Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wild Beyond Description

Our attempts to tame the wilderness here have been a humbling experience.  Our small pond was scratched in the surface using a tractor back blade.  Nearly year round springs provided a water supply to free range horses that summered here before our time.  Rich muck formed the dike and plant growth flourished.  Our first attempt to plant here only fed our chosen to the wild weeds.  The second attempt was only slightly more successful but it is early yet.  A scythe cut down the weeds.  A tarp covered the area for a full year.  Dead weed crowns were raked out and new plants were set in the clear dark ground.  The race is on to see who will hold this ground.

Blue Vervain, Verbena hastata grows wild here in limited numbers.  This plant is at the edge of the area planted.  We hope it holds on here since its dark blue flowers are a visual delight.  One plant was moved to the front garden.  We cut it back after it blooms to control it's many seeds.

When I moved the groundnuts, Apois americana to this rich moist soil, Becky feared that they would overrun the area.  This is a tough neighborhood and I will be happy if they just survive.  Weeds have closed in but the groundnuts seem to have gained a foothold.  The flowers are late this year.  Either the drought or the recent transplant could be the cause.  Drought seem an unlikely cause as the springs that feed the pond have been running all summer.  Perhaps the competition from native weeds slowed the groundnuts down.

Swamp milkweed, Asclepias incarnata is a native plant here but we purchased our original plant.  An accidental root cutting gave us a second plant.  It flowered and made seed in its new location.  We will watch to see it becomes a long term survivor.

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