Sunday, April 21, 2019

Magnolias And Lilies For Easter

Amy's Magnolia is covered with buds this spring.  For the first time Ed's big wire cage was large enough to keep the deer from eating the buds.  This will be the first year that we will have an impressive set of flowers. The cage can be seen in the background but I purposely took the picture through one of the wire squares to get an unobstructed view of the flower..  After the winter weather we have had it is delightful to see  this lovely pink flower.  When the flowers are past, the fence will be removed so that the lawn can be mowed.

One flower growing on a low branch gave me a chance to take a bird's-eye view of a Magnolia blossom.  When more buds are open I will get a chance to see if all of the flowers are pink under the petals and white on the inside.

It is a family tradition to view Magnolias from ground level with blue sky as a background.  I managed to lie down on the grass and take this picture and get back up again without anyone seeing me.  We have both reached the age where  passers-by seeing us on the ground  get concerned thinking we have fallen and can't get up.

All of the lilies in the garden are coming up fast now that the April showers have finally started.  Only some of Ed's Day lilies are  shown here.  These have been with us for the longest time and many should be divided.  Since new garden space does not yet exist these beauties will simply have to wait for at least another year.  The scattered stones carry varietal names as we continue to sort out just who is who.  The four foot high wire fence sections are tied in place preventing deer from eating these soon to appear tasty buds.  At last count we found names for thirty-five different Day lilies so it goes without saying that this is just the first bed that is now ready for summer flowers.

Friday, April 19, 2019

New Plants Every Day

To most this would appear to be a picture of nothing.  It seems that five wooden Popsicle sticks are scattered on the surface of ground dead leaves.  Sharp eyes might see the letters PT on the markers.  It may be hard to believe that we were wildly excited by what we saw here this morning.

In the Fall of 2017, we placed an order for dormant plant parts from Tennessee Wholesale Nursery.  The following Spring nothing grew where we had placed the root-stocks.  A call of complaint was made and we were assured that  we would see live plants in another year.  We were understandably skeptical but were assured that the guarantee would be honored if nothing grew.  So we waited.

This morning we were thrilled to see Painted Trilliums growing near four of the plant markers.  One of the plants had sent up two stems and we will likely see the remaining plant soon.  We fully expect that flowers may be a year or two away as these plants adjust to their new home.  We are more than willing to wait since we have never seen this plant in the wild despite its being reported as common in the Catskills.  We now have live plants that spent a year and one half totally hidden from view.  One has to wonder just what the plant pieces were doing for that length of time.

Here we have two old friends.  The three heavily veined closed leaves mark the appearance of Wild Ginger.  Our new shade garden is the third location that this plant has occupied.  It is just possible that this carefully chosen location will support growth appropriate for a ground cover.  The bright cluster of leaves belong to Sweet Woodruff.  This nonnative was not part of the planned transplanting but came along uninvited.  It is not by choice that we will allow this alien to remain here.

The Unadilla River Valley has been home to dairy cows ever since European immigrants first arrived on this land.  In the last few years, the size of the dairies has exploded with hundreds of cows never leaving the huge shed on a factory farm.  Manure is drained into huge circular cement ponds where it waits its time to be spread on the fields.  Yesterday the manure tanker made many trips to coat the entire field with this slippery brown gold.  Needless to say the smell of pit manure is nothing like the wholesome scent of old fashioned manure mixed with straw bedding.  Putrid is a descriptive word that is nearly vile enough to describe the stench.

The owners of Cobar Farms are both former students of mine.  We find them to be remarkably considerate since the manure on this field is always turned under the day following its application.  For the size of their dairy operation, this is a really small field but they are excellent neighbors.

Rain is in the forecast for the next several days.  That should send more perennial plants into visible above ground growth.  This year's gardens are truly underway.