Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Trouble With Trilliums




Four and Five

Six or a larger version of five.

So six or seven. Two, maybe three are not shown so that makes eight or nine, maybe ten kind trilliums. Does that make sense. I sure get confused.

There are big petaled and skinny petaled pure white ones. The white ones can age to a deep pink. There is one oddball that does tie dye. The cream white ones can open with a pink blush and even have freckles. There is a smaller sideways blooming red one and a big black red one that hides under the leaf. Got it? How many species of trilliums do I have?

The luteum is beginning to show now in Trillium luteum.

The fern fronds are still unfurling. There are unfurling fern fronds all over the place. I have four or five species of ferns I can think of off the top of my head. There could be more. There is. I just thought of another one.

There is more than one kind Uvularia, but I just have three patches of the one species. So far.

Lots of trilliums.

The False Solomon's Seal is coming up.


Pink Puff Darmera peltata.

Have I mentioned the Bluebells?

My trilliums probably don't stick with their own kind. The subtle variation is a taxonomic headache. The solution of course is not to worry about it. All the gardener needs is for my trilliums to look like this.

Deep in the forest they are busy doing what they do. All the kinds of them all mixed up.

I'll have to look this up later, but I think it is called Twisted Mandarin and there is more than one kind, a large, much showier flowered version and the small one. I have found the small one in several locations. I need to find the big flowered kind. Then I need to move some into the garden.

I could also start work on clearing a trail and tidying the forest to make visiting the wild things easier. It's on the list.

Bluebells with Moby Rock and white blooming Sedum ternatum on top.

That's life in the wild cultivated gardens.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Post Dinner Weed And Stroll

The rain finally stopped and the sun came out. That meant a post dinner stroll in the ridge top garden. I stroll with gloves, weeder and clippers just in case. Like I am not going to find something that needs to be pulled. Ha. Velcro Weed is my chosen target for these kind strolls. I always find something else that needs to die.

Miss Dinah comes with. She is happy the rain finally stopped too.

There is a nice little colony of the native Delphinium tricorne next door. I need to collect seed or move plants and get some going in my garden, This spring wild flower does fine in the shade of the forest.

 Some woodland phlox and a few bluebells.

A few more bluebells. That is a path through the middle.

Actually there are millions of Bluebells in blue, pink and white. Millions. Beware the Hyacinthoides hispanica.

Monday, April 24, 2017


I was expecting the sun to come out. Instead we are getting another twenty four hours of rain. Go away. Despite the ick and the wet, the growing green Lush was sparkling with color when I returned home earlier than usual.

My weeds bloom. I curate for that.

High on the low spot, fog is a regular companion of rain. Is it fog at this elevation or is the garden reaching up to the clouds? Either way, an already mystical garden deepens in mystery and wonder.

An online plant ID inquiry sent me out to take a look at the blooming Aronia arbutifolia 'Brilliantissima'. This is the best bloom it has ever had. The flowers have been frozen by late freezes more than once. It is still April after all.

A good bloom should mean their will be chokeberries this year. So called because they are edible yet super astringent. That means they are meant for the birds.

The fern fronds continue to unfurl.

The Great Lawn is fully saturated....................with blooming weeds, as it should be. I love it when it is covered with ripe dandelion heads ready to take flight.

The Golden Ragwort, Packera aurea, is having a good bloom this year. This is a highly mobile plant in the garden. It goes from thick to thin year to year and sun to shade and back again. I don't really think it is a perennial of any duration. Certainly not in my competitive conditions.

I was already half wet from work. Wandering in a thick mist wasn't penetrating any further as I marveled at a new green garden sparkling with color in this ethereal light.

The baby Lush is full of surprises in a garden that by nature is not stable.

Permanent plants and permanent features are needed to give substance and coherence to the ever changing flow of natures handiwork.

The Mayapples are commanding attention this month. They do get pulled if they are shading or crowding a plant I want to thrive.

There are trilliums about. Their numbers have been growing as more of the thugs are removed. Curating weeds could be likened to herding cats. They will only follow your direction when they are in the mood.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Today's Big Activity

It started raining yesterday around seven in the evening and has not stopped yet. Twenty four hours of rain has been achieved. The mighty earth is doing a remarkable job of soaking it all up. There has been little runoff. That is doable in a steady rain compared to a torrential downpour.

The beasts and I have been stuck inside. The front porch is about as far as we get.

I know they say something about April showers. Was it that twenty four hours straight is annoying? It is. I do enjoy viewing the garden from above, but this is the season of editing. I need to be in the garden. The main editing window closes within a month.

I managed one big chore during a period of drizzle. My wee weeping Japanese Maple has been growing lower and wider instead of taller and higher. Its branches were sitting on the rocks at the shore of Turd Blossom Lake and about to enter the water. It was time to give it some lifting support and encourage it to grow up.

I should have done this a couple of years ago before the stems hardened off, but it had a trying start in life and I wasn't sure it was going to live up here. The last two winters have been kind and it is starting to gain some heft from its start as a first year graft probably five years ago.

Yes, that is five years of growth on a Japanese Maple from a twig like beginning.

Really I have been stuck inside all day. It has rained so long I folded the laundry and put it away. That's a lot of rain.

I Went To The Arboretum

In North Carolina you have to have a license to kill weeds and bugs for money. Unlicensed people can only kill their own weeds and bugs. Maintaining that license took me to the NC Arboretum last Friday for an all day class for continuing education credits. North Carolina's bug killers are educated.

After school I went for a quick stroll through the arboretum.

Both of the main buildings had nice displays of potted tulips. In the land of voles that is a very good tulip strategy. It does not however give protection from squirrels.

It has been several years since I was last there. Like any garden, there has been change and growth.

Large art was featured through out the grounds. Sometimes I wish I had the budget for really big pieces. The flying bicycle will have to do in the meantime.

The Quilt Garden is an ever changing feature.

This butterfly pattern is done in pansies which leads me to think it will be changed out when the heat of summer kicks in.

I need to plant more Fringe Trees in my work. Could I find a place for one in the wild cultivated gardens? I have a gift certificate to my favorite independent local nursery I am itching to spend.

Their Dwarf Crested Iris were blooming. Mine are just waking up. I feel certain one big patch here provided winter comfort to the voles. It has gone missing. Damn varmints!!

To do: Start more colonies of the Dwarf Crested Iris. Abundance is also a good strategy in the land of voles.

One of my favorite sculptures at the Arboretum. It was a nice way to end a slightly tedious day of sitting and learning a lot of the same old stuff.