Monday, June 23, 2008


It is not enough that there are butterflies of all sizes and colors sampling the nectar of flowers of all sizes and colors. I like it when there are so many butterflies you have to pass through them and bump against them. The Aristolochia vines, host of the Pipevine Swallowtails are leafing out. They promise to increase the number of butterflies.

There are a lot of these Great Spangled Fritillary right now. I don't recall them from last year in these numbers.

Now that it is finally really warm, it is time to propagate more plants. The kind that you can just stick the cuttings directly in to the ground makes life easy. So that is what I did. I am growing more groundcover around the mini Pile O' in the front entry bed.

Did I ever show you the Delosperma nubigenum when it was in bloom?

I bought one small four inch pot at a high end nursery in Asheville last year and managed to get four cuttings from it when I planted it. They all grew quite well. Once they finished blooming they really started to expand. Plenty of plant for making cuttings.

I also bought one small four inch pot of the Sedum cauticola 'Lidakense'. I managed to get three cuttings from it when it was planted. This sedum bloomed in the fall, completely covering itself with red flowers. It disappeared for the winter and I wasn't sure it was going to come back, but they all reappeared. While it is much slower growing than the Delosperma, there was way more than what I bought last year and enough to start taking cuttings of it.

I bought one, one gallon pot of Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning Light' and split it in half when I planted it last fall. I couldn't wait any longer once they really started to grow this year and split them again. Now there are five. If they do well and gain enough size, I plan to split them again in early September. The idea is to fill a large portion of this bed behind the fence with the Miscanthus. The Musa basjoo, Ironweed, Picea abies 'Nidiformis', a native sedge and the Eremurus, if it likes it here, will add to that. Next I need to get me some Chicory, Cichorium intybus for this front bed. I will most likely collect seed. It is just beginning to bloom along the roads now and has a very long bloom period. Maybe I'll even let a few of the Ox-eye Daises stay in this bed. They would look good with the Chicory.

There is a bit of thought given to design as I feed my need to garden, to plant, to grow, to move forward, to get my hands in the dirt.

It may be a good thing I have so much ground to cover. In a small space I may not have the patience required to stick small cuttings into the ground and wait. Til next year. The enormity of the project called "garden" can only be thought of in terms of many years.


chuck b. said...

Country garden bliss.

Frances, said...

Many years is right. After eight years here, it is starting to look like something. We have so many of the same plants. The m. Morning Light will be perfect at your entrance. We got ours as a hitchhiker in a pot of yellow acorus for the pond. The flowers stand up well throughout the winter, unlike some of the other varieties. Fast is not a strong enough word for its growth habit. Love the ice plant and sedum, have 'em both. We also have way more of the G S frittilaries than ever before, why would that be? Something drought related? About your deer post above, every word you write sounds like a good thing. As long as the drought doesn't affect their regular diet, your stuff should be safe? I just came from our local daylily farm and the owner said they lost 5,000 daylilies to the deer last year. The electric fence used to keep them out, but with the drought they crossed the fence and never looked back. They even got into the greenhouses, wiping out everything. The loss was $50,000 in stock. Count your blessings.

lisa said...

I think butterflies are one of the best benefits of gardening. I suppose butterfly populations fluctuate annually depending upon lots of things, but I don't know for sure. I'm seeing a lot more tiger swallowtails than in previous years.