Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Today In The Ridge Top Garden

The cherry tree is in bloom.

And wildflowers dot the forest floor.

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Pretty Little Flowers Gather Momentum

Phlox divaricata, Woodland Phlox

Iberis and Golden Ragwort, Packera aurea (formerly Senecio aureus)

The Spanish Bluebells, Hyacinthoides hispanica

Celandine Poppy, Stylophorum diphyllum

The fancy store bought trilliums - need more.

And Apple blossoms on the mountain top

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Stalking The Wild Things

I gave up on waiting for a hole in the monsoon weathers. After a nice nap it was time to head deep into the forest in search of the wild things. Last year at this time the Showy Orchis was in bloom.

A tiny white violet that I have never identified covers a great deal of territory deep in the forest.

The trilliums are a little water logged, but they are at peak bloom. The Nodding Trillium may have an advantage in this incessant rain.

The Trillium grandiflorum look a little more bedraggled. I need to move some of these soon while I can still tell whose who.

A lingering winter and cool spring have the Showy Orchis a little behind last year's bloom time. I see flower buds though.

I had caged both orchids to protect them from the deer who ate them in full bloom two years ago. The flimsier cage blew off the better looking orchid above. I re-caged it. The other is looking a bit smaller than I remember. A cage won't protect them from the slugs unfortunately.

The plant that dare not speak its name is waking up. Seeing how it unfurls will help me search for babies where I have been sowing seed.

It has it wily ways. It may not come up every year. They can go into dormancy/hiding for several years at a time if conditions are not suitable to their tastes. I just need to know where they are so I can collect the seed before the varmints can get them.

Deep in the forest with an umbrella, stalking the wild things while they are in bloom.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Bluebells In The Rain

Visitors came down my drive today to have a look at the wild cultivated gardens as they begin to wake up from the long barren of winter. Skeeter of In The Garden and her priceless assistant Mark stopped in to visit while on their Asheville getaway weekend that was a prize given by ExploreAsheville during the 2012 Asheville Fling.

Thick mist turned to a steady gentle rain shortly after they arrived. We had just finished a stroll through the garden becoming and where headed next door to the ridge top garden. Prepared with umbrellas we strolled on in the rain, stopping for a cache at a chimney hearth and stepping into the deep forest to see the swaths of trilliums sweeping across the forest floor.

The mountain top is turning green and enormous numbers of plants are rising from the earth or breaking bud to leaf and bloom. There were still daffodils to see and myriad other blooms, but this is not a peak moment in the bloom cycles that will ebb and flow until the first killing frosts of fall.

There was the beginning of millions of Spanish Bluebells, Hyacinthoides hispanica.

Rain is good. It turns things green. Visitors are great. It keeps life interesting. We saw bluebells in the rain.

Friday, April 26, 2013

At The End Of April

The dogwoods bloom.

In pure snowy white.

The Virginia Bluebells are pink and blue. I hope the bluebell likes it here enough to prosper and multiply. It is a nice addition to the April bloom of the spring ephemerals.

The end of April is also the time of the trilliums. The newly introduced Red Toad Trillium, Trillium sessile is now in bloom.

This is supposed to be Trillium luteum, the Yellow Trillium. It looks green to me. My other new trillium, the Purple Prairie Trillium, Trillium recurvatum hasn't opened yet.

I kept looking. I do indeed have a nice established population of Trillium erectum in the garden becoming.

I'm not sure who this is. Is it Trillium cernuum, the Nodding Trillium? Note the slight coloration and large petal size. This group of trilliums also doesn't nod quite as much as the norm.

This is Trillium cernuum. It is by far the most common trillium in the garden becoming. The petals are narrower and whiter, though the colors do change as they age. The flowers are most often held well below the leaves.

Trillium grandiflorum is the showiest trillium of them all. This is the trillium that must be moved over to the garden becoming.

I'll be needing large colonies of these in the new garden to gaze upon from the front porch while I wait for the last frost date to pass and the main garden season to begin.

The lone Trillium erectum, Wake Robins, I have found in the deep forest are safe from being transplanted.

Deep in the forest there are other things to collect and bring over to the garden becoming. I could gather the seed of the Showy Orchis to sprinkle over here. It is time to go see if they are blooming.

 At the end of April the garden stirs.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Double Cherry Blossoms

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tulips And A Trillium

The purple tulips at Client #1's were missed when the voles went on an eating frenzy about three years ago. I haven't planted any tulips since then. They have come back and bloomed beautifully every year. The voles have been behaving lately. Maybe I could plant some lilies this fall. They ate all the lilies too.

And why are these purple tulips returning and blooming so well for so many years. Tulips generally don't do that. You get one good year and maybe a smaller second bloom the next year and then you might as well forget them. These purple tulips have been a nice surprise.

