Friday, March 31, 2017

Red Twigs

I came upon some red twig dogwood today I had forgotten about. So I cut them down. They only produced a few meager barely rooted stem pieces. Not enough to satisfy me.

A bunch of red twig stems were added to the bucket of water with the yellow twigs in my experiment to see if they will root in water. Maybe if I add some willow branch that would help by getting some of the natural rooting hormone in there. I know where a willow is I want.

Imagine if you will, six foot tall clusters of bright red and yellow twigs below the Great Lawn and behind the Doghobble hedge in the barren time. I have been imagining it for years. I have just been having trouble making the Dogwoods grow which is so wrong. They should love my wet ground and grow like weeds. I don't like to spend good money on rooted weeds in pots, so I keep trying.

The Trillium not so luteum until the very end is up. One is now three so it can be forgiven for lacking in the luteum.

The Great Lawn is turning into a real blooming weed patch. It needs violets. I should work on that.

More kind daffodils are coming into bloom.

Some of them are surprises. I could have forgotten what kind they were. This could be the first bloom in years since being planted or equally possible they get all mixed up in Bulbarella's factory. I have some clumps that are two kind daffodils and random minor bulbs keep popping up all over.

A half dead dwarf blue spruce followed me home this week. I thought I would try to rescue it. Its time in the wrong place in a proper garden was over. I planted it close to my half dead dwarf white pine. I really need to get the scale off the pine before it is completely dead. Scale love white pine for some reason.

The garden is really getting full these days. I will need to spend some quality time editing for elbow room when the Lush begins. A decade later it feels like the garden is entering a new phase.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Small Sampling Of Daffodils

I am just returning from a lost 24 hours. Some bowel adjustments continue. The good news is they did not find anything alarming in my colonoscopy. I will live until Medicare and into my decrepitude. Let's just hope my joints hold out and the log trucks keep rolling safely by.

It all means I will be able to watch a garden ten years in the making, grow in maturity. Will bad designer's ideas work over the long term? So far the results look good.

The post snow squash peak of the second wave of daffodils is coming. The minor bulbs are joining in by the thousands. The real show is next door. I will have a chance this weekend to enjoy it.

In my garden, a wide assortment of daffodils from Bulbarella's divisions continue to open new blooms.

A decade of observation makes clear that the less heavy and complex the flower structure and the later it blooms, the better chance a daffodil has of achieving a perky performance to the end. High on the low spot, spring is rarely a gentle affair.

I prefer the simple flower structure anyway.

This says daffodil. All the frilly, double petal mess is just that, a mess. Now that is happening to columbine. I don't like columbine pom poms at all.

In the warm, the Trout Lilies are already finishing up their bloom. It lasted a week at best. Conditions were just right for that and for setting seed. Let them multiply. At the one patch that I know is making babies, I have counted seven little ones.

One group of the big yellow trumpet daffodils decided to bloom late and avoided getting squashed like the others ten feet away. There is safety in abundance.

I have been poked, prodded, sampled and inspected. The doctors have had their way with me. It could be there are some benefits to a lifetime of gardening and dirt worship. Good peasant genes also help.

 Now it is time to get back to the garden as the first flush of green washes over the 'aina.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Plant Shopping

Spring has gotten a hold of me and I have been having a need to plant before the Lush takes over. Sometimes you have to jump up and down a bit vigorously to get a plant to fall out of the ground.

I knew just where to dance to get some Doghobble, Leucothoe fontanesiana, to follow me home.

An added bonus in my travels today was a start of the native Galax urceolata. I have been eyeing it for a couple years. Today a couple pieces broke off.

I stopped to look at some newly opened daffodils on my way to planting.

I managed to turn one big wad of rooted Doghobble stems into seven plants.

That was enough to close in a hedge below the Great Lawn. It will take a few years of course. I'm very frugal in my shopping and tend to start very, very small with a lot of things.

They aren't tiny at least. Maybe a dash of fertilizer would be in order just to move things along.

The rain has been most cooperative with my plantings this last week. It makes life easier when I don't have to water things.

The Oconee Bells are now open.

Next on my list is some red twig dogwood. I don't think any of the gardens I tend have any of the plain green leaf kind. Maybe one? That makes shopping harder and more expensive. I have tried the variegated ones and they don't seem to like it here at all.

Meanwhile, next door at Bulbhilla,

Bulbarella is enjoying a very good show.

