Saturday, April 28, 2018

The Serviceberry

Is having a good bloom this year. That is not always the case.

Some years the bloom can be thin. Many years the bloom gets zapped by a later freeze.

This is a good year so far. Patchy frost is in the diagnosis for the next two nights. Things can change.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

April Showers

It has been raining since Sunday evening. Wet, wet, wet. I managed to get some paying kind work done this week during the intermittent holes in the wet. Hopefully tonight is the last of the April showers. Sun and warm is on the way, though Monday morning is looking to brush up against another freeze.

There has already been enough frost and freeze damage. We don't need more. No matter. The Lush will grow despite the damage.

Dog Wood howling at the rain. If only it had held off for another hour, I could have gotten everything I wanted to do done today. Maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

The Great Lawn Returns

Nature knows how to rock the house. Being a plant geek makes it easier to see. There is so much going on in my lawn, I failed to notice all the violets until yesterday. I am still half blind and they just started blooming, I think.

I continue to be amazed at how little editing needs doing in the meadow gardens, so I wandered over to Bulbarella's ridge top garden next door and spent two hours editing over there. It can use some good editing. The maintenance gardener has conquered some ground, he can move on.

The lawn is another matter. There is no conquering. This really is not of my doing. There is no editing, only whacking. I have added some bulbs. Nature is responsible for everything else. Waves of the tiniest spring blooms in purple, white, yellow and blue sweep across the lawn, meadows and forest floors as the Great Lawn returns.

The diversity of life is mind boggling.

In many respects the Great Lawn is the entire ground of lawn, meadow and forest. The only difference is when, how, even if I mow things down. The plant life swirls throughout them with no recognition of borders. Nature is painting now.

There was also plenty sitting with the million dollar view. This no editing needed has arrived at the perfect time. By one, a multi-day wave of cool and wet was incoming.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Wild Cultivated Gardens Wake Up

I went to a native plant sale at the Corneille Bryan Native Garden in Lake Junaluska and bought some Fairy Bells, Disporum lanuginosum.

They have some good stuff that I don't have.

I have plenty room to test things out and see if they want to grow here. It certainly doesn't hurt to add to the semi-wild populations of native plants. My garden is a safe harbor for wild things.

Fairy Bells, Disporum lanuginosum
Yellowroot, Xanthorhiza simplicissima
Downy Skullcap, Scutellaria incana
Goldenseal, Hydrastis canadensis
Jacob's Ladder, Polemonium reptans

Everything I planted from this sale last year has come back. Like most things I plant, natives appreciate a nice skylight and some elbow room when they are settling in and growing to competition size. That takes a few seasons. And like everything else, it helps if I remember where I planted them.

It is time to say goodbye. I am going to miss the Under Garden. It makes spring a little bittersweet.

Friday, April 20, 2018


I have been surprised how very little editing needs doing in the wild cultivated gardens. It makes it easier to find some of Bulbarella's new deposits.

Granted I am still half blind and things are just waking up. There isn't much to grab a hold of and pull yet.

But I am not seeing any evidence, that other than elbow room, any real editing will need to happen.

The wild cultivated gardens continue to just be. This is so not how things work in the proper gardens I tend.

There are no weeds here. Editing is a completely different concept.

That means I need something to pull. An executive decision was made and this year's big edit is going to focus on Solidago canadensis. I think I have decided that three years in a row now. This year I mean it. I am going to pull it with abandon. When it gets tall enough to ID and grab.

Not to worry. That will leave me with three, maybe four other species of Goldenrod. The S. canadensis is just too thuggish. I want more asters.

For now I wait and wander. I could start whacking the paths if I really need something to do. I really think this is as close as you can get to a low maintenance garden. I edit. I whack. That's about it. Be warned, it did take ten years to get to this point

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Great Lawn Debate

I'm not having one. I just whack what ever comes up in the space defined as the Great Lawn and the paths.

Nature is in charge of my lawn.

I do embellish it a bit. Why not?

I wonder at times why nature has been so stingy with the violets. There are more than enough kind around to wander right in and bloom. Grape Hyacinth work too.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

On The Front Porch In The Rain

There is mention of snow. Whatever.

The low temperatures are the only thing that matters. They are no where close to scary.

Snow melts quick now.

The March of the Mayapples is on.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

A Method With No Plan

There is a method to the wild cultivated gardens.

I eliminate the thuggish and unwanted and tidy things up.

Nature has filled in behind me with a more diverse and far more interesting collection of plants. I added more natives.

A garden was planted directly into the mix. There are no mulched beds.

Once a year, the still standing herbaceous vegetation is cut to the ground and left there.

When it is time, it all pops back up.

During the time of vegetation I keep editing as needed, less all the time, and try to give the planted plants a skylight in the Lush until they grow to become skylights on their own. I have forgotten a few plants to their detriment. I leave everything else alone to do its thing. There is no weeding in a conventional sense. There is path mowing.

Nature keeps filling in behind me, sometimes with new suggestions. I keep planting more plants.

There were a whole host of influences leading to this garden. A big jolt happened in the gardens of West Asheville.

What can I say? I am a long time peasant gardener for the well to do with a bit of Fred Sanford in him. This is what came out. There was no master plan.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A Slap Of Spring

A warm sunny spell has arrived.

My bones are liking it.

But there is not much to do in the wild cultivated gardens but watch.

I'm liking that now that I am back to work full time.

And there is a lot to watch.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

A Slap Of Winter

The dung piles are in full bloom.

Deadnettle, Lamium purpureum, on Dung.

The Under Garden has a new layer for spring. It's season of interest is expanding.

It is safe to say the garden as a whole has reached a new stage of maturity.

I'm liking it. The expanses of time when nothing needs doing to maintain it are growing

The view from my window in a cold rain before a quick slap of winter in the night.

This morning it was covered in snow. This afternoon it is a Find The Difference puzzle.

There is a sunny difference here too.

Deadnettle, Chickweed and Dandelion are all edible. This is something I need to learn how to do. And they all look quite happy after a quick slap of snow.