Last Saturday afternoon I stopped in at Wamboldtopia's open garden day and got to see all the tulips in bloom there. Damaris and Ricki went on a bit of a tulip planting frenzy last fall. It showed.

A small freebie sack of tulips from a bulb order even landed in my garden last fall. There were four. One was lopped off as it was nearing bloom. I suspect someone was chasing a varmint and missed.

Bulbarella has been on a species tulip ordering and planting frenzy for the last couple of years in the hopes that they will naturalize and return year after year. I have my doubts. They are still tulips and still tasty to voles and other varmints. I seem to recall seeing some red ones in the sunny utility meadow last spring. I don't see them this spring. I do know another patch of species tulips that had been expanding and returning for years got et up last year.

Their only hope is they they will get missed in the millions of poisonous bulbs buried in the ridge top gardens.

Look what I found in the garden becoming, the rare, up here, Trillium erectum. There appears to be a small colony of them. Now I won't have to move one of the very few I have found in the deep forest over to here.

When you walk slow and look close, the forest is full of surprises. Last year I found a population of the Green Fringed Orchid, Platanthera lacera in the garden becoming. I have been watching for them to come up this year so when I get to weeding I won't mangle them like I did last year. That makes six species of native orchids we have growing in the wild cultivated gardens.

Now I just need to learn to tell the difference between Black Cherry tree and Serviceberry, Amelanchier arborea, seedlings. It would be nice to have more spring blooming trees like that in the garden becoming.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Spring Grass

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Trilliums In The Uncultivated Gardens

Self sown or gardener sown? After a while with plants like Lunaria annua it may not be possible to know. It is known that the gardener will sow seeds like this. The gardener just can't take credit for all the Lunaria. In the wild cultivated gardens many things can and do turn wild.

Deep in the uncultivated gardens are some wild things that would be nice to bring into cultivation where they would be allowed to run wild. Trillium cernuum, one of four trillium species here, is already well established in the garden becoming.

Trillium erectum is rare here. I have only found it in two places as individual plants. It would be nice to have some in the garden becoming, but I hesitate to move one when there are so few. I need to go scout for more. If I can find one more, I'll transplant one of them.

Trillium grandiflorum is amazingly prolific in the uncultivated gardens. I do plan to move many of them into the garden becoming where they will hopefully become equally prolific. It is the showiest of all the trilliums here. Another abundant narrower petaled white trillium, possibly T. catesbaei lives in the deep forest too. A few of those could be scooped up for relocation.

I am selecting weeds for the cultivated sections of the garden becoming in the hopes of replacing most of the weeds I don't want with some prettier competition.

Just imagine a structured garden filled with weeds that are all desirable wildflowers. It would no longer be needed or possible to do much weeding. The wild and the cultivated merge to form a new garden. Give me a decade of editing and I just might be able to do it.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Trilliums In The Wild Cultivated Gardens

It is easy to see why a gardener might covet trilliums they don't have even when they already have four different native species that number in the thousands and meander through the forest in an astounding spring display. The wild cultivated gardens on the low spot of a North Carolina mountain top are the perfect habitat for trilliums. The unneeded notion of me becoming a trillium collector has unfortunately just entered my head. I just might do it.

The forest begins to wake up at 4000 feet. Hugging the ground is an astounding natural collection of the spring ephemeral wildflowers.

All that is required to enjoy it right now is to walk slowly and look. Come summer, the editing and selection process to favor this rite of spring will continue.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Daffodils Before Midnight

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

March Of The Mayapples

There is a huge colony of Mayapple massed at the border and headed this way. Not that it matters. There are two more colonies inside the borders of the garden becoming.

It would not surprise me if each huge drift of Mayapple is a single plant, a giant clone, connected by the pencil thick fibrous rhizomes underground. The single leaf stalk of each colony comes up in total synchronization. The colonies inside the border do the same thing, but they are on a different schedule by a few days. When I hear people say they want or have planted this native perennial, I think beware. Aggressive is an understatement.

Mayapple belongs here. I will garden through and around them.

Where Mayapple is, other smaller things that depend on the spring sun of a leafless forest may not be seen or may be shaded out. There is Mayapple to spare. There is only one small patch of double Bloodroot at the moment.

The late blooming daffodils are late this year. They are the only ones having a decent showing even if they are being stingy with the blooms.

Dicentra cucullaria is having an excellent year. It has marched its way through the garden too. It is nice to have plants you can completely ignore, that need no tending and only asked to be admired.

The daffodils are needing a treatment for the daffodil bulb fly. It will have to be done or they could begin to dwindle in numbers faster than the gardener can multiply them. There was a time when the daffodils asked only to be admired.

The Mayapples have risen. A new season has begun.