Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Garden Without Weddings

The voles were busy over the winter.




















The ate a patch of liatris and a bunch of gladiola. A lot of echinacea disappeared.




















The gardens were spared from both the Dogwood and Blackberry winters which was most appreciated.




















Just a barely noticeable nip.




















Then the spring building maintenance crew arrived. I have to say they are getting better about how they go about stomping through the garden. An accommodating rhythm and flow has developed over the years.




















The groundhog enjoyed a nice patch of Louisiana iris down by the pond when little else was awake.




















The voles were busy in the Almighty Falls too. A fat clump of yellow iris and a variegated sedge were significantly thinned. The snake that was eating my fish was dispatched right after it woke up. I was told it was relocated. I have my doubts. I was armed and hunting myself before someone else got to it first.




















The deer are quite fond of the fresh greens of Hydrangea arborescens 'Wee White', a cultivar of the native species which they know quite well as food. The store bought deer repel was so so. I switched to cayenne pepper. Damn Varmints! They'll learn.

This is the Wedding Cake Garden's first spring after planting. I got a 95% take. Not bad. Now I just have to keep it from getting eaten.




















This is spring three for the slope on the other side of the Almighty Falls. The Staghorn Sumac has been much slower to grow than hoped and the fall color has been less than stellar so far. I still have hopes for the picture perfect. At least the first runners on the sumac are popping up. This slope has reached the filling in stage.

It's show time.

But there will be no weddings in the garden for a spell.


Monday, May 25, 2020

At Twilight

A monsoon and the mowing season have decided to coincide. I managed to get half a mile of paths mowed in the ridge top garden next door before the first summer thunderstorm of the season came in as a gully washer. The culverts flowed. The Lush is growing fast.




















The Kousa Dogwood is loaded and turning from lime green to white.




















I keep checking. A lone Phacelia purshii remains purple.




















At twilight, the rain stopped in a wet garden. The gully wash was absorbed.




















I wander. I edit. I look at the ugly frozen dead of fresh spring leaves. Early signs of a second flush of spring growth have begun to appear. The spell of ugly leaves may be over soon.




















At a monsoon twilight.


Friday, May 22, 2020

Monsoon Phacelia

There was a nice second wave culling of the New England Aster and Canadian Goldenrod from the meadow this afternoon. I came home wet, crabby and covered in monsoon. A nice shower and dry clothes were a big improvement. Then the rain stopped. I went back outside.




















Two acres of wet Phacelia purshii is turning the mountain top a pale blue as giant rhododendron come into bloom.



















It is time for a path mowing in the ridge top garden. Some dry would be most helpful. I went to check on the progress of the Yellow Lady. I am most sad to report her Slippers were frozen or eaten. All that was left were the laces.
















The Phacelia has arrived in the Tall Flower Meadow. It is just beginning to spread. There will come a time when my garden turns to a carpet of blue in the middle of May. Button waits.




















Then I saw something in what little Phacelia I have that I have never seen before. Here in my garden was a lone deep purple one. Excuse the blur and note the color difference among the flowers. In all these years, in all that blue, not ever have a seen one that deep purple until now. Are there others?





















The monsoon returned as it has done since Monday. It was getting wet and time to go back inside.


Tuesday, May 19, 2020

There Was A Culling

The hot sun has given way to a stationary monsoon. The former indoor plants are getting their first real bath in six months. One Angelwing Begonia derived from a squirrel attack cutting. Two Ponytail Palms grown too large for the outdoor pot that stays outside. Three Amaryllis rescued from a flood. And the list goes on.




















This year's roadside vegetable was started while the sun was out. I'm in no hurry. I've come to think I get better results by waiting until June to fully plant the vegetable garden. There will be fine produce to share at some point. The trees aren't even fully leafed out yet.




















I caught a case of the vapors while editing. I have been reacting to pollen in ways that never happened before. The oddest thing is that wearing reading glasses I can walk around with is what helps the most by keeping all that tiny particulate floating around in the air out of my eyes. There has to be an eye/sinus connection.




















In the beginning, in the Time of Creation




















There was a culling. A great many New England Aster were removed from the meadow, compost in the path. The will to live is fierce. In a stationary monsoon, culled prone asters are rising back up towards a hidden sun.


Friday, May 15, 2020

Bloom Day With Ugly Leaves

We went from a 28 degree bout of Polar slop to 80 degree heat in just under a week. The house plants have been moving outside. How did I get this many house plants? This was not supposed to happen.




















The rule was: No house plants.




















There a number more still inside. How did this happen? The rule was: No house plants.




















It's Bloom Day today. Let's go for a slow meandering garden walk. It's easier now. The maintenance gardener needed a fix when he got home and the first big path mowing happened.




















Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Prostrata' got nipped in the bud. Baby leaves turned brown. I'm already seeing new green buds so that is good.



















All kind ferns that grow here got discombobulated. Crispy tips abound.




















Shredded Umbrella Leaf looks fine.





















There are flowers. The Camassia seem to be blooming better every year.




















The Emerald Spreader, Taxus cuspidata, turned a winter bronze with its fresh new foliage. The yews got zapped.




















Goldenseal and trilliums




















The Great Lawn remains unmowed. The maintenance gardener is in no hurry.




















Leucothoe




















The Under Garden's time is over. It will soon be time for skylights. Mowed paths will assist.




















The Snake In The Grass




















Fresh Solomon's Seal





















On the shores of Turd Blossom Lake




















All three species of Aralia really got zapped. The freeze damage was very species specific. It also seemed to have a strong correlation with the early state of leaf expansion. Older new leaves fared much better over all.




















There are flowers. Double-file Viburnum




















Amsonia





















There will be a spell of ugly leaves. I'm trying my best to deal.




















Thousands of trilliums finish their bloom.




















Iris cristata begins.




















The Kousa Dogwood is fully loaded and ready for the next Bloom Day to come.


Wednesday, May 13, 2020

A Spell Of Ugly Leaves

I have been pleasantly relieved to see in my travels that there is close to zero freezer burn in the gardens I tend. It takes two weeks to make the full circuit and there are higher places yet to go.

I stopped to admire some roadside weed flowers, Salvia lyrata.




















The generous leaf and tip burn in my own garden has been crisping up to reveal the full extent of damage. There will be a spell of ugly leaves. I hope there will be a second attempt at spring growth from many who got nipped in the bud.




















The wild cultivated gardens grow on. Trilliums by the thousands turn pink and fade into memory.




















The Yellow Lady may have three Slippers this year.




















The carpet of Spanish Bluebells is winding down. Flower petals are among the first thing to freeze.




















Phacelia purshii is waiting in the wings. Another wave of blue will cover the ground as the groves of rhododendron come into bloom. Hopefully I will be able to ignore this spell of ugly leaves.