Friday, June 8, 2018

Shade Garden Grows

Confronted with age related decline in physical stamina, we are looking for work saving strategies that will allow us to continue gardening.  Just how an expansion of this garden fits into that plan might seem to be in contradiction of that goal.  The grass clippings, notice how they follow the line between shade and sunlight, will end the pasture grass that now grows here.  That newly cleared ground will provide space for divisions of our Siberian Iris collection that are long overdue.  Proper spacing and reground bark mulch will make this area relatively free of work once it is planted.  We want to be ready to plant here next spring.

Every bag of collected leaves has been opened and dumped in the shaded area.  We are trying to build forest soil with decaying hardwood leaves.  Little rain is in the forecast for the next several days so these leaves should dry out.  The small hand mower will be used to shred these leaves.  Quicker decay and more of a tendency to stay in place are the reasons for shredding.  The compost pile is slated for removal.
This is the long view as seen from the road.  The wire caged lilies clearly show their ugly protection but the evening munching deer is already eating the New England Asters.  Two years ago that deer ate every lily bud.  Now the lilies are protected but the colorful flowers will be behind wire.

Catskill Native Nursery was the source of this Smooth Solomon's Seal plant.  Buds promise flowers when most of the native woodland plants are going dormant.  A huge Spring Beauty was in the pot with this plant.  That hitchhiker was the actual reason for the purchase.  It was magnificent and should have dropped a load of seeds.  We will watch and see just what treasure this purchase provides next spring.

This is a weed that must be allowed to grow where self-planted.  A Red Clover flower is attractively colored and this one is home for a tiny white spider.  Becky is the one who sees events like this.  I get to enjoy them in her photos.

Cardinal Flower has captured and held my attention for several years.  Just why this native plant remains scarce in this general area remains a bit of a puzzle.  These plants taken from our gardens early this year have spent cold nights in the basement.  Now they are on their way to new owners in three different locations in our attempt to increase the number of plants with a chance to drop seed.

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