Chaos, meaning complexity in nature, and also the natural, usual state of my garden!
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Spring Images, Oddities and Odd Thoughts
Spring is blooming at an astounding rate! It is as if, having been denied by cold, snowy days, it is bursting out all at once!
Jacob's ladder (Polemonium reptans) actually a cousin of wild phlox
Spring beauties (claytonia virginiana) practically make a carpet everywhere
Peppermint stick tulips (tulipa clusiana) opened up today!
Brunnera, perennial forget me nots
Grape hyacinth with tritellia
Sometimes you just find oddities! Not sure what kind of fungus this is, but it looks hungry! I love fungi in my garden, they are like a type of wildflower to me and there is such diversity among them!
Another of its family!
I looked for morels but I didn't find any. It's the right time of the year and we just had rain yesterday, but no sign of any so far!
Sometimes a rock will cause you a second look!
Pretty sober looking fellow!
If I squint just right, there is a fanciful dragon!
We spent most of the day going to the recycling center and running errands, and when I finally got into the garden it was almost hot outside. I plunged right into filling some holes with top soil I purchased today but underestimated how much I needed by about two bags, so Monday it will be back to Home Depot for some more. I had planned on planting a few herbs that I picked up today but somehow, chickweed got in my way and I spent the rest of the day until dark rooting that out of perennial beds and paths, so it will be tomorrow morning before I get them into the ground.
There is so much anticipation of spring, anxiously awaiting the first spring blooms and the first green shoots that somehow our minds completely block out what comes next! Along with the lovelies of spring come.......WEEDS! Chickweed, henbit (tho I do leave some of that for the bees), dandelions, poa annua, the whole gammut of undesirables that come right along with the pretty things! Amazing that I forget that one chickweed plant can cover a good two square feet of ground, and sometimes so entwine itself with a perennial that you can't get it all out. I know if I wait long enough, that irritating weed will go away with summer heat, but I don't want to put up with it that long. Besides, when I think of all the seeds that one plant can make.....it nearly gives me nightmares! So I pull them out, and believe me, they are reluctant to give up their hold on Mother Earth! Perhaps I would feel kindlier to chickweed if I tried making soup out of it. I do have a recipe from "The Countryside Cookbook" by Gail Duff, and it sounds good!
As a gardener that has the care of a very old garden and rarely uses any kind of chemicals, I do have lots of weeds, too! Some I consider wildflowers and leave a few, like mullein, or verbascum thapsis, which is not actually a North American native but comes to us from Europe. I love the architectural look of this plant, and I am always surprised where it comes up each year, in a different part of the garden. This year there is one by the pond. I always leave one to go to seed and surprise me next year! The yellow moth mullien also gets to stay. It is a shorter plant with wavy leaves and pretty yellow flowers, and welcome wherever it shows up.
As I'm cleaning up leaves, I notice where some of the early snow crocuses came up. The flowers are long gone, but the leaves that follow are nearly two feet long. If you plant these early spring dainties, don't expect them to stay small and dainty when the leaves start to grow! You must leave them until they ripen so they will make food for next year's bloom. Only certain varieties make such long leafy growth, others stay under a foot tall. Saffron crocus, which blooms in the September also has long, droopy leaves that stay green until May, before they ripen.
No new news on the bluebird/woodpecker housing squabble. I didn't see any of them today. I did see a little brown creeper in the woods, and tried to get its picture, but those cute little birds are really fast! By the time I got one in the lens of the camera, it was on the other side of the tree and 5' up, and out of the shot! I don't think they are common here. It's the first time I've seen one in these woods.
The crows were harassing a hawk today, I think they managed to chase it off temporarily. I'm sure it will be back tomorrow, but there was a lot of screeching and cawing going on.
The toads have stopped singing. I guess that means I can look for long ropy strings of eggs in the pond, and tadpoles soon!
And then there are the traveling plants. How did that veronicastrum get clear over to a bed on the north side of the house, in the shade (it's supposed to be a full sun plant) from the bed a good hundred feet away on the other side of the house? And where did that achillea come from that is growing in the hosta bed? The closest plant is about 500' away in the meadow behind us, and this one sprung up full blown last year. I must have somehow missed it weeding. This spring it is nearly 3 feet across, beauiful and ferny. I'll leave it because it bloomed beautifully last year, and in the shade, too!