Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Northern Vinca


A tiny sliver of crescent moon might be seen by sharp eyes just above the horizon to the right of the locust tree.  The major event of recent weather was continuous cloud cover.  Just being able to see stars was a welcome sight with the moon just ahead of the rising sun a bonus.


A blue Vinca minor flower in bloom was included in a recent email from Texas.  Not to be completely outdone, a picture or two of our plants was taken.  Ours have no flowers yet but still display green leaves.


This is a true to life statement of affairs now present in upstate New York.  A dry stone wall backs our planting of this hardy plant.  Yet to find a method to control briers, the stone wall and the Vinca plants share this ground.  Bunny berries show the ever present presence of wildlife here.  The attraction of briers on rabbits was well documented by Walt Disney and appears accurate but not understood.

In the past when hiking the wilderness was possible but perhaps unwise, we occasionally stumbled onto a sizable patch of Vinca.  It is not a native plant to North America but its toughness explains why early settlers brought it with them.  Signs of human habitation in these reforested areas were not obvious save for the presence of Vinca and the tumbled down remains of a chimney.  When a scrap of this plant came our way it was hastily planted in an uncleared area.  Despite the competition from weeds and general lack of care, it has claimed a fair sized piece of ground.  Prompted by a communication from Texas, we went out in bright sunlight to capture a glimpse of one hardy plant.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

A Promise Of Spring


Perhaps we are experiencing a genuine January thaw since the driveway has softened.  If snow precedes cold weather's return we will be plowing gravel.  Finding flower buds is a much more pleasant experience than worrying about snow removal.  Pinxter is a native plant that forms its flower buds prior to the onset of winter.  This picture also includes spent brown colored seed hulls from last year.  Just what advantage is realized by carrying flower buds exposed to the entire winter remains completely unknown here.  It is simply one of the marvels of plants.


This picture of the same bush was taken last June.  Look carefully and you will find the same stones in both pictures.  Both the sight and remembered scent of these flowers is something worth waiting for.  If these buds can survive winter so can we.


Despite the century old belief that Arbutus cannot be successfully transplanted, this recently moved plant is thriving.  Its white flower buds at this time of year serve an easily understood purpose.  Early appearing flowers need a head start.  Their perfume defies description and is well worth waiting for.  Chewed leaves show that evergreen leaves serve as a food source when little green remains.


Yesterday remaining snow cover kept these Snow Drop's early growth hidden.  Moved here last season, they were expected to survive the move.  They are not native to North America but their early white flowers will be welcome here.  Those red Sumac seed berries paint quite a picture.  We will be weeding out buckets of new trees.


Daffodils are not native here either but no garden would be complete without them.  A friend buys a big bag of these bulbs each year and plants them in her woods.  She now has a huge display of bright flowers on land that really serves no other gardening purpose.  As these photos show, Spring is definitely coming here reasonably soon.