some wire shelving hooks and come home with something unintended. This is Hesperaloe parviflora, Red Yucca. It is an evergreen rated to zone 5. We shall see. It is a xeric plant so I gave it full sun and the best drained soil location I have.

It was added to my winter under garden of color and texture on the slope below the cozy cabin. I hope it likes it here. The summer time flowers would be awesome in the Tall Flower Meadow.

I could use some lilies in The Tall Flower Meadow too.

There are a lot more petals now on the lilies from the discard rack. I could get more of those. I could also go into the deep forest where there are hundreds of the native Turk's Cap Lily that never bloom because of the shade.

There are quite a few plants in the deep forest that need to come to the garden.


Lola said...

All we need to do is look. It will reveal itself. Yes, by all means move what you can to give it more sun.

Christopher C. NC said...

Lola I have a list for plant shopping in the deep forest. Most of it will stay of course. One day a path will lead into the forest to see it all.

Lisa Greenbow said...

I love that photo of the house with the plantings below. The undulations of the greens. The spots of color. Very intriguing.