Monday, March 27, 2017

A Walk In The Garden


After a Gentle Spring Rain

Along The Leafen Path

To See What is Stirring



Where The Wild Things Bloom

Beneath a Forest Tall


Sunday, March 26, 2017


I have a multi-pronged plant acquisition process for the garden. In my line of work there are often plants free for the taking. Sometimes a few starts can just fall out of the ground from a large patch while I am tending and weeding.

That happened last year with a few black liriope. It happened again this week when I saw they had survived the winter. More will look nice with the variegated sedge.

The Celendine Poppy can actually become a pest in a proper garden. The first time I thinned them a few came home. Now I just toss them. In a few more years I will likely be weeding and tossing them here too.

Why pay good money for plants when routine maintenance will generate rooted cuttings?  I got five yellow twig dogwood starts last week.

It was not intentional, but I got some chionodoxa when I acquired snowdrops from Bulbarella. You never know what will come with something from Bulbarella's garden.

I went over there today with pilfering on my mind. A trillium I do not have has been making babies.

I have been quite pleased with the Trout Lilies that followed me home. Three of the four clumps I planted are growing and blooming robustly. One clump pretty much disappeared. Another clump is definitely reproducing.

Might as well get two of the baby trilliums. They are smaller than the size of a quarter now. I hope they like it here.

I needed a new rhododendron for one that died. I took one low growing rooted stem that was forked and made two plants out of it.

'Arnold' #2 was a gift from Sister #2. I don't pilfer all the plants in the garden. It was planted by the chimney. I still want to add 'Jelena' nearby.

Along this same slope there are other plants that did fall out of the ground, some Pieris, Kalmia and Clethra. The east side of the chimney was tidied several years ago and I have been replanting with more desirable shrubberies.

I thought 'Arnold' #2 was finished blooming when I planted it. I was wrong. The spot I chose has proven to be perfect for the sun angle this time of year. It literally glows in the sunshine.

Last year I acquired some Bird's Foot Violets from a violet covered hillside next door to a garden I tend. All three have returned. I had one before. I think a varmint ate it. I keep trying different location in hopes one of them will be just right and they will start to self sow.

This is but a short list of the pilferage that has gone in to the making of a wild cultivated garden. Many of the obscure native plants are rarely sold in nurseries. I don't mind making more populations of them or saving them from often times precarious conditions in more civilized gardens.

I can bring the wild things home and set them free.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Time For Spring

Last week was winter. This week is spring. It's still too early for any guarantees. April has been known to be cruel. The re-animation of the time of vegetation will continue no matter. Spring is always a risky business.

I began my spring planting right before winter last week with the addition of some new dwarf evergreen conifers to the winter Under Garden. They look to have survived the cold blast with no problems.

The native spring ephemerals are waking up. I added these Trout Lilies to the garden since none exist here that I know of. It's about time to wander into the forest and see what is stirring in there. April is the normal time for the forest floor to bloom.

The Oconee Bell was a gift that I gladly added to the garden. Over time it will form a dense groundcover. The bloom then can be quite showy.

I am giving red and yellow twig dogwood another try. Word was cut stem pieces could be stuck and they would root. They did not. Some rooted stem pieces followed me home when I gave a patch of yellow ones the spring chop down. Starting with roots works much better.

I decided a while back to borrow the land below the Great Lawn that is the backdrop of my garden. I started cutting it down each season two years ago to initiate a change in the inhabitants of this space. As usual a whole lot of the Clematis viginiana has to be uprooted and the Blackberries beat back.

Then it made sense that this was a good location for the red and yellow twig dogwood that I wanted for winter interest. Think a huge mass of spiky Chihuly in winter. So it has begun. Now I need to find a red twig dogwood to chop down. I have also considered trying to see if the stems would root in a bucket of water.

Late this afternoon the grasses along the scenic byway came down. I am now at my most exposed position of the barren time.

In another month it will all be green and Lush again.

I can't believe it. Damn Varmints!!!!! As I was cutting the grasses on the slope below the roadside vegetable garden, the crowns were pulling free as I pulled the cut tops away. The whole crown of two clumps were entirely eaten, as in gone, no more and will not return. The third clump has about one fifth of it left.

I loved those variegated grasses there. Damn Varmints!!! I can't believe they ate the whole thing.

I need more cats. Or better cats. Button is actually a very good hunter only here he is aiming for Miss Collar and a loud ruckus could ensue. I don't like  those loud hissing ruckuses. Neither does Miss Collar.

One minute they are sleeping peacefully side by side. The next minute there is a rumble - at 6:30 am. Button can be a butthole.

Spring is here and everybody is spending more quality time outside getting things done. Ten springs later, a garden has grown substantial form.